1 Corinthians Chapter 10 Continued
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?”
“The cup of blessing” is the proper name given to the third cup during the Passover Feast. At the last Passover with the disciples, Jesus used the third cup as the symbol of His blood shed for sin. That cup became the one used to institute the Lord’s Supper. He set the cup apart as a token of salvation blessing before passing it to the 12.
“Communion”: Means “to have in common, to participate and have partnership with.” Commemorating the Lord’s Supper was a regular and cherished practice in the early church, by which believers remembered their Savior’s death and celebrated their common salvation and eternal life which reflected their perfect spiritual oneness.
“The blood of Christ” is a vivid phrase used to represent Christ’s sacrificial death and full atoning work.
“The bread” symbolizes our Lord’s body as the cup symbolized His blood. Both point to His death as a sacrifice for the salvation of men.
John 6:54-56 “Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” “For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.” “He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.”
We are in Jesus and He is in us, when we take communion remembering what He did for us. He has brought us life. He is life, and when we partake of Him, we have partaken of life. He is our life.
1 Corinthians 10:17 “For we [being] many are one bread, [and] one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.”
When we partake of the body of Jesus, we become part of His body. We are one with Jesus, and He is one with the Father.
John 10:30 “I and [my] Father are one.”
God is Spirit and, we are spirit as well, if we receive the Lord. Our spirit and the Spirit of the Lord become one.
When we studied (chapter 6:17), we discussed sins of the body as the scripture states: “But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit”. Illicit relationships by believers are especially reprehensible because they profane Jesus Christ with who believers are one. We further stated that this argument should make such sin unthinkable, as should all deliberate sin.
Romans 12:5 “So we, [being] many, are one body in Christ, and everyone members one of another.”
1 Corinthians 12:12“For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also [is] Christ.”
1 Corinthians 12:27“Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.”
1 Corinthians 10:18 “Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar?”
“Behold Israel”. In the Old Testament sacrifices, the offering was on behalf of all who ate. By such action, the people were identifying with the offering and affirming their devotion to God to whom it was offered. Paul was by this, implying how any sacrifice made to an idol was identifying with and participating with that idol. It is completely inconsistent for believers to participate in any such worship.
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?”
Since an idol is a nothing, then to eat of the sacrifice used for that would not join you to anything. Remember, the idol is a nothing.
Idols and the things sacrificed to them have no spiritual nature or power in themselves, but they do represent the demonic.
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.”
If pagan worshippers believe an idol was a god, demons act out the part of the imagined god. There is not a true god in the idol, but there is a satanic spiritual force.
Gentiles, in the sense it is used here, means the heathen world. The heathens know not God and they do sacrifice to the devil, because they know not God. Devils in the instance above, is demonic beings and could just as easily been translated demons. Christians should have no fellowship with devils or demons, whichever you choose to call them.
1 Corinthians 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.”
The two are totally incompatible. Paul is trying to make it very clear that you must be on one side, or the other. You cannot ride the fence. Remember that Paul is telling them to break away from all connection to the worship of Aphrodite. Many times, people who come to Christ will drag some of the filth along with them into the church.
Paul is saying this is unacceptable. To “drink of the cup of the Lord”, means that you have partaken of Him. He is the Light of the world. You cannot mix darkness with Light.
1 Corinthians 10:22 “Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he?”
Our God is a jealous God. One of His names is Jealous. God tolerates no competition and will not allow idolatry to go unpunished.
The first of the commandments is “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” We must be very careful not to even think, or speak of another god.
In (verses 23-30), Paul gives 4 principles for Christian liberty:
(1) Edification over gratification (verse 23);
(2) Others over self (verse 24);
(3) Liberty over legalism (verses 25-27); and
(4) Condescension over condemnation (verses 28-30).
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.”
The liberty the Christian has must not be used to do anything that might provoke God. The liberty a Christian has, must be used in such a way to build God up. We should never use the privilege the Lord has afforded us for self-edification, or to further some little pet project. All things should be done decently and in order.
Previous we discussed liberty and that even though a Christian may be fully justified in doing something in front of other less mature believers, if those believers do what you are doing. But consider it to be a sin, then it is a sin to them and you become guilty of that sin yourself. The example used previously regarding food that had been sold in the market that had been originally prepared as an offering to idols and the excess was later sold, and then was eaten by Paul. As Paul knew that the idols were nothings, as long as he blessed the food it was okay for him to eat it. But some of the Jews thought it to be sin even though some of them would eat it.
Here is a definition of liberty: Christ’s law is a perfect law of liberty. It is perfect or complete in that it is a system which contains laws and commandments which are not grievous. And yet, it is a system of grace and liberty (1 John 5:3; Gal. 5:1-13). We have liberty from sin when we obey it (Acts 2:38; Rom.6:1-12). Christ’s system is the ideal combination of law and liberty. Also, Christ’s law does not contain the onerous requirements as did Moses’ law (Gal. 4:5).
1 Corinthians 10:24 “Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s [wealth].”
One of the main causes of sin in our society today is greed. God promised to take care of our needs, if we are His. He did not promise to take care of our greed. When we have food and shelter, we should be content.
If we spend our time trying to help someone else succeed, we will be blessed of God in the doing. Or put another way as (in Philippians),
Phil. 2:3 “[Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
1 Corinthians 10:25-26 “Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, [that] eat, asking no question for conscience sake:” “For the earth [is] the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof.”
When you are offered meat to eat, don’t run an investigation to find out where it came from. If it had been offered to an idol, it would not have been a sin to eat it, but the person eating it might have had a guilty conscience about eating it anyway. Don’t ask, and then there will be no guilt.
1 Corinthians 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.”
This scripture in found in (1 Timothy), settles this.
Timothy 4:4-5 “For every creature of God [is] good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:” “For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.”
Eat whatever is set before you, but pray over it to make it clean. If you do not ask where it came from, then you do not feel guilty.
1 Corinthians 10:28-29 “But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that showed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth [is] the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof:” “Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another [man’s] conscience?”
Even if you are the guest of an unbeliever and don’t want to offend him, it is better to offend the unbeliever and not eat for the sake of the weaker Christian who would be offended to eat, since love to other believers is the strongest witness we have (John 13:34-35).
“My liberty judged of another” meaning offending a weaker brother with one’s freedom will cause the offended person to condemn us.
1 Corinthians 10:30 “For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks?”
We can’t truly offer thanks to God for some food by which we cause another believer to stumble.
1 Corinthians 10:31 “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”
Everything we are and everything we have is by the grace of God. We should continually praise God for everything. When we drink something, praise God for it. When we eat something, praise God for it. Every happening in your life, praise God for it. We are what God allows us to be. Praise God!
Christian liberty, as well as the most common behavior, is to be conducted to the honor of God.
1 Corinthians 10:32 “Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:”
Paul practiced this. He did not offend others in their beliefs. He ministered to them in their own customs. Some were saved, and some were not. They have a right to believe what they choose, the same as we have a right to believe what we believe. Witness to them, and allow them to make their own decision. They are a free-will agent the same as we are.
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.”
This chapter ends with Paul explaining, one more time, that he ministered to people where they were. He observed their customs to get his foot in the door to minister to them. He did not preach a negative message. Paul taught the good news of the gospel to everyone who would receive it. Paul tried not to step on toes. He was all things to all men that by all means he might save some. The ultimate object of Paul, which should be our object as well, was to get as many as he could saved.
1 Corinthians Chapter 10 Continued Questions
1. What is “the cup of blessing” which we bless?
2. What does the bread we break symbolize?
3. What are we to do each time we take communion?
4. John 6:56 :says, he that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in __ and _ in ____.
5. Who is our life?
6. We being many are one ________.
7. They which eat of the sacrifice are partakers with the _____-.
8. An idol is a __________.
9. The Gentiles sacrifice to _________.
10. Gentiles in verse 20, are who?
11. What does away with darkness?
12. What does verse 21 really say?
13. Our God is a _________ God. What is the first commandment?
14. All things are lawful for me, but all things are not ___________.
15. All things should be done ________ and in _______.
16. Whose wealth should we seek?
17. What is one of the main causes of sin in our society?
18. Why should you not ask where some meat came from?
19. The earth is the Lord’s, and the __________ ________.
20. What makes food pure for the Christians?