1 Corinthians 10:14-22 “Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. I speak as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. Consider the people of Israel: are not those who eat the sacrifices participants in the altar? What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? 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. 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. Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?”
Intro: Scaffolding… The goal of strength is not falling.
The real test for God’s people is this: will you be obedient to the Word of God, and are you going root out the sin in your heart. The Holy Spirit doesn’t bless people that are not Holy.
“I have never yet known the Spirit of God to work where the Lord's people were divided.” - Dwight L. Moody
The body of Christ is like a structure, but the integrity of the Corinthian fellowship was collapsing....there were many in the church who thought they were mature, and established, and were actually causing weaker brothers to stumble. They had freedoms, but Paul was saying even though you are free, sometimes there are more important things at stake.
For Paul this is precisely the case. First it was sexual immorality, and now idolatry. The therefore (dioper) introduced Paul’s conclusive application of our freedoms and responsibilities in these things. They thought they were mature, they thought they were spiritual. But how they respond to his words would reveal it. You want to know the real stability and strength of the church???
How do you determine the strength of a church? How do you know we are strong? How will we grow stronger as a church? There are three factors to consider.