The Rock was Christ
1 Corinthians 10:1-5 ESV
“For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness.”
Many people, at least here in America, gather together weekly with those who call themselves “the church,” and/or inside a building called “a church.” Since Covid came into being a year ago, many of those gatherings are now virtual instead of in person. And some of those churches folded last year.
Statistics have it that 65% of Americans claim Christianity as their religion. They also have it that 41% of these who claim to be Christians attend weekly church services in gatherings or in buildings commonly referred to as “the church.” (Source: Wikipedia)
But I will note here before we go further that the church is not a building or an organization of human origin, nor is it a church denomination or a corporation (non-profit) under the state. But it is the people of God who have been crucified with Christ in death to sin. It is a living organism.
But, for the sake of discussion here I have pointed out that well over half of Americans have some familiarity with Jesus Christ and with the Scriptures and nearly half of them do gather weekly with others who also claim to be Christians, and in most of these settings the Bible is read, even if out of context.
Many Americans, if asked, will say that they believe in Jesus, even if they don’t have actual biblical faith in him. And Bibles and Scriptures are readily available to us in bookstores and on the internet and on TV for us to read, as well as we can watch or listen to sermons or to Christian music, etc.
But even though over half of Americans claim to be Christians, and almost half of them gather together with other Christians weekly to worship God and to hear sermons where the word of God is supposedly being taught, with most of them God is not pleased, either, because of their unbelief, because they are still living in sin in disobedience to the Lord.
As Examples for Us
1 Corinthians 10:6-11 ESV
“Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did. Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, ‘The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.’ We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day.
“We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down FOR OUR INSTRUCTION, on whom the end of the ages has come.”
The reason I state that God is not pleased with most Americans who call themselves Christians is because most of them have bought into a cheap grace gospel which has turned the narrow (restricted) gate into heaven, which few enter, into a broad (wide) gate that many enter.
How do I know this? I am on the internet, on social media, on blogs, on Christian discussion sites, and I have gone to many of these churches of different denominations and have seen in person how the gospel has been altered and how the masses have bought into it. And I read books and articles and blog posts and social media posts, so I can see.
It is glaringly obvious that most people who call themselves Christians are worldly and are much more comfortable talking about the things of the world than they are talking about Jesus, sin, repentance, obedience and submission to Christ as Lord and Savior of our lives. And most of them are purporting this cheap grace gospel.
So, what this cheap grace gospel does is it gives its adherents carte blanche to continue living in sin without guilt while promising them forgiveness of sins and heaven guaranteed as their eternal destiny. And so many of them are living in sexual immorality and idolatry, and they are putting God to the test by their blatant disregard of the Lord and his commands.
But what this passage of Scripture does is it warns us against living in sin, thinking that nothing bad will happen to us. God is saying that what he did to his rebellious ones of old he will do again, so we should take this seriously and not take God and his grace for granted. We should not presume upon God that he will overlook such willful and deliberate disobedience to him.
God is Faithful
1 Corinthians 10:12-13 ESV
“Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
So, the instruction for us here is that we should take heed if we think we stand lest we fall. Why? Because we are being warned here that it is possible for us to think that just because we call ourselves Christians or just because we prayed a prayer or professed some faith in Christ that we are now secure and so it doesn’t matter if we sin or how much.
But just because we claim to be Christians, or just because we said some words in a prayer once in our lives, or just because we joined a church fellowship, or we were baptized, or we went through catechism, or we grew up attending weekly church services, it does not guarantee us eternal life with God. It does not mean that when we die we are going to heaven.
It is possible for us to do all those things and still not be saved from our sins, and for God to not be pleased with us, and for him to judge us because of our unbelief because of our habitual disobedience. And that is why he taught us this lesson here from Israel’s history so that we will know that, as he did to them, he can also do to us.
But, you say, “Now we are under grace.” So, what does that look like? The Bible says that God’s grace trains us to say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s return (Tit 2:11-14).
And it also teaches that the righteous requirement of the law is fulfilled in us who WALK NOT according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. And it teaches that if we walk (in conduct, in practice) according to the flesh, that we will die in our sins, not have eternal life with God.
[Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8]
For, none of us are given an excuse to continue living in sin under God’s grace. God’s grace, instead, provided the way for us to die with Christ to sin and to live to Christ and to his righteousness. Jesus made the way of escape for us out from underneath temptation so that we would no longer give into it, so that we would no longer be under its control, but so we would now be under the Holy Spirit’s control (Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24).
So, if we want to be saved from our sins and have eternal life with God, we must die with Christ to sin and live to Christ and to his righteousness in the power of God’s Spirit living within us. We must no longer be slaves to sin, but we must be slaves to God and to his righteousness.
For, if we continue living in habitual and deliberate sin against our Lord, we will die in our sins. We will not have eternal life with God. So, accept God’s way of escape for you today. Surrender your lives to Jesus, die with him to sin, and in the power of God’s Spirit, now live to his righteousness.
His Tender Mercies
An Original Work / January 26, 2014
Fear not! I’m with you.
Be not dismayed!
God watches o’er you.
Trust Him today.
He’ll lead and guide you;
Give you His aid.
He’ll love and keep you
With Him always.
Walk in His footsteps.
He’ll lead the way.
Trust in His love;
Believe that He cares.
He will not leave you.
Faithful He’ll be.
His tender mercies
Now you will see.
Fellowship with Him
Throughout the day.
Tell Him your heartaches.
He’ll heal always.
Rest in His comfort.
He is your friend.
Your faith He’ll strengthen,
True to the end.