Exit Parallel Mode
 

1 Corinthians 10

10
Church membership no guarantee of perfection
1The fact is, brethren, baptism and partaking of the bread and wine, and your membership in the Church of Christ show forth your status as the spiritually elect of God — but remember, you are not thereby perfected. There may yet come another falling away, as with those who were called in the old days in a similar manner to us. 2What though they were all under the cloud in the moment of revelation, and all passed through the sea, 3and all ate the spiritual manna 4and drank the spiritual drink which flowed from the rock. The rock is said to have followed them wherever they went. That rock means the Christ. 5Now mark and learn the lesson. Many of those original founders of our faith “were slain in the wilderness” (Num. xiv. 16). 6The perfect will of God was not fulfilled in them and thereby we can discern the truth about ourselves, for they are types. They teach us not to lust, as some of them “lusted” (Num. xi. 4, 34). 7Yes, our fathers took part in that great piece of history, they witnessed that divine manifestation of God, and yet though part of all that, they were not all elect. There took place in their midst a corresponding reprobation and apostacy of some. They worshipped idols, and made an image to Jehovah, and made a pagan rite of his sacrifice. “The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.” (Exod. xxxii. 6) 8They committed fornication, and 23,000 fell in one day. 9They tempted the Lord, and were destroyed by serpents. 10They murmured, and the destroyer fell on them. 11On us has come the fulfilment of history. What happened before is the type of that which happens now, what was written before was written for the guidance of those on whom these days have come. All that past is contained in the history that is being made. 12Therefore let us beware, beware of “lusting,” of “fornication,” of “idolatry,” of doubting and murmuring. If our eyes are not open to the significance of those warnings, we too shall fall, even though we think we stand. 13It is God alone that can save us; in Him there will always be a way of escape however hotly the temptation press in on us, for such temptation must needs come to those that are but human. 14But mark me, note what I say. 15Beware, O beware, of idolatry, of pagan feasts and rites. Study well my words. 16That cup over which we pronounce the blessing, 17and the bread which we break, assembling ourselves together for the purpose — 18have they anything to do with the rites observed by pagans, and can we who take this cup of the Lord fall into the error of idolatry? 19Certainly the image and the meat sacrificed to it are nothing — 20we know that. But the heathen sacrifice “not to God, but to devils.” (Deut. xxxii. 17).
Pagan rites very different from the table of the Lord
21And to partake of the feasts by which these devils are worshipped is to lay yourself open to the strong influences that hang over such rites. Just as in that Israel which now bears the name of Israel after the flesh, the people who share in the sacrificial feast, share also in the Altar. Can we then, who take the cup of the Lord and partake of this feast, have anything whatever to do with the feasts of the devils? O beware of the subtle contaminating influence of idolatry! Our feast is a spiritual one; the words of blessing pronounced over the cup, and again over the bread, they mean our share in the blood of the Christ, our membership in the infinite body of the Christ, just as we all partake of the one loaf which is broken and given to all with the accompanying words of blessing, so are we all members of that one divine spiritual body. That is the meaning of our feast. Can such a feast as that have in it any taint of idolatry? Mark well the types I have spoken of, which the scriptures contain! Shall the table of the Lord (Mal. i. 7, 12) be polluted by you through intercourse with devils? 22Will you “provoke him to jealousy with strange gods?” (Deut. xxxii. 16). What possible connection can there be between our spiritual feast and the table of devils? 23Granted — all things are lawful to those who are free and emancipated. But it does not follow that there is no danger, no destructive power lurking round things which in an absolute sense are harmless. 24Seek what serves the common good, seek what builds and edifies, seek not your own. 25You are of course at liberty to purchase whatever you please where meat is sold, and ask no questions about it. 26-27Similarly, you can dine with friends not of the faith, and eat whatever they set before you. That is our freedom. “Is not the earth the Lord's and the fulness thereof?” (Ps. xxiv. 1). 28But if your host inform you, “this meat was sacrificed to such and such a god,” then keep the rule of absolute abstention from idolatry. 29You may consider yourself free, and think that you partake of all things by the grace of God, 30and are able to give thanks therefore with a good conscience, but if you are really free, why should this action affect the conscience of another, and be misinterpreted? It is better not to eat of it where other people's consciences are at stake. 31-32Seek not your own point of view, lean not to that, although you know yourself to be as free as Christ has made you in all such matters of eating and drinking, or whatever other things you may be doing, but seek the glory of the one God, seek to commend yourself to all men, whether your company be Jewish, Greek or those who are of the faith. O think not of yourselves, but of them! 33That is always my point of view, to please all in every way I can, that they may find salvation;

1 Corinthians 10

10
Lessons from Israel’s Idolatry
1I don’t want you to forget, dear brothers and sisters,#10:1 Greek brothers. about our ancestors in the wilderness long ago. All of them were guided by a cloud that moved ahead of them, and all of them walked through the sea on dry ground. 2In the cloud and in the sea, all of them were baptized as followers of Moses. 3All of them ate the same spiritual food, 4and all of them drank the same spiritual water. For they drank from the spiritual rock that traveled with them, and that rock was Christ. 5Yet God was not pleased with most of them, and their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.
6These things happened as a warning to us, so that we would not crave evil things as they did, 7or worship idols as some of them did. As the Scriptures say, “The people celebrated with feasting and drinking, and they indulged in pagan revelry.”#10:7 Exod 32:6. 8And we must not engage in sexual immorality as some of them did, causing 23,000 of them to die in one day.
9Nor should we put Christ#10:9 Some manuscripts read the Lord. to the test, as some of them did and then died from snakebites. 10And don’t grumble as some of them did, and then were destroyed by the angel of death. 11These things happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us who live at the end of the age.
12If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. 13The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.
14So, my dear friends, flee from the worship of idols. 15You are reasonable people. Decide for yourselves if what I am saying is true. 16When we bless the cup at the Lord’s Table, aren’t we sharing in the blood of Christ? And when we break the bread, aren’t we sharing in the body of Christ? 17And though we are many, we all eat from one loaf of bread, showing that we are one body. 18Think about the people of Israel. Weren’t they united by eating the sacrifices at the altar?
19What am I trying to say? Am I saying that food offered to idols has some significance, or that idols are real gods? 20No, not at all. I am saying that these sacrifices are offered to demons, not to God. And I don’t want you to participate with demons. 21You cannot drink from the cup of the Lord and from the cup of demons, too. You cannot eat at the Lord’s Table and at the table of demons, too. 22What? Do we dare to rouse the Lord’s jealousy? Do you think we are stronger than he is?
23You say, “I am allowed to do anything”#10:23 Greek All things are lawful; also in 10:23b.—but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial. 24Don’t be concerned for your own good but for the good of others.
25So you may eat any meat that is sold in the marketplace without raising questions of conscience. 26For “the earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.”#10:26 Ps 24:1.
27If someone who isn’t a believer asks you home for dinner, accept the invitation if you want to. Eat whatever is offered to you without raising questions of conscience. 28(But suppose someone tells you, “This meat was offered to an idol.” Don’t eat it, out of consideration for the conscience of the one who told you. 29It might not be a matter of conscience for you, but it is for the other person.) For why should my freedom be limited by what someone else thinks? 30If I can thank God for the food and enjoy it, why should I be condemned for eating it?
31So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32Don’t give offense to Jews or Gentiles#10:32 Greek or Greeks. or the church of God. 33I, too, try to please everyone in everything I do. I don’t just do what is best for me; I do what is best for others so that many may be saved. 11:1And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.