A History Lesson from Israel
1 For I do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all went through the sea, 2and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3and all ate the same spiritual food, 4and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ. 5But God was not pleased with the majority of them, for they were struck down in the desert.
6Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we should not be desirers of evil things, just as those also desired them, 7and not become idolaters, as some of them did, just as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and stood up to play,”#A quotation from Exod 32:6 8nor commit sexual immorality, as some of them committed sexual immorality, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day, 9nor put Christ to the test, as some of them tested him, and were destroyed by snakes, 10nor grumble, just as some of them grumbled, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11Now these things happened to those people as an example, but are written for our instruction, on whom the ends of the ages have come. 12Therefore, the one who thinks that he stands must watch out lest he fall. 13Temptation has not come upon you except what is common to humanity. But God is faithful, who will not permit you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but will also make a way out together with the temptation, so that you may be able to endure it.
Warning Against Idolatry
14Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry. 15I am speaking as to sensible people; you judge what I am saying. 16The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? 17Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all share from the one bread. 18Consider Israel according to the flesh: are not the ones who eat the sacrifices sharers in the altar? 19Therefore, what am I saying? That food sacrificed to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20No, but that the things which they sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to become sharers with demons. 21You are not able to drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You are not able to share the table of the Lord and the table of demons. 22Or are we attempting to provoke the Lord to jealousy? We are not stronger than he is, are we?#*The negative construction in Greek anticipates a negative answer here
Freedom in Christ
23All things are permitted, but not all things are profitable. All things are permitted, but not all things build up. 24Let no one seek his own good#Literally “the - of himself”; “good” is implied but the good of the other. 25Eat everything that is sold in the meat market, asking no questions#Literally “questioning nothing” for the sake of the conscience, 26for “the earth is the Lord’s, and its fullness.”#A quotation from Ps 24:1, and an allusion to Ps 50:12; 89:11 27If any of the unbelievers invites you, and you want to go, eat everything that is set before you, asking no questions#Literally “questioning nothing” for the sake of the conscience. 28But if someone says to you, “This is offered to idols,” do not eat it, for the sake of that one who informed you and the conscience. 29Now I am not speaking about your own conscience, but the conscience of the other person. For why is my freedom judged by another’s conscience? 30If I partake with thankfulness, why am I slandered concerning that for which I give thanks?
31Therefore, whether you eat or you drink or whatever you do, do all things for the glory of God. 32Give no offense#Literally “be blameless” both to Jews and to Greeks and to the church of God, 33just as I also please all people in all things, not seeking my own benefit, but the benefit of the many, in order that they may be saved.