Today’s passage: 1 Corinthians 10:14-22
- As an overall principle (And a fairly obvious one) Paul tells the church to flee from idolatry.
- They had questioned whether it was ok to eat meat offered to idols.
- Here is a modern day church-centered picture which I think reflects what Paul is writing in this passage:
- There is a often a bottle of grape juice in the refrigerator at church.
- Most often, people drink grape juice from that bottle after it has been poured into little cups and distributed during our church services (The Lord’s Supper).
- Sometimes, people might drink grape juice out of that bottle in the kitchen from a regular cup, on some other day of the week, because they’re thirsty and the bottle is almost empty.
- Same bottle of grape juice, different reasons/occasions to drink it’s contents.
- It could be entirely appropriate to offer an unbeliever some grape juice from that bottle on a Saturday if they’re thirsty.
- It would not be appropriate for an unbeliever to drink that same grape juice on a Sunday from a little cup during our church service (The Lord’s Supper).
- One of these uses is simply to quench thirst and enjoy the taste.
- The other use is identifying with Christ and the Church.
- In the same way, for the church at Corinth, if there was left-over meat from the practice of idolatry that was taken to the market and sold the next day, that meat could be usable for a Christian if their conscience was not violated by eating it.
- But, if a Christian were eating that meat the night before, having participated in the idolatrous worship, that would be participating in and identifying with idolatry…a betrayal of the Lord.
Questions to consider:
- What do you think Paul is communicating when he says, “Flee from idolatry. I speak as to sensible people…”? Was this whole issue of eating meat offered to idols supposed to be difficult? From what we have read so far in this book, why did this issue get to be such a big deal?
- If someone in Corinth were to read this passage and continue to ask, “But what if…?” what might be the bigger issue at hand? If our hearts are constantly searching for what we are permitted to do or how far we can go without actually sinning, what could be wrong in our worship? How does love for God and love for others help us to reason through our choices in life?
- What important aspects can we learn about the Lord’s Supper through these verses? What is the purpose of communion?