1 Corinthians 10* The great privileges, and yet terrible overthrow of theIsraelites in the wilderness. (1-5) Cautions against allidolatrous, and other sinful practices. (6-14) The partaking inidolatry cannot exist with having communion with Christ. (15-22)All we do to be to the glory of God, and without offence to theconsciences of others. (23-33)1-5 To dissuade the Corinthians from communion with idolaters,and security in any sinful course, the apostle sets before themthe example of the Jewish nation of old. They were, by amiracle, led through the Red Sea, where the pursuing Egyptianswere drowned. It was to them a typical baptism. The manna onwhich they fed was a type of Christ crucified, the Bread whichcame down from heaven, which whoso eateth shall live for ever.Christ is the Rock on which the Christian church is built; andof the streams that issue therefrom, all believers drink, andare refreshed. It typified the sacred influences of the HolySpirit, as given to believers through Christ. But let nonepresume upon their great privileges, or profession of the truth;these will not secure heavenly happiness. 6-14 Carnal desires gain strength by indulgence, thereforeshould be checked in their first rise. Let us fear the sins ofIsrael, if we would shun their plagues. And it is but just tofear, that such as tempt Christ, will be left by him in thepower of the old serpent. Murmuring against God's disposals andcommands, greatly provokes him. Nothing in Scripture is writtenin vain; and it is our wisdom and duty to learn from it. Othershave fallen, and so may we. The Christian's security against sinis distrust of himself. God has not promised to keep us fromfalling, if we do not look to ourselves. To this word ofcaution, a word of comfort is added. Others have the likeburdens, and the like temptations: what they bear up under, andbreak through, we may also. God is wise as well as faithful, andwill make our burdens according to our strength. He knows whatwe can bear. He will make a way to escape; he will delivereither from the trial itself, or at least the mischief of it. Wehave full encouragement to flee from sin, and to be faithful toGod. We cannot fall by temptation, if we cleave fast to him.Whether the world smiles or frowns, it is an enemy; butbelievers shall be strengthened to overcome it, with all itsterrors and enticements. The fear of the Lord, put into theirhearts, will be the great means of safety. 15-22 Did not the joining in the Lord's supper show aprofession of faith in Christ crucified, and of adoringgratitude to him for his salvation ? Christians, by thisordinance, and the faith therein professed, were united as thegrains of wheat in one loaf of bread, or as the members in thehuman body, seeing they were all united to Christ, and hadfellowship with him and one another. This is confirmed from theJewish worship and customs in sacrifice. The apostle appliesthis to feasting with idolaters. Eating food as part of aheathen sacrifice, was worshipping the idol to whom it was made,and having fellowship or communion with it; just as he who eatsthe Lord's supper, is accounted to partake in the Christiansacrifice, or as they who ate the Jewish sacrifices partook ofwhat was offered on their altar. It was denying Christianity;for communion with Christ, and communion with devils, couldnever be had at once. If Christians venture into places, andjoin in sacrifices to the lust of the flesh, the lust of theeye, and the pride of life, they will provoke God. 23-33 There were cases wherein Christians might eat what hadbeen offered to idols, without sin. Such as when the flesh wassold in the market as common food, for the priest to whom it hadbeen given. But a Christian must not merely consider what islawful, but what is expedient, and to edify others. Christianityby no means forbids the common offices of kindness, or allowsuncourteous behaviour to any, however they may differ from us inreligious sentiments or practices. But this is not to beunderstood of religious festivals, partaking in idolatrousworship. According to this advice of the apostle, Christiansshould take care not to use their liberty to the hurt of others,or to their own reproach. In eating and drinking, and in all wedo, we should aim at the glory of God, at pleasing and honouringhim. This is the great end of all religion, and directs us whereexpress rules are wanting. A holy, peaceable, and benevolentspirit, will disarm the greatest enemies.
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