Sunday, December 2, 2012

1 Corinthians 10

Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. 1 Corinthians 10:11 NASB

The tenth chapter of 1 Corinthians opens with advice to us to avoid the mistakes that Israel made. It is talking about the fact that God heard the cry of His people in Egypt and He came down and commissioned Moses to deliver His people out of slavery. His people saw God work mighty miracles. They were lead by God via the use of a cloud and fire. The Bible says they ate of the spiritual food that is Christ. But, the Bible also says that God was not well-pleased with most of them and they were laid low in the wilderness. (v. 5, NASB) We are warned, let us not be like them let us not be idolaters as they were. The book of Numbers described these events for us; 22 to 23,000 of them were killed by God for sexual immorality, more were killed for grumbling against God. All through the time that Israel spent in the wilderness was a time of gross disobedience to God. In fact, the reason they were led back into the wilderness is because when they came to the Promised Land, they would not enter in because they did not trust God, but became fearful when they listening to the reports about the people who were in the land. God told them that because of this, none of them would enter into the promised land, and the only ones of that generation entered in except Joshua and Caleb who trusted God. Everybody else died, including Moses and Aaron, the only ones to enter in were their offspring's.

The warning we take from this, is that beware to experience the things of God, to come close to them, but do not enter into saving faith. It seems hard for us to believe that Israel after seeing God move in such mighty ways to not fully trust in Him. But, it is clear from reading the record of Exodus and Numbers, that they did not trust Him.

The bible says that these things are recorded in the Bible as an example for us, those who are drawing close to God, are we truly trusting in Him. Again, we need to examine ourselves. The Bible always prompts us to look at the things of God in the Bible and be warned. God has warned us for thousands of years, for every day that we have been blessed with life, breath and being the warning of God has been available. As the Word, says there is no excuse.

Paul says that there is no temptation that we can take to God and say "God this was to hard for me to overcome." God says His Grace is sufficient. (2 Corinthians 12:9) Paul goes back to sacrifices offered to idols and tell the Corinthians again, that idols are nothing, but he warns them that those offerings were offered to demons - although the idols themselves are nothing, the force behind false religions is demonic. Just look at the outcome, everyone who has died believing in Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and every other false religion, according to the Bible, were deceived by Satan, and have been passed from this life to hell. The only hope for humankind is Jesus Christ. Paul says do not partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons, do not provoke God.

Again Paul says to consider your neighbor in this matter, even though your conscience is clear, for you know there is not power in idols, but your new brother/sister in Christ is learning, and you should be considerate of their conscience. He says that whether then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the Glory of God. Give no offense to anyone ans especially to the Church of God.

Abraham Kuyper (not Andrew - my mistake in last study) says that the Holy Spirit is leading all of creation to its destiny - which is the Glory of God. We have been graced with a wonderful existence, we live in an age with great creature comforts, great technological advancement, life-saving medical discoveries, yet we also are plagued with AIDS, abortion, increasing murder-suicide, terrorists activities. How is the Holy Spirit doing in His work? It does not deem like He is working well, with all the problems. That is a point you hear many people make on the new and in reading news article: How could there be a God and we have all this evil? As others have said, I think that is not the right question to ask, the right question to ask is why is there any good at all? We should be able to see that the Holy Spirit is working - He is restraining evil - He is not allowing you or me, or those who are under the control of Satan to open up in the way they could without His restrain. Just as God has warned us in His world for thousands of years, so He has told us that there is an end coming. There is a day of judgment on the horizon - evil will be put down once and for all. We all are brought to the day when we die - so it is not as if that day has not come, in one sense, for with each death, the dead experience it. This life that we have here on earth in spite of our evil - is still wonderful with the famlial, Church, relationship heading the list. The unfortunate things is that the best that many will have is this life here on earth. Compared to hell, this will be there heaven. Only those in Christ will experience that ultimate purpose of our existence - the Glory of God. Even know we taste it in measure, we see it in glimpses, and that is what holds our souls, for God has said He will never leave nor forsake us - and it is His Spirit in us now who give us that witness - we have a taste of that Glory, here and now.


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