Unity in The Spirit Not ‘Religion’ (Just because you are in a garage doesn’t mean you are a car)

Those of you who have been studying the book of Hebrews will see some parallels

Today’s passage is a warning against ‘meaningless ritual’ and ‘Social Club Christianity’

Following Christ should never be a ‘Casual Association’

Jesus Said: “Give up your life for Me and the Good News” Anything but casual

At the end of chapter 9 we hear how Paul approaches following Christ (Serious Biz)

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.


1 Cor. 10:1-17

I don’t want you to forget, dear brothers and sisters, about our ancestors in the wilderness long ago. All of them were guided by a cloud that moved ahead of them, and all of them walked through the sea on dry ground.

  • ‘Our’ Ancestors…not like hebrews, this was written to Greeks / Gentiles
  • As a group they were set free and cared for by God in miraculous ways

In the cloud and in the sea, all of them were baptized as followers of Moses. All of them ate the same spiritual food, and all of them drank the same spiritual water. For they drank from the spiritual rock that traveled with them, and that rock was Christ.

  • Baptized = made one with / in the midst of / fully a part of
  • As with Christianity the act of ‘baptism’ does nothing (can be meaningless ritual)
  • People can do all the same things, be exposed to the same things…

Yet God was not pleased with most of them, and their bodies were scattered in the wilderness. These things 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.

  • This demonstrates how foolish and pridefully independent we all can be
  • The basic evil things they craved were their control, their pleasure
  • Replace God in any way and you have made an idol

As the Scriptures say, “The people celebrated with feasting and drinking, and they indulged in pagan revelry.” And we must not engage in sexual immorality as some of them did, causing 23,000 of them to die in one day.

  • The Pagan Revelry is referring to Drunken Orgies (Exodus 32:6)
  • Numbers 25 (sexual immorality with Moab)

Nor should we put Christ to the test, as some of them did and then died from snakebites. And don’t grumble as some of them did, and then were destroyed by the angel of death. These things happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us who live at the end of the age.

  • Various examples of the Israelites being disobedient during the Exodus
  • The Scripture were given for them (Corinthians) and now at the 2nd level for us
  • The Corinthians are doing:
    • Idol Worship / Sexual Immorality / Testing God / Grumbling / Gossip

If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.

  • People are people…The Israelite, The Corinthians, The Atlantans
  • God is the same for all, He is on our side against temptation

So, my dear friends, flee from the worship of idols. You are reasonable people. Decide for yourselves if what I am saying is true.

  • Physically remove yourself from the influences
  • Don’t take anyone’s word for it, you have to make willful choices

When we bless the cup at the Lord’s Table, aren’t we sharing in the blood of Christ? And when we break the bread, aren’t we sharing in the body of Christ? And though we are many, we all eat from one loaf of bread, showing that we are one body.

  • There are distinctive values and belief we unite around (not unity for unity’s sake)
  • We share in Christ by making it real with him, not by going through the motions
  • God is calling all of us to be a true part of HIS body…you can make it real today

The Lord’s Table: Why we do it every week @ Midtown

Think about the people of Israel. Weren’t they united by eating the sacrifices at the altar?

  • They should have been united but thy were not…

Application Questions:

What associations do you have that are based on place and activity but not values?

How well are you aware of the ‘Evil Things YOU Crave’? What do you make an Idol?

In what areas of you life do you ‘Think’ you’re standing strong but need to be careful in?

What “Careful Reordering of Priorities’ might help limit and get you out of temptations?

What are the things that Spiritually Unify us as Disciples of Jesus Christ?