Summary: Idol Feasts & The Lord’s Supper - PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• (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)
• 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;
• 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.
• 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.