First Corinthians 10.1–11.1 

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • March 20, In the year of our Lord Christ, 2019 

  1. 10.1–5 | Our Fathers Were Baptized into Moses

    1 Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, 2 all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. 5 But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.
    1. Why did Paul not want the Corinthian Christians to be unaware our fathers in the wilderness? 
      1. We need to understand that they were baptized just as we have been baptized. 
      2. We need to understand that they experienced Christ. 
        1. However, they sinned. 
        2. Were we not baptized to cease from sin? (See Rom 6.) 
    2. In what sense were the children of Israel in the wilderness our fathers? 
      1. We cannot dismiss them because they are in the Old Testament, as many people tend to do. 
      2. We have a connection with them in the Spirit. 
        1. Also, some people paint them as worse sinners than us. 
        2. Is that true? 
        3. Would we have done any better? 
    3. Although they were baptized and drank of Christ, what happened to most of them? 
  2. 10.6–12 | The Old Testament Became Our Examples

    6 Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. 7 And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” 8 Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; 9 nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; 10 nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. 12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.
    1. How did they become our examples? 
      1. They became an example of what not to do. 
      2. Do not lust after evil things as they did. 
    2. What does this imply about the relationship between Christians and the Old Testament? 
      1. Should we read it? 
      2. Should we study it? 
      3. Should we meditate in it? 
      4. Should we preach and teach it? 
      5. How can we learn what Paul told us to learn if we ignore the Old Testament? 
    3. What four things did they do that we do not want to repeat? 
      1. They became idolaters. 
      2. They committed sexual immorality. 
      3. They tempted Christ. 
      4. They complained. 
    4. For whom were the events of the wilderness wanderings written? 
      1. They were written for our admonition. 
      2. They suffered what they did as an example to us. 
    5. What did Paul mean that upon us have come the ends of the ages? 
      1. Our age is the last one on earth. 
      2. That is why the New Testament says elsewhere that these are the last days. 
      3. No premillennial age is yet to come. 
    6. What is the connection of verse 12 with the preceding context? 
      1. The children of Israel were baptized. 
      2. They drank of Christ. 
        1. If they could sin and suffer for it, what about us? 
        2. Do we think that because we have been baptized and are in Christ that we cannot fall? 
  3. 10.13 | Temptations Are Common

    13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
    1. How does this connect with the context? 
      1. He had just told us about the Israelites sinning in the wilderness. 
      2. They became our examples because all temptations are common to man. 
      3. Also, do not think that you can stand by withstanding all temptations, as though you are better than the children of Israel, because whatever temptation came their way will also come your way. 
      4. Even as others have overcome temptation, so you can also. 
    2. What does it communicate to you that your temptations are common to man? 
      1. For me that means that if others can overcome it, I can too. 
      2. However, I have to see what they saw, and they saw that God made a way of escape. 
    3. What is a way of escape? Give some examples? 
  4. 10.14–22 | Beware of Fellowshipping Demons

    14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak as to wise men; judge for yourselves what I say. 16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? 17 For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread. 18 Observe Israel after the flesh: Are not those who eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar? 19 What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything? 20 Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord’s table and of the table of demons. 22 Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?
    1. What was the first sin of Israel in the wilderness that Paul referenced? 
      1. Idolatry 
      2. Although we may not commit idolatry in the same way that they did, Paul explained that we can still commit idolatry in other ways. 
    2. According to this context, how could our Corinthian brethren partake of idolatry? 
      1. When we bless the cup and break the bread, with whom or with what do we have communion? 
      2. Taking it together we are the one bread because we all partake of the one bread, the body of Christ. 
        1. We have communion or fellowship with Him and we have fellowship with one another in taking the Lord’s Supper. 
        2. Can we have communion then with another god? 
    3. Did those who ate of the sacrifices partake of the altar? 
      1. Yes, they did. 
      2. It showed their participation in the worship of the God of Israel. 
        1. Likewise, if one partakes of the sacrifices to idols, such a one participates in that idolatrous worship. 
        2. Notice this is different from what Paul said in chapter 8 about eating meat that had been sacrificed to an idol, but the meat was sold in the market. 
          1. That will become obvious as we continue in the text. 
    4. Was Paul then arguing that an idol is anything? 
      1. No, but partaking in the sacrifices is partaking in the idolatrous worship. 
      2. It shows that you honor that idol. 
        1. Yet, to whom do the Gentiles sacrifice? 
        2. They sacrifice to demons. 
          1. That would mean that a Christian is worshiping demons because demons are behind idolatry. 
          2. We would thereby be having fellowship with demons. 
    5. Can we fellowship both the Lord and demons? 
      1. No, for if we do, we sin. 
        1. Why provoke the Lord to jealousy? 
        2. Do we think that we are stronger than He? 
      2. We have to think on what we are doing and what it implies. 
  5. 10.23–24 | What Is Lawful May Not Be Helpful

    23 All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. 24 Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being.
    1. Is it lawful to eat meat that has been sacrificed to an idol? 
      1. Yes, as long as you are not participating in the idolatrous feast. 
        1. Since it is lawful, does that mean it is helpful? 
        2. Is it edifying? 
      2. What was Paul getting at with those statements of verse 23? 
        1. Does lawfulness or freedom mean, freedom from personal responsibility or freedom from thinking of my brother? 
        2. Does lawfulness mean I can have no concern about whether my actions edify others or not? 
        3. Remember First Corinthians 8.1. 
    2. That all being true, should I only seek my own? 
    3. Do I have any responsibility to seek my brother’s well-being? 
  6. 10.25–30 | When to Eat, When Not to Eat

    25 Eat whatever is sold in the meat market, asking no questions for conscience’ sake; 26 for “the earth is the LORD’S, and all its fullness.” 27 If any of those who do not believe invites you to dinner, and you desire to go, eat whatever is set before you, asking no question for conscience’ sake. 28 But if anyone says to you, “This was offered to idols,” do not eat it for the sake of the one who told you, and for conscience’ sake; for “the earth is the LORD’S, and all its fullness.” 29 “Conscience,” I say, not your own, but that of the other. For why is my liberty judged by another man’s conscience? 30 But if I partake with thanks, why am I evil spoken of for the food over which I give thanks?
    1. Here Paul got back to eating what is sold at the market. 
      1. You can freely buy and freely eat. 
      2. What reason did Paul give or what did he quote? 
        1. Notice again that the Old Testament is relevant for Christians. 
        2. What exactly does Psalm 24.1 mean? 
          1. Although meat might be sacrificed to an idol, the Lord created that meat and it belongs to Him. 
          2. Therefore, we are free to eat it. 
    2. However, that does not exempt us from thinking of our brother. 
      1. If someone invites you for dinner, go, and do not ask questions for the sake of your conscience or that of the inviter. 
      2. Eat what they set before you. 
        1. You know that you can eat it. 
        2. If you start asking questions to find out whether it was sacrificed to an idol, you may present yourself with a difficult situation. 
    3. If someone else points out that it was offered to idols, what should you do? 
      1. Do not eat it. 
      2. The assumption is that the one who make that statement believes that the idol is something and you might cause them to believe that you are condoning that idol. 
        1. We have to decide whether my freedom or proclamation of the truth is more important. 
        2. Which is more important? 
    4. If you give thanks to God for the food, are you not in giving thanks proclaiming the truth about the one God and Jesus Christ? 
      1. Therefore, we cannot allow others to say that we are doing evil. 
      2. What did Paul mean not to let your freedom be judged by another man’s conscience? 
        1. Do not put yourself in a situation where you are being judged because you did not regard your brother’s conscience. 
        2. Notice what Paul keeps emphasizing. 
          1. He showed that it is not about us. 
          2. Yes, we have freedom and liberty, but not at the expense of others. 
    5. Such thinking leads logically to Paul’s next point. 
  7. VII.10.31–11.1 | Glorify God, Not Self

    31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God, 33 just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved. 11.1 Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.
    1. What has to be our first priority? 
      1. If we are only thinking of what we can eat and drink, we are not glorifying God. 
      2. Did God only think of Himself when He offered Jesus Christ? 
        1. No, He was thinking of us. 
        2. That is how we should think. 
    2. Therefore, do not give offense to anyone, whether believer, unbeliever, or the church. 
    3. According to this context, can we glorify God by pleasing all men in all things? 
      1. What did Paul mean by pleasing all men in all things? 
      2. He meant that he did not seek his own profit, but that of others. 
        1. For what purpose did he seek the profit of others? 
        2. It was to save them. 
    4. Again, see the motive, emphasis, and purpose of Christianity. 
    5. Paul then urged the Corinthians to imitate Him as He imitated Christ. 
      1. In all that he had been teaching them, it was really just having the spirit of Christ. 
      2. Think as Jesus did.