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Choose the Cup of Blessing

Choose the Cup of Blessing

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Choose the Cup of Blessing: 1 Corinthians 10:13-21

Introduction

  • This evening I want to talk about two things, I want to talk about Idolatry and I want to talk about Blessing.
    • And did y’all know that when it comes to blessing verse Idolatry the book of first Corinthians puts them as a choice. You can either choose idolatry or you can choose blessing, today I wna tot encourage all of us to choose the cup of blessing, amen?!

PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY PRAY

  • Would y’all turn with me to 1 Corinthians chapter 10?
  • Now we3 are fixin to read a large chunk of text, tryh your best to follow a long and then I am going to recap and explain it a bit.

1 Corinthians 10:1-12 ESV  (1)  For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea,  (2)  and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea,  (3)  and all ate the same spiritual food,  (4)  and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.  (5)  Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness.  (6)  Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did.  (7)  Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.”  (8)  We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day.  (9)  We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents,  (10)  nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer.  (11)  Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.  (12)  Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.

  • Now Paul here is talking about the exodus… and at one point in time Moses goes up to the mountain to get the 10 commandments and all the people he was leading fall into some crazy sin.
  • Verse 7 says this: Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.”
    • Paul in this passage talks about Idolatry as a warning for Christians. We need to be aware of the reality that we as Christians are just as capable of making Idols as anyone else.
    • Paul compared our Idolatry to the Idol the Israelites made.
      • Remember, the Israelites, free from the bondage and slavery of Egypt, on their way to the promise land, led by the Lord who was covered by a cloud. This very Israelites who were so literally close to God, and had seen so many miracles, they so quickly feel into Idolatry when Moses was away talking with God. And they made this golden calf to worship.
      • And Paul’s warning to us is “If it happened to them, it can happen to us!”
    • Paul warns us in this passage of some modern Idols that the Israelites also fell into. Particularly in verses 7-10.
      • Paul warns against Idolizing religion: Thinking that if we are religious enough then we can go to heaven. We worship good works instead of God, we worship Pastors, Churches, and Theologies instead of keeping our focus on Christ.
      • We are then warned about idolizing our own version of God: The Israelites called the Golden calf “The lord who delivered them from Egypt”. They did not like that God was meeting with Moses for so long, something like 40 days, so they said “Let’s make our own version of God who we can see and worship right here in front of us” so they made a golden calf to worship.
        • We do the same thing when we decide we don’t like what God says or what He does or who He is, we say things like “Well MY god would never say that” or “My god would never do something like that” or worse yet “That’s just the god of the Old Testament, I serve the god of the New Testament”.
          • What we have done is said “I don’t really like the Old Testament, so I am just going to pretend there are two gods and I am going to worship the one I like!”
        • We are warned against Idolizing Evil,How many of y’all know we as a society idolize evil and violence? Movies, TV, Music, Books, Videogames… they are full of murder, greed, crime, and war. AND WE LOVE THAT STUFF. We know it is wrong, but we just want to fantasize about it…
          • Speaking of Movies, TV, Music, Books, and Videogames. Paul warns against idolizing sex, something American society loves to idolize. IT IS EVERYWHERE. I mean Hardies can’t sell a hamburger without making it oddly sexual for crying out loud!
          • Finally we talked about how we Idolize our feelings… we let our feelings dictate our actions instead of letting God dictate our actions!
            • Folks if there is anything in our lives that dictates our actions over what God dictates, then we have made an Idol! And we need to tear it down.
          • Speaking of feelings, there is one other Idol I think is worth talking about today before we get into talking about the cup of blessing… and I am fixing to offend everyone, so buckle up!
          • Once every four years there seems to be a major Idol that rears its ugly head, many of us idolize politics and politicians… and it needs to stop. Seriously guys, Trump won, he has been president for three months now, can we move on with our lives?
            • But politics is important! The presidential election is important, I hear you protest!
            • And it is, and the election is important, and we live in a country where we get to be a part of that process, but come on guy’s many of us have made an idol of politics, and it is very apparent! Let me tell you what I am talking about:
              • Church, if Donald trump being elected is more devastating to you then the fact that there are people in this world that have never heard of Christ and they are perishing without the knowledge of a savior… then you have made an idol.
                • There are so many people I have seen that profess to weeping over the election results and executive orders made since then, but I wonder how many of those people spend their nights weeping over the lost dying without a Savior.
              • Now on the Flip side church, I see many Christians jumping for joy, screaming a big hallelujah, saying this is the biggest miracle ever.
                • And they defend Trump like he can do no wrong! It kind of makes me sick.
                • Yet I wonder, why is it when someone get’s saved or baptized… why do I not see the same zeal from believers? Why is it it that for some the joy over Trump’s victory bigger than their joy over Christ’s victory?
              • Church if you have rejoiced more over the fact that Trump was elected then the fact that God sent His only Son to die for us, then you have made an idol.
            • The fact is, Trump or no Trump, Clinton or no Clinton… Republican or Democrat… Christ is King! He is on the throne! He reigns! And if ANYTHING takes your focus, your passion, your mindset, or your life away from that truth then you have made an idol! Amen‽
          • The Fact is, many of us (and I have been tempted myself), many of us care more about the kingdom of America then we care about the Kingdom of God, and as such, we have idolized America.
            • And church it is time we tear down these Idols, amen?
            • But here is the good news church, if we chose to flee from idolatry, then there is a cup of blessing waiting for us! THERE IS A CUP OF OVERFLOWING BLESSING WAITING FOR US!
              • Man, God doesn’t want us to live in bondage, He wants us to live in blessings! But the funny thing is, like the Israelites, sometimes we prefer the bondage of Egypt to the blessings of God.
              • Let’s break the chains of Idolatry, let’s start living in the blessings God has for us, Amen?
            • Our Text for the rest of this evening is 1 Corinthians 10:13-21. Would you turn there with me?

1 Corinthians 10:13-21 ESV  No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.  (14)  Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.  (15)  I speak as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say.  (16)  The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?  (17)  Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.  (18)  Consider the people of Israel: are not those who eat the sacrifices participants in the altar?  (19)  What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything?  (20)  No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons.  (21)  You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.

Point One: Idolatry is a Temptation

  • My first point is this: Idolatry is a temptation, and we need to handle it as such.
    • You see the reason that we are overtaken by so much idolatry church, is because we think we are above it. We think idolatry is something that only heathens and pagans do. But Paul makes it clear, Idolatry is a direct result of temptation.
    • And the good news about that is that God always provides a way out of temptation!

1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV  (13)  No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

  • Now I have heard this verse preached about before, but never in the full context Paul is presenting it, which is in the context of idolatry.
  • Let’s be honest, we are all tempted heavily to make idols, to have our attention directed away from God. Satan loves nothing more than when we lift up our false idols over the One True God. So of course he is going to be tempting us.
    • But this verse makes it very clear, our temptation is not uncommon, we ALL struggle with these temptations. And God will always provide a way of escape for us, that we can endure and ultimately overcome the temptation to make and uplift false idols.
  • Let’s talk about politics again, because it makes an easy targer:
    • Did y’all know that idolizing politicians is not something new? No temptation has overtaken us that is not common to man.
    • Guy’s, people have been idolizing politicians since basically the beginning of time, and scripture talks about it!

Daniel 3:1, 4-5 ESV  King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, whose height was sixty cubits and its breadth six cubits. He set it up on the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon. (4) And the herald proclaimed aloud, “You are commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages,  (5)  that when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up.

  • So Nebuchadnezzar makes this golden statue and commands everyone to worship it! And everyone is like “Meh, ok, better to worship the false idol then to be thrown into a fiery furnace”.
    • I mean, honestly guys, who here wouldn’t be tempted to bow down to the statue if the alternative was being burned alive?
    • But Paul says there is always a way out of temptation! God always makes a way for us NOT to worship false idols.
      • And that is exactly what three Jews did, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

Daniel 3:14, 16-18 ESV  Nebuchadnezzar answered and said to them, “Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up (16)  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter.  (17)  If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king.  (18)  But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

  • COME ON NOW! THEY CHOSE THE FIRE FURNACE OVER THE KINGS IDOLATRY!
  • Now look what happens in Daniel 6 under a new King, king Darius:

Daniel 6:7,9 ESV  All the high officials of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the counselors and the governors are agreed that the king should establish an ordinance and enforce an injunction, that whoever makes petition to any god or man for thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions.  (9)  Therefore King Darius signed the document and injunction.

  • The king made it very clear, “pray to me and worship me alone or be thrown in the lions den!”
    • Talk about idolizing a politician! The people were literally praying to the dude! And I mean the temptation to worship this guy was real! It was either pray to him or be thrown into the lions den! But we know what Daniel chose!

Dan 6:10  When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously.

  • COME ON CHURCH! DANIEL CHOSE LIONS OVER WORSHIPING A FALSE IDOL!

Point Two: Flee from Idolatry

  • So that brings me to point two this evening, we are just going to flow right into it: Flee from Idolatry! FLEE FROM IT!

1 Corinthians 10:14-15 ESV  (14)  Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.  (15)  I speak as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say.

  • Flee from Idolatry, don’t toy around with it, don’t mix in with it, FLEE FROM IT!
  • Look, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego could have compromised. They could have said “You know what, I will bow down to the golden idol in public, and in private I will ask for forgiveness and worship God.
    • But they didn’t do that, did they? No, in a group of THOUSANDS of people they were the only three who did not bow down.
    • Imagine how out of place they looked, everyone is on their face worshiping this false image from King Nebuchadnezzar, and these three dudes are just standing up looking around, like “Nope, not worshiping that thing”. They fled so far from Idolatry that they were willing to take the fiery furnace over compromising and worshiping a false idol!
  • What about Daniel? How easy would it have been for him to compromise, all he had to do was close his windows and pray silently, no one would have known if he was praying to God or to the king. But he had prayed the same way every day for years, out loud with his windows open.
    • He didn’t play around with idolatry, he took a stand, he got as far away as possible, and it led him to the Lion’s den.
  • So it should be with us church! And none of us are facing fiery furnaces or lion’s dens, so fleeing idolatry should not be that hard!
  • I don’t care what your friends are posting on Facebook, you are a Christian! Focus on Christ! He is our God, the President of the US is not our God, Amen? Don’t mess around with political idolatry, flee from it!
  • I don’t care how good that sex filled movie is, you are a Christian! Be the one person in your group of friends who says “You know I don’t want to support sexual idolatry in America, I am going to pass”.
    • What are you afraid of, the wrath of your friends? You serve a mighty God! His love for you and your love for Him should cast out that fear!
  • I don’t care how much fire that new rapper is spitting. If he is rapping about evil, flee it! Don’t listen! Don’t idolize evil! Be “That guy” who only listens to Christian rap! Don’t play around with idolizing evil, flee it!
  • Has Facebook taken over your life? GET RID OF IT! Netflix? Cancel the subscription! Find yourself consumed with politics? Stop reading or watching the news, the world will go on without you having to watch Fox News or CNN every night!
  • Make change, not compromise in your life!
  • And church, in a society that has SO many false idols, such as America, this means we are going to stand out, like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego standing in a crowd of 1000s who are bowing down. We are going to be the oddballs. Dare I say, we are going to be fools for Christ!

    • But what we are not going to be, church, is cursed! No God will not forsake us, to the contrary if we flee idolatry God will overflow us with blessings! Amen!

Point Three: There is a Cup of Blessing Waiting for us if we Flee Idolatry

  • That brings us to point three, there is a cup of blessing waiting for us if we flee idolatry.
    • Let me say that again: There is a cup of blessing, and overflowing and abundant cup of blessing, waiting for us if we flee idolatry!

1 Corinthians 10:16-17 ESV  (16)  The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?  (17)  Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.

  • If we chose to flee idolatry, then there is a cup of blessing waiting for us. A cup of blessing that comes from Christ and Christ alone, and what a sweet cup it is!
  • Consider again old Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego… they chose God of Idolatry, even though they were so heavily tempted, they chose God, even though everyone around them was bowing down, they chose to stand out!
    • And not only did God provide a way out for them, He blessed them too!

Daniel 3:23-26 ESV  And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell bound into the burning fiery furnace.  (24)  Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and rose up in haste. He declared to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.”  (25)  He answered and said, “But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.”  (26)  Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the burning fiery furnace; he declared, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here!” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out from the fire.

  • Not just did God save them from the fiery furnace, but they got to partake in the cup of blessing, the cup of the Lord, Jesus Christ himself!

Daniel 3:25 ESV  He answered and said, “But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.”

  • He only threw three men in, but he saw FOUR! WALKING AROUND NONE-THE-LESS! Look at the fourth guy, He is “like a son of the god’s”. Most theologians agree that this forth man was none other than Jesus Christ Himself! It’s called a Cristophany, when Christ appears in the Old Testament.
    • So consider the blessing they partook, they got to walk with Jesus, thousands of years before Mary and Joseph know him, before John meet, Him, before the wise men gave their gifts, here were three Jews walking with Him in all His glory!
    • Why? Because they fled idolatry, they got to partake in the cup of Christ.
      • But that’s not the only blessing they received! Look at the last verse in this chapter:

Daniel 3:30 ESV  Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the province of Babylon.

  • Not only did God save them, not only did Christ walk with them… BUT THEY GOT A JOB PROMOTION! That’s some cup of blessing if I have ever seen one, amen‽
  • What about our ol’ buddy Daniel who prayed openly and was thrown in the Lions den for it?

Daniel 6:16-22 ESV  Then the king commanded, and Daniel was brought and cast into the den of lions. The king declared to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!”  (17)  And a stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet and with the signet of his lords, that nothing might be changed concerning Daniel.  (18)  Then the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; no diversions were brought to him, and sleep fled from him.  (19)  Then, at break of day, the king arose and went in haste to the den of lions.  (20)  As he came near to the den where Daniel was, he cried out in a tone of anguish. The king declared to Daniel, “O Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?”  (21)  Then Daniel said to the king, “O king, live forever!  (22)  My God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no harm.”

  • Oh man! God is so good! Look at verse 22, God sent HIS angel! “The Angel of the Lord” is a name of Christ. It wasn’t just any angle, it was GOD’S very own angel!
    • That is not to say that Christ is an Angel, the word Angel just means Messenger. But it is to say that Christ is God’s messenger.
  • So here to most theologians agree this is a Cristophany, Christ came down and visited Daniel. Just as Paul said, the Cup of blessing that we bless is in participation with the Blood of Christ!
    • Christ has so many blessings for us if we flee idolatry, and Christ Himself is one of those blessings, amen!
  • Now check out the last verse of this chapter:

Daniel 6:28 ESV  So this Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

  • Daniel went from being thrown into the lions den to being prosperous! Why? Because he fled idolatry! He said I pray to one God alone!
  • And guy’s I can tell you I have seen this very thing happen in my life!
    • I worked once for an internet company. I worked in a call center doing tech support for customers. I was the only Christian in the office of about 30 people, and most people mocked me for it.
    • My first day on the job I brought my Bible to work and was ridiculed for being such a hate filled bigot… not because I said anything, but because I had a Bible.
      • I never backed down. I read that Bible every day on my break.
      • After a few weeks of ridicule, I was finally fired, out of the blue, by my atheist bosses. I had the best numbers and best survey results on the whole floor. I was never late to work. I never argued and always did as I was told. I was fired for one reason… I was a Christian.
      • AND YOU KNOW WHAT‽ God had a cup of blessing for me. 3 days latter I was hired on for almost TWICE the pay at Tommy Bahama’s to do tech support in their corporate offices. If I was never fired, I never would have found that Job.
    • Church I believe there is a cup of blessing for all of you too! The more you flee from idolatry, the more blessings will be pored out!

Conclusion

  • I will conclude with the remainder of our text:

1 Corinthians 10:18-22 ESV   Consider the people of Israel: are not those who eat the sacrifices participants in the altar?  (19)  What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything?  (20)  No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons.  (21)  You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.  (22)  Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?

  • Church, God want’s all of us, all of our worship, all of our praise, all of our Devotion. God doesn’t want to share us with Satan or anyone else, we are His and He is ours!
    • So today we must Chose, we can drink from the cup of Demons, that is to worship and follow false idols: Sex, violence, evil, money, politics, religion, false God’s, our own feelings, or any other number of things that we put above God.
    • Or we can chose to partake in the cup of blessing, that is, Christ Jesus.
  • And church, if we chose to partake in the cup of the Lord there are so many blessings waiting for us.
    • Need a new job, need a promotion, need healing, need protection, looking for a spouse, looking for peace?
  • Then chose the Cup of the Lord and let His blessing overflow in your life, Amen‽ Amen!

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