Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Apostle by Chapter | 1 Corinthians Chapter 10

By Sam Nobles

In chapter 10, Paul his discussion about things offered to idols to an end. The Apostle reminds the Corinthian church about the danger of idolatry and apostasy by using Israel’s history as an example (v.1-14). “When Israel sinned, God disciplined them; and he will do the same to his people today.”i  There is so much freedom in following Christ Jesus, but the freedom to sin is not part of that. If a person insists on flaunting their Christian freedom, causing another brother or sister in Christ to stumble, their actions will bring more trouble upon themselves then they realize.

As a rebuke to the sort of practice alluded to in chapter 8, where some at the church in Corinth thought nothing of eating meat sacrificed to idols – even in that idol's temple! Paul goes on to describe the communal consequences of religious feasts and warns against provoking the Lord to jealousy by having fellowship with demons (v.15-22). It is important to see that Paul is in no way implying that what is offered to idols changes its character or quality nor is he saying that an idol is real, that it hears, sees, or has power. What the Apostle is emphasizing is that the things which are being offered, are indeed being offered to demons. “In some strange and mysterious way, idol worship is linked with demons. Using the idols, the demons control the hearts and minds of those who worship them.”ii 

Paul ends this discussion by giving specific instructions about the meat that was later sold in the market place and offered at a dinner of which a Christian might be invited to partake. Living your life to glorify God, and looking out for the wellbeing of others allows one to know what to do when the time arises. Paul pushes the point that extremes must be avoided: “practicing license in the name of Christian freedom, and being so fussy that we cannot live in a real world and make rational decisions.”iii (v. 22-33)

[1] Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Wise, New edition (David C. Cook, 2010).
[1] William MacDonald, Believer’s Bible Commentary: Second Edition, ed. Arthur L. Farstad, 2nd ed. edition (Thomas Nelson, 2016).
[1] Wiersbe, Be Wise.

Scripture to Claim:

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.(1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV)

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