1 Corinthians 10

Idols

1 My Christian friends, remember what happened to our Israelite ancestors. Moses led them out of Egypt long ago. While they followed Moses, they all walked under the same cloud. All of them walked across the Red Sea. 2 It is like God baptized all of them in the cloud and in the sea. In that way, they became people who followed Moses. 3 All our ancestors ate the same spiritual food. 4 All of them drank the same spiritual drink. They drank water from the spiritual rock that went with them. Christ was that rock. 5 They all received the same help from God, but most of them did not please God. God caused most of them to die in the wilderness.

10:4See Exodus 17:1-7; Numbers 20:2-13. God gave them food and drink in the wilderness. That was a miracle that God did for them. They could see that God himself was with them.

6 We must learn from those things that happened to our ancestors. We must not want to do very bad things, like they did. 7 Do not worship idols, as some of them did. The Bible says: ‘The people sat down to eat and to drink. After that, they got up from their meal and they danced.’

10:7The people danced to worship their false gods. See Exodus 32:6.

8 Nor must we ever have sex in wrong ways. Some of our ancestors did that, and 23,000 of them died in one day as a result.

9 Nor must we do bad things to see whether the Lord will punish us. Some of our ancestors did that, and God sent snakes to destroy them.

10 Do not complain against God. Some of our ancestors spoke like that, and God sent an angel of death to kill them.

11 All these things happened to our ancestors so that we would learn from them. They are written in the Bible to teach us important lessons. We are people who live at a time when all things will become complete.

12 If you think that you are standing strongly, be careful! Do not fall down! 13 You may often want to do wrong things. The things that are difficult for you are difficult for other people too. Remember that God is always there to help you. He will not let any bad thing be too difficult for you. He will help you to stand against it. When you want to do something wrong, God will make you strong in your spirit. He will show you a way out, so that you do not do anything wrong.

14 So, my friends, keep away from idols. Do not worship them. 15 You are people who think carefully about things. So think about what I am saying to you. 16 When we eat the Lord's Supper together, we remember that Christ died on our behalf. We thank God for the wine that we drink from the cup. In that way, we remember that we all belong to Christ because of his blood. We also break the bread and we eat it together. In that way, we remember that we all belong to Christ because of his body that died on the cross. 17 We are many people, but all of us eat part of the same loaf of bread. That shows that we are one group of people. We belong together because Christ died on our behalf.

18 Think about Israel's people. They eat part of the animals that the priests offer on the altar as a sacrifice. This shows that they share together in the sacrifice. 19 So, think about food that people offer to idols as a sacrifice. I am not saying that the idols are real gods. The food that people offer to them is not special food. 20 But the people who offer food to idols are worshipping demons. They are not worshipping God when they do that. I do not want you to share in what they do to worship demons. 21 If you drink anything from the cup of demons, you can not then drink wine from the Lord's cup. If you share a meal with demons, you can not also share in the Lord's meal.

22 If we do things like that, we will cause the Lord to be angry. We should worship only him. You know that we are not stronger than he is!

23 Some of you may say, ‘We are free to do anything that we want to do!’ But not everything is good for you to do. You may say, ‘We are free to do anything!’ But not everything helps you to be strong as a believer. 24 Do not think about the things that will help you. Instead, each of you should think about what will help other people.

25 You can eat any meat that people sell in the market. Do not ask questions about the meat. Do not cause your thoughts to have trouble. 26 The Bible says this: ‘The earth, and everything in it, belongs to the Lord.’

27 People who do not believe in Christ may ask you to eat a meal with them. Agree to go to his home, if you want to. Then you should eat whatever food they give to you. Do not ask questions about the food. Do not cause your thoughts to have trouble. 28 But someone there may say to you, ‘They offered this food to an idol.’ If someone tells you that, do not eat the food. It might cause trouble to the thoughts of the person who told you. 29 It may not cause your own thoughts to have trouble. But the other person may not be sure if it is right to eat that kind of food.

Perhaps you will say, ‘Why should another person's thoughts decide what is right for me? I am free to do what I want. 30 I thank God for my food before I eat it. If I do that, nobody should say that it is wrong for me to eat it.’

31 Whatever you are doing, show that God is great. When you eat anything, or you drink anything, do it all in a way that praises God. 32 Do not cause problems for other people. Whether they are Jews or Gentiles, or people who belong to God's church, live in a way that does not cause problems for them. 33 Copy my example. Whatever I do, I try to make other people happy. I do not try to do what will help me. Instead, I want to help other people. I live in that way so that God will save many people.