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OVERCOME TEMPTATION Sunday JULY 20, 2014 LESSON # 8
FLEE FROM IDOLATRY
Background Scripture: 1 Corinthians 10:1-22 Devotional Reading: Hebrews 3:7-14
Lesson Aim: To tell how Paul the apostle used the Israelite’s history and the church’s experience with the Lord’s Supper to instruct about resisting temptation. .Describe the nature and cause of temptations and see how a believer has an accountability for supporting the brethren in resisting temptation
I. Old Testament Examples 1 Corinthians 10:6-13
(v. 6) Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.
1. In previous verses Paul used Israel’s Red Sea experience and compared it to Christian baptism to help them understand his message They ate the same spiritual food, and drank they drank from that spiritual Rock and Paul compared that with the Lord’s Supper. These examples showed that Israel had redemptive experiences that were parallel to water baptism and eating and drinking the Lord’s Supper. The Rock was Christ, He is central to all of redemptive history. Even with these miraculous happening; they remained in disobedience and worshiping idols; God was so displeased He allowed them to be overthrown in the wilderness.
2. Paul uses these events of Old Testament history as a warning not to lust after evil things as the children of Israel did. God is the same all powerful and holy God that He was with the chosen children of Israel. Their history is our example that demonstrated what not to do and that there is a recompense of reward for sin.
3. These events and behaviors were written for us to witness the hand of God being consistent in delivering, guiding and protecting the Israelite and it also show God’s punishment coming against them because of their disobedience.
(v. 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. Paul reminded the Corinthians about the golden calf that the children of Israel had Aaron to make because they were impatience stating they don’t know what happened to Moses. Moses had been gone in the mountain for a while to receive the commandment written on the two tablets of stones. In the book of exodus 32 and Deuteronomy 9:7-21 records this time frame plus it shows how rebellious they were against God and how God called them stiff-necked people. His Anger was so great against the Israelite that He told Moses to let Him alone, so that He may destroy them and blot out their name from under heaven.
2. Paul is telling the Corinthians to not be idol worshipers like Israel were. All the times God has shown Himself faithful in providing all their needs, but they still made the decision to celebrate with eating, drinking and indulging into pagan festivities.
3. The corporate church and the individuals who make up the church must be aware of any activities or behavior that is or resemble idol worshiping. Anything that is put before God is an idol and that is contrary to the Word of God. In Exodus 20:5 (Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;) another supporting scripture Exodus 34:14 (For thou shalt worship no other god: for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:)
(v. 8) Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.
1. “Paul’s second example is the Baalpeor incident of Numbers 25:1-9. This is another notorious episode of idolatry in the history of Israel. It began with illicit sex with non-Israelite women, which led to idolatrous worship with them. The result was death on a massive scale. This should be a start lesson for the Corinthians who are being tempted in the same two areas.” (Standard Lesson Commentary; pg.400, 2013-2014).
2. The spirit of idolatry and fornication is still running rampant in the church, the home of the believers, in the schools, on the social media and things used for entertainment. This lesson is for all who are participating in sinful acts,
(v. 9) Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.
1. It is dangerous and deadly to tempt Christ for any reason, circumstance or situation. The apostle is referring to the actions of the Israelites that caused God’s wrath to come down on them. Numbers 21:4-9 during their journey from mount Hor the people became discouraged because of the way. The people talked against God and Moses asking, was they brought out of Egypt to die in the Wilderness and complaining that they don’t like the manna because it was light bread. The Lord sent fiery serpents among the people and they bit the people of Israel and many of them died.
2.When the Israelites were murmuring and complaining saying that it was better to remain in slavery under the hand of the Egyptians (even though they cried out for deliverance), they did not consider that it was God that kept them safe to travel through the Red Sea while drowning their enemies the Egyptians. He provided for their every need even bread that they did not have to make. All the provisions that God the Father made for them to be saved and set free there was no gratitude being shown or reverence towards the Lord.
(v. 10) Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.
1. Paul is giving another example this time referencing the time when Moses sent out men to search the land. The ones who returned and made the people murmur against Moses with presenting their bad report. Even though they were murmuring against Moses it was rebellion against the Lord and they were struck dead with a plague before the Lord Numbers 14:36-37.
2. The warning to the Corinthians is that their murmuring against Paul is the same thing the Israelite did with Moses. In both cases the people really was grumbling against God and that is a deadly place to be in. God has placed leaders in the church after His own heart and it is the believer’s responsibility to lift up those leaders and honor them in the Lord.
(v. 11) Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
1. These things that happened to the children of Israel were an example for us. The incidents were written as a cautionary example for future generations. The sexual immorality, the mix of idolatry, and rebellion against God-ordained leader is present in the church at Corinth and Paul wants them to take heed to the lessons from the Israelite history.
(v. 12) Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
1. Paul gives a solemn warning against independent self-confidence concerning overestimating one’s spiritual strength. Paul is talking to the believer who acts arrogantly, trusting in his or her own spiritual maturity and strength to voluntarily enter into the lion’s den assuming they will not experience harm.
2. This life of Christianity is not to be lived alone or to think that you can stand on your own or by yourself. A believer cannot afford to walk in high-mindedness, this is why Paul warns us to be careful not to fall. That we don’t stand in our own might but in the power of our Lord Jesus the Christ. He has ordained fellowship among the brethren to walk hand and hand to keep another lifted up as each lean on the Lord..
(v. 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. The Corinthians need not give up hope, they should consider two things, first their temptations are not unique, as evidenced by the experiences of Israel in the wilderness. Second God can be trusted, they can have confidence that He will not allow them to be tempted in excess of their ability to endure and overcome. Not only will He limit trials, He has provided the way of escape so that we are able to be victors.
2. The word of God has many directives that tell the believer what not to do or behaviors to have these keeps us from being ignorant in areas and willfully walk into danger or tempting situations. This is also a way of escape by taking what the Father has said and staying away from those things that will destroy you.
II. Flee From Idolatry
1 Corinthians 10:14-22
(v. 14, 15) Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.
1. Paul tells them I’m speaking to you as a wise man, inspiring the Corinthians to exercise wisdom in the things they do. To flee from the worship of false gods or the formal sacrificial acts held in honor of false gods. The people don’t understand they invite temptation by participating in activities of the pagan temples and the place of idol worship it is foolish and unwise. He let them know that what he is telling them is godly wisdom because he is mindful of what they need in order to move out of this place of destruction. Paul charges them to take this matter seriously and examine closely and carefully what he is saying.
(v. 16, 17) 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? 17 For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.
1. “Paul now returns to the Lord’s Supper as a way to understand the danger of flirting with idolatry. He reminds the Corinthians that the Lord’s Supper is a communal meal, a symbolic sharing in the blood of Christ and the body of Christ. The Lord’s Supper has a built-in symbol of unity: the single loaf of bread that is shared by all partakers. This connection is not incidental, but purposeful and meaningful (compare Romans 12:5). Paul’s implication is that the communal meals at a pagan temple, using food dedicated to an idol, also speak to unity of worship - idolatrous worship.” (Standard Lesson Commentary; pg.401, 2013-2014).
(v. 18) Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar?
1. The apostle uses Israel for an example to demonstrate their unity in sin by eating the sacrifices at the altar. They had willingly eaten food sacrificed to idols partaking in the pagan worship, becoming one with them because they were lustful to appease their flesh.
(v. 19, 20) What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? 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.
1. Paul warns the Corinthians that just because the pagan gods are fictitious does not mean they do not represent powerful, evil spiritual forces of demonic presence behind them. This is why they must understand and not partake because anyone who participate as part of a pagan festival involves them self in fellowship with demons.
(v. 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. The truth is that no believer can share themselves with both the Lord and the demons. God is a jealous God and our relationship with Him must be exclusive being faithful to Him only. There is no such thing as a part-time Christian or believer. How can one person drink the cup of the Lord that represent His blood and turn around drink the cup of evil? Good and evil do not mix together Jesus came and died for all man to be saved and gave the power to conqueror evil. Matthew 6:24 (No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.)
(v. 22) Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he?
1. This question “do we provoke the Lord to jealousy” is a great question to be asking the church at Corinth. In Deuteronomy 32:16 NLT (They stirred up his jealousy by worshiping foreign gods; they provoked his fury with detestable deeds.) To provoke the Lord to jealousy is to bring down His anger and wrath against man. Secondly man's strength against the strength of the all mighty power of the Creator of the universe, there is no comparison. It is in the strength and might of the Lord that makes man strong.
The bible is our resource our tool which we use that gives us instruction on how to live life that will glorify the Father and edify man. Paul tells the Corinthians to take heed and learn from the examples of the people who lived before them. Don’t fall into the same temptations, acts, behaviors, and traditions the children of Israel did that brought the wrath of God against them. The children of God must recognize that the Old Testament is an example for the church. The believer must submit themselves to the wisdom of God and embrace the examples from the Old Testament. The life of the believer is to read, study, and apply the word of God.
Jesus paid the cost for our sins on the cross, it is erroneous to think that God would be okay with a believer living in sin. The penalty for sin death. That does not have to be the answer for anyone if they choose Christ. Sin separates the believer from Christ the relationship we have with Him is hindered and there is always a consequence good or bad behind every decision we make in our life.
In this hour we are surrounded by temptations that come from a variety of sources such as advertisements, the internet, friends, even people close to you. The warnings have been given that we must be careful lest we fall into old patterns of sin. A lot of the things that brings temptations don’t always present itself in an evil fashion but the result is still destruction. The life of the believer must always reflect Christ because that newly converted Christian is watching you, those who don’t know Christ is watching you, your inner circles is watching you. We must be who we are 24/7 and that is a Child of God. Amen.
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WHEN you can read this, you still have a chance to DO it GOD'S WAY. Pray the prayer below
Father God in the name of Jesus we thank you for your strength to resist temptation to sin. Thank you for the desire to live a life that is submitted and obedient unto you, in Jesus Name Amen!