Remember, we're reading a letter Paul wrote to a group of people very similar to us in so many ways, but yet struggled with an issue that seems so foreign to us: whether or not to eat meat that had been processed in pagan temples. We can, however, identify with a society that was divided over hot button issues...
v1-13 - The first generation of Israelites who were freed from slavery in Egypt by "passing through the sea (v1)," which is a type of baptism.
They were unified by the fact that they "drank from the rock that was Christ (v3)."
Once more we have an example that God's Old Testament people were saved by Christ just as we are even though they lived thousands of years before Christ came!
But even though these were God's covenant people, God was not pleased with them because they succumbed to temptation, so much so that He scattered their bodies in the wilderness (v5).
The stories we read in the Old Testament, both good and bad things, "were written down as warnings for us (v11)."
So no matter how firm you think your footing is, be careful that you don't fall!
Everybody will face temptation.
God will not let you be tempted more than you can handle.
When you're tempted, be looking for the "way out" that God has already provided.
v14-30 - Our unity as God's people is on display the most when we gather around the Lord's Table.
When we consume the bread and wine during communion, we are quite literally being joined to the body of Christ.
This is why it's so critical to examine ourselves before taking part in communion.
If you drag unrepentant sin to the Table, you infect everybody you come to the Table with, and you're attempting to join your sin to the holiness of Christ!
This is why it provokes God's jealosy (v22).
You may have the right to do whatever you please, but that doesn't mean whatever you please is good for you.
Stop looking out only for yourself, but make it your primary goal to seek the good of others first.
Don't worry about things that do not matter,
unless it offends a brother or sister,
then it's not worth it.
v30-31 - Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
Don't let your actions trip up fellow believers.
you are not just to seek your own good,
but the good of many, so that they may be saved.
OLD TESTAMENT REFERENCE:
Paul quotes Psalm 24:1 in v26, reminding his readers that everything was made by God so therefore everything can be used to glorify Him. Read Psalm 24, being reminded that the entire Psalm is a picture of the ascended Jesus victoriously returning into heaven.
Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions:
EYE FOR DETAIL—From what you recall seeing in this chapter, try answering the following question without looking at your Bible: How did Paul complete the following sentence? “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do,…” (See v31.)
What fundamental misunderstandings about sin and temptation can be corrected by a full and true understanding of what Paul says in verses 12–13?
Questions taken from The Complete Bible Discussion Guide: New Testament
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our loving Father, but also a jealous God (v22)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray for the strength and wisdom to do everything you do for God's glory (v30).
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: