The Cup of the Lord and of Devils

1 Corinthians

The Cup of the Lord and of Devils

October 30th, 1955 @ 10:50 AM

1 Corinthians 10:14-22

Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry. I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread. Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar? What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils. Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he?
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Dr. W.A. Criswell

1 Corinthians 10:14-22

10-30-55    10:50 a.m.


Now last Sunday night we left off at the thirteenth verse in the tenth chapter of I Corinthians, and this morning we begin at the fourteenth verse and preach through the twenty-second.  Then tonight we begin at the twenty-third verse and preach through the end of the chapter.  Now turn to the first Corinthian letter, the tenth chapter, and this is the reading from the fourteenth through the twenty-second verses:

Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.

I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.

The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ?  The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?

For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.

Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar?

What say I then?  that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing?

But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God:  and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.

Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils:  ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.  Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy?  are we stronger than He?

[1 Corinthians 10:14-22]

Now, that is the passage.  Do you see this word “communion” in there…in the sixteenth verse?  “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ?  The bread, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?” [1 Corinthians 10:16].  Now in the eighteenth verse, look at that word translated “partakers.”  “Are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar?” [1 Corinthians 10:18].  Now look in the twentieth verse: “And I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils” [1 Corinthians 10:20].   Now, in one place that one word koinōnia, in the sixteenth verse, they translate it “communion” [1 Corinthians 10:16].   In the eighteenth verse, they translate it “partakers” [1 Corinthians 10:18].  And in the twentieth verse, they translate the word “fellowship” [1 Corinthians 10:20].   Well, it means all of them, koinōnia, is “a sharing, a participation, a fellowship.”  It is all of it.  It is one of the magnificent words in the Greek New Testament.  And it refers to the body of Christ, the communion, the fellowship, the sharing in, the participating of the members in the body of Christ.

Now, Paul is saying here, “Ye cannot.” That’s an unqualified, final, categorical statement: “Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of devils.”   That is some negative thinking for you.  “Ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils” [1 Corinthians 10:21].  Paul says in this passage that you cannot share in the communion of Christ, in the fellowship of the true church of Jesus, and at the same time share in, participate in, fellowship in the communion of devils, the communion of the world, you cannot do it.  Now I did not say that you cannot do it; apparently most of us think we can.  I did not say we cannot.  I am just reading the Word.  That is all.  God’s Book says, Paul says, “You cannot do it” [1 Corinthians 10:21].

And that isn’t peculiar to Paul as we go along in the message this morning.  Our Lord Jesus sometimes had some unqualified and categorical statements to make like that also.  I remember in the sixth chapter of the Book of Matthew in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said a like thing when He said, “Ye cannot”; you can’t do it.  “You cannot serve God and mammon” [Matthew 6:24].  And in the same verse, “For no man can serve two masters” [Matthew 6:24].  You can’t do it.  Now He said that you couldn’t do it.  So we look at this thing and pry into these words, for they have something that God says to us today.

Now this thing of the communion of Christ, he’s taking in this passage the Lord’s table.  And he  refers to it as “the table of the Lord” [1 Corinthians 10:21].  This is the Lord’s.  And the Lord is present.  And this cup, we can hold in our hands and we can raise it to our lips.  And this bread, we can hold in our fingers and we can place it in our mouths and eat it.  And he says this is a participation in Christ [1 Corinthians 10:18].  It is a communion [1 Corinthians 10:16-17].  It is a fellowship [1 Corinthians 10:20].  It is a sharing in the body and in the blood and in the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Now, in the early, early days, those ordinances, both of them, the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper [Matthew 26:26-29; 1 Corinthians 11:23-30] and the ordinance of baptism, both of them were early encrusted with superstitions.  The people even in the apostolic days, even in Paul’s day, even here in the Corinthian church, they came to believe that those ordinances had a charm about them; that the people who participated in them, the people who were baptized and the people who participated in the Lord’s Supper, that they were kept thereby from falling; they could not fall.  They were thereby preserved by virtue of those ordinances.

Now the theme of the whole chapter, the whole passage is this, that there is not anything in the ordinances in themselves that preserve any of us!  And his illustration is what I have already preached on.  In the beginning of the tenth chapter, he said, “For our fathers in Israel, they had ordinances.”  And he likens their going into the sea and under the cloud to baptism.  They had a something back there like our baptism, Paul says.  And he says they had a something back there like our ordinance of the Lord’s Table.  “They all ate of the spiritual meat.  They ate manna, and they all drank of that spiritual Rock, the water that came out of the Rock that was Christ” [1 Corinthians 10:1-4].

But they back there, Paul says, as he begins the chapter, they back there, they fell.  Look at the fifth verse, “for they were overthrown in the wilderness” [1 Corinthians 10:5]—right after he says they were baptized under Moses, and they all drank of those spiritual meats and refreshments which God had provided in the wilderness [1 Corinthians 10:3-4].

Now, his argument here is that if our fathers fell, if the fathers of Israel fell in the wilderness, and they have those sacred gifts from God, we are not to think that by virtue of the fact that we have been baptized and we partake of these tables that we also cannot perish.  Now that is his argument [1 Corinthians 10:5-12].

And his argument said in other words is this: that there is nothing in those ordinances in themselves that is able to preserve us and to keep us.  There is not anything in baptism, and there is not anything in the Lord’s Supper; these are but symbols of another reality, another thing.  They stand for something else [1 Peter 3:21].

Now what is that thing they stand for?  And that is what Paul is talking about here.   This ordinance—and he turns aside from baptism and speaks only now of the Lord’s Table—Paul says here that this ordinance of the sharing in the blood and the sharing in the body, he says this ordinance is a participation in the very blood and in the very body of Christ [1 Corinthians 10:16-17], and therefore it is exclusive.  Or if I turn it around, it is all inclusive; or to go back, therefore it is exclusive.  That is by virtue thereof, the participant in the body of Christ and the blood of Christ cannot share in other conflicting commitments [Matthew 6:24; 1 Corinthians 11:27].  When we are baptized [Matthew 28:19; Romans 6:3-5] and when we take the Lord’s Supper [Matthew 26:26-28; 1 Corinthians 11:23-30], we are committed unto Christ.  We are fellowshipping, participating in, sharing in the life and body and blood of Christ, and therefore, we cannot be committed to any other fellowship or to any other sharing or to any other commitment [1 Corinthians 10:20-21].

Now may I pause here to say that that was the first trouble into which the Christian faith fell in its worldwide sweep through the Roman Empire.  As they begin to preach this new God, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the resurrection from the dead, why, it tickled the fancies of the entire Roman world, Greek and Latin.  They were anxious to hear about this new God, and they were intrigued by this new Oriental religion.  And so they carried the Christian minister to the Pantheon—those are just Greek words for all the gods, where all the gods were worshipped—they carried those first Christian ministers to their Pantheon, and they said, “So you have a new god?  You have a new faith?  You have a new religion?  Fine, we are interested; we are very much delighted.  Now, we have got Jupiter here, over here in this niche, and we have got Venus in this niche, and Aphrodite there, and Dionysus there, and Demeter there, and Mercury there, and Artemis there, and Mithra there, and Osiris there, and Adonis there.  Now here in this niche right there, see, we will place this new god, Jesus, and we are so happy to have Him!”

But I say, that is where the first Christians fell into their troubles.  They said to the Greek and Roman, they said, “By God’s grace, under no conditions!  You cannot put Jesus in any niche with Jupiter on one side and Aphrodite on the other and Mithra on the other, no!  Why, the faith and the religion of the Lord Jesus Christ is exclusive!”   Or, I say turn it around: it is all inclusive!  It leaves no commitment to any other and no fellowship or sharing in any other [1 Corinthians 10:20-21].

Now, in that day Roman emperor worship arose; it arose in the days of Julius Caesar.  And so alongside all those other gods, why, they placed the image of the emperor.  And when you go to those Greek ruins over there, there will be a temple to Apollo, and there will be a temple to Venus, and here will be a temple to the emperor.  And they made it a part of the patriotic sacrament, which is the Latin word meaning allegiance, sacrament, allegiance to the Roman Empire.  A man was faithful and loyal by bowing down to worship the image of the emperor.

Now when it came to that thing, the Christians said, “Not so, not so!”  And that’s the reason that in those ancient historians like Suetonius and Tacitus that they refer to those early Christians as atheists.  That’s a Greek word meaning they don’t worship any god at all.  They call them god-haters, because the Christian refused to bow down to worship the emperor’s image, or Jupiter, or Zeus, or Jove, or any of the others.  He is set apart!  “I will not share; I will not bow down; I will not compromise; my commitment is to Somebody else.”

And I say that’s where the trouble came.   When a Christian was arrested, why, they gave him a choice.  Is it Kurios Iesous?  Is it Lord Jesus?  Or will you make it Kurios Kaisar?  Is it Lord Caesar?  And when the Christian refused to bow down, they fed him to the lions, or crucified him, or threw him in the boiling cauldrons of oil, or destroyed his life.

Now, I say that was a tragic thing.  But it’s going on right now.  It is going on right to this day, right now.  The trouble we are having in India today is this; the Hindu and the Indian people are very happy to accept Christianity as a way.  “Brahma is a way to truth.  Buddha, Gautama the enlightened one is a way to truth.  Confucius is a way to truth.  Mahavera is a way to truth.  Taoism is a way to truth.  Sikhism is a way to truth.  Mohammedanism is a way to truth.  Christianity is a way to truth.”

But the trouble we are in in India is this: the Christian missionary and the Christian convert say, “He is not a way among many.  He is the way, alone!” [John 14:6]. It is an all inclusive, it is an exclusive commitment.

Now, let’s go back to this Corinthian situation here.  Just look at it closely.  Paul says, Paul says, you cannot sit at the Lord’s table and participate in the body and the blood of the Lord Jesus—the communion of the blood and the communion of the body—you cannot sit there at that table, and then the next time I see you, you are sitting at the table of devils [1 Corinthians 10:21].  Now, the Greek word is daimon, spiritual powers.  You cannot do that, he said.  You cannot do it; it cannot be done.

Now what Paul is talking about, and this is the Corinthian situation: the pagans, the heathens, the Gentiles in all those temples there in Corinth, only one of which is partly remaining, they had their sacraments and their rites and their rituals also.  And so, this day a Christian who had sat, on the day before he sat at the table of the Lord, why, now on this day, he goes up to the temple of Aphrodite—or the Latin word Venus, which temple was up there on the Acrocorinthus, up there on the citadel, a magnificent thing. Or he would go up to the temple of Apollo, which is down here in the heart of the city, and partly to be seen today.  Now they would go up there to those temples on the festal day of the god, and they would stand there and be sprinkled with lustrum water, water purification.  And then in sacred silence, they would continue standing as the sacrifice was slain on the altar and its blood poured out.  And then between the time of the sacrifice of the victim, the sacrificial animal, and the preparation of the sacramental meal that they shared in together—and all religion is a eating together, it is a sharing together in a meal with the god—and while he stood there waiting for the preparation of the sacramental meal, the cooking of the flesh of the animal offered on the altar to the god, why, in that interim of time in there, well, they would sing, and they would dance, and they would carry on all of those festivities that characterize the worship of that god.  Then at the end of it, at the end of it, why, they went into a veritable orgy, a revelry, and they crowned the festal day with an indescribable carrying on in the honor of the god.

Let me illustrate that.  Aristotle found, he says he found the root meaning for the Greek verb which means to get drunk, to be drunk.  Aristotle says the root meaning of that Greek word is the same as that which refers to the end of the sacrifice; after the sacrifice is over.  Aristotle says the Greek verb “to get drunk” is the same verb in its parentage as the Greek verb meaning “at the end of the sacrifice.”  In other words, the whole ordeal, the whole show in the sacrifice of the god was so inevitably an end in an orgy, in a drunkenness, in a feast, until the very word that meant the sacrifice is over came to be the very verb that meant to get drunk.

Now, Paul says you cannot share in the table of the Lord and at the same time share in those orgies, and in those sacrifices, and in those festal days and hours to these—and he calls them devils, demons, spiritual powers [1 Corinthians 10:21].

Now, didn’t the Corinthians know that?  Yes sir, they knew that.  Every one of them knew that, just like you know that.  You almost instinctively know that being Christians.  Well, why did they do it?  Why did they do it?  This is the reason that they did it.  This is the reason.  Those Corinthians said to themselves, “Now I am a Christian.  I am a Christian.  And I can share in these heathen rites and in these pagan ceremonies and be absolutely untouched by them.  For Paul himself has taught us,” said those Corinthians, “that an idol is nothing in this world, and the sacrifice is nothing in this world to an idol [1 Corinthians 8:4].  Therefore, I can go with my old neighbors and my old friends, and I can share in those heathen rites and ceremonies in the name and honor of this god.  And I can be absolutely untouched by it.”

Like a grown-up who is playing a part in the games of children, he is bigger than that and more enlightened than that, and he knows it is just a game, and he is just doing it just for the fun of it, the fellowship of it.  Well, so these Corinthians said, “We know there is no such thing as a god Venus, Aphrodite, Adonis, we know that.  And the sacrifice is nothing to that god.  And so we will be untouched by it.  We will share in all those things and be Christians at the same time.”

That’s what Paul was afraid of, and that’s what he was writing about.  Paul says to be armed with a fine abstract principle of Christianity or Christian faith nowise shields the soul from moral peril.  Paul says that when you enter that kind of a society, that kind of a koinōnia, that kind of a fellowship, that kind of a sharing, when you enter that society, he says—I’m not saying it, Paul says, the Book says—that the atmosphere is destructive to the soul; it is morally poisonous; that is, Paul says that, Paul says that [1 Corinthians 10:21].

It is not enough for a man to say, “I don’t believe in such a thing as the god of Bacchus, the god of war. I don’t believe in any such thing as the god of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, and therefore, I will share in the social gatherings of my neighbors and my people.”  Paul says, “That’s not enough.”  Paul says, “It is right that there is no such person as Aphrodite or Bacchus.” But Paul asks, “Are you sure that there is not any such thing as they represent?”  That is, are there not spiritual powers of darkness in this world that undermine the Christian life and destroy the Christian soul?  And is there not an atmosphere that is poisonous to a dedicated heart and life in the Lord Jesus Christ?

In that passage in Ephesians that we read, in the sixth chapter, in the twelfth verse, Paul says, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood.”  That is, your enemies are such that you can grapple with by your hands, that they have human wills.  Paul says, “For our battle, our war, is against spiritual powers, against thrones, against darkness in this world, against spiritual wickedness” [Ephesians 6:12], that you can’t touch or see, but it is in the soul.  It’s in the atmosphere.  It’s in the life.  It’s in the association.  It’s in the koinōnia.  It’s in the sharing, the participating; it’s in the fellowship.  There’s where the terrible danger comes.

Before I go on in this little brief minute I have left, before I go on, let me just apply that boldly and flagrantly.  Just let me apply it, let me apply it.  “I am a literary connoisseur, pastor, and I admire great literary genius, and I read these books.  I read them.”  All right, that is fine, that is fine.  But God says—I did not say it, God says, “You cannot share.  You cannot participate.  You cannot koinōnia in that foul, loathsome, sin-conceived literature and its moral atmosphere not somehow pervade your soul and destroy your life [Proverbs 6:27].  He says you cannot, I didn’t say that.

We are so made, God says, that everything we come in contact with leaves a residuum in our souls and in our lives, and when I let my mind open itself to the filth and the dirt of an iniquitous literature, even though it is written by a genius, yet it still works for the destruction of the soul.  “Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils” [1 Corinthians 10:21].

I say, may I apply it?  May I apply it?  You cannot, you cannot say, “I am an artist.  I love beautiful symmetry and beautiful depictions and beautiful art,” and under the name of art, share in all of those lewd and lustful things that most artists define as artistry.  Paul says you cannot do that and escape the moral judgment that carries with it.  Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of those spiritual demons [1 Corinthians 10:21].  You can’t do it.  It gets into you.  You are colored by it.  You cannot help it.

Take again these dramas, some of them are magnificent.  One of the things that makes your heart cry, makes your heart cry, what if they make your heart cry?  The most powerful instrument to reach the will and the soul of a fellow hearer is to dramatize it; dramatize it, the music just so, the lights just so, the voice just so, the dramatic ability just so.  One of the most powerful instruments of the world is the drama, whether it is the celluloid, whether it is the stage or vaudeville, wherever you find it, it is a powerful thing!  It used to be by the church—that is where it came from, in the church—the church used it to tell the world about Jesus.

But I say you cannot share in those things if they are corrupt, and if they are filthy and foul and lustful!  You cannot share in them without becoming as degraded as those very stars in Hollywood themselves.  They are sold under sin because they share in that atmosphere.  Not all of them, God has His servants in the group, but I am talking about that great mass.

I have to go on.  You say, “Preacher, pastor, oh, what a narrow, constricted gospel.  That’s an idiosyncrasy of Paul.  That’s narrow Scriptures.  That’s puritanical.  That’s Victorian.  Jesus wasn’t that way.  You won’t find that,” you say, “in Jesus.  Now John the Baptist was that way.  Savonarola was that way.  And our Puritan fathers were that way.  But Jesus was not that way; He was convivial and social in His life.”  I grant you, Jesus was different from John the Baptist.  You wouldn’t have had John the Baptist invited to your dinner table, don’t guess you would.  Why, what he ate was grasshoppers, and you’d have a time making grasshopper salad or boiled grasshoppers or fried.  Or I don’t know what you would do if you had John the Baptist for dinner, I don’t know what.  It would have been something.  And he sat over there with a loincloth made out of camel’s hair; and I don’t know what we would have done with John the Baptist had we invited him to our homes.

Jesus was different.  Jesus was the kind of man you would have loved to have had, very much so.  You would have loved to have had Him in your home.  “Welcome,” says Zaccheus [Luke 19:1-5].   “Welcome,” said Simon the Pharisee [Luke 7:36].  “Welcome,” said the home in Bethany, “Welcome, Jesus” [Matthew 26:6].  They loved Him, and when they invited Him to a party, to a wedding, He was there and shared in it [John 2:1-12].  That’s the Lord Jesus.  That’s the Lord Jesus.

But you look at Jesus real close like.  Just look at Him and you will find that the most inexorable of all of His statements have to do with this impossibility of being a disciple of Christ, and at the same time, following the ways of the world.  You listen to Him:

If any man come to Me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, brother, and sister, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.

Whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after Me, cannot be My disciple.

Likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath…

[Luke 14:26-27, 33]

Jesus says it is an exclusive commitment, or turn it around and it is an all inclusive dedication.  He said that:

If thy foot offends thee, cut it off.  If thy hand offend thee, cut it off.  If thy eye offend thee, pluck it out.  It is better to go into heaven with one eye and one foot or one leg than it is to fall into hell with two eyes or two legs or two hands.

[from Matthew 18:8]

When the rich, young ruler came to Him and said, “I follow Thee, Lord.”  The Lord said, “You get rid of everything you have.  You have got this world in your heart, and you have got the world in your hands.  And the door is too narrow, and the gate is too little to go through with the world in your hands, in your arms, in your heart.  Give it up!  Give it up.  Give it up, and follow Me.”  And the young fellow so rich and so fine, with sorrow in his heart turned away because the world was in his soul, and he could not give it up.  He could not give it up for the discipleship of the Lord [Matthew 19:16-23; Mark 10:17-22; Luke 18:18-23].

You say, “Pastor, for the development of personality, you don’t understand; for the strengthening of your life in the world, for the development of all of these gifts that God has given us, for the development of these things, we must share in all of these things in this world.  We must share in them, because we are full-orbed and developed when we do that.“

Well, really?  Actually?   Here’s a man and he’s going to be full-orbed; he’s going to be wonderfully developed in personality and character.  So he goes wherever his feet will carry him, and his hands handle anything his fingers itched to touch, and his eyes gaze upon anything that they choose to see.  And what kind of a man is he?  He doesn’t have any character at all.  That’s the first thing about him, and his entrance into life is not full and abundant, but it is the falling, it is the dropping of an exhausted nature into hell.  You cannot escape the judgments of Jesus and of Paul.  You cannot, ye cannot!

Somebody says, “But, pastor, to stand alone, to stand alone, to be passed by, to be left out.”  I used to think that was the horror that swept our young people, to whom to be socially acceptable is very life itself.  As I got older—been a pastor a long time—I’ve changed my mind.  I’ve changed my mind.  That may be a horror to young people, but it is no less, it is no less a horror to men and women.  There are men who say, “But, pastor, my business success depends upon my sharing, my participation.”  And there are women who say, “My social acceptance and prominence depends upon my sharing and my participation, and I have a fear and a dread of being left out and left alone and passed by.”

 I have just one word tonight then I have to stop.   It is the word of the Lord.  My friend, my young friend, my business friend, my fine and capable and socially acceptable friend, you listen to the word of the Lord.  No man or woman or youth is ever left alone, is ever left alone when he is doing what it is to be true to Christ, the fellowship, the koinōnia, the sharing in Him. And the word of the Lord in the last and closing chapter of the appeal to the little church called the Book of the Hebrews, the author unknown says in this last appeal:

Wherefore, wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people… suffered without the gate.

 Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach.

 For here we have no continuing city, we seek one that is to come.

[Hebrews 13:12-14]

Our citizenship is in glory; it is in heaven.  Let us go forth therefore unto Him without the camp bearing His reproach [Hebrews 13:13].

“The cup of the Lord, is it not the communion, the koinōnia of the blood of Christ?  The bread, is it not the koinōnia, the communion of the body of Christ?” [1 Corinthians 10:16].   You cannot fellowship, you cannot koinōnia, you cannot share in the body and blood and life of Jesus, and at the same time koinōnia, fellowship in the cup and the table of the spiritual powers of darkness that rule the world, and it is a choice, dear God, between Thee and them [1 Corinthians 10:21].

Let’s pray.  Our Lord, there are a lot of folks; there are a lot of us that are like that rich young ruler.  Ah, the price is so great and the cost of discipleship so exhausting, O Lord, but what he lost, what he lost.  O God, that he could have turned, that he could have turned [Luke 18:18-23].  Help us to turn, dear God, help us to trust in Thee, to go with Thee without the camp, bearing our Savior’s reproach, the Lord and we [Hebrews 13:13].  Bless the hearing ear as we have listened to the reading of the Book and the call of the appeal of Thy servant Paul.  O God, give our people, give us strength for this discipleship, this call of Jesus.

And our Lord, as we make appeal, some to trust in Thee, some to put their lives with us in this church, oh, on the wings of the Spirit bear the Word and give us this day the harvest God hath intended.  In the saving, keeping name of Jesus, amen.

And while we sing our appeal, anybody, somebody you give your heart to the Lord.  Come and stand by me.  Put your life in the church.  Come and stand by me.  The whole family, “Here we come, pastor, and here we are.”  As God shall make the appeal to your heart anywhere, while we sing this song, come, come, while we stand and while we sing.


Dr. W.
A. Criswell

Corinthians 10:14-22


I.          Introduction

A.  Koinonia
– communion, partakers, fellowship; a sharing, a participation, a fellowship(1 Corinthians 10:16, 18, 21)

B.  Paul
makes a categorical statement – you cannot share in communion of Christ and of
devils, the world(1 Corinthians 10:21)

1.  Message not peculiar
to Paul(Matthew 6:24)

II.         “The cup of the Lord” – the table of
the Lord

A.  These
ordinances, may easily become encrusted with superstitions

1.  There
is not anything in the ordinances themselves that preserve any of us(1 Corinthians 10:1-4)

a. Even fathers of
Israel fell (1 Corinthians 10:5)

B.  Ordinances
are symbols of a commitment

1.  Lord’s
Table a participation in the very blood and body of Christ (1 Corinthians 10:16)

First trouble Christian faith faced – Roman Empire wanted to put Jesus in the
pantheon; emperor worship

III.        Cannot sit at the Lord’s Table and at
the table of devil (1 Corinthians 10:21)

Christians sharing in the pagan religious rites from which they had been

The Corinthian Christianswere familiar with the pagan rituals

1.  Thought
they could participate and be untouched (1
Corinthians 8:4)

C.  It
is morally poisonous, destructive to the soul(Ephesians

D.  Application
for us

1.  Literature,
art, drama

2.  Everything
we come in contact withleaves a residuum in our souls

E.  Criticism
– “a narrow, constricted gospel is not Jesus”

1.  Jesus
spoke severely of the impossibility of being a disciple and following ways of
world(Luke 14:26-27, 33, 18:18-23, Matthew 18:8)

F.  Objection
– “we must do these things to be full-orbed and developed”

1.  Result
is falling of exhausted nature into hell

G.  Objection
– “I dread being left out, passed by”

1. No
one is ever left alone when he is true to Christ(Hebrews