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Read Introduction to 1 Corinthians

 

14Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. 15I speak as to wise men; judge for yourselves what I say.  

 

Paul concludes his discussion of the balance between liberty and love through the remainder of this chapter. This section deals with the issue of eating meat offered to idols, whether through heathen ritual practice (10:14-22), by procuring it in the meat bazaar (10:25-26), or accepting a dinner invitation from anon-Christian (10:27-28). There are two commands in verses 14 to 24:

Flee from idolatry, 14:14

Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being, 14:24.

The conclusion of the argument from verses eight to ten revolves around these two commands – the dangers of:

License

Legalism

10:14

Therefore,

“Therefore” begins to sum up the argument beginning with chapter eight on the balance between liberty and love. Chapter 10 warns about inherent dangers of our freedom in Christ. Given all the arguments from chapter eight until 10:14, we now come to the conclusion.

my beloved,

Paul appeals to his love for the Corinthians. He bases his reprimand on love, not anger. They were beloved to Paul, albeit with their array of problems. They also criticized him more than any other church (2 Corinthians).They were carping and carnal, but he loved them nevertheless.

flee from idolatry.

Flight from idolatry is absolute, for there are no exceptions to this. Participation in paganism is a major violation of Christian principle. It was possible for the Corinthians to revert into paganism because of pagan temple worship. He explains this danger in succeeding verses. Fleeing idolatry meant fleeing from the immorality associated with idolatry of the first century. The Temple of Aphrodite was the most exciting place in town. Today, there are sexual idols all around us, as well. Anything we worship is an idol, including sex. An idol is anything of ultimate significance to us. Idolatry is making anything more important than God.

10:15

I speak as to wise men; judge for yourselves what I say.

Paul appeals to the logic of the Corinthians as “wise men” who can make judgments about the wisdom of what he has to say. He speaks to them as if they can understand the force of his argument.

PRINCIPLE:

Anything we put in the place of God is idolatry.

APPLICATION:

Covetousness is idolatry.

Co 3: 5Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

We live in a day when the average believer does not know enough doctrine to come in out of the rain. As a result, he is a sucker for false doctrine that comes along.

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