(33 verses, 3:40 to read)
What I am about to READ
Paul warns the Corinthians and all believers not to be like Israel of old and cast aside, through disbelief in God’s Word and false worship, the salvation they received.
1. Warnings against spiritual complacency (1-13)
2. The Lord’s Table and the Table of Demons (14-22)
3. Considerations for others to the glory of God (23-33/11:1)
Again, this is a dense and rich section from I Corinthians. Some points to remember and take note of:
– Though Paul is writing to a predominantly Gentile congregation, he still refers to OT Israel as, “our fathers.” This reminds us that the Christian church, all believers in Christ, is the true Israel (Galatians 3:7, 29; 6:16).
– The crossing of the Red Sea prefigures Christian Holy Baptism in that in both God attaches His mercy to outward signs. God has always worked through the things of this world.
– Likewise, the spiritual food and drink of the manna and water from the rock could be seen as a picture of the Holy Supper Christ would institute for His church. The main point, though, is that they had received a promise from the Lord of rescue and safety, and He was fulfilling these temporally through the goods received and spiritually through the constant undeniable reminder of Who was sustaining them on their way.
– Paul warns the Corinthians not to be arrogant or complacent regarding the great gifts the Lord has given them. This the Lord does not desire so He tests His people of all ages so that they remain steadfast in the faith. Paul tells them that regardless of the severity of the testing, God always provides a way out. This promise the believer clings too.
– Paul also reinforces in this chapter some of the most profound truths about our Lord’s Supper: the true, bodily presence of Christ for Christians to eat and drink and the unity of confession assumed in the the act of receiving.
– Paul concludes with an exhortation to love the neighbor through care for his conscience. There is a time for everything: a time to abstain for a time and a time to partake.
We’re reminded of the continued blessings of the promises of Holy Baptism. The following is Luther’s “Flood Prayer”, which is part of the liturgy of Holy Baptism. Read for your edification and to remind yourself of the great gifts of forgiveness, life, and salvation given you in your baptism:
Almighty and eternal God, according to Your strict judgment You condemned the unbelieving world through the flood, yet according to Your great mercy You preserved believing Noah and his family, eight souls in all. You drowned hard-hearted Pharaoh and all his host in the Red Sea, yet led Your people Israel through the water on dry ground, prefiguring this washing of Your Holy Baptism. Through the Baptism in the Jordan of Your beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, You sanctified and instituted all waters to be a blessed flood, and a lavish washing away of sin. We pray that You would behold N. according to Your boundless mercy and bless him with true faith by the Holy Spirit that through this saving flood all sin in him which has been inherited from Adam and which he himself has committed since would be drowned and die. Grant that he be kept safe and secure in the holy ark of the Christian Church, being separated from the multitude of unbelievers and serving Your name at all times with a fervent spirit and a joyful hope, so that, with all believers in Your promise, he would be declared worthy of eternal life, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Post below, or join the conversation in our Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/dailybiblemeditation/
-Pastor Weslie Odom