Temptation and Advice

One Bread, One Body

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S (Scripture): 1 Corinthians 10:14 So then, my dear friends, run away from the worship of false gods! 15 I’m talking to you like you are sensible people. Think about what I’m saying. 16 Isn’t the cup of blessing that we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Isn’t the loaf of bread that we break a sharing in the body of Christ? 17 Since there is one loaf of bread, we who are many are one body, because we all share the one loaf of bread. 18 Look at the people of Israel. Don’t those who eat the sacrifices share from the altar? 19 What am I saying then? That food sacrificed to a false god is anything, or that a false god is anything? 20 No, but this kind of sacrifice is sacrificed to demons and not to God. I don’t want you to be sharing in demons. 21 You can’t drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you can’t participate in the table of the Lord and the table of demons.

O (Observation): Paul has a lot to say about a lot of things. He usually has a theological point, followed by a very practical application of what the people are facing.

One bread, one cup, one body. That’s the main thing.

So, if you eat bread or drink when it was blessed to a demon??? What does that say about your intentions? The demon means nothing to us as believers, but what is the statement you’re siblings in Christ will receive?

Are you divided in loyalty? Will that temptation be resisted by you? Likely not.

No need to be playing in dangerous territory. Not that we believe demons or other powers are stronger than the Lord. But know this…dancing in that dangerous territory can be quite taxing.

A (Application): Paul likes to give advice to his followers. He built a rapport with them. They knew him. And he could be quite challenging to them. And what he addresses are sometimes universal issues and are sometimes unique issues to a place and time.

So, where do we place Paul’s prohibition? In the realm of salvation? Or in the realm of advice for followers of Jesus? In this case, I choose “advice.” Paul knows that demons are no match for Jesus. He just wants us to know what we are getting into. We can easily let demons and other temptations cloud our hearts and minds and therefore bend our allegiance away from God and neighbor (and towards evil).

Our good news is that whether or not we succumb to the temptations of this life, we always have a God who wishes for us to know unity with God and with our neighbor. Whatever challenges or temptations awaiting us (and we will succumb to them from time to time) we rest assured that our one-ness with God can never be shattered.

P (Prayer): Lord, make us one…give us strength and grace. Amen.

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