INTERNET BIBLE STUDIES I Corinthians Lesson 10

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I Cor. Chapter 10:1-33

Memory verses for this week: 1 Pet 3:14  But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;

Introduction:     Last week in Chapter 9, Paul defended his apostleship and showed how that he not only had been called to be an apostle, but by his life, he lived for the glory of God.  At the end of the chapter, he exhorted us to run the race of our lives with determination and control of the flesh.   Many run, but only one is crowned.   Paul knew what it took to run the race pleasing to God.

I.                    Examples from Israelís History

1 Cor 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;

1 Cor 10:2  And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;

1 Cor 10:3  And did all eat the same spiritual meat;

Weíve mentioned before in the studies how that being a Jew had certain privileges that came from Israel being Godís chosen nation.  While today they have turned from God, one day (and probably very soon), this nation will be gathered again and born again in a day.  And once again, the Jews will serve God and live for Godís honor and glory.  God led the Israelites out of Egypt where they had served in bondage for 400 years to be a separated people unto the Lord.  They passed through the sea on dry land, and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud.   The people learned many lessons in Egypt, and many more as they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years.  Perhaps the greatest lesson was to no longer serve idols.

Exo 15:1  Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.

Exo 15:2  The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father's God, and I will exalt him.

Exo 15:3  The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.

Exo 15:4  Pharaoh's chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea: his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red sea.

Exo 15:5  The depths have covered them: they sank into the bottom as a stone.

Exo 15:6  Thy right hand, O LORD, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces the enemy.

Exo 15:7  And in the greatness of thine excellency thou hast overthrown them that rose up against thee: thou sentest forth thy wrath, which consumed them as stubble.Ö..

Exo 15:19  For the horse of Pharaoh went in with his chariots and with his horsemen into the sea, and the LORD brought again the waters of the sea upon them; but the children of Israel went on dry land in the midst of the sea.

Exo 15:20  And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.

Exo 15:21  And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. 

The verses from Exodus Chapter 15 tell how the children of Israel crossed over on dry ground.  Not a person had a drop of water on them.   The water, according to the song of Miriam, not only opened, but stood up as walls and congealed.  When they went down into the walls of the water, the cloud covered them, thus they were baptized in the cloud.   The people were provided sustenance in the wilderness by spiritual meat called manna.

1 Cor 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.

1 Cor 10:5  But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.

When there was no water to be found, God provided water from the rock which Moses smote with his rod.   The water represented the living water Christ provides while the Rock represented Jesus Christ.  Christ followed His people through the wilderness and provided for all their needs.  In spite of these blessings and privileges, many complained and God was not pleased with many of them.   Some wanted to return to Egypt where they could have all of the special foods they had grown accustomed to through the years of bondage.  We know from our earlier lessons that only 2 men above the age of 20 lived to enter the promised land, that being Joshua and Caleb, the two spies who believed God and said they could take the land despite the giants and walled cities.

1 Cor 10:6  Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.

The bible gives us these examples as to why they were overthrown.  The purpose is to give each of us a warning to not lust after evil things.   On Sundays, it is easy to dress up and come to church and live for God.  But the true test comes throughout the week as we face the multitude of temptations that Satan throws in our path.  Then we find out what we are really made of, which is normally not good.  God help us to live Godly lives that glorify our Lord, and give an example to the lost of the world to turn to Christ for salvation.


Num 11:4  And the mixed multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat?

Num 11:5  We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic:

Num 11:6  But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes.

 God has promised to provide all of our needs.  Sometimes he provides our wants also, but he promises to provide for our needs, and that should be enough to keep us satisfied.  The nation of Israel was not pleased with God, and lusted for things they did not have.   We need to seek to be like Paul, and be content in whatsoever state we find ourselves in each day.

Phil 4:11  Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

Phil 4:12  I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.

Phil 4:13  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

1 Cor 10:7  Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.

1 Cor 10:8  Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.

God was very displeased with those who worshipped idols and rose up to play.   How similar our world is today to the people of Israel.  People are so intense on serving themselves and things that bring pleasure.   We as Christians need to serve God, reject the idols of this world, and live good lives.   Those who serve the flesh pay a dear price, as did those 23,000 that perished in one day for committing fornication.  (Numbers 25:9)

1 Cor 10:9  Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.

1 Cor 10:10  Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.

Verse 9 says they tempted Christ, and because of this, God sent serpents among them.

Num 21:6  And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died.

Num 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.

Num 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.

Num 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.

Many died of the fiery serpents.  The serpent of brass that Moses created that was lifted up on the pole pointed to Jesus Christ.  All who look to him are saved and can now truly live.   Verse 10 says they murmured against their God-appointed leader.  Because of their ingratitude, God sent the destroying angel among them and many were destroyed.

Num 16:41  But on the morrow all the congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron, saying, Ye have killed the people of the LORD.

Num 16:42  And it came to pass, when the congregation was gathered against Moses and against Aaron, that they looked toward the tabernacle of the congregation: and, behold, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the LORD appeared.

Num 16:43  And Moses and Aaron came before the tabernacle of the congregation.

Num 16:44  And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

Num 16:45  Get you up from among this congregation, that I may consume them as in a moment. And they fell upon their faces.

Num 16:46  And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a censer, and put fire therein from off the altar, and put on incense, and go quickly unto the congregation, and make an atonement for them: for there is wrath gone out from the LORD; the plague is begun.

Num 16:47  And Aaron took as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the congregation; and, behold, the plague was begun among the people: and he put on incense, and made an atonement for the people.

Num 16:48  And he stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stayed.

Num 16:49  Now they that died in the plague were fourteen thousand and seven hundred, beside them that died about the matter of Korah.

Num 16:50  And Aaron returned unto Moses unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and the plague was stayed.

1 Cor 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.

1 Cor 10:12  Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

1 Cor 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.

1 Cor 10:14  Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.

1 Cor 10:15  I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.

 All of the things written were for our benefit, that we might learn from those who have failed and not make the same mistakes.   And we need to be sure we see ourselves in a true light, and not think we are beyond sin and temptation.  We must take heed lest we fall.   Iím sure youíve heard people say that if they had lived back in the old days, they could have lived with less sin because the world is so evil today.  Verse 13 says that no temptation we face is more than what is common to man, and God will provide a way of escape if we will but look to Him for help in our hour of tempting.   God will provide us a way out, but we must be living a spirit directed life, or we will fail and serve the flesh.

II.                  Fellowship at the Lordís Table Demands Separation

1 Cor 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?

1 Cor 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 Lordís Supper, one of the two ordinances of the church, we proclaim that we are saved by the redeeming blood of Christ.  The cup, with the fruit of the vine, represents the shed blood Christ paid for our sins.  And the bread speaks of His broken body there on the cross as he paid our sin debt.  In Corinth, there were many members of the church, but there was only one body.  The church is the body of Christ.

Matthew Henry had this to say about these verses:

Did not the joining in the Lord's supper show a profession of faith in Christ crucified, and of adoring gratitude to him for his salvation? Christians, by this ordinance, and the faith therein professed, were united as the grains of wheat in one loaf of bread, or as the members in the human body, seeing they were all united to Christ, and had fellowship with him and one another. This is confirmed from the Jewish worship and customs in sacrifice. The apostle applies this to feasting with idolaters. Eating food as part of a heathen sacrifice, was worshipping the idol to whom it was made, and having fellowship or communion with it; just as he who eats the Lord's supper, is accounted to partake in the Christian sacrifice, or as they who ate the Jewish sacrifices partook of what was offered on their altar. It was denying Christianity; for communion with Christ, and communion with devils, could never be had at once. If Christians venture into places, and join in sacrifices to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, they will provoke God. 

1 Cor 10:18  Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar?

1 Cor 10:19  What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing?

1 Cor 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.

In Leviticus Chapter 7, we find that the priest of Israel did eat of the sacrifice that was offered on the altar.  Paul insists that behind the idol worship there was demonic power.   We are to flee from worship of idols, and serve the one and only true God, the God Jehovah.

1 Cor 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.

1 Cor 10:22  Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he?

Paul is teaching that you simply can not serve two masters.   If you want to serve at the Lordís table, you have to forsake the table of devils.  This is far more than just eatingÖ our whole life needs to be lived, 7 days a week, for the glory and honor of God.  We are the servant of whom we serve.


Rom 6:16  Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 

We must constantly remember that we serve a jealous God (Exodus 20:5).  He wants our entire devotion, and anyone serving a false God for serving the flesh will cause Him to be angry.   And as verse 22 points out, we are not stronger than God, and we need to follow His commandments.

III.                The Law of Love

1 Cor 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. 

Paul was a master in putting the brethren before his own desires and pleasure.  He explains that all things may be lawful, but not all things are expedient.  If we take our grace to the limit, we will not honor and glory God like we should.  We may have great freedom in Christ, but we need to practice common sense with it  All things do not edify or build us up.   We need to be people who live to exhort one another to greater service for our Lord.

1 Cor 10:24  Let no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth.

1 Cor 10:25  Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake:

1 Cor 10:26  For the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof.

1 Cor 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. 

A Christian that is being led by the Spirit will have a desire to not only consider our own interests, but the effect our lives will have on others.   God desires that we be happy in our current situation.  He knows all about it, and if it needs to be different, God will provide a way for us to have a better situation.  If Jesus never had a home of His own, we sure should be thankful for whatever God has provided for us.   When it speaks of the shambles, this meant the meat market.

1 Cor 10:28  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 fulness thereof:

1 Cor 10:29  Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man's conscience?

1 Cor 10:30  For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks?

1 Cor 10:31  Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

1 Cor 10:32  Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:

1 Cor 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.

 Paul summarizes the whole thing in verse 31.  Whatever we do, in body and action, let it all be done for the glory of God.  If we will question our motives, and put the interests of others before our desires, I believe God will greatly bless us.  His desire is for us to live a life that others might see Christ living through us.


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