Brother Kevin kindly wrote up these notes on 1 Corinthians Chapter 10, (with contributions from me):
1 Corinthians 10 King James Version (KJV)
10 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;
2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat;
4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
5 But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.
7 Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.
8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.
9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.
10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.
11 Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
14 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.
15 I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.
16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?
17 For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.
18 Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar?
19 What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing?
20 But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.
21 Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.
22 Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he?
23 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.
24 Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth.
25 Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake:
26 For the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof.
27 If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake.
28 But if any man say unto you, this is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof:
29 Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man’s conscience?
30 For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks?
31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
32 Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:
33 Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.
This passage describes the baptism of Israel when they walked through the Red Sea as it was parted by God. We too are baptised in water, which is the baptism of repentance from sins. Just as the nation of Israel left Egypt (symbolising idolatry) we also leave our former lives behind when we used to do and love the things of the world.
And as the nation of Israel walked through the desert for 40 years, following the spirit of God in a cloud by day and fire by night, we also walk after the spirit of God by denying the desires of our flesh and doing the will of God.
Paul then speaks of the brethren of olden days (to him then) who received and followed God’s law as given by Moses, and sacrificed meat to idols. Paul points out that God was not entirely pleased with everyone who was supposedly walking in Christ at this time (Jewish). Some still desired the “good old days” when they lived in the land of Egypt and were immersed in idolatry.
Paul says that some of these people were idolaters, fornicators, tempters of Christ, and that they murmured or talked under their breath against God or in complaint of their situation and offered sacrifices to idols. Paul is stressing that all brethren are partakers of the same bread and drink which is the living Jesus Christ, and that we need to take heed of ourselves and stay clear of these sins, but also to support and “prop up” one another in the body of Christ so that we have encouragement and love.
The Jews that were in the wilderness on their journey from Egypt, were not what God expected for the most part and so many of them “fell” or did not make it to the kingdom of Heaven because of their sins against God. Paul says that these were all examples for us as to what NOT to do, and that we should not get so arrogant as to think that we “standeth” or think that we are fine in Christ when in fact we are sinners.
So Paul says to make sure that we guard ourselves from the temptation of sin, and to flee from it whenever it is revealed. He points out that these are smart or wise people in Corinth, but even the wise can be tempted and fall to sin. Paul says that ALL brethren in Christ are of one body and spirit in the Lord regardless of nationality or location. He warns that one cannot worship God and the devil at the same time. In other words, if we are sinning we are not in communion with God and cannot be.
In 10:23, Paul says that: “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.” The Corinthians at the time, were not seeking things that edify or improve their position with Christ but rather what they could “get away with,” and still try to call themselves Christians. The earth belongs to the Lord, and each man or brethren should seek to improve his brother and not himself as a primary focus. He says to try to blend in wherever we are, and to do things according to custom of that place and for the glory of God. Even, if occasionally meat is eaten that was sacrificed to idols but that we are not to worry about it if for this purpose which is so that they (people he is with) may be saved.