All of Christ for All of Life
Grace Alone, Faith Alone, Christ Alone

27 April 2021 – 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? (ESV)

All of 1 Corinthians 10 is centered on Paul’s admonition to “flee from idolatry.” This may seem simply if we imagine idolatry to consist solely in the religious activity of bowing down to blocks of carved wood. When the light goes on and we discover that Calvin was correct when he called the fallen human mind an idol factory, we realize that fleeing idolatry is rather daunting task. Is it even possible? The answer, of course, is yes – but we can only successfully flee idolatry by fleeing to the LORD and to the fellowship of His people. Richard Hays puts it like this:

Worship creates koinonia {koinonia = “shared life”, sometimes called “fellowship”}. Paul’s brief but suggestive remarks about the Lord’s Supper highlight the fact that when we eat the bread and drink the cup together, we are bonded together in community with Christ and with one another. That is the positive counter-reality set over against the danger of idolatry: authentic Christian worship draws us together around the table of the Lord in such a way that we become a covenant people, receiving the blessings of fellowship with God and sharing our lives with one another. In order to flee from idolatry, we must order our lives so that this koinonia becomes the focal point of our existence.

It is important to see that our shared life with God and with His people does not simply exist when we gather together for corporate worship. Nevertheless, Christians need to be regularly in worship and fellowship together in order to strengthen and deepen our shared life.

MEMORY WORK – Shorter Catechism Q/A 15
Q. 15. What was the sin whereby our first parents fell from the estate wherein they were created?
A. The sin whereby our first parents fell from the estate wherein they were created was their eating the forbidden fruit.