Slippery Slope

In 1 Corinthians 10 Paul uses the rebellion of the Israelites as an example to show the church at Corinth a picture of themselves. He reminds them that even though they all ate and drank from the same spiritual rock, God wasn’t pleased with most of them, and God allowed an entire generation (minus a few) to die off before the promised land because of their rebellion and idolatry. Paul was cautioning the church because many of them had taken on the attitude that “everything is permissible” so far that it had blurred lines into actual duplicitous living and even moved into sexual immorality for many of them. Paul warned them that there is no temptation so great except what is common to man and that God will not allow so great a temptation without providing a way to escape it. He cautioned them that their pride will cause them to believe they can stand, but they need to be careful that they don’t fall. There were those in the church who believed as Paul did, that eating meat that was once offered to idols was not an issue because idols don’t actually exist, but some of them had taken it to another level. They were going beyond just purchasing meat at the meat market with a clean conscience, and some of them pushed it so far that they were participating at actual demonic events where they were actively sacrificing to idols. Paul cautioned them that though they knew the idols weren’t real, that didn’t mean that the demonic activity they were associating themselves with wasn’t real because they were sacrificing to demons and not to God. Paul challenges them in verse 22 asking if they were provoking God to jealousy because you can’t drink from the cup of the Lord and also from the cup of demons, and you can’t share at the Lord’s table and also at the table of demons. Paul was definitely talking to two different groups of people within the church. There were those who were living in duplicitous rebellion, and then there were those who just wanted to buy meat at the market with a clean conscience. Paul lands back on those who were just trying to live with a clean conscience. He reminds them to buy their meat without unnecessary questions for the sake of their own conscience, and to give thanks to God for the meat they received because everything on the earth belongs to God.

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