1 Corinthians 10:1-33
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
Do all for the glory of God! Simple and powerful.
Paul has just been talking about his own necessity of putting his body under to ensure that he himself is not disqualified. He stressed that what we choose to do in our freedom isn’t just optional with no possible repercussions, but there is a very real consequence if our choices lead us away from the Rock of our salvation. His examples of this begin here in the 10th chapter as he uses what was experienced by our forefathers as an example of something that may still happen to us, even though we’re on the other side of the cross. So, instead of just discounting any Old Testament reference with regard to sin, he says that they are to be our examples right here and right now, as they were actually drinking from our same spiritual Rock. The same Spirit that unites us to Christ was there with them in each example of falling. His point is that, though we are free to do many things, there needs to be an understanding that we become what we partake of. With a choice of idolatry or sexual perversion, there is a choice of unity with it. So, a temptation to partake of something isn’t ok now because it is covered by grace. Yielding to that thing will lead to what all sin leads to – death. Now, we’ve been given a way in Christ to overcome every temptation and its consequences. By simply realizing that everything we do is either unto Christ or satan, a way is provided to see Christ as our escape from sin and its consequences. Denying anything that is not unto Him, that doesn’t edify others and lead them to Him, and delighting fully in those things that do, is the way we’ve been given that works every time.
We have been wonderfully redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus, not just from sin and death, but unto life in Christ. Our choices, though covered from condemnation by the blood, still can have another effect of joining our hearts to the one we serve in those choices. If actions unify us with satan and his cause, they will lead to unity with his destiny. So then, confining choices to those that glorify God isn’t just a nice thing to do that we should all be striving for. It is our way of escape from the same end as so many who have gone before. Just claiming to be one with Christ doesn’t separate us from those who also have been part of His body and yet failed. Honor and adoration of His presence and His preference will not only lead to His abundant life. They will be our way of escape from the dire destination of our adversary.