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Warning from the History of God’s People

1Brothers and sisters, I want you to know what happened to our ancestors {that followed Moses}. They were all under the cloud, and they all walked through the sea.

2Those people were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea.

3They all ate the same spiritual food.

4And they all drank the same spiritual drink. They drank from that spiritual rock that was with them. That rock was Christ.

5But God was not pleased with most of those people. They were killed in the desert.

6And these things that happened are examples for us. These examples should stop us from wanting evil things like those people did.

7Don’t worship idols like some of those people did. Like the Scriptures say, “The people sat down to eat and drink. The people stood up to dance.”

8We should not do sexual sins like some of those people did. In one day 23,000 of them died {because of their sin}.

9We should not test the Lord like some of those people did. They were killed by snakes {because they tested the Lord}.

10And don’t complain like some of those people did. Those people were killed by the angel that destroys.

11The things that happened to those people are examples. And those things were written to be warnings for us. We live in the time that all those past histories were pointing to.

12So the person that thinks he is standing strong should be careful that he doesn’t fall.

13The only temptations that you have are the same temptations that all people have. But you can trust God. He will not let you be tempted more than you can bear. But when you are tempted, God will also give you a way to escape that temptation. Then you will be able to endure it.

14So, my dear friends, stay away from worshiping idols.

15I am speaking to you like you are intelligent people; judge for yourselves what I say.

16The cup of blessing that we give thanks for is a sharing in the blood (death) of Christ, isn’t it? And the bread that we break is a sharing in the body of Christ, isn’t it?

17(There is one loaf of bread. And we are many people. But we all share from that one loaf. So we are really one body.)

18And think about what happens when the people of Israel (the Jews) offer sacrifices. When they eat the meat that is sacrificed, they are sharing their meal with {God at} the altar, aren’t they?

19{So, what about food that is sacrificed to idols?} Am I saying that sacrifices to idols are the same as those Jewish sacrifices? No, because an idol is nothing, and the things offered to idols are worth nothing.

20But I am saying that when food is sacrificed to idols, it is an offering to demons, not to God. And I don’t want you to share anything with demons.

21You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and then go drink a cup with demons. You cannot share {a meal at} the Lord’s table and then go share a meal with demons.

22Doing that would make the Lord jealous! And we don’t want to do that, do we? No, because he is much stronger than we are.

Use Your Freedom for God’s Glory

23“All things are allowed.” Yes. But not all things are good. “All things are allowed.” Yes. But some things don’t help {others} grow stronger.

24No person should try to do the things that will help {only} himself. He should try to do what is good for other people.

25Eat any meat that is sold in the meat market. Don’t ask questions {about the meat} to see if it is something you think is wrong to eat.

26{You can eat it} , “because the earth and everything in it belong to the Lord.”

27A person that is not a believer might invite you to eat with him. If you want to go, then eat anything that is put before you. Don’t ask questions to see if it is something you think is wrong to eat.

28But if a person tells you, “That food was offered to idols,” then don’t eat it. Why? Because some people think it is wrong, and it might cause a problem for the person who told you that.

29I don’t mean that you think it is wrong. But the other person might think it is wrong. {That is the only reason I would not eat the meat.} My own freedom should not be judged by what another person thinks.

30I eat the meal with thankfulness. So I don’t want to be criticized because of something I thank God for.

31So if you eat or if you drink or if you do anything, do it for the glory of God.

32Never do anything that might make other people do wrong—Jews, Greeks (non-Jews), or God’s church.

33I do the same thing. I try to please everybody in every way. I am not trying to do what is good for me. I try to do what is good for the most people, so that they can be saved.

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