When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some . . . I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings. . .1 Corinthians 9:22
I pin my body down like a wrestler, forcing it to do what it should. (Ian’s translation) Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified . . .1 Corinthians 9 :27
I don’t want you to forget, dear brothers and sisters, 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.
All of them ate the same spiritual food, and all of them drank the same spiritual water. For they drank from the spiritual rock that travelled with them, and that rock was Christ. Yet God was not pleased with most of them, and their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. These things happened as a warning to us, so that we would not crave evil things as they did, or worship idols as some of them did. As the Scriptures say, “The people celebrated with feasting and drinking, and they indulged in pagan revelry.”1 Corinthians 10:1, 3, 5-7
( Then he proceeds to list all the Corinthians’ sins. )
If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. The 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. So, my dear friends, flee from the worship of idols. You are reasonable people. Decide for yourselves if what I am saying is true. When 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? And though we are many, we all eat from one loaf of bread, showing that we are one body. Think about the people of Israel. Weren’t they united by eating the sacrifices at the altar? What am I trying to say? Am I saying that food offered to idols has some significance, or that idols are real gods?1 Corinthians 10:12-19
He is saying something deeper than that. But for moment let us look at the train of Paul’s thought. Do you see in the highlighted parts how it all hangs together? Paul is very logical. When reading Paul look for the logical connections.
And then look how Paul finishes chapter 10:
I, 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.1 Corinthians 10:33
He has the same train of thought throughout but digresses to deal with the fact that anyone of us can lose out on the blessing. He developed the thought of losing his salvation by relating it to the example of ancient Israel. Then also selects the issue of idol worship out of all the Corinthian sins, which mirror Israel’s sin.
Tomorrow we will look at the connection between communion and offering food to idols. What is Paul trying to saying? He is saying far more than just the superficial issue of the significance or not of food sacrificed to idols or if idols are real gods or not. I think we all know the biblical answer to those superficial questions. Hang on to your hat.
Opportunity may knock once but temptation will bang on the front door forever.Anon
God Himself doesn’t propose to judge a man until he’s dead so why should you?Anon
The Will of God will never take you to place where the grace of God will not protect you.Anon