In chapter 10 of 1 Corinthians, Paul moves from universal principles to the specific issue the church at Corinth was dealing with: idolatry.
Idolatry is something we don’t understand well in our own culture. We tend to mix the 1st and 2nd commandments when we define idolatry as anything someone elevates over God or makes more important than God.
But in the case of OT Israel and the church at Corinth, they don’t desire to put anything above God, but they do incorporate other deities into their worship of Yahweh.
Paul will use the culture of OT Israel to show the Corinthians that in their similar culture, their struggle is infusing parts of their culture into their worship of God, and that is disqualifying them from serving God well.
In the same way, we need to pay attention. We DO determine how to exercise our Christian freedoms based on our culture and the people we’re serving so we remove obstacles, but we don’t buy into or embrace everything about our culture or any culture.
An outline of this passage could be:
1. The Situation
2. The Sin
3. The Solution
Paul will show that no matter the situation, we have the ability to please God. This is a challenge from Paul to the Corinthians to please God in their culture by understanding how God wants them to live.
As we study together, ask yourself: In what ways might my culture unintentionally be affecting the way I think about who God is and how I am to serve Him?