1 Corinthians 10:1-22

Paul is very clear that the Christian life has purpose and we must run to win (accomplish that purpose.) He is also clear that running the race is not easy. At this point, many of us get discouraged because we know that we are short on the self-discipline needed to run this incredible race.

The race includes giving up personal rights in order to build up someone else, chapter 8. Looking out for others so that they don’t stumble and fall in their Christian life, treating them like Christ, Himself, because sinning against them is sinning against Christ. (jarring statement, 8:12)

Paul devotes chapter 9 to demonstrate the extent to which he is willing to go in order not to hinder the gospel. He emphasizes that he was willing to give up rights that were undeniably his, in order to not hinder the gospel. He stresses that to be an Olympian you must act and train like one, and similarly to be a winning Christian you must take it very seriously, strictly disciplining yourself.

Now in chapter 10, Paul briefly moves from our responsibility to others to our own personal responsibility. There is a very real possibility that we could “fall from grace” (relying on our works) or use our “liberty as an opportunity for the flesh,” Gal 5:4,13. In this passage, Paul is concerned that the Corinthians were doing the second, somehow feeling insulated from the real dangers of the enemy and trying to fellowship with Christ while at the same time still holding on to idols.

What are you or who are you elevating above Jesus, sacrificing for them and sharing in what they can give rather than wholly trusting in Jesus?