1 Corinthians 9:24 - 10:13 - Warnings From Israel's History
(Memory verse: 1 Corinthians 10:13b)

1. In verse 24, Paul says only one person in a race wins the prize. Often, Olympic athletes and commentators focus only on the gold medal. What do you think of this attitude?

A: There are two issues here. First, the athlete in competition should train and compete with an eye to winning the prize, the gold medal. The second issue is that if someone has been disciplined in their training and competed to the very best of their ability and “only” won a silver medal, or came in 10th place, or even in last place, that does not mean that person is a loser.

2. In the Christian race, does only the top winner go to heaven? (John 3:16)

A: Of course not. Your belief in Jesus and your faith is what opens the door to heaven, not your actions. (John 3:16 - “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”) However, as a Christian, we have an obligation to tell others about God as Jesus laid out in the great commission — Matthew 28:19-20 - “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

3. In the Christian race, how are you doing? (a) Fresh, because I’m just starting, (b) Feeling tired and achy, thinking of dropping out for a while, (c) Going great; got my second wind, (d) Where in the world is the finish line? (e) I thought this was a sprint, not a marathon.

4. In verse 27, Paul talks about being disqualified. How could one who is preaching the word of God to others possibly be disqualified?

A: He does not mean that he could lose his salvation, but rather that one could lose one’s privilege of telling others about Christ because he, himself has lost his discipline and is falling away. It is easy to tell others about Christ and how to live and then not take our own advice. We must be careful to practice what we preach.

5. Moving into Chapter 10, Paul recalls some lessons from the Exodus. It sounds like the Israelites were pretty good: they followed God in the cloud, they were all baptized, they ate spiritual food and drank spiritual drink, but God was displeased with them. Why? (Exodus 32:1-10, Numbers 13:26 - 14:12, 14:20-24)

A: God is looking for faith, not deeds. The people did not have faith that Moses would return from his meeting with God on Mount Sinai. They did not have faith that God would provide for them in the desert. They did not have faith that God would help them defeat the people who were then occupying the promised land. Only Caleb and Joshua believed that the Israelites could occupy Canaan, and so only they lived for the 40 years of wandering the desert and entered the promised land.

6. Let’s look at the things Paul holds up as warnings to us: A. Verse 7: worshiping idols (Exodus 32:1-10). What idols do you worship today?

B. Verse 8: sexual immorality (Numbers 25:1-9). Do you feel sexually tempted? Have you given into sexual temptation?

C. Verse 9: putting Christ to the test (“tempting Christ” in some translations) (Numbers 21:4-6). Have you ever tested (or tempted) Christ or the Lord? How?

D. Verse 10: don’t grumble and complain (Numbers 14:2, 14:36, 16:41-50). Do you ever grumble and complain about what God is letting happen to you?

A: A. Exodus 32:1-10 - Verse 8: How quickly they have turned away from the way I commanded them to live! They have melted down gold and made a calf, and they have bowed down and sacrificed to it. They are saying, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you out of the land of Egypt.’” Then the Lord said, “I have seen how stubborn and rebellious these people are. Now leave me alone so my fierce anger can blaze against them, and I will destroy them. Then I will make you, Moses, into a great nation.”

B. Numbers 25:1-3 - While the Israelites were camped at Acacia Grove, some of the men defiled themselves by having sexual relations with local Moabite women. These women invited them to attend sacrifices to their gods, so the Israelites feasted with them and worshiped the gods of Moab. In this way, Israel joined in the worship of Baal of Peor, causing the Lord’s anger to blaze against his people.

C. Wesley writes: “Neither let us tempt Christ” (by our unbelief). Paul enumerates five benefits, 1 Cor 10:1-4; of which the fourth and fifth were closely connected together; and five sins, the fourth and fifth of which were likewise closely connected. In speaking of the fifth benefit, he expressly mentions Christ; and in speaking of the fourth sin, he shows it was committed against Christ.

“As some of them tempted him” - This sin of the people was peculiarly against Christ; for when they had so long drank of that rock, yet they murmured for want of water. Num 21:4-6

D. Numbers 14:2 - All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, "If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this desert!

Numbers 14:36 - So the men Moses had sent to explore the land, who returned and made the whole community grumble against him by spreading a bad report about it.

Numbers 16:41-50 - The next day the whole Israelite community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. "You have killed the LORD's people," they said.
      42: But when the assembly gathered in opposition to Moses and Aaron and turned toward the Tent of Meeting, suddenly the cloud covered it and the glory of the LORD appeared. Then Moses and Aaron went to the front of the Tent of Meeting, and the LORD said to Moses, "Get away from this assembly so I can put an end to them at once." And they fell face down.
      46: Then Moses said to Aaron, "Take your censer and put incense in it, along with fire from the altar, and hurry to the assembly to make atonement for them. Wrath has come out from the LORD; the plague has started." So Aaron did as Moses said, and ran into the midst of the assembly. The plague had already started among the people, but Aaron offered the incense and made atonement for them. He stood between the living and the dead, and the plague stopped. But 14,700 people died from the plague, in addition to those who had died because of Korah. Then Aaron returned to Moses at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting, for the plague had stopped.

7. Is temptation sin?

A: No. Temptation itself is not sin. After all, Jesus was tempted (Matthew 4:1-11) Mt 4:1 - "Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil." However, yielding to temptation IS sin.

8. In summary, Paul tells us we must be disciplined in our Christian training, that we should run to win the race, but there are many temptations along the way to distract us and cause God to be angry. What’s the overall moral of the Paul’s teaching from 9:24 to 10:11?

A: The overall moral is pretty well summarized in Verses 12 and 13.

9. Do you find verse 13 encouraging?

A: I find the first part of verse 13 very encouraging because it makes me realize that I’m not alone in my temptations. They are the same as what others experience. And then the second part of Verse 13 is even more encouraging because it assures me that God knows what I’m facing and is always there to help me out. It’s also an excellent memory verse. (God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.)

Bible study courtesy of www.SwapMeetDave.com

Click here for
Click here for
Handout Sheet
Click here for
Next Lesson

Click here for Complete Menu of Bible Studies and Christian Resources

United We Stand! Jokes, Cats, Farts Bible Studies Meet Dave Ahl Cool Links Contact Me
Military Books Humor Books Inspirational Books Creative Computing Patriotic FDCs Take Our Survey
Military Vehicles Cartoon Books Thrillers & Mysteries Video Games Marketing Books Site Map

Copyright 2007 by David Ahl Send mail to Dave Ahl Chronological Bible on Sale Cheap! SwapMeetDave Home Page