1 Corinthians 10:19-22 "19 What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20 No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons. 21 You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. 22 Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?"
In our Passage, Paul is dealing with idolatry. For the Corinthians:
The problem was a social cost to them following Christ and stepping out of those temples. The temples were the center of Roman society. its where people met, its where people partied… 1 Pet 4:4 “...they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you;”
There was a sensual cost… of stepping out of those temples. 1 Corinthians reminds us of the connection between idolatry and sexual immorality. Often connected as he just said in 1 Cor 10:7. Moses warns about the danger of dining with demons in Numbers 25:1-3 writing "the people began to play the harlot with the daughters of Moab. For they invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods (IDOLS). 3 So Israel joined themselves to Baal of Peor (IDOL), and the LORD was angry against Israel."
serious financial cost… because the relationship and connections made there is what led to trade, and monetary growth. The temples were the centers of trade…there were not banks in the time… people actually had their money kept at the temples… https://www.vita-romae.com/ancient-roman-banking.html. Col 3:5 “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.”
2 Considerations for the Context:
1. Remember what idolatry is:
Oxford’s Dictionary Idolatry: the practice of worshiping statues as gods or [having] too much love or admiration for someone or something.
Biblical definition of idolatry: When something becomes more important to us than God.
Counterfeit Gods:“An idol is anything more important to you than God, anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, and anything that you seek to give you what only God can give.”
Dwight L. Moody says it this way:
“You don’t have to go to heathen lands today to find false gods. America is full of them. Whatever you love more than God is your idol.”