1 Corinthians 10:14-22

Scripture

1 Corinthians 10:14-22

Observation

  • Paul encourages the Corinthians to flee from their old life of idolatry
  • He encourages them to judge if what he is about to write is wise
  • When Christians share in drinking the cup at communion they are singularly professing that Christ’s blood purchased their salvation
  • When Christians share in eating the bread at communion they are singularly professing that Christ’s body was broken for them
  • Since all Christians partake of the bread with one Lord in mind, though there are many Christians, we are united as one in His Lordship
  • When you look at God’s people in the Old Testament they all sacrificed an animal for the covering of sins on the altar and at appointed times ate in unity as one people blessed of God (Deut. 12:17-18, 14:22-27).
  • Paul is not saying that meat sacrificed to idols contains any special blessing or that the idol itself is real.
  • However, the idol that they think represents a god is really a demon
  • And Paul does not want these believers to share in the worship of demons
  • They can’t claim to drink in celebration of the sacrifice of Jesus the Christ and then also drink unto a demon
  • They can’t eat in peace with the Christ who sacrificed his body for them, and then eat in fellowship with a demon
  • To do so would provoke the Lord who deserves our complete allegiance
  • Could you resist His correction if the Lord decided to straighten you out?

Application

Paul told the Corinthian believers to "flee from idolatry", the major religion in Corinth which many of them had practiced. The statues of wood or stone were not evil in themselves, but people gave them credit for what only God could do, such as provide good weather, crops, and children. Some swore that the idols had power, and Paul says that thought the idol has no inherent power there are demons behind some that might bring a limited power. This kind of power always destroys in the end. It promises blessing, but always comes with the price tag of pain and death.

We have idols today in America, though they take a different form than wood and stone. We put our trust in paper money and plastic cards rather than God. Our idols are symbols of power, pleasure, or prestige that are so highly regarded in our society. We must take Paul’s words to heart, “flee from idolatry”.

Christians should give Jesus their total allegiance. We cannot, as Paul explains, have a part in "both the Lord's table and the table of demons." Eating at the Lord's table means communing with Christ and identifying with his death. Eating at the demons' table means identifying with the enemy by worshiping or promoting evil activities (love of money, pornography, ect.). We need to ask ourselves, “Am I trying to lead two lives, following both my own desires as well as the desires of Christ?” If so, we must repent and commit ourselves to worship only one Lord who is Jesus Christ.

Prayer

Father, forgive me for being doubly minded. Forgive me for trying to do church on Sunday and then allow myself to focus on paper and plastic the rest of the week. I know that like an idol, money isn’t inherently bad, but it becomes that way when I am consumed by it. Please help me be wise in keeping my dreams, my will, and my life focused on You. Reveal to me any idols that I have allowed to take root in my life, and give me the strength to flee from them. I pray that more and more my life might center on worshipping You alone. Thank you for your grace which takes me as I am, and thank you for loving me enough not to leave me as I am. Help me take one step at a time towards change that You might transform me from the inside out. In Jesus name I pray, AMEN.

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