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Summary: Idol Feasts & The Lord’s Supper - PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: gcurley@gcurley.info

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SERMON OUTLINE:

• (1). The Command (ch 10 vs 14)

• (2). The Reasons (ch 10 vs 15-22)

• (3). The Objective (ch 10 vs 23 to ch 11 vs 1)

SERMON BODY:

• While waiting for his train, a man was talking to the station-master;

• As they spoke an express train went by a full speed;

• The man said to the station-master: 'What a powerful engine!'

• The Station-master replied; 'Yes! But only while it is on the rails,

• Off the rails it is the weakest thing in the world”.

• TRANSITION: The Christian life is like that!

• Our power lies in our communion our fellowship with our Lord and Saviour,

• But when we leaves the path of that communion, that fellowship;

• Like a derailed train we are going no-where fast!'

• The apostle Paul teaches these Christians at Corinth about things that can derail them;

• One of those things was idolatry;

• They don’t have to be derailed by idolatry;

• But they will if they are not careful!

(1). The command (vs 14).

• Verse 14: “Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry”.

• Some things are always wrong and should always be avoided

• Idolatry was a constant stumbling block to the Hebrew people in the Old Testament;

• Again and again they fell back into the trap of worshipping false deities.

• And it was a big problem to many people in the New Testament.

• Because for the Corinthians idolatry was part of everyday life;

Ill:

• Dominating the city of Corinth stood the hill of the Acropolis (1,500 ft high):

• It was the temple of Aphrodite, the goddess of love,

• Aphrodite is the same goddess as Venus,

• Venus was the Roman name & Aphrodite was the Greek name.

• The temple of Aphrodite in Corinth;

• Was one of the architectural wonders of the ancient world – it was impressive!

• And this temple and its idols dominated the city.

• If you did not go to the temple, then the temple might well came to you!

• Because it had 1,000 male and female priests/priestesses (each was a prostitutes),

• Who would descend down into the city at night, to ply their trade.

• The pull of the temple was everywhere;

• There was a religious attraction – worship involved idolatry;

• There was a sexual attraction – immorality was all part of the worship experience.

• And there was a social attraction - it was the hub of community life.

• TRANSITION: Now although Paul has one specific form of idolatry in mind,

• Christian believers must avoid all forms of idolatry.

• Most of us will not bow down to a statue made of wood or stone;

• But the idols in our lives are just as real only a little more subtle.

• Quote: “Idolatry is allowing anything to come between one's self and the Lord.”

• Though we do not face visible idols the Corinthians did;

• We face pressures from a pantheon of false values;

• i.e. Materialism, love of leisure, sensuality, worship of self, and many others.

• Quote: “Today's idols are more in the self than on the shelf!”

Quote: Saint Augustine the early Christian theologian and philosopher:

“Idolatry is worshiping anything that ought to be used,

or using anything that ought to be worshiped”.

Now when the apostle Paul says in verse 14:

“Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry”.

• I do not think that the apostle is concerned that these Christians are going to go back;

• And return to bowing down and worshipping an idol.

• What he has in mind is not bowing and scraping before an image,

• But succumbing to the temptation to enjoy again the atmosphere found at the idol temple.

Roman pagan religion in Corinth appealed to all the senses of human beings:

• The most exciting place in town was the temple;

• There you could get the best food, served up in the open-air restaurant.

• There they had musical entertainment;

• And all the seductive pleasures of wine, women/men and song.

• If you wanted to enjoy yourself ‘to excess’ in Corinth,

• You went out to the temple.

• It was a magnet that pulled in and appealed to the human sensuality.

Ill:

• On the Caribbean island of Barbados,

• Is a castle that once belonged to the pirate called Sam Lord.

• Sam Lord was a very cunning and crafty pirate, because he did not use a ship,

• Instead he used to hang lots of lanterns in the palm trees in front of his castle.

• Then when a ship having crossed the Atlantic,

• Saw Barbados at night and saw those bright lights.

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