1 Corinthians 10

Author

Rick Olson

Scripture

1 Corinthians 10

Observation

1-5 Israel was “In Moses”, but their spiritual source was Christ. And they were laid low.
6-13 We too could be “laid low”, as the example of Israel demonstrates. If they could fall, we could too. Don’t rely on anything but Christ, or that makes it an idol for you. If you are tempted to rely on something besides Christ, He will provide the way to escape the temptation.
14-22 Since we are “In Christ”, as demonstrated by our acts of worship in taking the bread and cup during Communion, then we should not involve ourselves in any kind of idol worship and thus make ourselves “In demons” as demonstrated by our involvement in sacrifices to demons. You can’t be in two houses at the same time.
23-26 However, since idols themselves are not anything, we can eat meat offered to idols. Since we were not involved in worshiping the idols, we have complete freedom in Christ to eat that meat with a clear conscience.
27-33 The driving force in any of out decisions should be to bring people along towards God, that is how we “seek the good of our neighbor”. The idol itself is of no spiritual reality; it is just a thing, and we are free to use things. But, if others invest “worship” into a thing, then we should refrain from participating as an example to them of being wholly committed to Christ, and Christ alone. Our perspective should be that of Love, not of entitlement. I CAN exercise my freedom, but I choose to LOVE my neighbor instead.

Application

- Paul’s solution to the “meat offered to idols” issue was that we should not use our freedom in Christ without considering the effect it will have on those around us with less faith. This also happens to be a great solution for some of the decisions of conscience I am faced with that don’t involve actual demon worship. For example, I have a friend who is a pastor. He understands that he is free to drink alcohol. But, he abstains from any use because he doesn’t want to be the cause of anyone abusing alcohol after seeing him drink. For myself, I love movies. I always use discretion in which movies I see, because there are some things I can handle, and some things that cause me to stumble. I know that I have the freedom in Christ to go to R rated movies. But, I have chosen to refrain from going to them, even the ones that I know will not cause me any problems because I do not want to be the reason for anyone to stumble after seeing an R rated movie because I go to them.
- For me, the great enemy of this principle is my self centeredness. In each situation I face, I immediately zero in on how I am impacted. Natural as this may be, I would like to grow in this area to where I am concerned about how the situation impacts the people around me. I know Christ was this way, so I know that I can be too, since He lives in me.

Prayer

Father, I don’t want to be so self centered. I want to get to know You and enjoy You, so that I am assured of Your love and provision in every situation. Give me faith to trust you so completely that I can seek the good of my neighbor in every situation, and not be pre-occupied with my own good.

1 comment (Add your own)

1. Jim Asselin wrote:
Thank you Rick,
I too need to evaluate what I do more carefully, I also need to be more aware that the thing itself may not be bad, but the amount of time I spend doing it, or the frequency of the thing can be a poor witness, or a stumbling block to someone looking on. For example,nothing wrong with 18 holes of golf, but if I need to be spending time with my family, then it's a big deal - it would not be seeking the good of my neighbor or family.

Wed, April 8, 2015 @ 6:28 AM

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