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Avoid Rebellion, Stay Connected

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The Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 10 an important warning to the church: stay united to Christ and to the fellowship of believers.

He begins by explaining that Israel was led and provided for by things that preceded the incarnation of Christ, but by Christ none-the-less; they were expressions, provisions, and foreshadows of him. Judaism was Christianity under a veil.

Israel was miraculously conducted through the Red Sea, where the pursuing Egyptians were drowned: it was a highway provided to them, but a grave to their enemies: a type of our redemption by Christ, who saves us by conquering and destroying his enemies and ours.

They had sacraments like ours. They were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud, and in the sea or into Moses, that is, brought under obligation of obedience to Moses’s law and covenant, as we are by baptism under the Christian law and covenant of grace. It was to them a type of baptism in which we symbolically say, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

Paul then writes of the cost of temptation to Israel and then the cost of temptation to the church after Christ.

Some in Israel complained. They wanted to go back to the bondage of Egypt. They lusted after evil things. They created their idol in the golden calf. Paul shows us that to want evil (those things that once held us in bondage) leads to the idolatry of those things. And for the Corinthians the two rebellions, first in heart, then in action to a falling away to temple prostitutes in the temple of Venus.

Paul, using Israel as an example, teaches the Corinthians: First, do not wander from God or complain about God: this only leads to rebellion. God allows us to be tested, just as He did with Israel, so that we can see where we are in our path of Christian maturity and learn to strengthen our ever growing faith.

Second, Whenever we are tempted, God will provide a way out. We should all hide 1st Corinthians 10:13 in our hearts: “ No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

Third, share in the food of Christ; do not share with the food of idolatry. A friend of mine used to say, “What we cannot do alone, we can do together.” It was a succinct way of expressing the importance of unity with other overcomers and other Christians. We need each other. We remind each other that Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

The communion table reminds us of our unity with Jesus Christ, our unity with each other, and that Christ has overcome our enemies. Are you meeting regularly with other overcomers? Are you attending a church and plugged in to the fellowship of saints there? Are you reading the letters of love, comfort and overcoming that Jesus, the Living Word, has left for you? If not, you may soon find yourself wanting to return to your Eqypt rather than the old rugged Cross of Jesus Christ. Stay united to Christ and to the fellowship of believers!

Copyright 2014 David Gibson, used by permission.

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