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 1 Corinthians Chapter 10 Part One

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PostSubject: 1 Corinthians Chapter 10 Part One   Fri Jul 26, 2013 7:53 pm

1 Corinthians 10:1

The negative example of Israel:

We’ll begin by saying that Ancient Israel’s 40 year journey between Egypt and Canaan is a sobering illustration of the misuse of freedom and the dangers of overconfidence. The Israelites misused their new found freedom; fell into idolatry, immorality and rebelliousness, disqualifying themselves from receiving the Lord’s blessing.
So that the Corinthians might not think God’s discipline would be an unlikely eventuality for a people so blessed as they (1Co_1:5), Paul cited the illustration of another group of people who were greatly blessed by God but yet experienced His severe discipline. Israel of old was reckless and unrestrained after her physical and spiritual freedom from tyranny in Egypt. As a result God meted out severe discipline by cutting short the lives of many Israelites. They were all in the “race” (1Co_9:24), but almost all were disqualified (1Co_9:27) in spite of their advantages.
Five advantages were enjoyed by Israel. First, all the liberated Israelites enjoyed the supernatural guidance (Exo_13:21) and protection (Exo_14:19-20) of the pillar of cloud in their Exodus from Egypt. The Corinthians had similarly experienced God’s guidance (cf. Luk_1:79) and protection (cf. 1Pe_1:5). Second, all Israelites passed through the sea and experienced a miraculous deliverance from those who sought to take their lives (Exo_14:21-28). “Moreover … ignorant” This transition leads from the lack of self discipline and subsequent disqualification spoken of in the preceding chapter 9:27 to an illustration of it in ancient Israel.
“All our fathers” meaning Paul is referring to ancient Israel, of whom he was a descendant. In particular, he asked his readers to remember what had happened to Israel in the wilderness, because of freedom without self control.
“Under the cloud”: Guided by God’s presence as a cloud by day and a column of fire at night (See Exodus 13:21).
“Through the sea” meaning the Red sea which opened for Israel to pass through and closed to drown the Egyptian army.
So too had the Corinthians experienced a miraculous deliverance — salvation (cf. Heb_2:14-15; Gal_1:4).

1 Corinthians 10:2

Third, the Israelites were all baptized into Moses, that is, united with their spiritual head, God’s servant, who became the object of their trust (Exo_14:31; cf. Joh_5:45). The Corinthians had been baptized into the body of Christ (1Co_12:13) of which He is the Head (Eph_1:22) and in whom they trusted (Mat_12:21; Eph_1:12).

1 Corinthians 10:3-4

As a fourth privilege, the Israelites all enjoyed spiritual food, the supernatural bread from heaven (Exo_16:4, Exo_16:15). The Corinthians too had eaten bread from heaven (cf. Joh_6:31-34). As a fifth advantage, Paul listed the spiritual drink enjoyed by Israel in the desert (Exo_17:6). According to Paul, Christ was the source of this supernatural water. Since the incident of the rock which produced water marked the beginning of Israel’s wilderness wanderings (Exo_17:1-7) and happened again near the ending of their wanderings (Num_20:1-13), Paul concluded that Christ accompanied them. Paul does not intend to imply that the manna was not literal food. It was clearly designed for ordinary nourishment. It was spiritual in the sense that it was supernaturally provided by the Spirit of God. Likewise, the water that was received from the rock was real water. It was spiritual in the sense that it was given through God’s direct intervention.
“That Rock was Christ”: The Rock was not a theophany (a visible revelation of God). Rather, it was a “type” of Christ. It prefigured the provision that Christ would ultimately make for His people. But also it is intended to mean that the source of supply was Christ and not the rock. This passage is an impressive affirmation of the preexistence of Jesus Christ.
The Jews had a legend that the actual rock Moses struck followed them throughout their wilderness wanderings, providing water for them. Paul says that have a Rock providing all they need, but it is Christ. Rock (petra) refers to a massive cliff, not simply a large stone or boulder, signifying the pre-incarnate Messiah (Christ) who protected and sustained His people.
Christ too was the source of supernatural water for the Corinthians (cf. Joh_4:10-14).
It is possible that these five blessings were intended by Paul to reflect the two ordinances of baptism (1Co_10:1-2) and the Lord’s Supper (1Co_10:3-4) which the Corinthians may have thought communicated a magical protection like similar rites in some of the mystery religions. The Corinthians did seem to have a distorted view and practice of both of these ordinances (cf. 1Co_11:17-34; 1Co_15:29) which required correction.

1 Corinthians 10:5

The presence of supernatural privileges in the lives of Old Testament Israelites did not produce automatic success. On the contrary, in spite of their special advantages, most of them (in fact, all but two members of one generation, Joshua and Caleb) experienced God’s discipline, were disqualified, and died in the desert (Num_14:29). In light of this, Paul’s avowed need for personal self-discipline (1Co_9:27) was genuine since even Moses was disqualified for the prize (Num_20:12).

1 Corinthians 10:6

Since this was so, the Corinthians’ complacency in matters of self-discipline and their corresponding penchant for self-indulgence required immediate remedial action. Christian freedom was not meant to lead to self-indulgence but to selfless service (cf. Gal_5:13), as the behavior of past Israelites illustrated.
Paralleling the fivefold blessings enjoyed by Israel in their newfound freedom from Egypt, Paul proceeded to recount a fivefold failure experienced by Israel during this time. He began with the Israelites’ craving for the pleasures of Egypt, summarized in their plaintive cry, “Give us meat to eat!” (Num_11:4-34, esp. Num_11:13) God gave them what they wanted but while the meat was still between their teeth, He struck them with a plague. The Israelites named the cemetery for those who were killed “Kibroth Hattaavah” (“graves of craving”; Num_11:34). The application to the Corinthian situation was obvious (cf. 1Co_8:13). We can learn from their mistakes, if we will. They murmured against God over and over. It seemed they were never satisfied.
They died in the wilderness because of their failure of self discipline and consequent indulgence of every desire. Four major signs characterized them; (1) Idolatry, v.7; (2) sexual immorality, v.8; (3) testing God, v.9; (4) and complaining, v.10.

1 Corinthians 10:7

Second, many in Israel failed by participating in idolatry (Exo_32:1-6) and paid for it with their lives (Exo_32:28, Exo_32:35). Apparently some Corinthian was. Interested in more than meat in the pagan temples (1Co_8:10; 1Co_10:14). For those who thought they as Christians could take part in idolatry with impunity, Paul intended, with illustrations like this, to knock out the false props which supported their behavior (1Co_10:12) before God intervened and took their lives. The Israelites were barely out of Egypt when they fell into idol worship. Exodus 32 records the story.
This is speaking of the time when Moses had gone to meet with God and get the tables of the Ten Commandments. They really had no excuse, because God had spoken to them from the mountain and given them orally the Ten Commandments, even before Moses went to get them on the tables of stone. They believed something had happened to Moses, and they had Aaron to form them a golden calf to worship. The problem with these people, and with those caught up in false worship today, is that they wanted a god they could see with their physical eyes to worship. God is Spirit. If you can see something with your physical eye, it is part of God's creation. It is not God.

1 Corinthians 10:8

A third failure among the privileged Israelites was in the area of sexual immorality. In the Israelites’ case the immorality was associated with idolatry (Num_25:1-2), which also characterized much pagan worship in the first century. But the Corinthians indulged in immorality in contexts other than idolatry, as the instances of rebuke in 1Co_5:1 and 1Co_6:18 illustrate. As God had brought death to the immoral among the Israelites (Num_25:4-9), He could do in Corinth (e.g., 1Co_5:5), a sobering thought for the libertines who said, “Everything is permissible” (1Co_6:12; 1Co_10:23).
A possible solution to the apparent discrepancy in the death count found in Num_25:9 (24,000) and Paul’s figure of 23,000 may reside in the phrase one day. Moses and most of Israel were mourning the death of those who had been executed by the judges (Num_25:5) or killed by an ongoing plague. Meanwhile Phineas was dispatching an Israelite man and Moabite woman in their last act of immorality (Num_25:6-Cool, which brought to completion God’s discipline of the immoral Israelites and ended the death toll by plague at 24,000, a number probably intended as a summary figure.
Another explanation of the 24,000 in Numbers (contra Paul’s 23,000) is that the former included the leaders (cf. Num_25:4), whereas the latter did not. Exodus 32 records the story of some 3,000 who were executed by the Levites for instigating an immoral orgy at Sinai. There was a plague the next day in Exodus 32:35 and the additional 20,000 could have died in that plague. I couldn’t find an exact reference to the timing here so it could mean within a 24 hour period (one day) which could cover two different consecutive days, 12 in one and 12 in the other!

1 Corinthians 10:9

The Israelites’ fourth failure was the presuming of some to question the plan and purpose of God on their trek to Canaan. As a result they were killed by snakes (Num_21:4-6). Did the Corinthian think that they knew better than God the path that would bring them to heaven? (cf. 1 Cor. 1:18-3:20) We can read of this in the 21st chapter of numbers which records the story of the people questioning the goodness and plan of the One carrying them through the wilderness, the Protector and Provider, the spiritual Rock, Christ pre-incarnate.
I will give just one Scripture here that shows the Lord sent serpents when they spoke against God and Moses.
Numbers 21:6: "And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died."
"Tempt", in verse 9, above means to test thoroughly. They had questioned God over and over. It is very dangerous to test God, as they found out.

1 Corinthians 10:10

Israel’s fifth failure, which God disciplined with death, occurred when they spoke rebelliously against God’s appointed leaders, Moses and Aaron (Num_16:41-49). Was Paul facing a similar situation as an outgrowth of the Corinthians’ party spirit? (cf. 1Co_1:11; 1Co_4:18-19) It is possible that each of these failures found expression in the Corinthian issue of eating food sacrificed to idols. Murmuring was very displeasing to God. Paul had said that he had learned to be content in whatever condition he was in at the moment. Possibly, this was added, because they had sent a letter speaking negative things about Paul. You remember that this letter is in answer to problems they were complaining about.
“Destroyer”: This incident is recorded in Number 16:3-41 and has to do with the report of the spies. The same angel had slain the firstborn of the Egyptians (Exodus 12:23), and the 70,000 men because of David’s census (2 Sam. 24:15-16), and again to the entire Assyrian army that was besieging Jerusalem (2 Chron. 32:21).

1 Corinthians 10:11

God’s dealings with Israel were more than a matter of historical curiosity for Paul. They were examples (cf. 1Co_10:6) and warnings for the Corinthians that the God with whom they had to deal, who was bringing His interaction with people to a close in this fulfillment of the ages, was the same God who disciplined the Israelites with death and would do so again (cf. 1Co_11:30). Paul is telling them to study the Word of God and learn from the mistakes of others. Do not be so stiff-necked, that they had to learn the hard way. The end of the world is a statement that actually means the end of the ages or the last days of redemptive history before the messianic kingdom. Paul felt that the return of the Lord was near.

1 Corinthians 10:12

If the Corinthians believed their standing in Christ and corresponding freedom could be exercised in sin with impunity, they were wrong, possibly dead wrong. This is just saying; don't be so proud that you cannot learn. Learn from others mistakes, so you will not make the same mistake yourself. Paul is saying, be ever conscious of yourself. Examine your own self, so the Lord will not have to. Remember that prides goes before the fall!

1 Corinthians 10:13

After kicking out the props of false security, Paul pointed toward the One on whom the Corinthians could rely. The temptations that seized the Corinthians were like those people had always faced. They could be met and endured by depending on God, who is faithful. Part of the Corinthian problem, of course, was that some in the face of temptation were not looking for a way out by endurance, but a way in for indulgence. To try and explain this scripture, I’m going to start by quoting James 1:13-15, then explain those scriptures in detail.
Verse 13: "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:" The same Greek word that is translated “trails” is also translated “temptation” here. James’ point is that every difficult circumstance that enters a believer’s life can either strengthen him if he obeys God and remains confident in His care, or become a solicitation to evil if the believer chooses instead to doubt God and disobey His Word. God cannot be tempted. God by His holy nature has no capacity for evil, or vulnerability to it. Nor does He Himself tempt anyone. God purposes trails to occur and in them He allows temptation to happen, but He has promised not to allow more than believers can endure and never without a way to escape. They must choose whether to take the escape God provides or to give in.
Verse 14: "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed." “Drawn sway”: This Greek word was used to describe wild game being lured into traps. Just as animals can be drawn to their deaths by attractive baits, temptation promises people something good, which is actually harmful. “His own lust” refers to the strong desire of the human soul to enjoy or acquire something to fulfill the flesh. Man’s fallen nature has the propensity to strongly desire whatever sin will satisfy it. “His own” desires the individual nature of lust – it is different for each person as a result of inherited tendencies, environment, upbringing and personal choices. The Greek grammar also indicates that these “desires” are the direct agent or cause on one’s sinning. “Enticed” is a fishing term that means “to capture” or “to catch with bait”. It is a parallel to “drawn away.”
Verse 15: "Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death." Sin is not merely a spontaneous act, but the result of a process. The Greek words for “has conceived” and “brings forth” liken the process to physical conception and birth. Thus James personifies temptation and shows that it can follow a similar sequence and produce sin with all its deadly results. While sin does not result in spiritual death for the believer, it can lead to physical death.
Those who turn to the Holy Spirit when going through various temptations will be given the power to resist Satan’s deceit. But, there can be no doubt as to following the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Believers must learn to trust God’s leading in all things without fear or doubt so that our faith is strengthened. That’s the reason God allows us to go through various trials and tribulations
Another excellent scripture for those suffering from an unexpected loss and begins to question God as to why appears in 2 Cor. 1 verses 3-4: "Blessed [be] God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;" "Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God."
In other words when someone is going through such heartbreaking trials such as the loss of a loved one, those who have been through those same trails may be used of God to bring comfort to those who are suffering. And I might add that we won’t always understand why some things happen, but we should never doubt that God is with us and is mourning with us as we go through those times.

1 Corinthians 10:14-15

The application to idolatry
The therefore (dioper) introduced Paul’s application of Christian freedom to eating food sacrificed to idols. He gave advice in three areas: (a) meat in the pagan temple (1Co_10:14-22; cf. 1Co_8:10); (b) meat in the marketplace (1Co_10:25-26); (c) meat in the home (1Co_10:27-30). His advice on the first count was uncomplicated flee from idolatry (cf. 1Co_6:18, “flee from sexual immorality”). “Wherefore” In Greek means dioper or a strengthened form of dio. Literally means “for this very reason.
This is probably some of the best advice Paul could give in this city where idolatry was everywhere. Paul says, run the other way from idolatry. This is very good advice for us today, too.
He believed that the rhetorical questions which followed would lead sensible people like the Corinthians (cf. 1Co_4:10) to agree. Paul reminds them here, that they were wise enough to line up with those who know Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. He expresses strongly that they must take heed to his teachings, if they are to remain in good standing with the Lord. Think this out carefully, before you do any of these worldly things.

1 Corinthians 10:16-17

Paul’s point in these verses about the Lord’s Supper was like that made earlier (1Co_5:6-Cool. The collective worship of Christians at the Lord’s Supper expressed the unity among the members and their participation (koinōnia, “fellowship”) in the blood of Christ and in the body of Christ. “The cup of blessing” is the proper name given to the third cup during the Passover Feast. At the last Passover with the disciples, Jesus used the third cup as the symbol of His bloodshed for sin. That cup became the one used to institute the Lord’s Supper. He set the cup apart as a token of salvation blessing before passing it to the 12.
“Communion”: Means “to have in common, to participate and have partnership with.” Commemorating the Lord’s Supper was a regular and cherished practice in the early church, by which believers remembered their Savior’s death and celebrated their common salvation and eternal life which reflected their perfect spiritual oneness.
“The blood of Christ” is a vivid phrase used to represent Christ’s sacrificial death and full atoning work.
“The bread” symbolizes our Lord’s body as the cup symbolized His blood. Both point to His death as a sacrifice for the salvation of men.
John 6:54-56 "Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day." "For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed." "He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him."
We are actually in Jesus and He is in us, when we take communion remembering what He did for us. He has brought us life. He is life, and when we partake of Him, we have partaken of life. He is our life.
The one loaf of bread, of which all partake, pictured their unity as members of the one body of Christ. When we partake of the body of Jesus, we become part of His body. We are one with Jesus, and He is one with the Father. John 10:30 "I and [my] Father are one." God is Spirit and we are spirit, as well, if we receive the Lord. Our spirit and the Spirit of the Lord become one.
When we studied chapter 6 v.17 we discussed sins of the body as the scripture states: “But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit”. Illicit relationships by believers are especially reprehensible because they profane Jesus Christ with who believers are one. We further stated that this argument should make such sin unthinkable, as should all deliberate sin.
Romans 12:5 "So we, [being] many, are one body in Christ and everyone members one of another."
1 Corinthians 12:12 "For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also [is] Christ."
1 Corinthians 12:27 "Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular."
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