Category Archives: 1 CORINTHIANS 10

The apostle Paul continues his warnings about involvement in idolatry.

1 CORINTHIANS 10

INTRODUCTION This chapter continues the teaching which began in chapter 8 on the subject of the Christian’s attitude to the worship of idols.  This is in preparation for the teaching of chapter 11, where the worship of God is undertaken at the Lord’s Supper.  The Corinthians must be free from their old associations if they are going to worship God acceptably and with godly fear. In chapter 8 the apostle appealed to them on the basis of Christian charity, and Christian knowledge. In chapter 9 he appealed on the basis of apostolic authority. In this chapter he will appeal to them on the basis of the experiences of Israel as detailed in the Old Testament.

THE WORDS OF THE BIBLE, THE CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES, AS FOUND IN THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 10, VERSES 1 TO 10:

10:1  Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 10:2  And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 10:3  And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 10:4  And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. 10:5  But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. 10:6  Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. 10:7  Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. 10:8  Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. 10:9  Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. 10:10  Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.

STRUCTURE OF THE CHAPTER

Section (a) Verses 1-4 Five evidences of God’s faithfulness.
Section (b) Verses 5-10 Five examples of Israel’s failure.
Section (c) Verses 11-13 Forewarning for believers.
Section (d) Verses 14-22 Fellowship expressed three ways.
Section (e) Verses 23-33 Feasting with unbelievers.

Section (a)    Verses 1-4        Five evidences of God’s faithfulness.

10:1  Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;

Moreover- the apostle has more to write, over and above what he has already written.  “Therefore” signifies a logical conclusion; “wherefore”, a logical connection, but “moreover” introduces further information. He has confronted in different ways the problem of some of the Corinthians still having contact with their pre-conversion idol worship.  Now he presents his arguments in their most compelling form, for he will tell the Corinthians bluntly that to worship an idol is to worship a demon.  He has emphasised his authority in chapter 9 in preparation for this word of rebuke.
Brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant- it is only ignorance of the true nature of the situation that will allow a believer to associate with idol-worship.  In chapter 8:1 the apostle states that we all have knowledge, yet in verse 7 there was not in all of them that full knowledge of the situation which would enable them to act wisely in relation to idol worship. Just as wisdom is the foundation of good practice, so ignorance is the cause of bad practice. We come now to the five evidences of God’s faithfulness to the children of Israel in their desert wanderings:

All our fathers were under the cloud Protection and direction.
All passed through the sea Separation and deliverance.
All baptised unto Moses Identification and devotion.
All ate the same spiritual meat Provision.
All drank the same spiritual drink Satisfaction.

Notice these are blessings enjoyed by all who passed through the wilderness, whereas in verses 5-10 we have the rebellion of part of the nation.  Alas, it was a large part, such is the ingratitude of the human heart.

How that all our fathers were under the cloud- the psalmist wrote, “He spread a cloud for a covering, and fire to give light in the night”, Psalm 105:39.  So not only did the pillar of the cloud give them guidance as they crossed the trackless desert, but also sheltered them from the heat of the tropical sun.  This was a constant reminder of God’s tender care of them, and to slight such a God by going into idolatry would be scandalous.
And all passed through the sea- it was solely as a result of the power and protection of God that this happened.  No idol could enable its devotees to do such a thing.  By allowing them to pass through the sea in safety, God was separating them very effectively from Egypt with all its multitude of idols.  He had already judged the idols of Egypt by the plagues.  They worshipped the Nile-god, the weather-god, the frog-god, (and Pharoah was the representative of this particular god), the fly-god, the beetle-god, the bull-god, and God had shown His power in destroying them all.

10:2  And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;

And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea- when Israel were about to cross the Red Sea, the pillar of cloud moved from the front of the column to the rear, thus immersing them, so to speak, in the element of the cloud.  Furthermore, when they passed through the sea on dry ground, the waters formed a wall on either side of them, like the sides of a grave.  So just as the Corinthians had been baptised by being placed in a watery grave, these also had been “baptised”.  And just as a believer is baptised “into Jesus Christ”, identified with Him totally, Romans 6:3, (see also 1 Corinthians 1:13), so the people of Israel were baptised unto Moses, acknowledging him as their leader afresh in the new circumstances they would face in the desert.  We read that after they were safely on the further banks of the Red Sea they “feared the Lord, and believed the Lord, and His servant Moses”, Exodus 14:31.  We know from subsequent history that Moses never led them to worship idols.  Indeed, he protested strongly against their worshipping of the golden calf.

10:3  And did all eat the same spiritual meat;

And did all eat the same spiritual meat- there was ample provision for them for forty years, as God gave them the manna from heaven.  Of course the word meat covers the whole range of food, not just animal flesh as with us nowadays. Every morning for six days in the week they would be reminded of His faithfulness to them, for the manna had come in the night.  And on the Sabbath day they were again reminded of His faithfulness to His promise, for the manna gathered on Friday, which would normally deteriorate, was preserved for the next day.  There was constant provision in the goodness of God.  Could an idol do this for them? Because it was miraculously provided by God, and because it spoke of Christ who would come down from heaven as the Bread of God, John 6:33, it is justifiably called spiritual.  Of course, it was real bread; it was not spirit-bread, or fantasy-bread.  The manna was literal because it was real food, and spiritual, because it had real meaning, but it was not natural.  Spiritual things should be more real to a believer than material things.  This is a preparation for the truth about the bread and wine of the Lord’s Supper, for that is, and remains, literal bread and wine, yet to the mind of the believer it is spiritual too, for it speaks of Christ, and he discerns in the loaf the Lord’s body, 11:29. It is the custom for idol-worshippers to give their idol food and drink, but the True God gives food and drink to His people.

10:4  And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

And did all drink the same spiritual drink- water had flowed from the rock for their satisfaction, and indeed, for their survival in the scorching heat of the desert.  Again, the water is miraculously provided, and had deep significance, and the rock is therefore called a spiritual rock.
For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them- in the song Moses taught the children of Israel at the end of their wilderness journeyings, he constantly referred to God as a Rock, speaking of steadfastness, immovability, and reliability.  See Deuteronomy 32:4,15,18,30,31. There was a rock smitten at the beginning of the wilderness journey to give them water, Exodus 17:1-7, and another rock towards the end of the journey, Numbers 20:1-13.  This latter rock should simply have been spoken to, but Moses made the mistake of striking that one also, and was not allowed to enter Canaan as a result.  So the constant provision by God for the whole of the journey is in view, for the water was available to them wherever they were; in that sense it followed them.
And that Rock was Christ- this is a further reason why the rock can be said to follow them, for Moses saw in the rock a picture of God, and the Christian sees in the rock a picture of Christ, who is God.  The constant presence of the water from the rock showed that God was watching over His people.  But we learn that before He came into the world at the incarnation, Christ was in the world, John 1:10, working behind the scenes in providence, safeguarding the interests of the Godhead, and also those who believed in God.  So it was that since Christ manifests God, He can be said to be the Rock, as God is called the Rock by Moses. At the Feast of Tabernacles, the Jews remembered the way God had led them through the wilderness.  One of the things they did was to draw water from the Well of Siloam and pour it on the altar.  When the Lord Jesus was in Jerusalem for this feast, He cried out, “If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink”, John 7:37.  Interestingly, some of the words the Jews chanted as they brought the water to the temple were, “With joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation”, a quotation from Isaiah 12:3.  But the word translated “salvation” is the Hebrew word “yeheshua”, which is the equivalent to “Jesus”.  So when He invited men to come to Him to drink He was simply saying what Isaiah had said long before, and what Isaiah said was based upon the imagery of the water from the rock.  No wonder Paul says here, “that rock was Christ”.

Section (b)    Verses 5-10        Five examples of Israel’s failure.

Sadly, the apostle, having mentioned five evidences of the goodness of God to the people, now has to list five ways in which they failed Him, and showed deep ingratitude. We should remember that the nation of Israel did not consist only of believers.  As the apostle writes in Romans 9:6, “they are not all Israel which are of Israel”, (see notes on that chapter for more details about this).  They had been redeemed nationally from Egypt, but many of them were only nominal believers, as the next examples show.

10:5  But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.

But with many of them- sadly, this expression means the majority.  So if the army of Israel was 605,000 strong, Numbers 1:46, then the total number of people travelling through the wilderness may have been three million or more.  That makes the number of those who were overthrown in the wilderness about one and a half million.
God was not well pleased- their behaviour was not such as marks them out as believers, and this merits God’s displeasure.  How different it was with the Lord Jesus.  He went into the wilderness temptation with the words “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased” ringing in His ears.  God brought Israel into the wilderness to prove them, and to know what was in their heart, Deuteronomy 8:2, whereas it was evident to the Father before His Son went into the wilderness what was in His heart.
For they were overthrown in the wilderness- God showed His displeasure in an outward way by slaying them, and strewing their bodies along the wilderness sands for a solemn testimony and warning to those who remained.  God’s purpose for the nation was to bring them out of Egypt that He might bring them in to Canaan, but these did not reach the land.  Paul will write later that the reason some of the Corinthian believers had died was because of the harm they did to the testimony, 11:30, and we should not ignore this possibility.

10:6  Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.

Now these things were our examples- the word is “tupos”, which gives the English word type.  Originally, it referred to the piece of metal which had a certain pattern embossed on it, so that the metal-worker could place it on his product, strike it with a hammer, (the word tupos is connected with the word to strike), so making a corresponding mark on his metal.  This mark was the anti-tupos, the anti-type.  The apostle is warning us against making our lives of the corresponding sort as the majority in Israel, putting the stamp of their “tupos”, so that we are the “anti-tupos”. The incidents are recorded here not so that we become complacent, (those that think they stand, verse12), nor are they simply for historical interest, but as “our” examples, ones from which we may learn.  Being bad examples, they are negative examples.
To the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted- the apostle now begins to list the five examples of failure on the part of many in Israel.  Each one has to do with food in some way, and this prepares the way for the teaching based upon the eating of the bread and drinking of the cup of the Lord’s Supper. The particular reference is to Numbers 11:4-6; 31-34, when the people longed to return to the food of Egypt, having become tired of the manna.  In that context ordinary food items become “evil things”, for they represent that which was preferred to the things God provided.  There is nothing wrong with onions and garlic and so on, the food of Egypt.  In fact, these commodities have health-giving properties.  It is what they represent that matters.  Anything that draws the believer away from feeding the soul on the things of Christ, is evil, and should be seen as such.  We may make excuse, and say “What’s the harm in it?”, but the lesson of this verse is clear, and should not be evaded.  We should ask ourselves about anything that takes up our time and attention, “Is this helping or hindering my spiritual growth?”

10:7  Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.

Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them- the Corinthians would no doubt be shocked to think that the apostle thinks it appropriate to warn them of idolatry.  He has progressively shown in chapters 8 and 9 that any association with idolatry is bad for their testimony.  In this chapter, he will be more forceful, and declare that to have fellowship with idols is to have fellowship with demons, verse 20.
As it is written, ‘The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play’- to show this sin is central to what he is bringing before them the apostle quotes the actual words recording the people’s failure, as found in Exodus 32:6.  Whilst Moses was on Mount Sinai being given the ten commandments, (the first of which commanded Israel to only worship God, and the second of which commanded them to not make idols), the people were at the bottom of the mountain transgressing those very commandments.  And by “rising up to play” they most likely broke other commandments, such as “thou shalt not commit adultery”, and “thou shalt not covet…thy neighbours wife”.  Idolatry and immorality always go hand in hand, for as soon as the restraint of God’s authority is let go, anything is possible.  The Corinthians needed to remember this, for they were condoning immorality, as chapter 5 shows.  Satan hates God’s pattern of morality for man, and will do all he can to disrupt it. There is a marked contrast between those who were eating and drinking at the base of mount Sinai, and those seventy chosen God, and did eat and drink”, Exodus 24:11.  These are the options for the Corinthians.  They can continue to associate in some way with idols, and merit God’s wrath, or they may have fellowship with Him and be given a sight of His glory in Christ.

10:8  Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.

Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed- it is noticeable that the apostle says “us” in all these examples.  He does not claim to be exempt from temptation because he is an apostle. The reference here is to Numbers 25:1-9, when the daughters of Moab enticed the Israelites, and “called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods.  And Israel joined himself to Baal-Peor: and the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel”.  The joining to the idols was enacted in joining in fornication, again emphasising the link between idolatry and immorality.  In fact, the prophets often used the sin of adultery as an illustration of the unfaithfulness of Israel to Jehovah.
And fell in one day three and twenty thousand- those who fell altogether as a result of the plague were twenty-four thousand in number, Numbers 25:9, whereas the apostle gives those who fell in one day, (presumably the day the plague was brought upon the nation by God).  The precise number shows that God was totally in control of the extent of the plague, for in the midst of wrath He remembers mercy, Habakkuk 3:2.  Far from destroying twenty-three thousand for many days, the extent was mercifully limited.  To allow a plague to run unchecked would destroy the nation, and the line of the Messiah would be obliterated. Nonetheless the judgement was severe and unmistakeably of God, given the way it was controlled by Him.  That which Balaam had failed to do by his enchantments in Numbers 23 and 24, he almost succeeds in doing in Numbers 25, for we learn in the New Testament that as he went his way from trying to curse Israel, he taught the king of Moab the way to ensnare Israel, Revelation 2:14.  It is solemn to think that there were those who held the doctrine of Balaam even in the church of Pergamos.

10:9  Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.

Neither let us tempt Christ- in Numbers 21:4-9, where this incident is recorded, the people spoke against the Lord.  But since, as God’s Firstborn, the Son of God is charged with the responsibility of administering for the Father, then to speak against the God who had sent the manna, is to speak against Christ.  He had been working behind the scenes before He came into manhood, as John 1:10 would indicate.  And Colossians 1:17 assures us that “by Him all things consist”, and this would include the manna.
As some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents- clearly the enemy was at work as he incited Israel to murmur against God.  It is fitting therefore, that serpents should be sent to judge the people.  They had given in to the temptation of the Old Serpent, Revelation 12:9, and therefore they were recompensed in kind.  So it is the Serpent is against Christ even in this Old Testament incident, for he is totally opposed to every aspect of His work, and at any time.  It is fitting that the remedy for the serpent’s bite was a harmless serpent on a pole, a foretaste of Calvary, as the Lord Jesus Himself indicated in John 3:14.

10:10  Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.

Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured- reference is now made to the attitude of the people to the report of the spies that had been sent in to assess the land of Canaan, as described in Numbers 14:1-5.  Despite the evidence of the fruitfulness of the land that Caleb and Joshua and the others brought back with them, the people refused to go in.  So began their thirty-eight years of wandering in the wilderness.
And were destroyed of the destroyer- not only were the ten unfaithful spies slain immediately, but those who sided with them in their unbelief were condemned to die in the wilderness, and not reach the land of promise they had refused. The following summary will show that the common theme of eating and drinking has dominated this section:

Numbers 11 Lust after evil things Foodstuffs of Egypt.
Exodus 32 Idolatry Sat down to eat and drink.
Numbers 25 Committed fornication. Ate and drank to idols.
Numbers 21 Tempted Christ Despised manna and water.
Numbers 14 Murmured Rejected produce of Canaan.

 

THE WORDS OF THE BIBLE, THE CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES, AS FOUND IN THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 10, VERSES 11 TO 22:

10:11  Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
10:12  Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

10:13  There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
10:14  Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.

10:15  I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.

10:16  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?

10:17  For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.
10:18  Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar?

10:19  What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing?

10:20  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.

10:21  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.
10:22  Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than He?

Section (c)    Verses 11-13    Forewarning for believers.

10:11  Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples- God allowed these things to happen so that others might learn from their mistakes.  He was not responsible for the sin, but He allowed the sin to avoid others sinning.
And they are written for our admonition- they are still written in God’s word.  Moses wrote the words thousands of years ago, but they stand written still, for our admonition or training.  He knows that we need to be constantly reminded of the mistakes of others, and so has preserved His word.
Upon whom the ends of the world are come- we stand at the end of a succession of periods of time in which God has been dealing with His people consistently.  And the goal to which He was working was the instruction and training of His people of the present time.  We live in the most favoured of the ages into which God has divided time, and it is therefore all the more important that we learn from the mistakes of those in former ages.  The goals God has been working towards in the various ages of time have now climaxed in this age.

10:12  Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall- our reaction to these events might be that they are so outrageous, that we are not capable of falling in that way.  The apostle knows that is not so, for the human heart is deceitful, Jeremiah 17:9. In contrast to those whose carcases fell in the wilderness, we should take heed to the lessons of these incidents, and so be enabled to stand in testimony, and not fall in disgrace.  We might not fall in death, and God takes us away, (although we should remember that this is what had happened to some in the Corinthian assembly, 11:30, so it is a possibility), but we might spoil the testimony by our behaviour.

10:13  There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man- the apostle now seeks to encourage his readers with the fact that what assails them is not some special temptation that has not been known before.  That which tempts them is that which tempts men ordinarily.  That being the case, the temptation can be resisted and overcome; it is not some insuperable difficulty for which we have no resources.  Unsaved men may not overcome the temptation, but the believer has the Spirit of God within, and one of His ministries is to prevent us doing what we would otherwise do.  As the apostle wrote to the Galatians, “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would”, 5:17.
But God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able- our faithful God will not allow any pressure to come upon us that cannot be resisted by the resources He has given us.  We have been enabled by the indwelling Spirit and the word of God to successfully resist and triumph over every temptation.  There is not a temptation that comes our way that we have not the power, Divinely-given, to defeat.  If we do not do so it is entirely our own fault.  We might think that if the temptation is in connection with the evil spirits behind idolatry, we can be no match for them.  The apostle assures us it is not so. The Lord Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, and He met every assault of the Devil by the use of the Word of God.  He thus showed us how to defeat temptation.
But will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it– this does not imply that God makes the temptation and also the way to escape.  The “also” means, “as well as not suffering us to be tempted above that we are able”.  Rather, He causes the way of escape to appear alongside the tempting thing, so that we have a ready and righteous means of escaping.  In this way we are able to bear up under trial, and stand rather than fall.  Oftentimes the way of escape is to physically distance ourselves from the source of temptation, as Joseph did when he “got him out”, Genesis 39:12. So we have three ways in which God provides for us when we are confronted with temptation: 1.  He assures us that no temptation that comes our way is out of the ordinary run of things.  We do not have to be super-human to overcome it. 2.  In His faithfulness to us, God ensures that no temptation comes which we have not the power to overcome. 3.  He provides the way of escape for us that is suited to the form the temptation has taken.

Section (d)    Verses 14-22    Fellowship expressed three ways.

10:14  Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.

Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry- assuring them of his love for them, (“dearly beloved”), and building on what he has just written to them, (“wherefore”), the apostle now points out the particular way of escape when idolatry tempts them.  Many of the Corinthians believers had been idolaters before they were saved, and such was the hold that the forces of evil had over them that they were having difficulty in renouncing their former practices.  Perhaps they were held in superstitious fear, dreading some reprisals if they cut themselves off completely.  Perhaps they were subject to pressure from friends or relatives, and with a false view of Christian love were trying not to upset them.  Or perhaps, (and this is difficult to understand, but possibly may have been the case), that they did not fully understand the implications of what they were doing.  The apostle has already suggested as much by saying in 8:7 that there is not in every man the knowledge of the true nature of idol-worship.  Having become used to worshipping an idol, it had become just a part of their culture, and of little account.  The apostle is showing that this is not the case.  Hence he commands them to flee from idolatry.

10:15  I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.

I speak as to wise men- although not all the Corinthians were wise in practice, as is seen in that they were clinging to their idols, nevertheless, Christ had been made wisdom to them when they were saved, 1:xxx, so in principle they were wise men; he speaks to them as such, and by so doing encourages them to be wise in practice.
Judge ye what I say- they need to think the matter through for themselves, so that they understand the reasoning behind the apostle’s command to them to flee from their idols.

Having used illustrations from Israel’s past experience in the wilderness, the place of temptation, the apostle now refers to three expressions of fellowship:

(a) Verses 16,17 The fellowship of the church.
(b) Verse 18 The fellowship in Israel.
(c) Verses 19,20 The fellowship of idolaters.

(a)  Verses 16,17    The fellowship of the church.

10:16  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?

On the first day of the week, and therefore as a matter of priority, believers gathered to remember the Lord Jesus in the way He had appointed.  We see this to be the case in Acts 20:6,7.  Even though the Supper was not instituted on a Sunday, it was observed on that day. So these are the passages to which we turn to gain instruction as regarding the eating of the Lord’s Supper.  It is clear from them that the apostle is extracting lessons from that Supper to prove his point in chapter 10.  For he speaks of the cup first, and then the bread.  He is giving the order of relevance to his subject, and not the order of observance.  Having spoken of the meat and drink that God gave to Israel in the wilderness, he is now telling us of the provision that Christ makes for His people at this time.  And just as the blood of the lamb secured the blessing of redemption, and then the manna nourished them in the desert, so we have the wine and the bread in that order.  And just as he used the meat and drink of the wilderness by way of illustration, he is now using the food and drink of the Lord’s Supper to instruct us.  After all, from the words just quoted from the gospels, it is clear that the Lord wished His disciples to see in the loaf and the cup more than everyday things.  See the notes on 1 Corinthians 11 for more on this subject.

The cup of blessing which we bless- it is said that at the celebration of the Passover Feast, (and remember that the Lord’s Supper was instituted using the materials available on the table at that feast), there were four cups.  There was the Cup of the Passover, the Cup of Blessing, the Cup of the Kingdom, and the Cup of Wrath.  There is nothing in Scripture to sanction these four cups, of course, but it is clear that by calling the cup of the Lord’s Supper the cup of blessing, the apostle is referring to at least one of these cups. We can see that what happened in the Upper Room and subsequently, would be suggested by these four cups.  Luke tells us that during the Passover Feast, the Lord “took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, ‘Take this, and divide it among yourselves'”, Luke 22:17.  This would be the Cup of the Passover.  He then went on to say, “For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come”, Luke 22:18.  This would be an allusion to the Cup of the Kingdom.  The Cup of Wrath was not drunk, but left, for none would wish to drink of this.  But in Gethsemane, the Lord undertook to drink it with the words, “The cup which My Father hath given Me, shall I not drink it?”, John 18:11.  This was the cup of wrath that was so awful that He even asked that it might be taken away from Him, if there was some other way He could fulfil the will of God, Matthew 26:39. This leaves the Cup of Blessing, and since the apostle calls the cup of the Lord’s Supper by that name, it seems clear that this is the cup that was used in the institution of the Supper.  It is noticeable that nowhere is the Lord said to bless the cup, even though the Jews called it the Cup of Blessing.  Is this a suggestion that only after His death and resurrection could the highest blessings come to believers?  These highest blessings have been granted us, and now it is appropriate to bless the cup; in other words, to speak well of it, because of what it represents.  Needless to say, to bless the cup does not mean to make it a sacrament, nor does blessing it transform the wine that it is in it.  All such ideas are foreign to both the Old and the New Testament.  No doubt there is wisdom in the fact that neither the Lord Jesus, or Matthew, Mark, Luke and Paul made any reference to wine.  The mention of wine by the Lord when He said He would not drink of the fruit of the vine until he drank it new in the kingdom of God assures us that the fruit of the vine was what was in the cup, but it is surely significant that it is not specifically mentioned.  God knew that men would seek to make a superstition out of it, and therefore no mention is made of the wine.
Is it not the communion of the blood of Christ?  Just as the Lord had said “this cup is the new testament”, so making the cup represent its contents, so here, where the cup is the communion of the blood of Christ.  That is, the cup represents that communion in the blessings secured by the blood of Christ which believers have together.  There is no higher blessing possible than that secured by the blood of Christ.  To have any other sort of fellowship is folly indeed.
The bread which we break- the point the apostle derives from the Lord’s Supper here is that all who meet in fellowship share one loaf.  It is not so much the thought of His body broken in death, with spirit, soul and body separated, but the breaking by believers, and the significance of that act of breaking.
Is it not the communion of the body of Christ?  by drinking of the cup, believers acknowledge that their only claim on blessing is the blood of Christ.  As they break the bread together, they declare that the only circle of fellowship they wish to be involved in, is the fellowship of those who are members of the body of Christ. Now the apostle is speaking in general terms in this passage, for the one body of which he speaks is the sum total of Christians in this present age.  How is this expression of fellowship to be carried out, we may ask.  The answer is found in the fact that the word church is not only used of all believers of this present age, but also of believers as they gather together in the name of the Lord Jesus in a locality.  The church of God at Corinth to whom the apostle was writing was one such company of believers, and they were able to observe the Lord’s Supper, as chapter 11 of the epistle shows.  The apostle describes that company as “he body of Christ”, 1 Corinthians 12:27.  This means that as far as representing and manifesting the truth of the body of Christ was concerned, the church at Corinth was the body.  So when he says “we break”, he is thinking of the bread in an ideal sense, envisaging that the loaf at Corinth and the loaf at the place the apostle was writing the letter, and the loaf taken by the Lord Jesus to institute the Supper, are really one.  In 11:24 Paul refers to the original loaf, then in verse  27 he writes, “as often as ye eat this bread”.  So it is as if we eat the same bread as the disciples in the Upper Room. The cup was the communion of the blood, meaning the communion that the blood enables us to have.  It is obviously not the communion the blood has.  Here however, because the bread is representative of the body of Christ, the communion is by what the bread represents, namely those who break the bread. The Lord Jesus has two bodies.  He has a personal body in resurrection glory, and a mystical body, consisting of all believers of this current age.  The figure of a human body is also used of a local assembly, not because the assembly locally is a miniature of the assembly universally, but because they draw on the same metaphor of the human body. It is important to see these distinctions.  We could set them out as follows:

The church which is Christ’s body The local assembly
All believers of this present age. All believers who have joined.
Membership comes at conversion. Membership comes when received.
No believer can be put out. Erring believer may be put out.
Includes believers who have died. Does not include dead saints.
Includes those not yet believers. Does not include unbelievers.
Is not limited to time. Only until the Lord comes.
Emphasis on Headship of Christ. Emphasis on Lordship of Christ.

Despite these distinctions, it remains true that what is believed by the members of the church which is Christ’s body, should be believed by all in a local assembly.  And the ground of fellowship that the members of the church which is His body have, is the same ground as local assembly believers have, even the blood of Christ shed, and the body of Christ given in death.

10:17  For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.

For we being many are one bread, and one body- it is as if there is only one loaf for all the people of God throughout this age, and that one loaf is the bread the Lord Jesus took in the Upper Room.  All individual loaves since that night have only served to remind us of the one loaf.  What was not known at first about this loaf is now being revealed..  Namely, that it symbolises the unity of the people of God.  This is why, although writing to the local assembly at Corinth, and therefore not with them when they eat the Lord’s Supper, the apostle says “the bread which we break”.  It is something that, ideally, the whole church does in expression of its unity.  In practice, sadly, this is not the case, for many believers follow the traditions of men and have lost the simplicity of what happened in the Upper Room.  It remains true, however, that as far as God is concerned, His people are one, in answer to the request of the Lord Jesus in His prayer in the words, “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word; that they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me”, John 17:20-21.  The only way the sort of unity enjoyed by members of the Godhead can be shared by believers is for another member of the Godhead to produce it.  And so it has come to pass, for the apostle is able to write in 1 Corinthians 12:13, “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free, and have been all made to drink into one Spirit”. The order of these words as written in the original is:  “Because we are the many the loaf one body”.  There are no commas in Greek.  The order of the words when correctly arranged to give the sense is: “Because we the many are one loaf one body”.  The idea is that despite being many in number, each is part of a unified whole thing, the one mystical body of Christ.  There is a contrast between the many believers, and the one loaf, whereas in the first part of the chapter it was a contrast between all of the nation of Israel, and the many, (meaning the majority), that apostatised.  This is the first explanation as to why believers break the bread, it is because it represents the fellowship they have.
For we are all partakers of that one bread- we now have the second explanation for the breaking of the bread.  Not only is it because the loaf represents the body of Christ, but also because those who break bread together wish to express that they are part of that body of Christ. So the loaf is broken in this context to signify two things- Christ’s death, and our unity.  The first happens when one brother initially breaks the bread, which is what Christ did in the Upper Room.  The other happens when the rest of the company break the loaf for themselves.  It is preferable that the brother initially breaking the bread should eat last, so as to avoid giving the impression that his breaking of the loaf and his eating of it are connected.  He breaks the loaf initially on behalf of the company, but does not eat on behalf of the company.

(b)  Verse 18    The fellowship in Israel.

10:18  Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar?

Behold Israel after the flesh- the apostle now exhorts the Corinthians to see what Israel did in the matter of worship.  It is significant that this is put here, between teaching about the Lord’s Supper in verses 15-17, and verses 19-22, where the worship of idols is dealt with.  It is as if to say that Israel had amongst them those who worshipped idols, as verse 7 has clearly stated, as well as those who worshipped God, as this verse states, and the Corinthians are invited to decide which company honoured God.  The Corinthians are being exhorted to side with the latter. By “Israel after the flesh” Paul means the nation as men upon earth, subject to temptation to either go back to the idols of Egypt, as many did by worshipping the golden calf, or to go forward and adopt the idols of Canaan, as many did at Baal-Peor.  The Corinthians live in the flesh, too, and Corinth presents them with temptations.  How are they going to respond to those temptations?
Are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar?  The altar before the Lord in the tabernacle court was sanctified to be used in the worship of God.  Only holy things or people were to touch it.  That which an Israelite brought by way of offerings was presented to God there, but in certain circumstances either he or the priest could eat part of his offering.  Most of the meal offering was eaten by the priests, Leviticus 2:3.  They could also eat specified parts of some sin offerings, Leviticus 6:26.  And the Israelite could eat part of the peace offering, Leviticus 7:15, as could the priests, 32-34. As they ate of the sacrifices, these men had a share in what the altar represented, namely the worship of God.  They must ask themselves whether it would be consistent to have fellowship with God, and also with that which is hostile to Him.

(c)  Verses 19,20    The fellowship of idolaters.

10:19  What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing?

What say I then?  The apostle asks, “In what direction is my argument leading us?  What is the logical outcome of it, which will tell us how to act in this matter?”
That the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing?  Does the mention of loaf, cup, altar and idols indicate that there is some mystical or even magical power latent in these material objects?  Or is it that they bring ideas to our minds?  If so, what does an idol and the things offered to it bring to our minds?  He mentions the things offered to idols as well as the idols themselves because the eating of things offered to idols involves fellowship with what the idol represents.  Just as to partake of sacrifices placed on Israel’s altar is to have fellowship with Israel’s God, so to eat things offered to idols is to have fellowship with the one behind the idol.

10:20  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.

But I say- the apostle denies that he makes an idol of any spiritual worth by seeming to put the sacrifices of God alongside the sacrifices to an idol for comparison.  He is not comparing like things but mutually exclusive things. That the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God- this is the climax of the passage that began in 8:1.  The apostle has approached the subject of things offered to idols from various angles, and now he declares forcefully, (and all the more forcefully because he quotes Scripture as he does so; the words are found in Deuteronomy 32:17), that to sacrifice to an idol is to sacrifice to the devil behind the idol.  There is no compromise in this matter, it is “to devils”, it is “not to God”.  There is no sense in which things offered to idols can in any way glorify God. The words Paul quotes are from the Song of Moses.  In that Song he was preparing the people for their entrance into the land of Canaan, with all its idol-worshipping inhabitants.  But he is also preparing the nation for the day, just before their Messiah comes in glory, when the most pressure will be upon them to worship the image of the beast, Revelation 13:15.  So the words have relevance to the law-age and the tribulation-age.  Here the apostle is utilising his words to warn the people of God of this church-age. It is striking that the apostle says “the Gentiles sacrifice”, because in Moses’ Song the reference is to the children of Israel.  The warning comes to the Corinthians, formerly Gentiles in the main, but now claiming to be believers, that they should be on their guard lest their profession be false, like many in Israel.  Professed believers acted like idol-worshipping Gentiles once, in the wilderness, and they can do so again, in Corinth.
And I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils- the lesson is being reinforced here, for the things the Corinthians were associating with were not matters of indifference.  It was fearfully possible for believers, thinking idol worship to be just a custom they were brought up in before conversion, to continue with it after they had come to know the Lord.

10:21  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.

Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils- these two things, the cup of the Lord’s Supper, and the cup, (probably containing hallucinating drugs), of devils, are mutually exclusive.  It is not possible to really and truly, from the heart, drink the cup of the Lord’s Supper, and also engage in idolatrous practices.  The cup is put first again, but the cup of the Lord’s Supper is now called the Cup of the Lord, for by putting it to the lips and drinking from it, the believer renews his commitment to the Lord.  The fact that it is the Lord’s Supper is thereby emphasised.  The apostle will rebuke some at Corinth for eating their own supper, when professing to eat the Lord’s Supper, 11:20,21.
Ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils- by eating the bread, the believer has fellowship with the Lord, but also signifies that he is satisfied by the good spiritual nourishment he receives through the Word of God.  The question that Israel asked was “Can God furnish a table in the wilderness”? Psalm 78:19.  The answer was that He could, for He gave them manna day by day and quails also.  So if the cup represents the sum total of spiritual blessings that cheer the heart of the believer, then the loaf represents the sum total of the spiritual nourishment that the Lord provides for them in the wilderness journey. Notice that it is the loaf that he calls the Lord’s Table, alerting us to the fact that the Lord’s Supper and the Lord’s Table are distinct, although related.  It is quite wrong to speak of the Lord’s Supper as being in itself the Lord’s Table, for the Lord’s Table does not include the cup.  The apostle is not specifically saying that a person cannot physically partake of the Lord’s Supper and physically share in the table of demons, for some in Corinth were doing just that. What he is saying that a believer cannot be involved meaningfully in what the Lord provides for His people, and also be involved meaningfully with idolatrous systems, for they are mutually exclusive.

10:22  Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than He?

Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy?  This is a further quotation from the Song of Moses.  When He gave the law at Sinai, God made it very clear that He is a jealous God, jealous for His own honour.  His words were, “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me; and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love Me, and keep My commandments”, Exodus 20:4-6.  Not only is God jealous of His honour in a general way, but specifically, He is jealous of the honour of His Son, for He is “the image of the invisible God”, Colossians 1:15, and as such is given the sole right to manifest and represent God.  Any attempt, therefore, on the part of the forces of evil to displace Christ in this role, arouses God’s jealousy and anger.
Are we stronger than He?  As the words quoted above show, God is not indifferent to rebellion as expressed in idol worship.  He visits the iniquity.  The apostle in effect asks the Corinthians, “Are you able to overcome when God puts forth His power against you in judgement upon your fellowship with idols?” The apostle does say “we”, so includes himself in the general idea that any activity that is not compatible with God’s honour, is provocative to Him.

THE WORDS OF THE BIBLE, THE CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES, AS FOUND IN THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 10, VERSES 23 TO 33:

10:23  All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.
10:24  Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth.
10:25  Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake:
10:26  For the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof.

10:27  If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake.

10:28  But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof:
10:29  Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man’s conscience?
10:30  For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks?
10:31  Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
10:32  Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:

10:33  Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.

Section (e)    Verses 23-33    Feasting with unbelievers.

10:23  All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient- the apostle is not saying that for him as a believer murder, for example, is lawful, for it is not.  Whilst the believer is not under law, that does not mean he may act lawlessly.  He is “under law to Christ”, 1 Corinthians 9:21, and fulfils the righteousness of the law, Romans 8:4, even though not formally under it, Romans 6:14. The apostle is writing specifically about the matter in hand, and in relation to the food offered to idols.  Food is material, and as such is neutral as far as morality is concerned.  As the apostle writes elsewhere, “For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer”, 1 Timothy 4:4,5.  The word of God in question being the word of Genesis 9:3, where God sanctioned the eating of meat after the flood.  The prayer is the saying of grace before eating.  The words are found in reference to the fact that seducing spirits bring the doctrines of demons, and command to abstain from meats, 1 Timothy 4:1,2. Even though that is the case, the believer cannot ignore what is associated with the food.  So what it is perfectly legitimate to eat may, at the same time, not be expedient to eat.  The word expedient meaning profitable, or advantageous.  Even though simply food, what is associated with the food may not be helpful, spiritually. All things are lawful for me, but all things edify not- food edifies or builds up the body, but it does not build up the soul of the one eating, or those he eats with, if its connections are evil, and wrong conclusions are drawn from the eating of it by others.

10:24  Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth.

Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth- not only should we be concerned about the honour of God, as previous verses have shown, we should consider one another’s welfare, too.  We must always ask ourselves the question, “Is this course of action helping or hindering the spiritual welfare of fellow believers?” We ought also to ask the question, “Is what I am doing giving the wrong impression to unbelievers”.

10:25  Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake:

Whatsoever is sold in the shambles- the shambles was the name for the meat market in Bible times.  Those who sold meat to the public would all be found in the same street, as was often the case elsewhere in former times.  This meat, however, may have come straight from the pagan temple, where it had been offered to idols.  What are believers to do?  Should they not eat meat so that they have no risk of eating the meat from the temple?
That eat, asking no question for conscience sake- without delving into the source of the meat being offered, the believer is able, with all good conscience, to eat any meat.

10:26  For the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof.

For the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof- the reason why the apostle can be so forthright about this is that, as the psalmist said, in the final analysis, everything belongs to the Lord, and He has provided it for our good.  This is not simply a general statement which may have exceptions, it is not only the earth as a whole, but all that goes to make up its fulness as well.  Nothing is excluded.  The apostle will quote from Psalm 24:1 again in verse 28.

10:27  If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake.

If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go- this is a slightly different scenario, with believers feasting with unbelievers.  They must weigh up whether it is a good idea to go or not, but if, having prayerfully thought about the thing, they incline to go, then they may safely eat all that is put before them.
Whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake- even though, as in the previous verse, there may be food previously offered to idols available, they may with all good conscience eat it.  The Lord Jesus accepted invitations to feasts, for He used them to present the truth.  It has to be said, however, that things offered to idols would not have been on the menu in a Jewish household.  The believer has to use his judgement in the matter, and only accept an invitation if the truth of God will be maintained in some way by so doing. No question need be asked about the meat because of possible links with idolatry, for the believer’s conscience is clear- he is not responsible for the catering at the feast, and the fulness of what is on earth belongs to the Lord, and He has provided it for the benefit of all.

10:28  But if any man say unto you, ‘This is offered in sacrifice unto idols’, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof:

But if any man say unto you, ‘This is offered in sacrifice unto idols’- a fellow-guest knows the origin of the meat, and informs the Christian guest, either out of kindness, or possibly to make a difficulty.  The situation has now changed.
Eat not for his sake that shewed it- this is the first reason to refrain from eating, lest the one who has given information about the meat should draw the wrong conclusion from seeing a believer eat meant previously offered to idols.
And for conscience sake- the second reason for not eating is the conscience of the informer.  Having seen a believer eat meat offered to idols and gained the wrong impression, he may go further and either continue with, or begin with, idolatry.
For the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof- this is the second use the apostle makes of Psalm 24:1.  Before, he supported the eating of the meat from the fact that the fulness of the earth belongs to the Lord, and He has given it to men for their blessing.  Here, the emphasis is that it belongs to the Lord.  He is Lord, and all “lords many”, (8:5), amongst the demon hosts are in opposition to Him.  The believer must not give the impression that demon forces have even a slight amount of lordship over him.  On the other hand, he must give the impression that he recognises the lordship of God absolutely.

10:29  Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man’s conscience?

Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other- a believer is not to be governed by decisions made in the conscience of unbelievers, but in subjection to the Lord.  He is, however, to take account of the wrong conclusion others may draw from his actions.
For why is my liberty judged of another man’s conscience?  Christian liberty is to be exercised in relation to what the Lord allows or disallows, not what ignorant unbelievers think.  What an unbeliever may think after seeing a believer eat meat offered to idols is very important, and should be taken into account carefully, but in the final analysis the decision the believer makes is on the basis of God’s truth, not an unbeliever’s conscience.  Christian liberty is not at the mercy of unbelieving misunderstandings.

10:30  For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks?

For if I by grace be a partaker- the Scripture requires us to give thanks for our food.  The apostle referred to the doctrines of demons when he wrote to Timothy, and one of those doctrines was a command to abstain from eating meat.  Those meats, however, “God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.  For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer”, 1 Timothy 4:1-5.  The word of God in particular is the permission God gave to Noah to eat meat, in the words, “Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things”, Genesis 9:3.  The only proviso was that the meat should not be eaten with the blood, and this is repeated in the New Testament when the apostles directed the believers to abstain from blood, Acts 15:29.  So black sausage and suchlike meat products should not be eaten by believers. Not only is there the general permission to eat meat, but also the specific requirement that the believer give thanks for that food before eating it.  This is the “prayer” of 1 Timothy 4:5, and the “grace” and the “give thanks” of the verse we are considering.  It is envisaged that the believer will say grace before meals, and so give thanks to God for what He has provided for the needs of the body.  It is clear from this passage also, that this giving of thanks also is to take place even at an unbeliever’s feast, and in an unbeliever’s home, possibly.  This should not be done in any ostentatious way, but it is fitting that even in such circumstances the believer should quietly bow his head and give thanks to God before eating.  If this is noticed, it will speak volumes to unbelievers present.
Why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks?  The argument of the apostle is that if thanks has been given to God for the food, and it has been sanctified by that action, then nothing that an unbeliever may think or say can make it unsanctified.  There is no reason why a believer in those circumstances should be evil spoken of, for he has complied with God’s will. So the following things are true of the meat at an unbelievers feast: 1.    Meat offered to idols is no different to any other. 2.    The believer has perfect liberty to eat it. 3.    It is set apart by God for man’s use. 4.    Grace has been said over it by the believer. Yet, after all that, such is the care he should take lest he offend the conscience of an unbeliever, he must refrain from eating that meat if it is definitely pointed out as having been previously offered to idols.

10:31  Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do- whether at an unbeliever’s house or not, we must be circumspect in our actions.  If we eat and drink in such circumstances as cause an unbeliever to stumble, then we displease God.  And this principle extends to whatsoever we do, not just in the matter of eating and drinking.  We cannot put our lives in compartments, and say that certain areas are not affected by what we believe.  Our whole life must be under the control of the word of God.
Do all to the glory of God- the believer is in the privileged position of being able to glorify God.  This unbelievers cannot do.  We should therefore be careful to see that we do in fact enhances God’s reputation in the world, and not the reverse.

10:32  Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:

Give none offence- the particular way we can glorify God is to so conduct ourselves before men that they have no just cause for finding fault, and no just reason for rejecting the truth of God.  It is true that unbelievers are good at making excuses for not turning to Christ; we should ensure they have no good reason to do so because of what they see believers do. Neither to the Jews- these who are steadfastly set against idolatry, will be quick to accuse Christians of compromising with idols.  They must be given no reason for thinking that, and thereby being confirmed in their unbelief of the gospel.
Nor to the Gentiles- these, if they see believers compromising with idols, might say something like, “I will carry on with my idols, for there is no difference between myself and Christians”.
Nor to the church of God- the assembly at Corinth was addressed by the apostle as “the church of God which is in Corinth”, in 1:2.  This term is never applied to the church which is Christ’s body, the sum total of the believers of this age.  After all, many of these are in heaven, having died, so how can we offend them anyway?  And there may be some who are not yet saved, (for the church which is Christ’s body is an entity in the mind of God, it is not yet realised fully as far as we are concerned).  The apostle is warning against causing offence to those who comprise the local assembly at Corinth, lest some be drawn into association with idols through the unwise behaviour of their fellow-believers.

10:33  Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.

Even as I please all men in all things- to please means here “to be of service”.  We should be at the service of unbelievers, not brashly riding roughshod over their feelings.  There are those who are seeking the Lord, and we should not put any obstacles in their way.
Not seeking mine own profit- the Christian should be like his Lord, who came amongst men to give, not to take.  A believer who parades before others his supposed liberty to associate with idols with impunity, is seeking his own profit, in terms of prestige and admiration from carnal men and liberal-minded believers.
But the profit of many, that they may be saved- the apostle sought to please all men, but he was a realist, and knew that not all men would be saved, even though they could be.  So he sought to please all, so that many might get saved.  The next verse, whilst it is found in the next chapter, contains an exhortation to be like the apostle in the attitude he has described in this verse.  He assures us that in the measure in which his behaviour is like his Lord’s, we may safely follow his example.