Flee Idolatry!

Apr 28, 2013 By: Pastor Joseph LoSardo Series: The Church in Sin City Scripture: 1 Corinthians 9:24
Paul offers another example to undergird his admonition against idol-food – that of the athlete’s sacrificial self-restraint to win a prize. The Corinthians loved sports. The familiar image of the athlete’s intense training program would serve to remind the Corinthians of the difficulty of their Christian commitment – that the Christian life involves limitation as well as the enjoyment of freedom. In essence he is telling the Christians that if they fail to exercise self-control by continuing in their wonton idolatrous practices, their faith would end up fruitless. The illustration of the possibility of a disqualified athlete also serves as a transition to the warning in the example of Israel in the next section (chapter 10 vss. 1-13), which together with the verses at the end of chapter 9 lead to a call for a thorough abandonment of idolatry. Paul ends his argument against the consumption of idol-food with an insistence on exclusive loyalty to the one true God. He tries to convince the Corinthians that their fellowship with Christ should restrict them from any association with other gods. This is a warning for us to consider what idols we ought to lay down rather than try to assimilate into our Christian life as a “freedom.”