1 Corinthians 10: Flee from Idolatry

Why is it important to remember what God has done in the past?

Author’s Thoughts
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1 Corinthians 10:1 My friends, don’t forget how our ancestors followed the cloud in the wilderness. The waters of the Red Sea parted, and the people crossed on dry land.
King James
1 Corinthians 10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea.

How can the Israelites crossing the Red Sea be likened to baptism?

Author’s Thoughts
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1 Corinthians 10:2 Under the cloud and through the sea, their baptism was a consecration to the Law of Moses and serving God, out of death finding life.
King James
1 Corinthians 10:2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea.

How would you feel if you had the same food to eat all day every day, with nothing to drink but water?

Author’s Thoughts
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1 Corinthians 10:3 They all ate the same food that God supplied.
10:4 They were all saved by the water that God caused to flow from the rock, just as Christ did for us.
King James
1 Corinthians 10:3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat;
10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

What displeased God so much that he refused entry into the land he had promised to the Israelites?

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Numbers 14:22 Because they have seen my glory, the miracles that I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, yet they have tested me these ten times and would not listen to me,
14:23 they won’t enter the land that I promised their ancestors. Those who provoked me shall not see it.
1 Corinthians 10:5 Despite this great gift, God was not pleased with their behavior and most of them died in the wilderness.
King James
Numbers 14:22 Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice;
14:23 Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it.
1 Corinthians 10:5 But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.

What kind of behavior takes us away from God?

Author’s Thoughts
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1 Corinthians 10:6 We should learn from their example and not do as they did, letting their desires take them away from God.
James 4:7 Completely surrender your will to whatever God wants. Then your resistance to the devil is an absolute no, and he has no reason to hang around.
4:8 Move closer to God, and he will move closer to you. Wash your hands of wrongdoing and purify your hearts with good motives. Don’t live a double-life, but have a single focus upon what the Lord wants.
King James
1 Corinthians 10:6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.
James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

How would you define idolatry?

Author’s Thoughts
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1 Corinthians 10:6 We should learn from their example and not do as they did, letting their desires take them away from God.
King James
1 Corinthians 10:6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.

Why do you think Paul reported a smaller count than Moses of people God judged for their sexual immorality?

Author’s Thoughts
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Numbers 25:1 While camped at Shittim, the Israelite men had sex with Moabite women,
25:2 who enticed them to make sacrifices to their gods. So the people ate the sacrificial meat and worshiped the Moabite gods.
25:3 Because they had given themselves in worship to Baal of Peor, the Lord became angry with Israel.
25:4 The Lord said to Moses, “To calm my fierce anger against these people, in the full light of day have all the Israelite leaders brought before me in front of the Tabernacle.”
25:5 Then Moses commanded each of Israel’s judges to kill every man who had worshiped Baal.
25:6 While Moses and the people wept before the Tabernacle, an Israelite came with his Midianite woman.
25:7 When Phinehas, son of Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest, saw them, he rose up from among the congregation, grabbed a spear,
25:8 and pursued them into their tent. After he ran the spear through the belly of the man and woman, the plague ended,
25:9 with twenty-four thousand dead.
1 Corinthians 10:8 We dare not engage in sexual immorality as some of them did, when 23,000 fell dead in one day.
King James
Numbers 25:1 And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab.
25:2 And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods.
25:3 And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel.
25:4 And the Lord said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the Lord against the sun, that the fierce anger of the Lord may be turned away from Israel.
25:5 And Moses said unto the judges of Israel, Slay ye every one his men that were joined unto Baalpeor.
25:6 And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
25:7 And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand;
25:8 And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel.
25:9 And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand.
1 Corinthians 10:8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.

Why did God send venomous snakes to kill so many Israelites?

Author’s Thoughts
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Numbers 21:5 The people criticized God and Moses, saying, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? We have no decent food and water. We hate this stuff we’re having to eat.
21:6 God sent venomous snakes among the Israelites, and a multitude died.
21:7 Then the people said to Moses, “We have done wrong in speaking against you and God. Please ask him to take away the snakes. So Moses prayed for the people.
21:8 God said to Moses, “Make an image of the venomous snake and mount it upon a pole. After being bitten, everyone who looks at the image will live.
21:9 Moses made the brass snake and mounted it upon a pole. After that, all those who looked at the image lived after being bitten.
John 3:14 Moses attached a bronze serpent to a pole in the wilderness. In the same way, the Son of Man must be lifted up
3:15 so everyone who believes in him may live.
1 Corinthians 10:9 We should not test God’s tolerance by seeing how far we can go against his will, as some of them did and died from venomous snakebites.
King James
Numbers 21:5 And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread.
21:6 And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.
21:7 Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord, and against thee; pray unto the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people.
21:8 And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.
21:9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.
John 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
3:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
1 Corinthians 10:9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.

Some people spend a large percentage of their prayer time asking God for blessing, as if he didn’t already know their needs. Why might there be a problem if we complain about not getting what we want?

Author’s Thoughts
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1 Corinthians 10:10 Avoid complaining that God hasn’t given what you want, for thousands of our ancestors were destroyed because of their murmuring.
King James
1 Corinthians 10:10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.

How can God’s judgment of the Israelites be an encouragement for us?

Author’s Thoughts
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1 Corinthians 10:11 All these things should be an example for us. They were written to encourage us to listen to the Lord and follow him as we approach the end of this age.
King James
1 Corinthians 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

Why do you think temptation is so tempting?

Author’s Thoughts
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1 Corinthians 10:12 If you think you are standing strong, watch out! You are one temptation away from a fall.
King James
1 Corinthians 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

What is the antidote for temptation?

Author’s Thoughts
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1 Corinthians 10:13 You are subject to the same kinds of temptations as everybody else, but God is always faithful to those who rely on him. The choice is yours. He won’t allow temptation beyond what you can bear, but with your surrender to him, he will bring the victory.
10:14 Therefore, my friends, do not allow anything to become more important to you than God. Flee from such idolatry.
James 4:7 Completely surrender your will to whatever God wants. Then your resistance to the devil is an absolute no, and he has no reason to hang around.
King James
1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
10:14 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.
James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Why might Paul have complimented the intelligence of the Corinthians when intelligent Pharisees and teachers of the Law had refused to believe the truth?

Author’s Thoughts
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John 5:39 You search the scriptures, thinking you will find eternal life, but those words testify concerning me.
5:40 Still, you refuse to come and receive life from me.
1 Corinthians 10:15 You are intelligent people, able to make sense of what I’m saying and judge the truth of my words.
King James
John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
5:40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.
1 Corinthians 10:15 I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.

We know that Paul was talking about more than a liturgy involving a thimble of juice and a cracker, since he reprimanded the Corinthians for their gluttony and getting drunk. What is the danger of following a religious form?

Author’s Thoughts
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1 Corinthians 10:16 At the dinner table when we drink together, are we communing together with Christ as we remember the shedding of his blood? When we break bread off the loaf, are we recognizing our fellowship in his body?
11:21 You eat to satisfy your own hunger and thirst, without concern for others. As a result, some remain hungry while others over-indulge.
11:22 Can’t you eat and drink at home? Your actions show a lack of concern for the purpose Jesus’ followers should have in meeting—to help those in need. What can I say, that you’ve done well? Absolutely not.
2 Timothy 3:5 A religious practice apart from the Holy Spirit has no power. You should avoid such liturgies.
King James
1 Corinthians 10:16 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?
11:21 For in eating every one taketh before other his own supper: and one is hungry, and another is drunken.
11:22 What? have ye not houses to eat and to drink in? or despise ye the church of God, and shame them that have not? What shall I say to you? shall I praise you in this? I praise you not.
2 Timothy 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

What is the importance of the Lord’s Supper?

Author’s Thoughts
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Luke 22:19 He took the bread, blessed it, broke it, and passed it to the disciples. “This is my body that is given for you. Do this to remember me.”
22:20 In the same way, he held the cup after they had eaten and said, “This cup is the new agreement sealed with my blood.
1 Corinthians 10:16 At the dinner table when we drink together, are we communing together with Christ as we remember the shedding of his blood? When we break bread off the loaf, are we recognizing our fellowship in his body?
King James
Luke 22:19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.
22:20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.
1 Corinthians 10:16 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?

What should Christians recognize when they eat together?

Author’s Thoughts
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1 Corinthians 10:17 We are many pieces of one loaf, which we should recognize as we eat together.
King James
1 Corinthians 10:17 For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.

To what extent do you think the Jewish festivals in the first century might have resembled family cookouts at the church?

Author’s Thoughts
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1 Corinthians 10:18 Consider the people of Israel, who were united as they worshiped together and ate of the sacrifices brought from the altar.
King James
1 Corinthians 10:18 Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar?

If God owns everything, why are sacrifices important to him?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 51:16 You have no interest in animal sacrifices, or I would offer them. Burnt offerings are not a great delight for you.
51:17 A submitted human spirit is the sacrifice you want. You will never reject a humble and repentant heart.
1 Corinthians 10:19 Am I saying the object of worship or the sacrifice offered has special meaning? No, the attitude of the heart is what matters.
King James
Psalm 51:16 For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.
51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
1 Corinthians 10:19 What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing?

What is the danger of hanging out with unbelievers? When might that be important?

Author’s Thoughts
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1 Corinthians 10:20 Unbelievers make sacrifices for themselves or other objects of worship, not to God. You should not be of that fellowship, finding pleasure among the demons who oppose God’s authority.
10:21 You cannot have it both ways at the same time, drinking in fellowship with the Lord and also drinking with demons. You cannot sit with the Lord at his table while you eat with self-centered, pleasure-seeking people who oppose God.
King James
1 Corinthians 10:20 But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.
10:21 Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.

To what extent do you think we should ever argue with God?

Author’s Thoughts
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1 Corinthians 10:22 Are we so strong that we can afford to provoke God’s wrath?
King James
1 Corinthians 10:22 Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he?

Given three good things we could do, why might only one of them be the right choice?

Author’s Thoughts
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Matthew 7:22 On Judgment Day, many will say, “Lord, didn’t we prophesy, cast out evil spirits, and do many wonderful deeds in your name?”
7:23 Then I will tell them, “I never knew you. Get away from me, you disobedient lawbreakers.”
John 14:23 People must love me enough to do what I say. Then my Father will love them, and we will come to live with them.
1 Corinthians 10:23 You may be allowed to do anything you want, but that doesn’t make it beneficial.
King James
Matthew 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
John 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
1 Corinthians 10:23 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

Why should we be concerned for others, not ourselves?

Author’s Thoughts
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1 Corinthians 10:24 Let your topmost concern be for others, not yourself.
King James
1 Corinthians 10:24 Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth.

How can ignorance be a blessing?

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1 Corinthians 10:25 Don’t ask whether food bought in the marketplace has been offered to idols and keep your conscience clear when you eat.
10:26 Everything on Earth belongs to the Lord, including what is offered at the market.
10:27 If an unbeliever asks you to dinner, feel free to accept. Eat whatever is set on the table and ask no questions, leaving your conscience clear.
King James
1 Corinthians 10:25 Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake:
10:26 For the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof.
10:27 If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake.

When might it be wrong to do what the Law doesn’t say is wrong?

Author’s Thoughts
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1 Corinthians 10:28 If someone were to say, “This meat has been sacrificed to an idol,” graciously decline, respecting that person’s conscience,
10:29 not because eating would be a problem for you or the Lord. You ask, why should I allow another person’s conviction restrict my freedom?
10:30 If I have prayed, why should I be blamed for eating what he has blessed?
10:31 Listen, here’s the deal. Whether you’re eating or drinking, whatever you’re doing needs to honor and glorify God.
10:32 You never want to hinder the growth of people’s faith in God, whether Jew or Greek or follower of Christ.
King James
1 Corinthians 10:28 But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof:
10:29 Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man’s conscience?
10:30 For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks?
10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
10:32 Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God.

How far should we go in being concerned for what others might think about our behavior?

Author’s Thoughts
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1 Corinthians 10:33 I seek to please everyone in every way, not for my benefit but for the sake of others, that they may be saved.
King James
1 Corinthians 10:33 Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.