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1 Corinthians 10Living Bible (TLB)

10 For we must never forget, dear brothers, what happened to our people in the wilderness long ago. God guided them by sending a cloud that moved along ahead of them; and he brought them all safely through the waters of the Red Sea. This might be called their “baptism”—baptized both in sea and cloud!—as followers of Moses—their commitment to him as their leader. 3-4 And by a miracle God sent them food to eat and water to drink[a] there in the desert; they drank the water that Christ gave them.* He was there with them as a mighty Rock of spiritual refreshment. Yet after all this most of them did not obey God, and he destroyed them in the wilderness.

From this lesson we are warned that we must not desire evil things as they did, nor worship idols as they did. (The Scriptures tell us, “The people sat down to eat and drink and then got up to dance” in worship of the golden calf.)

Another lesson for us is what happened when some of them sinned with other men’s wives, and 23,000 fell dead in one day. And don’t try the Lord’s patience—they did and died from snake bites. 10 And don’t murmur against God and his dealings with you as some of them did, for that is why God sent his Angel to destroy them.

11 All these things happened to them as examples—as object lessons to us—to warn us against doing the same things; they were written down so that we could read about them and learn from them in these last days as the world nears its end.

12 So be careful. If you are thinking, “Oh, I would never behave like that”—let this be a warning to you. For you too may fall into sin. 13 But remember this—the wrong desires that come into your life aren’t anything new and different. Many others have faced exactly the same problems before you. And no temptation is irresistible. You can trust God to keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can’t stand up against it, for he has promised this and will do what he says. He will show you how to escape temptation’s power so that you can bear up patiently against it.

14 So, dear friends, carefully avoid idol worship of every kind.

15 You are intelligent people. Look now and see for yourselves whether what I am about to say is true. 16 When we ask the Lord’s blessing upon our drinking from the cup of wine at the Lord’s Table, this means, doesn’t it, that all who drink it are sharing together the blessing of Christ’s blood? And when we break off pieces of the bread from the loaf to eat there together, this shows that we are sharing together in the benefits of his body. 17 No matter how many of us there are, we all eat from the same loaf, showing that we are all parts of the one body of Christ. 18 And the Jewish people, all who eat the sacrifices, are united by that act.

19 What am I trying to say? Am I saying that the idols to whom the heathen bring sacrifices are really alive and are real gods, and that these sacrifices are of some value? No, not at all. 20 What I am saying is that those who offer food to these idols are united together in sacrificing to demons, certainly not to God. And I don’t want any of you to be partners with demons when you eat the same food, along with the heathen, that has been offered to these idols. 21 You cannot drink from the cup at the Lord’s Table and at Satan’s table, too. You cannot eat bread both at the Lord’s Table and at Satan’s table.

22 What? Are you tempting the Lord to be angry with you? Are you stronger than he is?

23 You are certainly free to eat food offered to idols if you want to; it’s not against God’s laws to eat such meat, but that doesn’t mean that you should go ahead and do it. It may be perfectly legal, but it may not be best and helpful. 24 Don’t think only of yourself. Try to think of the other fellow, too, and what is best for him.

25 Here’s what you should do. Take any meat you want that is sold at the market. Don’t ask whether or not it was offered to idols, lest the answer hurt your conscience. 26 For the earth and every good thing in it belongs to the Lord and is yours to enjoy.

27 If someone who isn’t a Christian asks you out to dinner, go ahead; accept the invitation if you want to. Eat whatever is on the table and don’t ask any questions about it. Then you won’t know whether or not it has been used as a sacrifice to idols, and you won’t risk having a bad conscience over eating it. 28 But if someone warns you that this meat has been offered to idols, then don’t eat it for the sake of the man who told you, and of his conscience. 29 In this case his feeling about it is the important thing, not yours.

But why, you may ask, must I be guided and limited by what someone else thinks? 30 If I can thank God for the food and enjoy it, why let someone spoil everything just because he thinks I am wrong? 31 Well, I’ll tell you why. It is because you must do everything for the glory of God, even your eating and drinking. 32 So don’t be a stumbling block to anyone, whether they are Jews or Gentiles or Christians. 33 That is the plan I follow, too. I try to please everyone in everything I do, not doing what I like or what is best for me but what is best for them, so that they may be saved.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Corinthians 10:3 by a miracle . . . water to drink, implied; literally, “all ate the same supernatural food and drink.” they drank the water that Christ gave them, literally, “they drank of a spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.”
Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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