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1 Cor 8-10 Flee Idolatry

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1 Cor. 8-10 –Flee Idolatry!

1 Corinthians 10:14
Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.

Therefore, why? What is the therefore based on?

Some is on the example of the Jews in 10:7, but why all the other examples of failure if the whole point of the text is to convince the Corinthians to flee idolatry?

Need to back up and look at complete picture.

Idolatry does not begin in 10:7 but in 8:1.

“Now concerning...” 7:1, 12:1

The problem of idols: Some say they know the idol is nothing, so why can’t they go to some pagan temple and eat? Another problem, much of the meat being sold was from animals previously sacrificed of pagan gods. Could they eat they meat since they knew the idol was nothing?

One problem: Some among the Christians in Corinth still have problems with it. They grew up worshipping many gods and have now turned to the worship of Jesus as the Son of God. Old habits and beliefs die hard. They recognize that Christ is supreme, but also think the spirits represented by the idols are also real.

8:2-3 – Knowledge alone puffs up. Must have love.

8:4-6 – We know...

8:7 – But not all know...

8:8 – Meat itself makes no difference, but we can harm others.

8:9-10 – Someone may see you and begin to worship the idol because of your influence.

8:11-12 This would be sin against their brethren and Christ.

8:13 It is not worth it, even when by itself, the idol is nothing.

Isn’t that the weak brother’s problem? Why should I give up something that is not wrong just because someone else can’t handle it?

Why should I have to give up something that I have the right to do?

The Example of Paul – Chp 9

9:4    Has the right to marry but does not

9:5    He has the right to not have to support himself but gives up that right.

9:7    Paul is a soldier fighting in a spiritual struggle.

He is planting churches, sowing the seed.

He is tending to the flock of God, guards, protects, builds up

9:9-11 He has the right to be supported. He has provided a service and should be compensated for his efforts just as anyone else providing any other service.

9:12  He had the right, but did not use it. Many have abused this principle in all generations in all religions. Paul did not want anyone to have any reason to associate him with the many who peddle the Word of God.

He made tents until Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia and then gave himself completely to teaching. (Acts 18:1-5, Philip 4:15)

No one could accuse him of preaching for the money. (2Pe 2:1-3).

9:13-14   Support of a preacher is directed by God. He knows the best way. Each man can do just so much. Each one performs a different function of the body and the whole body works together.

During the reforms of Hezekiah

2 Chronicles 31:4
He commanded the people who lived in Jerusalem to give the portion due to the priests and the Levites, that they might devote themselves to the law of the Lord.


Nehemiah 13:10,13
I also discovered that the portions of the Levites had not been given them, so that the Levites and the singers who performed the service had gone away, each to he own field.
13 So I reprimanded the officials and said “Why is the house of God forsaken?” Then I gathered them together and restored them to their posts.

9:15 “I have used none of these things” – and am not going to start now.

He is under compulsion. He has received grace, Christ appeared to him and personally sent him to the Gentiles.

All are under a compulsion to preach but to do it “full-time” is voluntary. Paul was directed by Jesus to go. He must go. He wanted to go “beyond the call of duty” and do it without support. He was never satisfied with doing with just what he had to do. He did not want to just do the minimum God asked him to do.

Paul had the right to marry and to be supported but did not take advantage of either one.

Acts 20:34
Yes, you yourselves know that these hands have provided for my necessities,
and for those who were with me.

9:19  Paul is free from all men, He serves only God.

What did he do with his freedom?

He became a slave to others!.

Paul practiced what he preached:

Galatians 5:13
For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

He conformed to others all he could as long as he did not compromise serving God. He became all things to all people. He did not have the attitude that this is the way that I want to live and if you don’t like it - too bad!

Why did Paul live like this?

9:22 That I might by all means save some!

He was giving up rights he had to help others, serving them before self.

9:24-27   This shows the concern he has for himself for being faithful. He did not take anything for granted. He could say, “I am a chosen apostle, I don’t have anything to be concerned about! I am spiritually mature and strong, so I can handle anything! I won’t be tempted or stumble!”

The Corinthians had more of an attitude that they were not in danger and they could handle anything without stumbling.

Paul’s attitude: After all he had done, he recognized that he too could be lost.

Chapter 10 – Moreover I do not want you to be unaware...

“Moreover” (KJV, NKJV) “FOR” (NASB) shows a connection with what was just previously said.

He is striving because he is aware of the dangers and does not want them to be unaware.

10:11 For our instruction

10:12 Therefore...

10:14 Therefore... This is the answer to their question of idols!

Arguments Made

8:7 Their actions could hurt the conscience of other.

8:9 Their actions could be a stumblingblock to others.

8:10 Sitting down in an idol’s temple encouraged idol worship.

8:11 Through their conduct others could perish.

8:12 Their unconcern for others caused the to sin not only against their brethren but also against Christ.

9:1-18 The example of Paul

A. Paul gave up rights he had.

1. The right to marry (9:5)

2. The right to be supported by others (9:3-18)

9:19-23 Paul conformed to other’s standards as much as he could instead of his personal preferences. He did this so he might save some and be partakers of the gospel with them.

9:24-27 He disciplined (lit. bruised) his body to keep from being rejected.

2 Corinthians 13:5
Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.

2 Timothy 3:8
Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith;

10:1-12 – The example of the Jews


The answer to the question of meat sacrificed to idols:

1 Corinthians 10:14
Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.

The idol is nothing! But flee it anyway because of all the dangers involved!

10:16-22 Eating of the sacrifice makes us sharers of the one to whom we sacrifice to.

10:20 Gentiles sacrifice to demons. (doctrines of demons)

10:21 Cannot be sharers with Christ and demons!

10:23-24    It may be lawful but that is not the point!

The point is - what will it do to others? What will my influence be?

10:28-29 Be concerned for others before you are concerned with your own rights. The first concern is not, Do I have the right to do something, but “Could I harm my brother if I do this?


1 Corinthians 10:31-33
Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God, 33 just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.

We need to remember the nature of the subject.

Something can be lawful in and of itself but can cause harm to others.

Instead of selfishly seeking our own desires, Christians must follow the example of their Lord who put the interests of others over His own rights.

If this is how serious we are to take things that are not sin in all circumstances, then what should our attitude be toward those things that are sin?

Are we taking living as a child of God as serious as we should?

8:1-3 Do you have knowledge? Do you understand how everything in earth belongs to the Lord? Fine, knowledge is good, but knowledge puffs up. It is love that edifies and those who love the Lord are known by Him, not those who just have great knowledge.

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