Introduction

\\INTRODUCTION TO 1 CORINTHIANS 10\\

In this chapter the apostle cautions the Corinthians against security
on account of their gifts, knowledge, and profession, since men of
great characters, and enjoying high privileges, have fallen into sin,
and have been severely punished; and he particularly cautions against
idolatry, and all appearances of it, on which account he again
introduces the case of eating things offered to idols, and dissuades
from it, when it tended to idolatry, and had the appearance of it;
though in some cases he allows of eating them, but directs that all
should be done to the glory of God, and without offence to any, as
they had him for an example. And now, whereas in the latter part of
the preceding chapter he had signified his jealousy of himself, lest
he should be a castaway, he pursues the thought, and improves it to
the use of the Corinthians, that they, on account of their high
attainments, should not think themselves secure of all danger; and
for this purpose sets before them the instances and examples of the
Jewish fathers, of which he would not have them ignorant, who were
persons that enjoyed great privileges, and were partakers of things
which bore some resemblance to Gospel ordinances; as their passing
under the cloud through the sea was a figure of baptism, and their
eating manna, and drinking water out of the rock, which was a type of
Christ, had some likeness to the ordinance of the Lord's supper, of
eating his flesh, and drinking his blood, which are meat and drink
indeed in a spiritual sense, \\#1Co 10:1-4\\ and yet all these
persons that enjoyed these privileges were not acceptable to God; nor
did they enter into the land of Canaan, but fell in the wilderness,
\\#1Co 10:5\\ in which they were examples to men under the Gospel
dispensation, that they may shun the evils which were the cause of
their fall and overthrow, \\#1Co 10:6\\ particularly idolatry, of
which their making and worshipping the golden calf is an instance,
\\#1Co 10:7\\ also fornication, on account of which three and twenty
thousand fell in one day, \\#1Co 10:8\\ likewise tempting Christ,
which brought upon them destruction by the fiery serpents, \\#1Co 10:9\\
moreover, murmuring against God, and his servants, for which reason
the destroyer was sent among them, and destroyed them, \\#1Co 10:10\\.
All which happened, and are recorded for the use, instruction, and
admonition of professors of religion in these last times, \\#1Co 10:11\\
from all which the apostle infers, by way of caution to the saints,
that they should not be secure of standing, but take heed lest they
fall, since so many and such great persons had before fallen,
\\#1Co 10:12\\. But for their comfort, under afflictions, he
observes, that as they were common to men, so the faithfulness of God
was concerned to support them under them, and deliver them out of
them, that they might not utterly fail of the grace of God, and
perish by them, \\#1Co 10:13\\. And in order to their standing, he
particularly dehorts them from idolatry, \\#1Co 10:14\\ and every
appearance of it, as eating things offered to idols, in an idol's
temple, which is what he has chiefly in view, as appears by the
following verses: and whereas they were men of wisdom and judgment
whom he addressed, he was the more encouraged to use the following
arguments with them, the force of which they would understand,
\\#1Co 10:15\\. And his first argument is taken from the Lord's
supper, and the communion of his body and blood, which believers have
with him in eating the bread, and drinking the wine; suggesting, that
in like manner such who eat things offered to idols, as such, had
communion with them, and so were guilty of idolatry, and therefore
should be abstained from, \\#1Co 10:16\\. His next argument is taken
from the union and communion which saints have one with another at
the Lord's table, whereby they appear to be one body and one bread;
and so such that associate themselves with idolaters in their
temples, and eat with them things offered to idols, are one with them
in a like sense, and chargeable with idolatry, \\#1Co 10:17\\. To
which is added a third, taken from the priests of the Israelitish
nation, who eating of the sacrifices, were partakers of the altar,
worshipped the God of Israel, and had communion with him; and so in
like manner eating of the sacrifices offered to idols, and especially
in one of their temples, might be very well interpreted a partaking
of their altars, a worshipping of them, and so idolatry, \\#1Co 10:18\\
not that he thought that an idol was to be considered as a deity, or
that things offered to it were upon an equal foot with the Lord's
supper, or Jewish sacrifices, \\#1Co 10:19\\ but as there was a
communion in the one, so in the other; for as for the sacrifices of
the Gentiles, they were offered to devils, and not to God; and which
he mentions to deter them from having the most distant regard to such
sacrifices, \\#1Co 10:20\\ it being the most inconsistent, as well as
shocking thing in the world, to partake of both cups and tables,
those of the Lord, and those of devils, \\#1Co 10:21\\ wherefore the
apostle dissuades from such idolatrous practice, from the pernicious
and dangerous consequences of them, stirring up the Lord to jealousy,
fighting against him, and being destroyed of him, \\#1Co 10:22\\. But
inasmuch as things offered to idols were in themselves indifferent,
the apostle directs to a proper use of them; and observes, that
though they might be lawfully eaten, yet the expediency of time and
place, and the edification of others, ought to be considered,
\\#1Co 10:23\\ for we are not to seek our own pleasure, but the
welfare of others, \\#1Co 10:24\\. If indeed such meat is sold in the
butchers' meat markets in common with others, it may be bought and eat,
when no questions are asked about it, what it is, \\#1Co 10:25\\ and
that for this reason, because the earth, and all that is in it, are
the Lord's, and his people have a right to all through him, and
therefore may make use of every creature in it, \\#1Co 10:26\\. So if
an idolater invites a believer to dine with him, and he accepts the
invitation, he may very lawfully eat whatever is before him, even
though it be meat offered to idols, provided he asks no questions
about it, \\#1Co 10:27\\. But should anyone present point at certain
meat, and say that was offered to idols, then it was advisable not to
eat of it; partly for the sake of the unbeliever that pointed at it,
who would be hardened in his idolatry by it; and partly for the sake
of the conscience of a weak believer present, who might be offended
at it; and the reason given to enforce such a conduct is, because
there is plenty of other food without it, \\#1Co 10:28\\. And then
the apostle explains whose conscience he meant; not the conscience of
him that is invited, but either of the unbeliever, or the weak
brother; and suggests a reason why he should not make use of his
liberty in their presence, and under such circumstances, lest it
should be censured and condemned, \\#1Co 10:29\\ or he be reproached
for what he had, through good will, and had reason to be thankful
for, \\#1Co 10:30\\ wherefore, upon the whole, the apostle advises in
this affair, and in all others, to have the glory of God in view in
the first place, \\#1Co 10:31\\ and next to that to be careful not to
offend any sort of persons whatever, \\#1Co 10:32\\ and proposes
himself as an example in these things to be followed; who sought not
his own advantage, but the pleasure and profit of others, and to
promote, as much as in him lay, their salvation, and not hinder it,
\\#1Co 10:33\\.