1 Corinthians 10
by Philip Layton
Historic warnings, freedom and responsibility
Subjects already mentioned and which come up later suggest there may have been a number of Jews in the Church (v 1). Can you think of a time when you felt tempted beyond your control (v 13)? Did God provide you with a way out?
Can you think of instances when you have the right to do anything but not everything is beneficial (v 23)?
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Going Deeper From 'Words of Life'
What new freedoms have you enjoyed since becoming a Christian? Name them. If you have a journal, write them down. It’s good to be constantly reminded of these blessings of freedom in Christ – and a wonderful way to commence a devotional time.
There is great freedom as a believer, but we must always be careful concerning our freedom in Christ. Paul gives three basic principles for the Corinthians to always keep in mind concerning this freedom in Christ; principles also for us today. In summary, Paul says that whatever we do, it is to be beneficial for all; it’s to be conducive to building up one another; and it’s never to be detrimental to others.
I attended the memorial service for Tyson, 15 years of age, who was connected to our Salvation Army corps (church) in downtown Toronto. He was shot – ‘in the wrong place at the wrong time’ – a victim of gang violence, a reality in many of our cities worldwide. The memorial was God-centred, even though many attending knew nothing of Jesus Christ. Everyone was given a mirror. Then, although I’ve never been a fan of his music, Michael Jackson’s song ‘Man In The Mirror’ was played. It spoke of the need for change in the world, and that change can only take place with the person in the mirror.
As I looked around the room, seeing people staring into their mirror, it made me realise how God can use such a song to speak to so many people – causing them to reflect upon their own relationship with both God and their fellow human beings. It touched me deeply, and I believe others were affected in a similar way that day.
Change begins with you, with me. Living lives that are pure and holy. Being truly free in Christ. A freedom expressed by making a difference in the world. As we look into the mirror today, may we see Christ’s beauty radiating through us. Beneficial and constructive for all. Ultimate freedom in Christ.