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1 Cor 10

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“Watch Your Step!”

1 Cor. 10:1-13

Terrill Road Bible Chapel – July 15, 2005 AM


The news report was astounding! -- the Olympic Committee had made an unprecedented announcement

Someone, somewhere had discovered that a particular athlete who had won gold medals during the Olympic Games in Stockholm Sweden during summer 1912 had discovered that on a previous summer this Olympic gold medal winner had played baseball somewhere near Greenwood Hills and had gotten paid $5 a week for it thus making him a “professionally-paid athlete”

And thus by taking payment for his services as a professional the great Am. Indian athlete J. Thorpe was disqualified had to return all his medals

Even though this announcement this would seem unfair to us in our day, it was the prevailing rule in Olympic games at the time – though not do it deliberately. – reinstated

It is a also a vivid reminder to us how that as Christians we too can be disqualified as to our service for not following through in our commitment and steadfastness for Christ

Even many of us have in our day have heard of Pete Rose –who because of his weakness for gambling has been denied entrance into baseball’s hall of Fame because the rules of baseball’s commission explicitly states that no gambling is allowed

These are just a few reminders of how some significant & other seemingly insignificant actions can disqualify a person from receiving a full reward

And this is true in the Christian life also.

In this passage, the apostle Paul describes how many of those in the nation of Israel were disqualified from receiving the best that God had for them because of their actions in the wilderness


This passage is actually part of a parenthesis of a larger section that extends all the way back to ch. 8

There Paul addresses a question the Corinthians things relating to idols – eating and sitting in the temple of an idol – not worshipping

Paul explains in chapter 8 that these types of activities could cause a fellow brother in the Lord especially a younger one to stumble in their faith
and so Paul exhorts these Corinthian believers to voluntarily refrain from these things for the sake of not offending or stumbling another brother 

In chapter 9, Paul defends his apostleship stating he has the right to exhort these Corinthian believers to do this since he is an apostle and has a mandate from the Lord to help others mature in the faith

He also has an incentive as does every other believer to do their best for the Lord since the Lord will reward in a future day

Stating that we should all be careful in our walk with the Lord so that we maintain our commitment to Christ, Paul reminds them that it is easy to be disqualified in our service for the Lord – not lose salvation but lose reward

2 John 8 – “Look to yourselves that we do not lose those things we worked for that we may receive a full reward”    

He ends ch. 9 with these words “so I beat or discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest when I have preached to others I myself should be a castaway”

Then in ch 10 he outlines the example of the children of Israel in their sojourn through the wilderness of an illustration of how many of them were disqualified and failed to enter into land the Canaan -- land of promise 

A study of Israel’s sojourn from Egypt to Canaan is a wonderful picture and parallel of the Christian’s experience – from deliverance in Egypt to entering into land of promise – not heaven but the victorious Christian life

But like the Israelites – most of whom did not enter into Canaan because of being disqualified – because of some action – they fell in wilderness – not losing their salvation but lost enjoyment and blessing of entering into Canaan      

And Christians can be like this too – they may have an inheritance, that is incorruptible, undefiled, reserved for them in heaven – but the appreciation of that inheritance and living in the light of it may be far from us

1. Israel’s Blessings (Privileges;favor) - vv. 1-4  

In the first 4 verses Paul outlines the blessings of God to the nation of Israel 

This is immediately off the 9:27 that he keeps himself disciplined in the Christian life that he might not be disqualified

And he says I don’t want you to be ignorant brethren that all our spiritual fathers ahead of us passed under the cloud – that is they were protected and directed by the Lord in the wilderness – cloud provided for them (Ex. 13)

And he adds all passed through the Red Sea (Ex. 14) they were delivered

All baptized into Moses – in the cloud and the sea – they were united under the leadership of Moses and came under his authority    

All ate of the spiritual food and drink – the manna that was supernaturally provide and the water from the Rock that was also supernaturally provided

It was an illustration of the work of Christ, providing for them in the wilderness as they journeyed from Egypt to Canaan. – the Rock was Christ   

Five different examples are cited in which they were recipients of God’s blessings and privileges as a nation

These all have parallels in the Christian life  

·       Just as they all came under the cloud – we are all directed by the Lord through His Holy Spirit – he will guide you into all truth

·        We all passed through the sea – in sense that we were delivered. Israel was redeemed in Egypt but subsequently they were miraculously delivered 

·       Baptized unto Moses – came under Moses authority/leadership so  too we have some under Christ’s authority and leadership in our lives --  

·       All ate the same spiritual meat provided by Christ for our daily sustenance (the Word of God)

·       All ate the same spiritual drink – fellowship with the Lord’s people and refreshing ministry of the Holy Spirit

Now you would think with all the spiritual blessings to Israel provided by God that it would have been an automatic that Israel would enter into the promised land! 

But instead we read in v 5 – but w/ most of them God was not well-pleased

With all the blessings and privileges and favor of God there were grave sights all over the wilderness where their bodies were buried.

The point that Paul is driving at here is that just because they were the people of God and recipients of His special favor and blessing did not mean that they could do anything they wanted in their walk with the Lord

And that is the same for the Christian life also 

We are reminded continually that are sins are forgiven in Christ --- cast behind His back and taken away as far as the east is from the west so far has He removed our transgressions from us. – that is the grace of God

But there is also government of God and verse that balances out the character of God – verses like Heb . 10:30-The Lord will judge His people”

1 Peter 4:17for the time has come that judgment must begin at house of God and if it begins with us what will be end of them who obey not Gospel

Be take the holiness of God too lightly

Acts 5 – Ananias and Saphira – judged instantly for spiritual pretense

That is a scathing indictment against the children of Israel – most of them God was not well-pleased with

Imagine if the Apostle Paul said that to this crowd – and yet it may be true that most of us are counting on our standing in Christ and neglecting our state – our current walk with the Lord 

And why did Israel fall in the wilderness? – for reasons cited in vss 6-10

Five reasons are listed as to the reason why God was not well-pleased w/ most and why some were judged severely by God in the wilderness

·       Craving - first example is lusting or craving evil things – Num 11 when after Israel had been in wilderness they began to look back longingly for the dainties from the land of Egypt – began to crave the good ole days from the past – and God judged them severely for this

He had provided manna for them and they began to despise it and looked for the food of Egypt as if that were more satisfying – we can do the same!!

We can begin to slip back in their attitudes because of company they kept – the mixed multitude who were among them – we keep company through the music/TV/radio and it begins to rub off on us

·        Idolatry – Ex 32 the account of the people losing their focus while they waited for their leader who delayed his coming down from the mount

They put the pressure on their leader Aaron to fill void who came up with unbiblical feast and proclaimed a holiday for the people who because of this fell into idolatry and sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play – that is got involved impurity and were judge by God for it – we can also

·        Sexual immorality – Num 22-25 record the attempt by Balak to curse the children of Israel through Balaam (false prophets) who could not but was able to lure them away from Lord morally and caused the Lord’s judgment on them -- 23000 fell in a day and 24000 over all

·        Tempted or tried the Lord’s patience when they despised the goodness of the Lord and complained of the way and because of it God judged them

·         Complaining refers to the gainsaying of Korah (Num 16) when a man who desired to be in charge trumped a charge against Moses and Aaron and as a result were judged –when the people saw what happened they complained that Moses/Aaron caused the thing and they were judged

3.  Exhortation

Don’t be so self-confident that because of our relationship with the Lord He is going to be easy on us and let us off the hook or that we will get us out of the trouble that we put ourselves into you think

We are responsible for availing ourselves of the spiritual resources that will help us succeed in our walk with the Lord and to living up to His standards

4.  Encouragement  

The word of encouragement that comes to us is the same that came to the Corinthians – that is able to make a way to escape the temptation if we turn to Him – if not we succumb to it  God is able to help us out

Ps 34:7 – This poor man cried out and Lord heard him delivered him from all his fears                                                                   Conclusion

Jacob – many of us can be like Jacob who started out with a commitment to the Lord but then got sidetracked and went out and made his money but suffered a lot of unnecessary bumps and bruises in process before he turned around came back to Bethel

2 Peter 3:17 “You therefore beloved since you know this beforehand, beware lest you fall from your own steadfastness” 

Schilling after talking with Clemens – got rid of the earring in his ear and had a change of attitude

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