(#046) 1 Corinthians 10 - The Lord Has Zero Patience with Idolatry

FCOR-55-200906 - length: 99:17 - taught on Sep, 6 2020

Class Outline:

No one can serve two master.









Welcome To 


a Christian Church


Rory Clark



Good Morning!  


Welcome to Barah Ministries…an intimate, local Christian Church with worldwide impact.  My name is Pastor Rory Clark.  Greetings to you from the apostle Peter who reminds you of why it’s amazing to be a believer in Christ…First Peter, Chapter 1, Verses 3 to 5…



Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy (toward all who are hopeless) has caused us believers in Christ to be born again (the spiritual birth) into a living hope (absolute confidence) through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…



…allowing you to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away (it’s eternally secure)…reserved for you in heaven…



…you who are protected (from destruction) by the power of God the Father through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.


We study the Bible to let God inculcate us with the spiritual wealth that comes to believers in Christ who hear the Word of God and regard it as a foundational part of their lives.  Do you?  Welcome to the lesson!


At Barah Ministries we know this truth…that Jesus Christ is God.  As the Lord He is 100% Deity…He is God the Son, a member of the Triune Godhead.  He is also 100% human just like you and me, and His name is Jesus Christ.  The Lord…God the Son…became flesh…Jesus Christ...and lived among us.  He is the uniquely born One…100% God and 100% man in one Person forever.  He is the Sovereign God of the Universe.  He is the Jewish Messiah.  The Lord was not sent by God the Father to judge the world, but that the world would be saved through Him.  He died on a Cross to make the ONLY perfect payment for sin in the eyes of God the Father through the shedding of His blood.  As a result of His strategic victory at the Cross, we are fully and forever forgiven of our sins. 


At Barah Ministries, we make a difference by teaching the Word of God from God’s perspective and not from man’s perspective.  As those who make Barah Ministries our spiritual home, we are Christians.    Being a Christian means we believe in the DEITY of the Lord Jesus Christ, and we have a deep, intimate, and personal relationship with Him.  You heard it right…Christianity is a relationship, not a religion.  The Lord Jesus Christ is a Person … He is not a “thing” … and He is not a concept.  Just as we do with anyone whom we love, we spend time getting to know the Lord.  Since the Bible is His exact thinking, we come together to learn about Him through the study of His mind, the Word of God.


God has an enemy, Satan, “the ruler of this world.” He is a liar who deceives the whole world, including you.  He doesn’t want you to get to know God, and he interferes with your chance to know God. 


The Word of God is the truth…and it keeps us aware of Satan’s insidious deceptions.  As believers in Christ, we are in union with Christ, and we have the victory over Satan through our Lord, who has overcome the world. 



The Lord Has Zero Patience with Idolatry




As a Pastor, I don't like the idea of painting God as a punishing God.  As a matter of fact, I DETEST the idea of portraying Him that way, and I DETEST hearing anyone else paint Him that way.  My fifty-year religious and legalistic background taught me to think of Him that way.  Study of the Word of God has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, by a preponderance of the evidence, that God is not a punishing God at all.  He loves us.  Best of all, He loves us unconditionally, a love that does not come naturally to any of us.  When we are wronged, we are not thinking about how fast we can forgive.  When we are wronged, we are not thinking about being gracious.


Just because God is loving, forgiving, and gracious does not mean that He is a doormat.  There are some things of which He is absolutely intolerant.  Idolatry is one of them.  Exodus, Chapter 20, Verses 4 and 5…



"You shall not make for yourself an idol or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth."


EXODUS 20:5 

“You shall not worship them or serve them…for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me…”


God is pretty patient…but He also has a time when He says, “Enough is enough.”  In today’s lesson, the apostle Paul continues his argument to the believers at first-century Corinth, giving them an example of what happens when God has had enough.




Let’s hear some music!  As we run the individual race of our spiritual lives, it requires faith to press on through many bouts with tribulation.  One night on a boat, the apostles experienced the tribulation of a storm.  Jesus came walking across the water to them but they thought it was a ghost.  Peter, the brave one, stepped up for the group…Matthew, Chapter 14, Verses 28 to 32… 



Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, if it is You (walking there on the water)… command me to come to You on the water.”


MATTHEW 14:29 

And Jesus said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus.



MATTHEW 14:30 

But seeing the wind, Peter became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”


MATTHEW 14:31 

Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of Peter, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”


MATTHEW 14:32 

When they got into the boat, the wind stopped.


Micah Tyler tells us in a song that no matter the tribulation, the Lord is with us EVEN THEN. 



Be Occupied with the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ

Enjoy the Singing of His Praises



Micah Tyler



Let us pray...


We’re grateful, Heavenly Father, for the privilege of studying Your absolute truth...the Word of God…


Father, thank you for loving us unconditionally and for loving us so much that You sent your Son…our Lord…Jesus Christ to save us…thank you for allowing Him to reconcile our relationship with You through dying on a Cross and shedding His blood for the payment of sins…thank you for raising Him from the dead three days after His crucifixion to prove that He is God…thank you for allowing Him to show Himself to the people who believed in Him for fifty days after His resurrection from the dead…and thank you for seating Him at Your right hand at Pentecost until the day when His enemies will become footstools for His feet…


Give us the courage to spread the word concerning Your Son at every opportunity…help us to encourage others to believe in Him…give us the strength both as a ministry and individually to not be ashamed of the gospel of Christ, and to proclaim it as Your power used for salvation for all who believe… 


…we ask this through the power of God the Holy Spirit…in Christ’s




The Lord Has Zero Patience with Idolatry


God is the perfect instructor.  He gives us the questions that will be on a test, He gives us the answers to the test, then He gives us the test.  Said another way, He teaches us this way…




         Here’s What to Do

         Here’s an Example of It Done Well

         Here’s What NOT to Do

         Here are the Consequences


That’s how God likes to train us.  What’s man’s point of view concerning how God instructs?  Man will ignore the first three items in God’s instruction, and instead will focus on the consequences God metes out…and then will paint God with the "consequences paintbrush."  "Why is God doing this to me?"  "Why is God coming down on me?"  "I'm mad at God!"  


Like every childish friend we have ever had in any situation of conflict, most people will ignore the evidence of the things you have done well in a situation, and will over-focus on anything you have done that they don't like.  Ask President Trump!


The passage under study extends from First Corinthians, Chapter 8, Verse 1 to First Corinthians, Chapter 11, Verse 1.  We’re opening our study of Chapter 10.  What have we learned so far?


The apostle Paul is answering a question posed by Chloe’s people…can’t we eat meat sacrificed to idols?  Maybe you’re wondering why we are spending so much time on this.  After all, maybe you think you aren’t tempted by meat sacrificed to idols.  Of course, you’ve never questioned where the idea came from to have a barbecue on the fourth of July or on Labor Day.  J

The idea we’re studying is idolatry.  What is an idol?



Figments of our mental imagination…often things that do not exist…that are thought to bring some benefit…lifeless things to which we give power and to which we extend devotion...always with a demon behind them.


What is idolatry?



The result of a mind led astray from the simplicity and purity of exclusive

devotion to Christ…the practice of giving homage to…offering devotion

to…and worshipping false, lifeless gods while simultaneously rejecting the

Living God…making a god out of something that is not God.


All of a sudden, when you look at what’s really being taught, it applies to you very well.  What are the idols you worship?  What are the things that take your eyes off God? 


Paul is offering God’s method of instruction to the Corinthians believers.  First, HERE’S WHAT TO DO.  First Corinthians, Chapter 8, Verse 13 says…



Therefore, if food (eating idol meat) causes MY BROTHER (a fellow believer in Christ) to stumble, I (Paul) will never eat (idol) meat again, so that I will not cause my brother to stumble.


Paul says there are times when we must forgo our freedoms.  Second, here’s AN EXAMPLE OF IT DONE WELL…Paul gives a personal example of his own foregoing of freedom…First Corinthians, Chapter 9, Verses 14 and 15…



So also, the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living

from the gospel.


But I (Paul) have not taken advantage of any of my rights to receive financial support. Nor do I write to receive financial support now…for it would be better for me to die than to take anything from you! No man will make my boast of doing this gospel spreading ministry willingly an empty one.


Paul tells us that each of us believers in Christ is running an individual spiritual race and in First Corinthians, Chapter 9, Verse 24 he asks…



Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.


Paul suggests that we run our individual spiritual lives in such a way as to win!  In the next part of the passage, Paul tells us WHAT NOT TO DO… God’s third step in instruction.  First Corinthians, Chapter 10, Verses 1 to 13…



For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea…



…and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea…



…and all ate the same spiritual food…



…and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them…and the rock was Christ.



Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased…for they were laid low in the wilderness.



Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave

evil things as they also craved.



Do not be idolaters, as some of them were…as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and stood up to play.”



Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day.



Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents.



Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer.



Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.



Therefore, let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.



No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man…and God is faithful…who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.


God has zero patience with idolatry and there are consequences!  When we return from our five-minute break, we’ll take your offering, and then we’ll see that God isn’t always happy with the way we approach things.




Casting Crowns




The Lord Has Zero Patience with Idolatry


Motivational speaker Zig Zigler once said. “You can have everything in life that you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”  I have found that to be true.  Being selfless is so edifying…it helps us to get our minds off our own problems and it helps people we don’t even know we’re helping.  Let your giving be generous, knowing that what you give to Barah Ministries is being passed along to others so that they can hear the gospel message free of charge.  Thanks for your help!  Let’s welcome up Deacon Denny Goodall with today’s offering message.



Deacon Denny Goodall





As he had come naked from his mother’s womb…so will he return as he came. He will take nothing from the fruit of his labor that he can carry in his hand.




David Bauer, Instrumental



The Lord Has Zero Patience with Idolatry


Welcome back!  In Chapter 10, Paul continues telling the Corinthians how to think about idol meat…he wants them to consider weaker brothers…he wants them to notice the affect they have on others who have just come into the faith…he wants them to suspend their freedom…he gives them an example of self-restraint being handled well, his own forgoing of the freedom to have a wife and to be paid.  Paul passes on his freedoms for the sake of focusing on the dissemination of the gospel message.  


Next, Paul introduces God’s attitude toward those who reject instruction.

Paul is drawing parallels between the Corinthian believers and the Jews in

the wilderness after their release from Egypt.  As a bit of background, when God is described as a jealous God, it is an…



Crediting God with feelings he does not have for the sake of human understanding


Jealousy is a sin…God does not sin.  But the Lord likes believers who have faith in Him.  God does not want to share His believers with idols, and has no problem taking His believers away from such negative influence. Revelation, Chapter 3, Verses 15 and 16…



“I (the Lord Jesus Christ) know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot.”



“So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you out of My mouth.”


The Lord likes committed believers.  He wants His believers to take a stand…Him or idols.  The Lord is not a fan of idol worship.  So, while God is not a punishing God, like every good parent, He has no problem disciplining His own.  Hebrews, Chapter 12, Verses 5 and 6…



“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord…nor faint when you are reproved by Him…”



“…for those whom the Lord loves He disciplines…and He scourges (with a whip) every son whom He receives.”


What is discipline?



Training in a character pattern


The Lord does not like it when we mix legitimate spiritual practices… worshipping Him…with illegitimate spiritual practices like mysticism (tarot cards, readings, psychics, horoscopes).  God is not accessed through the intellect.  He is accessed through faith.  God is not interested in sharing you with demons who are out to destroy you.


Chapter 10 is the strongest part of Paul’s argument against partaking of idol meat.  Let’s look at the passage verse by verse…



For I (Paul) do not want you to be unaware, my Corinthian brethren, that our Jewish ancestors were all under the cloud of protection and all passed through the Red Sea…


The Lord delivered the Jews from slavery to their Egyptian captors who, after letting the Jews go, changed their minds.  There is an amazing teaching analogy that is easy to miss here.  The Jews started out in slavery to the Egyptians, just as we believers in Christ start our lives in the slavery of our condition “in Adam.”  We are born physically alive and spiritually dead.  We are in a condition of total helplessness.  We are condemned to the Lake of Fire and we can’t save ourselves.


When the Lord convinced the Egyptians to release the Jews from captivity, the Jews headed for Israel.  Initially, the Jews were very happy to be free.  It’s similar to being happy to be saved.  We are no longer under condemnation.  We are going to heaven.  We have a God.  But the enemy changed their minds and came after the Jews to bring them back.  The Egyptians pursued the Jews to the Red Sea.


The Red Sea is analogous to salvation.  The Jews were trapped.  There was no way for them to get out of the predicament on their own.  But the Lord parted the Red Sea, the Jews walked across on dry land, and when the Egyptians followed them into the Red Sea, the Lord drowned the Egyptians.  Saved!  In a completely hopeless situation, the Lord delivers.


Now the Jews were in the wilderness.  It is analogous to our time on earth.  It is a time of the testing of our faith…our own personal, individual wilderness journey…our race…a critical part of our spiritual upbringing.  Stop hoping for the Rapture!  The Jews forgot about the deliverance from slavery…they forgot about the parting of the Red Sea…they ignored the evidence of what God had done to save them…and they started complaining about wanting to go back to Egypt…back to slavery!


After the wilderness journey, the Jews would be in their very own land…the land promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  Israel is analogous to eternity…it is the Promised Land…it the place that is exceeding and abundantly beyond anything we could ask or think.




For I (Paul) do not want you to be unaware, my Corinthian brethren, that our Jewish ancestors were all under the cloud of protection and all passed through the Red Sea…



…and they all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea…



…and all ate the same spiritual food (manna…in unity)…



…and all drank the same spiritual drink (in unity)…for they were drinking from a spiritual rock (the one struck by Moses’ rod) following them…and the real rock was Christ.


Spiritual here means supernatural…food and drink delivered by the power of God.  The Jews should have seen this gift from heaven as evidence of God’s provision…the same provision He made when He parted the Red Sea.


Are you aware that God ALWAYS provides?  Do your idols provide?


As our Rock, our God is solid and stable and dependable like a rock.  He’s always there in His omnipresent splendor as an ever-present help in times of trouble.  So, it should be easy for us to see why He has a zero-tolerance policy toward a split focus with idolatry.  Next week, as we continue our study of this part of the passage, we’ll see the consequences of idolatry.



Make the Most Important Decision of Your Life


The closing message of this study is the most important message of this study.  We want you to know that GOD WANTS YOU. 


First and foremost, this message is for the benefit of believers in Christ.  First Peter, Chapter 3, Verse 15 says…



…believers…sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts…always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that is in you (the absolute confidence provided by your faith in Christ)… and give the defense with gentleness and respect…


Second, this message is for unbelievers, so you can be saved.  Whether you know it or not, you were born a sinner.  That’s bad news for you.  Sinners need a Savior.  The good news is that this gospel message offers you the chance to make the most important decision of your life, the one outlined in Acts, Chapter 16, Verse 31…


ACTS 16:31 

“Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and everyone in your household who also believes.”


We want you to know that GOD WANTS YOU. 


I’ve got bad news for you. 


The bad news is that all of us are born in a state of unrighteousness.  We are born physically alive and spiritually dead as ungodly, unrighteous unbelievers.  It’s not our fault, but it is our circumstance.  In First Corinthians, Chapter 15, Verse 22, the bible says…



For all in union with Adam at physical birth (and that is every human who comes to earth) are set to die the second death in the Lake of Fire…


But in the face of this bad news, there's good news!  The Sovereign God of the Universe, the Lord Jesus Christ, provides a way for you to be saved!  The good news is preached in what Christians call the gospel message.  Let’s see what happened when the gospel was preached in a prison in first-century Rome in Acts, Chapter 16, Verses 25 to 34…


ACTS 16:25

…about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God (from their jail cells), and the other prisoners were listening to them…


ACTS 16:26

…and suddenly there came a great earthquake…so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken…and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened.


ACTS 16:27 

When the jailer (a prison guard) awoke and saw the prison doors opened… he drew his sword and was about to kill himself…supposing that the prisoners had escaped.


Allowing prisoners to escape carried a penalty of instant execution for prison guards!


ACTS 16:28 

But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying to the guard, “Do not harm yourself…for we are all here!”


ACTS 16:29 

And the jailer called for the lights to be turned on and he rushed in…and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas…


ACTS 16:30 

…and after the prison guard brought Paul and Silas out, he said, “Sirs… what must I do to be saved?”


The guard had obviously been listening to the spiritual songs Paul and Silas were singing.


ACTS 16:31 

And Paul and Silas said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved…you and everyone in your household who also believes.”


There are no works of any kind necessary to be saved…it is simply faith, expressed in the Lord Jesus Christ alone, that is the ticket to eternal life.


ACTS 16:32 

And Paul and Silas spoke the Word of the Lord (the gospel message…the good news) to the jailer together with all the people who were in his house.


ACTS 16:33 

And the jailer took Paul and Silas that very hour of the night and washed their wounds…and immediately the jailer was baptized (by God the Holy Spirit)…he and all his household (who also believed…and they all did).


ACTS 16:34 

And the jailer brought Paul and Silas into his house and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, having believed in THE God (the Lord Jesus Christ) with his whole household.


How did our jailer friend get saved?  In a crisis, he recognized He needed a Savior.  He asked someone who knew what it took to be saved.  Believers in Christ presented the accurate gospel message.  The jailer did what was suggested. 


Don’t wait for a crisis to be saved!  Do it now!


Who is this God who saves you?  The apostle Paul describes the Lord Jesus Christ…in First Corinthians, Chapter 15, Verses 3 and 4… 



For I (Paul) delivered to you as of first importance the gospel message I also received…that it was Jesus Christ who died for our sins according to the Scriptures…



…and that He was buried…and that He was raised from the dead on the third day…according to the Scriptures…


It’s bad news if you choose not to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ for your salvation.  Romans, Chapter 1, Verses 18 to 20…



For the wrath of God the Father is revealed from heaven against all

ungodliness and against the unrighteousness of men (unbelievers) who

suppress the truth by their unrighteousness…


ROMANS 1:19 

…because that which is known about God the Father is evident inside of them…for God the Father made it evident to them (from inside of them). 


ROMANS 1:20 

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible attributes…God’s eternal power…and God’s divine nature (His Deity) … have been clearly seen by all mankind… being understood even through what has been made (in nature… God’s creative work) … so that all mankind is without excuse before God.


God makes Himself clearly visible to human beings in ways that make sense to human beings…both from the inside of them and from the outside of them.  Remember what Paul and Silas said to the jail guard, in Acts, Chapter 16, Verse 31…


ACTS 16:31 

“Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and everyone in your household who also believes.”


So accept the invitation and heed the warning in John, Chapter 3, Verse 36…


JOHN 3:36

“He who believes in the Son has the resurrection life right at that moment… but he who does not obey the command to believe in the Son will not see the resurrection life…instead the wrath of God (the Lake of Fire) abides on him.”


Don’t miss your opportunity…take advantage of the good news NOW!




Let’s close with music.  Our God was merciful to Israel just like he is merciful with us…in Hebrews, Chapter 8, Verse 12 the Lord says…



“For I will be merciful to their iniquities…and I will remember their sins no more.”


In her amazing song, June Murphy says of our Lord…HE REMEMBERS TO FORGET.




June Murphy




         A Doxology of Praise to Our God



Worthy of praise is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us believers in Christ in eternity past with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms (a place of permanence) … through our union with Christ…



In Jesus…we have redemption (deliverance from slavery to sin) through His blood…the forgiveness of our trespasses…according to the glorious wealth provided by His grace…which He lavished on us…including as a gift, wisdom and insight…



Now to God the Father…who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we could ask or imagine (more than is humanly possible) …according to the divine power (omnipotence) that works within us…



…to Him be the glory…through the church age believers in union with

Christ Jesus…and to all generations forever and ever. Amen.



Let us pray...


Thanks for coming!

Thanks for watching!

Thanks for listening!



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