Warnings from Israel's Past
(Numbers 16:41-50; Numbers 25:1-5)
1FOR I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea. 2And all in Moses were baptized, in the cloud, and in the sea: 3And did all eat the same spiritual food, 4And all drank the same spiritual drink; (and they drank of the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ.) 5But with most of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the desert.
6Now these things were done in a figure of us, that we should not covet evil things as they also coveted. 7Neither become ye idolaters, as some of them, as it is written: The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. 8Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed fornication, and there fell in one day three and twenty thousand. 9Neither let us tempt Christ: as some of them tempted, and perished by the serpents. 10Neither do you murmur: as some of them murmured, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11Now all these things happened to them in figure: and they are written for our correction, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 12Wherefore he that thinketh himself to stand, let him take heed lest he fall. 13Let no temptation take hold on you, but such as is human. And God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that which you are able: but will make also with temptation issue, that you may be able to bear it.
Flee from Idolatry
(Exodus 20:22-23; Leviticus 19:1-8)
14Wherefore, my dearly beloved, fly from the service of idols. 15I speak as to wise men: judge ye yourselves what I say. 16The chalice of benediction, which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ ? And the bread, which we break, is it not the partaking of the body of the Lord ? 17For we, being many, are one bread, one body, all that partake of one bread. 18Behold Israel according to the flesh: are not they, that eat of the sacrifices, partakers of the altar ? 19What then ? Do I say, that what is offered in sacrifice to idols, is any thing ? Or, that the idol is any thing ? 20But the things which the heathens sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God. And I would not that you should be made partakers with devils. 21You cannot drink the chalice of the Lord, and the chalice of devils: you cannot be partakers of the table of the Lord, and of the table of devils. 22Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy ? Are we stronger than he? All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient.
Do All to the God's Glory
23All things are lawful for me, but all things do not edify. 24Let no man seek his own, but that which is another's. 25Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, eat; asking no question for conscience' sake. 26The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof. 27If any of them that believe not, invite you, and you will be willing to go; eat of any thing that is set before you, asking no question for conscience' sake. 28But if any man say: This has been sacrificed to idols, do not eat of it for his sake that told it, and for conscience' sake. 29Conscience, I say, not thy own, but the other's. For why is my liberty judged by another man's conscience ? 30If I partake with thanksgiving, why am I evil spoken of, for that for which I give thanks ?
31Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatsoever else you do, do all to the glory of God. 32Be without offence to the Jews, and to the Gentiles, and to the church of God: 33As I also in all things please all men, not seeking that which is profitable to myself, but to many, that may be saved.