Jul 11, 2013

SERMON OUTLINE for 1 Corinthians 10:1-22

A famous Hispanic-American philosopher, George Santayana, is known for saying this: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” You’ve probably heard this either when someone does something really stupid a second or third time or when a history teacher is trying to convince you why studying history is actually important. Does history matter? Henry Ford said it was bunk and that history is simply one darned thing after another. Others lament history if just a collection of dates and places I’ll never go, filled with people I’ll never meet … in short, history is irrelevant. It doesn’t matter really – what’s important is just the here and now – my here and my now. Various worldviews have seen history differently … some as cyclical, others as illusory, and still others as fatalistic. Others have seen history as pliable, a group of facts which can be molded any which way in order to serve current needs … in this scheme, history is merely a tool for propaganda or a means by which to shape the future by verbally revising the past, as in George Orwell’s prophetic novel, 1984. And yet still others see it as haphazard, accidental, random and believe it is headed towards no real end, no important goal or meaningful place. Or 1 Corinthians 10:6, 11 and Rom 4:23. So if we listen close today, we will see important lessons from history. The Holy Spirit led Paul to recount these for the Corinthian Church. Hence, the title of today’s sermon. And if we pay attention, we will see these same lessons apply to us in Christ’s church today. What can we learn from the past? 

10:1 “our fathers” – Our forefathers to Gentiles?  See Galatians 3:29; 6:16 and Romans 11:17-24

“OUR FATHERS ALL …” - Five Examples of God’s Blessing to our fathers
First: “Were under the cloud” (Exodus 13:21-22; 14, and Psalm 105:39)
Second: “Passed through the sea” (Exodus 14:22, 29)
Third: “Were baptized into Moses” (Exodus 3:10)
                                                   *Jewish belief: Moses, former redeemer; Messiah, latter redeemer
Fourth: “Ate the same spiritual food” (Exodus 16:4, 8, 12, 15)
Fifth: “Ate the same spiritual drink” (Exodus 17:1-7; Numbers 20:1-13; 21:16-18)

NOTE/APPLICATION/CHALLENGE on 10:4 “that rock was Christ” - God is called the rock in Deut. 32:4, 15, 18, 30-31 but Paul says Christ! He is saying that Jesus, in the Person of the Triune God, Yahweh, was with Israel in the wilderness and was the source of their provision and blessings.

Likewise, the Corinthians receive blessings from Christ via his death and resurrection represented by communion. And just like Jesus provided the /Israelites with life giving water, he provides the church with life today. And just like how a rock is solid and steady and firm, so too is Jesus consistent and dependable and trustworthy – unlike the capricious gods of the Greeks. Unlike our modern day gods.

You put your trust in the stock market and it can crash. Or 2008 can happen all over again, or 1929, or whatever. It’s not a safe bet. You may put your trust in your good looks and ability to achieve pleasure sexually, but you are growing old – even now. You could get a disease. Or in a wreck. And lose it all. No dependability there. If your god is some possession – your car, your house, your wardrobe, your bank account, your talent, your connections – all these can be swept away in an instant and deep down you know it. You know those things you trust other than him are shakier than a chair from Ikea. 

You know they are not eternal and cannot last forever. So why do you trust them over Christ? That is this chapter’s challenge to you. Why fool around with these other things when they cannot compare to the rock steady Jesus who is Lord! Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Will you not repent of your sin and turn to the God-Man who lives forever and returns!


on 1 Corinthians 10:5Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness. KATASTRONNYMI (NIV: ‘their bodies were scattered over the desert.’)

APPLICATION/CHALLENGE: This means that one can be hanging around the people of God and still no be pleasing to God. This means that one can be even experiencing some of the blessings that God gives and still not be a God-pleaser. This means that you can be a member of this church, have been baptized, partake of communion, hear good sermons and Bible teaching on a regular basis, claim to be a Christian and still not be in Christ – because that my friends is the only way one pleases God in the first place. And if you are not in Christ, regardless of if you here today claim to be a Christian or not, you do indeed face the soon coming wrath and impending judgment of the one true God, much like those Israelite who were struck down by Yahweh in the wilderness. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Continue listening to find out what you can do, how to not be like these men and women of old.

1 Corinthians 10:6-10 - EXAMPLES OF DESIRING EVIL
1 Corinthians 10:6Now these things took place as examples (typoi ) for us, that we might not desire evil as they did.” And Romans 15:4For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”

See Romans 6:12, 1 Peter 2:11 “abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul”
“For having said, ‘that we should not lust after evil things,’ which was general, he subjoined is that which is particular, implying that each of their sins arose from evil lusting”. Source: John Chrysostom, Homilies in First Corinthians

Four Examples Illustrating Desiring Evil:

FIRST EXAMPLE: idolatry 10:7 (Exodus 32:4, 28)
Martin Luther, on the first commandment in his Larger Catechism, "whatever your heart clings to and relies upon,that is your God; trust and faith of the heart alone make both God and idol.” I might add  here “whatever your heart clings to or relies on for ultimate security.” G.K.Beale wrote "The idol is whatever claims the loyalty that belongs to God alone."

SECOND EXAMPLE: sexual immorality/fornication
10:8 (see 1 Corinthians 5:1-11; 6:12-20)
-Explanation for why Paul has 23k? Numbers 25:1-9, Acacia Grove shittim. Here God sent a plague that killed 24,000 Israelites. He was rounding down, not up (Calvin) -or - the key is that it says 24k died in Numbers 25:9  overall but Paul just says 23k IN ONE DAY  -or-
-It could be that Paul is instead referring to Exodus 23:6 (golden calf), where the Levites killed 3k (Exodus 32:28) and apparently God killed 20k w/a plague (Exodus 32:35) – 20k + 3k  =23k.

THIRD EXAMPLE: “testing the Lord” 10:9 (Numbers 21:4-9)
Psalm 78:18They tested God in their heart by demanding the food they craved.” Result? Snakebites!  -how? In Corinth with: pride, fornication, idolatry, elitism, cavalier attitude, selfishness

FOURTH EXAMPLE: “grumbling” 10:10 (Num 14:2, 36; 16:41-49. KORAH’S REBELLION)
Psalm 106:25They murmured in their tents, and did not obey the voice of the Lord.
-The Destroyer is the Destroying Angel of Exodus 12. 10th plague.
-also David (2 Samuel 24:16; 1Chronicles 21:12), Assyrians (2 Chronicles 32:21).

We can’t just talk about the Israelites in the wilderness or the congregation at Corinth, we have to think about ourselves right here in Phoenix. To the people gathered here today, you must take heed to these divine warnings as well: do you grumble against what comes from the hand of the Lord? Are you ungrateful for the material provisions he provides or do you complain about the Scripture when it is delivered and explained to you – the spiritual provision, as it were? Or do you see the things that God gives for our blessing, such as the bible, the cross, the church, prayer – do you see these things and just like the Israelites of old, crave something else, something you think is better?
Israel received bread from heaven called Manna – this is how God fed them when they were in the wilderness. It was miraculous … but Israel complained and wanted something else besides that, something better, more fancy … Israel was not content with God’s means to bless them. If you look around at what the Christian life entails and want God to be running it some other way – then Paul’s warning to you from this letter is that you are probably not even a Christian, regardless of your external affiliations!

Do you see the elements of communion regularly and not let it affect your mind and heart in any meaningful way? Or do you partake of communion as just an empty ritual or maybe almost as if it’s a magic potion that keeps you safe from God’s judgment? Are you like the Israelites before the Golden Calf? You go through your life with you as you’re your own idol – you ultimately are your own God and you take the presence of God lightly – you play around and get intoxicated and lose your mind in lust and commit sexual immorality – just like they did and they were struck down by the Lord? If this is really how you’re living, please do not think because you are in this building you are safe from the One who sees all. Do not think because you’ve been attending Roosevelt Community Church for a while or have identified yourself as a Christian in some way that it’s all good?

You can be hanging out with the Covenant People of God and not yourself be in the Covenant. You can be going through the outward signs as mere religious ritual and still be headed for hell. You can appear to be among the Lord’s people but actually be someone who is like some in the Corinthian church who were condemned as unbelievers facing God’s anger towards sin. If this is you sitting right here before me as I say this then repent of your sin – right now. Do not delay and continue to test the Lord as verse 22 of our Scripture this morning says. Do not provoke him, for you are not stronger. None of us can win … so come to him now while you still can!


-THE SCRIPTURE: 1 Corinthians 10:11
Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.’ (Rom 4.23)

-THE CROSS: - lit. “the ends (or fulfillment) of the ages”. See Galatians 4:4–5,But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.

-THE WARNINGS: verse 12. Rom 11:20 “stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear.”

1 Corinthians 10:12–13
12 Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

-THE PROMISES: verse 13. Matt 6:13And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.’


-This section (14-22) is a ruling against participating in temple ceremonies dedicated to idols.
as 10:1-22 seems to deal w/eating sacrificial food in a ‘cultic’ context (attending temple feasts).
10:18-20 – Israel ate part of the sacrifice made at the altar (Lev. 7:15; 8:31; Dt. 12:17-18).
-Deuteronomy 32:17They sacrificed to demons that were no gods, to gods they had never known, to new gods that had come recently, whom your fathers had never dreaded.
10:21 – like Jesus’ you cannot serve both God and money Matthew 6:24, Luke 16.13.
-2 Corinthians 6:15–16 What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? 16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
10:22God’s jealousy: -Sinless –righteous –holy –pure –divine –correct –moral –logical –rational -loving -God glorifying –Covenant-based. many references to God’s jealousy have to do with idol-worship. --------Deuteronomy 32:21 “they have provoked me with what is no God; and angered me by their idols.”

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