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 1 Corinthians Chapter 10 Part Two

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PostSubject: 1 Corinthians Chapter 10 Part Two   Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:34 pm

1 Corinthians 10:18

Likewise in the worship of Israel, the participants identified with what was sacrificed and with each other. “Behold Israel”. In the Old Testament sacrifices, the offering was on behalf of all who ate. By such action, the people were identifying with the offering and affirming their devotion to God to whom it was offered. Paul was, by this, implying how any sacrifice made to an idol was identifying with and participating with; that idol. It is completely inconsistent for believers to participate in any such worship.

1 Corinthians 10:19-21

The same was true of pagan worship. It was true that an idol was nothing (1Co_8:4; cf. Psa_115:4-7), but the ultimate reality behind pagan religion was demonic. Since an idol is a nothing, then to eat of the sacrifice used for that would not join you to anything. Remember, the idol is a nothing.

Idols and the things sacrificed to them have no spiritual nature or power in themselves, but they do represent the demonic.
Pagan sacrifices were offered to demons, not to God. Through his minions “the god of this age” blinded unbelievers and kept them from the truth (2Co_4:4). If pagan worshippers believe an idol was a god, demons act out the part of the imagined god. There is not a true god in the idol, but there is a satanic spiritual force.

A gentile, in the sense it is used here, means the heathen world. The heathens know not God and they do sacrifice to the devil, because they know not God. Devils in the instance above, is demonic beings and could just as easily been translated demons. Christians should have no fellowship with devils or demons, whichever you choose to call them.

There could be no union for good between Christ and Belial (2Co_6:15). The two are totally incompatible. Paul is trying to make it very clear that you must be on one side, or the other. You cannot ride the fence. Remember that Paul is telling them to break away from all connection to the worship of Aphrodite. Many times, people who come to Christ will drag some of the filth along with them into the church.

Paul is saying this is unacceptable. To "drink of the cup of the Lord", means that you have partaken of Him. He is the Light of the world. You cannot mix darkness with Light.

So those who were the temple of God (1Co_3:16; 1Co_6:19) should shun the temple of idols (cf. 2Co_6:14-18). No magical contamination was conveyed, but the corrupt character of the participants would be harmful for believers (1Co_15:33). Being participants with demons was unthinkable for those who are participants with Christ (1Co_10:21; cf. 1Co_10:16).

1 Corinthians 10:22

Most importantly such behavior displeased God (cf. Deu_32:21). Did the “strong” Corinthians (1Co_8:7-10) require the same discipline as Israel? (1Co_10:7; Exo_32:28, Exo_32:35) Our God is a jealous God. One of His names is Jealous. God tolerates no competition and will not allow idolatry to go unpunished.

The first of the commandments is "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." We must be very careful not to even think, or speak of another god.

In verses 23-30 Paul gives 4 principles for Christian liberty: (1) Edification over gratification, v.23; (2) others over self, v.24; (3) liberty over legalism, verses 25-27 and (4) condescension over condemnation, verses 28-30.

1 Corinthians 10:23-24

The principle of freedom (everything is permissible; cf. 1Co_6:12) was to be regulated by love for others. The liberty the Christian has must not be used to do anything that might provoke God. The liberty a Christian has must be used in such a way to build God up. We should never use the privilege the Lord has afforded us for self-edification, or to further some little pet project. All things should be done decently and in order.

Previous we discussed liberty and that even though a Christian may be fully justified in doing something in front of other less mature believers, if those believers do what you are doing but consider it to be a sin, then it is a sin to them and you become guilty of that sin yourself. The example used previously regarding food that had been sold in the market that had been originally prepared as an offering to idols and the excess was later sold, and then was eaten by Paul. As Paul knew that the idols were nothings, as long as he blessed the food it was okay for him to eat it. But some of the Jews thought it to be sin even though some of them would eat it.
Here is a definition of liberty: Christ’s law is a perfect law of liberty. It is perfect or complete in that it is a system which contains laws and commandments which are not grievous, and yet, it is a system of grace and liberty (I Jn. 5: 3; - Gal. 5: 1-13). We have liberty from sin when we obey it (Acts 2: 38; Rom. 6: 1-12). Christ’s system is the ideal combination of law and liberty. Also, Christ’s law does not contain the onerous requirements as did Moses’ law (Gal. 4: 5).

Activities that are not beneficial or constructive or that do not promote the good of others (cf. 1Co_10:33) should be avoided. One of the main causes of sin in our society today is greed. God promised to take care of our needs, if we are His. He did not promise to take care of our greed. When we have food and shelter, we should be content.

If we spend our time trying to help someone else succeed, we will be blessed of God in the doing. Or put another way as in Phil.2:3 “[Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

1 Corinthians 10:25-26

For a Christian who bought meat at a market with the intent of eating it at home, Paul recommended that selections be made without reservation. No one could contaminate what God had made clean (cf. Act_10:15) since everything belongs to Him (Psa_24:1). When you are offered meat to eat, don't run an investigation to find out where it came from. If it had been offered to an idol, it would not have been a sin to eat it, but the person eating it might have had a guilty conscience about eating it anyway. Don't ask, and then there will be no guilt.

1 Corinthians 10:27-30

For a Christian who accepted an invitation to another’s home Paul recommended eating from all the fare without scrupulous reservation. This scripture in found in1 Timothy settles this.
Timothy 4:4-5 "For every creature of God [is] good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:" "For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer." Eat whatever is set before you, but pray over it to make it clean. If you do not ask where it came from, then you do not feel guilty.

But if another Christian guest piped up (cf. 1Co_8:7-13) that the food had been part of a pagan sacrifice, the knowledgeable Christian should defer to the uninformed scruples of the weaker brother. To exercise his rightful freedom to eat might cause the brother with the scrupulous conscience to follow that example and cause him to sin (cf. Rom_14:14-23).

A knowledgeable Christian did not need to alter his convictions to accord with the conscience of a weaker brother (1Co_10:29), but he did need to alter his behavior when in the weaker brother’s presence. Even if you are the guest of an unbeliever and don’t want to offend him, it is better to offend the unbeliever and not eat for the sake of the weaker Christian who would be offended to eat, since love to other believers is the strongest witness we have, (John 13:34-35).

“My liberty judged of another” meaning offending a weaker brother with one’s freedom will cause the offended person to condemn us.
Otherwise the weak brother might act against his conscience and harm himself (cf. 1Co_8:11), which would bring denunciation on the strong brother. We can’t truly offer thanks to God for some food by which we cause another believer to stumble. What the knowledgeable Christian could enjoy privately with thankfulness became in the presence of the weaker brother a contemptible act eliciting condemnation (why am I denounced [blasphēmoumai] because of something I thank God for? cf. 1Co_8:12; Rom_14:16, Rom_14:22). An echo of 1Co_8:13 concluded the matter.

1 Corinthians 10:31-33

The principle which summarized Paul’s response to the question of eating food offered as a pagan sacrifice was an application of the command to love God and neighbors. Christian behavior should be for the glory of God. Everything we are and everything we have is by the grace of God. We should continually praise God for everything. When we drink something, praise God for it. When we eat something, praise God for it. Every happening in your life, praise God for it. We are what God allows us to be. Praise God!
Christian liberty, as well as the most common behavior, is to be conducted to the honor of God.

Also it should build up the church of God by leading some to new birth (1Co_10:33) and others to maturity in the process of salvation (justification, sanctification, glorification; cf. 1Co_1:30). Christians should avoid behavior that would cause others — whether Jews (cf. 1Co_9:20), Greeks (cf. 1Co_9:21), or the church of God… to stumble (lit., “fall”; cf. 1Co_10:12). Paul practiced this. He did not offend others in their beliefs. He ministered to them in their own customs. Some were saved, and some were not. They have a right to believe what they choose, the same as we have a right to believe what we believe. Witness to them, and allow them to make their own decision. They are a free-will agent the same as we are. (Interestingly this reference to Jews separate from the church shows that the NT church did not replace the Jewish nation. This argues strongly for premillennialism.)

The One who perfectly exemplified love for God and others was Christ (cf. Rom_15:3; Php_2:5-Cool. Displaying the same spirit in his ministry, Paul urged the Corinthians to follow his example in this matter of food from a pagan sacrifice. This chapter ends with Paul explaining, one more time, that he ministered to people where they were. He observed their customs to get his foot in the door to minister to them. He did not preach a negative message. Paul taught the good news of the gospel to everyone who would receive it. Paul tried not to step on toes. He was all things to all men that by all means he might save some. The ultimate object of Paul, which should be our object as well, was to get as many as he could saved. They should allow their freedom to be regulated by love.
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1 Corinthians Chapter 10 Part Two
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