We Can Do Better - The Warrior's Journey®

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“These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come.  So, if you think you are standing, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:11-13) 

For a third straight chapter Paul is dealing with the matter of Christian freedom and the obligation to do no harm to others or ourselves.  And, again, this discussion is in reference to eating foods that have been previously offered to idols. 

But in this chapter Paul introduces another consideration. He points to the example of Israel and demonstrates that, even though they were the true people of God, yet God came close to destroying them. Why? In most cases it had to do with idolatry, sexual immorality, and craving evil things. The worship of idols, which frequently included sexual immorality, was deeply ingrained in the Greco-Roman world. And separating oneself from it was serious business. And just as God severely disciplined His people Israel, He will also discipline His people in Christ. In the next chapter Paul will tell us that this discipline might take the form of sickness and even death (1 Corinthians 11:29). So, even though “all things are lawful,” they may still be harmful to us. 

Paul also explains that the idols to which pagans sacrifice are not innocent at all. For there are demonic forces behind these pagan gods. For this reason, writes Paul, we dare not partake of the Lord’s body and blood through Holy Communion while dabbling in the demonic. To do so will bring God’s discipline – or demonic attacks. 

Yet Paul knows the comparison of Christ’s church to Israel in the Old Testament is not a perfect one. Israel only had the Law inscribed on stone tablets. But Christian believers have the Law of God written on their hearts (Hebrews 8:10; Romans 2:28-29). God gave commandments to Israel, but gave them no power or desire to obey. But God gives His Spirit to those who believe in Jesus and the Spirit changes their hearts, makes them yearn to do God’s will, and empowers them to obey (2 Corinthians 5:17; Philippians 2:13). And, in the case of Israel, God’s supreme sacrifice had not yet been offered. Before Jesus came, God could only overlook sin and charge it to Christ’s account. But for those who stand on this side of Calvary, Christ’s sacrifice had forever put away sin, satisfied God’s justice, and extinguished God’s wrath (Romans 3:25-26; Hebrews 9:26). Therefore, believers can do better than Israel. They must do better. 


  • Are our temptations greater than those which other people suffer? 
  • Will God allow our temptations to push us beyond the breaking point? 
  • If those before us overcame sin by Christ’s power, so can we. We can do better. 

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