1Cor. 10:12 -31 Using our freedom for Godís Glory

 

 

Intro: REVIEW Ch. 8,9,10 Subject to Christian Liberty /Q.Can we eat†††

††††††† meat that has been offered to idols

A) Shambles - great cuts / discount prices

 

B) So Paul is answering this question but using it as a Launching pad for a great discussion about Christian liberty.

 

C) Ch. 8 Principle of mature brother/ showing sensitivity of the weaker / immature bro. To the point that if It means forfeiting my liberty

1) I will do it ! / rather than causing someone to stumble

 

D) Ch. 9 Paul uses himself as a good illustration of one who forfeited his right to be financially supported - for the sake of Corinthians

1) Not stumble or hinder the work of the gospel/ become disqualified from receiving the prize that he was running for.

 

 

Then in ch. 10 Paul uses the nation of Israel as a pour example of abusing our liberty.

A) Illustrating that even though we are free we need to use our Liberty wisely

 

B) If we donít we can not only stumble others but we can find ourselves becoming sidetracked & getting tripped up

1) focus of v. 1-11 last week

 

C) Israel was released from bondage - SET FREE - but they blew it in the wilderness & consequently were not allowed into the Promised land .

 

D) So too w/ us we have been se free in Jesus / free from the bondage of sin & the Power of the Devil.

††† 1)And the Lord wants us to move into the abundant life that he has for us

 

E) Move into the promised life of the walking in the Spirit - spirit filled living

1) But if we are not careful / if we foolishly exercise our liberty / we can find our selves getting tripped up & missing out on the blessing that God has in store for us .

 

F) Paul mentions some of the things that we need to watch out for in v. 1-11

1) Lust /Idolatry / sexual immorality / testing the Lord / Complaining

 

G) These are all things that Israel fell into that caused them to miss out on what the Lord has for them. -

 

 

Pick up in v. 11 11Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.†† WRITTEN FOR US TO LEARN - MISTAKES

 

12Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.

 

A) Here we see a warning against self-confidence - this was often the problem w/ Israel - and also the problem w/ Peter.

1) Led to his denial

 

B) Problems - Peterís boast - though all these deny you not me.

1) Followed from a far / warmed his self next to the enemy fire

 

C) Paul warns against each on of those Characteristics here in this section.

 

1st Against spiritual Pride - confidence in self - v. 12Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.

A) If you ever find yourself saying I donít need to worry about that sin / or I would never fall in that way.†† WATCH OUT - YOU ARE IN TROUBLE

 

Prov. 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.

 

B) Upon hearing of a minister who had sinned inthe area of Marital infidelity - Pastor Brian & I made a pact that we would thoroughly beat each other up if either of us ever did such a thing.

 

C) Paul says to him who think he stands take heed lest you fall /Every one of us is capable of the most hideous offenses.

1) We need to be oh so on guard - especially against pride that would creep up in our hearts & allow us to drop our guard get too relaxed.

 

Ray Stedman : ďThese things are given in the Old Testament as types, pictures. That is, when you read these Old Testament stories, put yourself there. The enemies that they faced are answered by the enemies that we face, the principalities and powers of darkness that are seeking to overcome us, assault us, discourage us and defeat us, just as Israel was defeated and discouraged

 

They were types, and according to Verse 12, they were targets. We are too. We are under attack. We are not living in a beautiful, pleasant world designed for our enjoyment, and the quicker we get rid of that idea the better. We are in a battlefield, under attack. We are running a race that must be won. We are fighting a battle with a clever and ruthless enemy, and we must never forget it, because his devices are clever, and his strategies are very subtle, and we can easily fall.Ē

 

Understanding that Paul says in v. 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.

A) The word temptation here is translated as trial or testing in other passages such as James 1:2 ††My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.

 

B) Trial & testing is the same word translated here for Temptation - meaning broad basis /trials/ test / temptations

 

Paul gives us 3 important things we need to note about our temptations & our testings

1.First, they are common to all.

A) Common to man is one word) in Greek and simply means ďthat which is human, or characteristic of or belonging to mankind.Ē

 

B) In other words, Paul says there is no such thing as a superhuman or supernatural temptation.

 

C) Temptations are human experiences. The term also carries the idea of usual or typical, as indicated by common.

1) Temptations are never unique experiences to us./I do not know

†† anything that is harder to believe, when you are under testing, than that.

 

D) We can never have a temptation that has not been experienced by millions of other people.

1) Circumstances differ but basic temptations do not.

 

We might think, "Why doesn't this happen to them? They deserve it so much more than me. Why is it happening to me?"

A) Well, it is just your turn, that is all. Everybody goes through it.

†††† Trials are common to all.

 

 

2.   We face Common trials, but they arecontrolled trials / LIMIT

God is faithful, he will not allow you to be tempted above your strength.

A) Again, that is hard to believe, when you are in the mist of it ! We say, "Well, it has already happened. I am already beyond my strength."

 

B) No, you are not. You just think you are. God knows your strength greater than you do. He knows how much you can handle,

1) and how much you cannot.

 

C) IN SPORTS One of the basic principles of training is to develop a person to the point where they achieve what they think they canít

††††††††† 1) One more set - NO WAY - I CANíT /†† You discover - wow I could

D) This is what God does with us. He puts the pressure on, but it is controlled pressure.

1) It will never be more than you can handle,

 

 

3.God always provides a way of escape - What is that way of escape?

A) Varies :Think of disciples - straining at rowing - Jesus comes walking on the water -Divine rescue

 

B) Like what G. Campbell Morgan says : The very storm they found themselves in was the pavement of His victorious feet .

1) Literally - Their storm was under his feet - it was the very stepping stones of their growth in understanding who He was

 

C) And His faithfulness in their lives

 

D) Sometimes the way of escapes is in Divine intervention - God comes to the rescue - more often than not - as relates to temptation

1) Donít put yourself in the place to be tempted

 

E) DRINKING PROBLEM DONíT HANG OUT AT BAR - PARTY

1) That is the way of escape - Not be in the situation to begin w/

SO With that in mind - Paul writs in v. 14Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.

 

A) Idolatry was the sin that many in Corinth were being tempted to get involved in - hanging out in temples - taking place

 

B) Paul says FLEE - Donít play around w/ it / donít flirt w/ it donít think you are strong enough to be in a place where it is happening

1) FLEE !!!!!!!!!

 

C) You can insert whatever area of sin that the devil tempts you w/ - the answer is to not flirt but flee

††† 1)Not how much can I get away w/ or how - close can I get to the fire w/out††

†††††† being burned - NO FLEE / ESCAPE / RUN / PURSUE \RIGHTEOUS

 

D) Anything that might hurt or harm my walk w/ the Lord can be considered idolatry Paul says - GET RID OF IT

 

15I speak as to wise men; judge for yourselves what I say.

A) Paul says come on you guys know better - not stupid - there is wisdom in this thing -

1) Judge what I say -You have seen found this to be true in your lives

 

B) Times fallen - self confident / times flirting w/ things you should have been fleeing from - Judge what I say - it is so

 

Proceeds to give them an interesting analogy / illustration of why it is important to flee fromidolatry

16The 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?17For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.18Observe Israel after the flesh: Are not those who eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar?

The word "communion" there is that interesting Greek word "koinonia." A) It speaks of theoneness that we share with Christ, the communion that we†††

†††† have with Christ, or the fellowship that we have with Christ?

 

a) That is the thing that Paul wants them to realize / reminding them of the oneness involved in worship / feasting

 

B) In that culture they believed that to eat w/ someone was one of the most intimate things you could do -

1) Partaking of the same loaf - drinking of the same cup = a oneness.

 

C) So in communion there is a oneness that takes place as I am identifying myself w/ Christ /

1)When I partake of the bread & the cup thereis a oneness w/ Christ

 

c)   Cup represents His blood / bread His body - there is a oneness we

†††† experience w/ Him through that - act.

 

D) And we also become one with each other, as we all eat of the same bread, as we all drink of the same cup, we are becoming one with each other.

 

E) that oneness in the body of Christ, is clearly seen in the communion service more graphically than in anything else within the church.

1) All partakers of the same bread, all partakers of the same cup,

†††† becoming one with Him and thus with each other.

 

 

Israel understood this fact†† - Peace offering

A) Now the whole idea behindbringing your peace offering and offering it to God,was that of communion with God.

 

B) So you bring it into the priest. He would take and butcher it and would cut a portion of the meat and give it to you,

b) and you'd take it out and roast it and then you would sit down and eat it.

 

C) Now you've brought it and you've offered it to God. The fat and all was taken and burnt on the alter and the smoke went up as a sweet smelling savor unto the Lord.

 

D) The priest took his portion, but now you have your portion, and with your family you're sitting there eating this roast beef or this roast lamb.

 

E) And as you're eating together, the idea is: God has received a part of this and I am receiving a part of this and so I am becoming one with God.

1) For their whole concept of eating together was that of becoming a

†††† part of each other.

 

F) So Paul is drawing on the fact that there is this oneness that is happening in the meal. Oneness w/ Christ / oneness w/ each other†† v.19

 

19What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything?

A) Paul is here reiterating what He said in Ch. 8 - idol is nothing therefore what is sacrificed to an idol is nothing -

 

B) But now Paul is going to give a new implication:

v. 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.

21You 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.

 

Here is the Key : Paul says that the idol is nothing - but behind the idol is a Demon.

A) Duet. 32:17 is one of many places that in O.T. that makes the point that behind the idol is a demonic being

B) Paul says it is true the idol is nothing but behind the idol is a demon & I do not want you to have any fellowship ( or communion w/ Demons )

 

C) Now is Paul contradicting himself here ? 1st Ch. 8 saying an idol is nothing & to eat meat that has been sacrificed to idol is no problem

1) Now He is saying that behind the idol is a team & you canít drink of cup of the Lord & the cup of Demons - what is the deal?

 

D) Here is the answer to that question :†† Good way to remember

1) MEAT IS NOT THE PROBLEM /IT IS THE MEETING THAT'S THE PROBLEM

 

If you buy a piece of meat in the shambles in the out door markets - that may have been offered to idols - NO PROBLEM - idol is nothing

A) But if you are hanging out at the temples where idolatry is taking place & you are eating of that meat - PROBLEM / NOT MEAT / MEETING

 

B) Because behind that idol is a demonic being - you are in the enemies camp - you are in a place / vulnerable to be deceived or stumble

 

C) Application for today - I might go to a bar or to a party - not going to drink - Diet coke /†† No problem - right ? wrong -

1) Paul would say you are in a place where devilish & Demonic activity is taking place.

 

D) Place where the works of the flesh are evident -

19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness,

20idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies,

21envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

 

E) Avoid such a place - Devils playground -

1) Warehouse - 1st week didnít notice - atmosphere -

2) 2nd week - lousy band - works of the flesh / darkness was very evident

 

 

So Paul is saying the meat NO PROBLEM / Meeting - THEREíS THE PROBLEM

A) You may have liberty to buy a steak at the temple where demonic activity is taking place but donít - not wise -

 

B) Might think you have liberty to go & hang out in a bar / even if just buying cokes - but canít hang out in the bar on Sat. / Church on sun.

1) And expect to be OK

 

22Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?

A) God Jealous what does that mean ?

B) We get Jealous because we feel threatened - but when God is jealous it is completely different Situation

 

C) He is jealous for us / for you & me . Doesnít want to see us miss out or get hurt .

1) Same w/ his grief /MeI was wronged - HIM - He grieves for me.

 

D) Americas most wanted - Donít go out w/ him - JEALOUS

 

 

Paul concludes this whole teaching by giving 4 principles to remember for using Christian Liberty

1st Edification over Gratification

23All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.

 

A) Rainy night - gopher canyon - 45 mph - lawful - but not wise .

 

D) Edify me /

 

 

2nd Others over self : v. 24 24Let no one seek his own, but each one the other's well-being.

A) Not only do I need to consider is it going to edify me but will it Edify

†††† others -†† TOOTH PASTE SKIT

 

B) Dying to self - Edify others build up others /

1) Dying to my flesh - not get into sin!

 

C) Liberty of Death - P. Henry - True Christian Liberty might involve death

†††† to self

 

Story of a Pastor who after preaching on this passage, had a time of testimony He asked the congregation to share experiences of giving up something for the sake of someone else. Except for one man who said he did not drink or smoke around other Christians, no one responded.

After the service a number of people told the pastor, ďFor the first time in my life I realized that I donít really give up anything for the sake of others.Ē

 

Seemssome of the believers at Philippi had the same problem, and Paul wrote them, ďDo nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of othersĒ (Phil. 2:3Ė4).

 

3rd Liberty over Legalism v.25 -27

25Eat whatever is sold in the meat market, asking no questions for conscience' sake;

26for "the earth is the Lord's, and all its fullness."

27If 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.

 

A) Enjoy - what you donít know wonít hurt you !

 

B) Earth is the Lords - meat is His enjoy .

 

 

4th Conscience over Condemnation

28But 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?

30But if I partake with thanks, why am I evil spoken of for the food over which I give thanks?

 

A) Unbeliever says - this is from temples / offered to idol donít eat -

†††† set up - or someone elseís conscience

 

B) Earth is the Lord - Ö.. Plenty more to eat / other stuff

 

5th 31Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

A) Paul being double minded ? No He is being spirit directed -

 

B) Be a weather vain - Spirit like the wind - let him lead

 

Centrality vs priority - not wwjd / Not me trying to be like Jesus but allowing Jesus to be himself in me .

 

Close 32Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God,

33just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.

11:1Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.

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