Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.
1 Corinthians 10:14-33 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak as to wise men; you judge what I say. 16 Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ? 17 Since there is one bread, we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one bread. 18 Look at the nation Israel; are not those who eat the sacrifices sharers in the altar? 19 What do I mean then? That a thing sacrificed to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, but I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God; and I do not want you to become sharers in demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. 22 Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? We are not stronger than He, are we?
23 All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify. 24 Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor. 25 Eat anything that is sold in the meat market without asking questions for conscience’ sake; 26 for the earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains. 27 If one of the unbelievers invites you and you want to go, eat anything that is set before you without asking questions for conscience’ sake. 28 But if anyone says to you, “This is meat sacrificed to idols,” do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for conscience’ sake; 29 I mean not your own conscience, but the other man’s; for why is my freedom judged by another’s conscience? 30 If I partake with thankfulness, why am I slandered concerning that for which I give thanks?
31 Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give no offense either to Jews or to 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 the many, so that they may be saved.
Deuteronomy 5:6-10 says: ‘I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. ‘You shall have no other gods before Me. ‘You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. In Matthew 22:37-38 Jesus says: “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment.” God is a God of order, so if we would follow Him, we must do first things first. In today’s text it says: You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? We are not stronger than He, are we? How many things do we put before our love for God? We may no longer be under the law because we are saved by grace through the New Covenant in Christ’s blood. But, we defile and break that covenant though if we choose to drink from the cup of demons. If we entertain sin, or are entertained by it, we provoke the Lord to jealousy. How can we embrace the very things that Jesus suffered and died to deliver us from? Under the Law God said: I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me. God does not punish children for their father’s sins, but the consequences of sin, even forgiven sin, continues to affect future generations. We see this in the affects of Adam’s sin and we also see this throughout our society and culture today as children grow up in single parent or absent parent families. We see the consequences of sin extending through generations of families affected by addiction and abuse. God does not punish the sin for generations, but as Romans 6:23 says: The wages of sin is death. Sin will always pay its wage. Something, sometimes many things will die because of sin.
In the context of today’s text, Paul was speaking about foods that were sacrificed to idols. That was a particular form of idolatry that was prevalent in that time and place. But he makes clear that we can also apply the instruction to the things we do and partake of today. He says: Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. There are things that are done in our society and culture that simply cannot be done to the glory of God. Choosing and practicing sin does not glorify God. We cannot justify or excuse our sin because of grace, presuming that our sin does not matter because it will be or has been forgiven. Romans 6:1-2 says: What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Jesus did not suffer to redeem sin, He died to redeem us from sin. One of the differences between believers and unbelievers is that a believer rejoices in redemption from sin, while an unbeliever seeks an exemption for sin. The consequences of sin; the wages of sin still remain in this generation and in future generations. Revelation 21:5-8 says: “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. Amen. Thank You heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ and precious Holy Spirit, that I have been made new; that I am redeemed from sin. I choose to love You with my whole heart, soul and mind. By grace I choose to walk in Your grace. Amen.