I don't want you to forget, dear brothers and sisters, a what happened to our ancestors in the wilderness long ago. God guided all of them by sending a cloud that moved along ahead of them, and he brought them all safely through the waters of the sea on dry ground.
As followers of Moses, they were all baptized in the cloud and the sea.
And all of them ate the same miraculous b food,
and all of them drank the same miraculous water. For they all drank from the miraculous rock that traveled with them, and that rock was Christ.
Yet after all this, God was not pleased with most of them, and he destroyed them in the wilderness.
These events happened as a warning to us, so that we would not crave evil things as they did
or worship idols as some of them did. For the Scriptures say, "The people celebrated with feasting and drinking, and they indulged themselves in pagan revelry." c8
And we must not engage in sexual immorality as some of them did, causing 23,000 of them to die in one day.
Nor should we put Christ d to the test, as some of them did and then died from snakebites.
And don't grumble as some of them did, for that is why God sent his angel of death to destroy them.
All these events happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us, who live at the time when this age is drawing to a close.
If you think you are standing strong, be careful, for you, too, may fall into the same sin.
But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can't stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it.
So, my dear friends, flee from the worship of idols.
You are reasonable people. Decide for yourselves if what I am about to say is true.
When we bless the cup at the Lord's Table, aren't we sharing in the benefits of the blood of Christ? And when we break the loaf of bread, aren't we sharing in the benefits of the body of Christ?
And we all eat from one loaf, showing that we are one body.
And think about the nation of Israel; all who eat the sacrifices are united by that act.
What am I trying to say? Am I saying that the idols to whom the pagans bring sacrifices are real gods and that these sacrifices are of some value?
No, not at all. What I am saying is that these sacrifices are offered to demons, not to God. And I don't want any of you to be partners with demons.
You cannot drink from the cup of the Lord and from the cup of demons, too. You cannot eat at the Lord's Table and at the table of demons, too.
What? Do you dare to rouse the Lord's jealousy as Israel did? Do you think we are stronger than he is?
You say, "I am allowed to do anything" -- but not everything is helpful. You say, "I am allowed to do anything" -- but not everything is beneficial.
Don't think only of your own good. Think of other Christians and what is best for them.
Here's what you should do. You may eat any meat that is sold in the marketplace. Don't ask whether or not it was offered to idols, and then your conscience won't be bothered.
For "the earth is the Lord's, and everything in it." e27
If someone who isn't a Christian asks you home for dinner, go ahead; accept the invitation if you want to. Eat whatever is offered to you and don't ask any questions about it. Your conscience should not be bothered by this.
But suppose someone warns you that this meat has been offered to an idol. Don't eat it, out of consideration for the conscience of the one who told you.
It might not be a matter of conscience for you, but it is for the other person. Now, why should my freedom be limited by what someone else thinks?
If I can thank God for the food and enjoy it, why should I be condemned for eating it?
Whatever you eat or drink or whatever you do, you must do all for the glory of God.
Don't give offense to Jews or Gentiles or the church of God.
That is the plan I follow, too. I try to please everyone in everything I do. I don't just do what I like or what is best for me, but what is best for them so they may be saved.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)