Summary: compromise is good in everything except devotion to Christ
1ST CORINTHIANS 10:14-33
Sometimes compromise is good…. It is good in a marriage. It is good many times in business. It is good in national diplomacy. When it comes to our spiritual relationship with God, compromise is not good.
Too often we compromise our faith by giving into the world’s temptations.
This morning we are going to finish up Paul’s summary of why we shouldn’t eat meat offered to idols. Paul begins our scriptures by telling us that when we see people who reduce God to something they can use or control; we need to get away from them as fast as possible. When he says in vs. 15 that he is speaking to sensible people, he means mature. It takes a mature Christian to focus and understand what we talked about last week when we discussed spiritual warfare. Today in vs. 14-22 Paul is still building upon this theme.
I want to ask you all something, how many of us as Christians have ever felt separated from God? Have you ever moved from that position of feeling so right with God, so close that you could see Him working in everything you were involved in and you could even feel His presence, and wonder how and why and when you could get back to that place? Did you struggle with getting back to that place? While you were struggling did you wonder why God moved?
Well, the reality of it is that God didn’t move; we did. Paul knew that the devil’s policy is to make us believe that not only does he not exist, but that there is no evil in our hearts that would cause us to move away from God. Paul is simply reminding us of what Jesus said in Matthew 6:24. (READ) Paul is not accusing anyone of idol worship in our scriptures. What he is saying is when you and I and the church at Corinth flirt with the devil; all we do is allow him to get his foot in the door. With his foot in the door this allows him and his demons to have influence on our thinking and discernment process, as well as taking up residents somewhere in our hearts. This is why we cannot have compromise in our spiritual life.
Now, I don’t mean that we do not seek harmony with our brothers and sisters in Christ who are of different denominations. I’m talking about using God’s word to justify our spiritual laziness… unrighteous living.
God wants all of our devotion. God is a selfish God and the reason is not the same kind of selfishness that leads to my and your sinful acts. God’s selfishness is a kind of selfishness that is out of love for us. Now truthfully, you and I have a hard time wrapping our minds around this concept. But it is important that we do come to an understanding of this, and I think the Apostle Paul would feel the same way.
This is why he asks the questions he does in vs.22. To help understand this better I would like to talk about the 7 deadly sins. How many of you have heard of the 7 deadly sins? Does anyone know what they are? They are PRIDE, ENVY, ANGER, SLOTH, GREED, GLUTTONY, and LUST. Now biblically there isn’t any where these are listed or singled out as such. It was St. Augustine that placed the tag on these particular sins. And even though we could make a case for other sins being worse and not making the list like physical or sexual abuse, alcoholism, drug addiction, or even adultery something that Jesus talked so much about and specifically condemned. But to me Augustine explains why we need total devotion to God.