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1 Corinthians 10 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Don’t Worship Idols

10 Friends, I want to remind you that all of our ancestors walked under the cloud and went through the sea. This was like being baptized and becoming followers of Moses. All of them also ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink, which flowed from the spiritual rock that followed them. That rock was Christ. But most of them did not please God. So they died, and their bodies were scattered all over the desert.

What happened to them is a warning to keep us from wanting to do the same evil things. They worshiped idols, just as the Scriptures say, “The people sat down to eat and drink. Then they got up to dance around.” So don’t worship idols. Some of those people did shameful things, and in a single day about twenty-three thousand of them died. Don’t do shameful things as they did. And don’t try to test Christ,[a] as some of them did and were later bitten by poisonous snakes. 10 Don’t even grumble, as some of them did and were killed by the destroying angel. 11 These things happened to them as a warning to us. All this was written in the Scriptures to teach us who live in these last days.

12 Even if you think you can stand up to temptation, be careful not to fall. 13 You are tempted in the same way that everyone else is tempted. But God can be trusted not to let you be tempted too much, and he will show you how to escape from your temptations.

14 My friends, you must keep away from idols. 15 I am speaking to you as people who have enough sense to know what I am talking about. 16 When we drink from the cup that we ask God to bless, isn’t that sharing in the blood of Christ? When we eat the bread that we break, isn’t that sharing in the body of Christ? 17 By sharing in the same loaf of bread, we become one body, even though there are many of us.

18 Aren’t the people of Israel sharing in the worship when they gather around the altar and eat the sacrifices offered there? 19 Am I saying that either the idols or the food sacrificed to them is anything at all? 20 No, I am not! That food is really sacrificed to demons and not to God. I don’t want you to have anything to do with demons. 21 You cannot drink from the cup of demons and still drink from the Lord’s cup. You cannot eat at the table of demons and still eat at the Lord’s table. 22 We would make the Lord jealous if we did that. And we are not stronger than the Lord.

Always Honor God

23 Some of you say, “We can do whatever we want to!” But I tell you that not everything may be good or helpful. 24 We should think about others and not about ourselves. 25 However, when you buy meat in the market, go ahead and eat it. Keep your conscience clear by not asking where the meat came from. 26 The Scriptures say, “The earth and everything in it belong to the Lord.”

27 If an unbeliever invites you to dinner, and you want to go, then go. Eat whatever you are served. Don’t cause a problem for someone’s conscience by asking where the food came from. 28-29 But if you are told that it has been sacrificed to idols, don’t cause a problem by eating it. I don’t mean a problem for yourself, but for the one who told you. Why should my freedom be limited by someone else’s conscience? 30 If I give thanks for what I eat, why should anyone accuse me of doing wrong?

31 When you eat or drink or do anything else, always do it to honor God. 32 Don’t cause problems for Jews or Greeks or anyone else who belongs to God’s church. 33 I always try to please others instead of myself, in the hope that many of them will be saved.

Footnotes:

  1. 10.9 Christ: Some manuscripts have “the Lord.”

1 Corinthians 10 New International Version (NIV)

Warnings From Israel’s History

10 For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.

Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.”[a] We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. We should not test Christ,[b] as some of them did—and were killed by snakes. 10 And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel.

11 These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. 12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 13 No temptation[c] has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted[d] beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,[e] he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

Idol Feasts and the Lord’s Supper

14 Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. 16 Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? 17 Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf.

18 Consider the people of Israel: Do not those who eat the sacrifices participate in the altar? 19 Do I mean then that food sacrificed to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I do not want you to be participants with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons. 22 Are we trying to arouse the Lord’s jealousy? Are we stronger than he?

The Believer’s Freedom

23 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. 24 No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.

25 Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience, 26 for, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.”[f]

27 If an unbeliever invites you to a meal and you want to go, eat whatever is put before you without raising questions of conscience. 28 But if someone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, both for the sake of the one who told you and for the sake of conscience. 29 I am referring to the other person’s conscience, not yours. For why is my freedom being judged by another’s conscience? 30 If I take part in the meal with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of something I thank God for?

31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32 Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God 33 even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Corinthians 10:7 Exodus 32:6
  2. 1 Corinthians 10:9 Some manuscripts test the Lord
  3. 1 Corinthians 10:13 The Greek for temptation and tempted can also mean testing and tested.
  4. 1 Corinthians 10:13 The Greek for temptation and tempted can also mean testing and tested.
  5. 1 Corinthians 10:13 The Greek for temptation and tempted can also mean testing and tested.
  6. 1 Corinthians 10:26 Psalm 24:1
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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