For I would have you remember, brethren, how our forefathers were all of them sheltered by the cloud, and all got safely through the Red Sea.
All were baptized in the cloud and in the sea to be followers of Moses.
All ate the same spiritual food,
and all drank the same spiritual drink; for they long drank the water that flowed from the spiritual rock that went with them--and that rock was the Christ.
But with most of them God was not well pleased; for they were laid low in the Desert.
And in this they became a warning to us, to teach us not to be eager, as they were eager, in pursuit of what is evil.
And you must not be worshippers of idols, as some of them were. For it is written, "The People sat down to eat and drink, and stood up to dance."
Nor may we be fornicators, like some of them who committed fornication and on a single day 23,000 of them fell dead.
And do not let us test the Lord too far, as some of them tested Him and were destroyed by the serpents.
And do not be discontented, as some of them were, and they were destroyed by the Destroyer.
All this kept happening to them with a figurative meaning; but it was put on record by way of admonition to us upon whom the ends of the Ages have come.
So then let him who thinks he is standing securely beware of falling.
No temptation has you in its power but such as is common to human nature; and God is faithful and will not allow you to be tempted beyond your strength. But, when the temptation comes, He will also provide the way of escape; so that you may be able to bear it.
Therefore, my dear friends, avoid all connection with the worship of idols.
I speak as to men of sense: judge for yourselves of what I say.
The cup of blessing, which we bless, does it not mean a joint-participation in the blood of Christ? The loaf of bread which we break, does it not mean a joint-participation in the body of Christ?
Since there is one loaf, we who are many are one body; we, all of us, share in that one loaf.
Look at the Israelites--the nation and their ritual. Are not those who eat the sacrifices joint-partakers in the altar?
Do I mean that a thing sacrificed to an idol is what it claims to be, or that an idol is a real thing?
No, but that which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons, not to God; and I would not have you have fellowship with one another through the demons.
You cannot drink the Lord's cup and the cup of demons: you cannot be joint-partakers both in the table of the Lord and in the table of demons.
Or are we actually arousing the Lord to jealousy. Are we stronger than He is?
Everything is allowable, but not everything is profitable. Everything is allowable, but everything does not build others up.
Let no one be for ever seeking his own good, but let each seek that of his fellow man.
Anything that is for sale in the meat market, eat, and ask no questions for conscience' sake;
for the earth is the Lord's, and all that it contains.
If an unbeliever gives you an invitation and you are disposed to accept it, eat whatever is put before you, and ask no questions for conscience' sake.
But if any one tells you, "This food has been offered in sacrifice;" abstain from eating it--out of respect for him who warned you, and, as before, for conscience' sake.
But now I mean his conscience, not your own. "Why, on what ground," you may object, "is the question of my liberty of action to be decided by a conscience not my own?
If, so far as I am concerned, I partake with a grateful heart, why am I to be found fault with in regard to a thing for which I give thanks?"
Whether, then, you are eating or drinking, or whatever you are doing, let everything be done to the glory of God.
Do not be causes of stumbling either to Jews or to Gentiles, nor to the Church of God.
That is the way that I also seek in everything the approval of all men, not aiming at my own profit, but at that of the many, in the hope that they may be saved.