Saturday, January 26, 2013

1 Corinthians Argument – Chapt 10

Israel's History 10:1-13

Paul shares Israel's history lesson of their miraculous freedom from Egypt with the Corinthians. He requests their cognizance of Israel following God in the cloud, passing through the sea and receiving baptism into Moses—yet they remained dry in the sea. Moreover, the Israelites consumed the same spiritual food and drink as the Corinthians—Christ. Paul uses this history to show the similarities between the Israelites and the Corinthians. God also directed and protected the Corinthian Christians, providing them with the miraculous release from the bondage of sin, through salvation in Christ.

The Corinthians were baptized into Christ. One may conclude Paul's reasoning properly included the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's Supper. The Corinthians needed to better understand that no automatic blessings resulted from these sacraments. Some in the Corinthian church may have errantly believed in mysterious protection, as taught by some false religions to offset wrong doings. Paul reinforced the latter in telling of the twenty-three thousand Israelites who fell in one day after engaging in immorality.

Many Israelites, like many Corinthians, engaged in idolatry and sexual immorality. Israelites and Corinthian Christians rebuked their leaders. Paul informs them that these happened as examples because Corinthians' human wisdom and arrogance blinds them of realizing that past consequences do indicate future consequences. However, spiritual freedom accompanied with spiritual responsibility leads to the blessing of a relationship with God, in Christ Jesus.

Idol Feasts and the Lord's Supper 10:14-22

Paul speaks again about eating food sacrificed to idols, covering the points of meat to idols in the section on chapter eight. In writing about the Lord's Supper, Paul emphasizes church unity and participation. He continues the Lord's message of blood and body of Christ. Paul who expounds upon many messages, leaves this one at face value. Paul teaches the Corinthian church, through example, to also accept the body and blood at face value despite lacking complete understanding.

Modern times provides amazing examples of technological and scientific truths existing and proven despite incomprehensible by the average person. In chapter two, Paul denounces human wisdom, while praising spiritual wisdom. God's truth exists independent of man's ability to comprehend and explain. Christians partake of the Lord's Supper firmly focusing their faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the resulting forgiveness of sins. Paul combines the message of idol sacrifice and the Lord's Supper to show the principle resides in whom one worships in these meals, while antagonism exists in all relationship(s) between God and all god(s). This antagonism continued between those following evil and those following Christ.

Freedom of Believers 10:23-33

Paul invites the Corinthians to precede action with thought. The Corinthians' neighbors and fellow church members freely exercise immorality, while others slowly grow in their faith, wisdom, spiritual knowledge and understanding. Paul instructs the church to conduct a cost to benefits analogy of their actions' consequences on themselves and those with whom they associate. Prudence demands that this analogy factor the influence on others especially when your action carries no harm to yourself, such as eating meat from the marketplace.

Eating this meat may damage the faith of a carnal or infant Christian. For example, one of my high school cross country teammates thought it was okay for one to consume a small amount of alcohol, such as one beer, while he adamantly opposed drunkenness—alcohol consumption was legal for eighteen year olds at that time in Kansas. However, Dan did not and has never consumed an ounce of alcohol. He avoids any consumption because people view Dan as a Christian zealot. He was concerned that unbelievers, as well as carnal and infant Christians, would view his consuming a small amount of alcohol as justification for their excessively consuming alcohol.

Additionally, Dan, while in high school, considered that God may lead him into politics, therefore he avoided—to the best of his ability—any action or activity that might appear unfavorable later in life. Dan's name has yet to appear on a political ballot, however he has worked as a Chief of Staff for a Congressman, served numerous leading roles in the Whitehouse for President George W. Bush and now serves as an advisor to the United States Senate Minority Leader. Dan's considering the influential consequences of his actions, pays off. Effectively, Dan's method of considering one's actions correlates with Paul's message to the Corinthians. "Think about the consequences on others before acting!"

See Christ, Believe Christ, Achieve with Christ!

Rick E. Meyer
See, Believe, Achieve Inc.

(Lowery 1983, 525-526)
2 (Exodus 32:1-6, 1 Cor. 8:10, 10:14)
3 (Num. 16:41-49, 1 Cor. 1:11; 4:18-19)
4 (Lowery 1983, 527)
5(D. S. Toussaint n.d.)


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