May 27, 2022
“Now I want you to know, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea.”
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1 Corinthians 10
“Now I want you to know, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from a spiritual rock that followed them, and that rock was Messiah. But God was not pleased with most of them, for they were struck down in the desert.” 1 Corinthians 10:1-5
Paul uses the images of baptism and communion to compare the Christian faith to Israel’s experience and identity with God. He also highlights the fact that not all the Jewish people were allowed to enter The Promised Land. In addition, he is putting forth the idea that Israel’s mindset was bent on rejecting Messiah long before His advent.
Those who are against Jewish evangelism based on the argument that God has “another plan” for them (apart from faith in Jesus) should take special note of Paul’s remarks. Only the faithful remnant of Israel (Joshua and Caleb) were allowed to enter with the new generation. Joshua and Caleb believed by faith, and it was counted as righteousness.
Today, just because one has attended church, and had worshipful moments there, does not mean they are “saved” by some collective experience. Each must individually come to Jesus to receive salvation. Only Jesus could fulfill the Law on our behalf.
“Now these things became examples for us, so that we will not desire evil as they did. Don’t become idolaters as some of them were; as it was written, ‘The people sat down to eat and drink, and got up to play.’ Let us not commit sexual immorality as some of them did, and in a single day, 23,00 people fell dead. Let us not tempt Messiah as some of them did and were destroyed by snakes. Nor should we complain as some of them sis and were killed by the destroyer.” 1 Corinthians 10:6-10
Here is how Israel sinned against the Lord, disqualifying their deliverance: idolatry, sexual immorality, tempting Messiah (coaxing Him to perform for them), and complaining against the Lord. Do these things sound familiar?
“Now these things happened to them as examples, and they were written as a warning to us, on whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore, whoever thinks he stands must be careful not to fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation, He will also provide a way of escape, so that you are able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:11-13
These temptations have not changed since the day Adam and Eve sinned. When followers of Jesus fall into temptation, it is because we break from our faith. We cease to trust God’s Word, either because we choose to disobey it or we have never heard it.
How do we obtain such faith? “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” Romans 10:17