1 Corinthians 10 Lesson

Learning From History


“Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” – George Santayana. 

We can learn a lot from history, both things that we want to repeat, and things that we want to avoid. 

And when it comes to history, there is no greater historical reference than the Bible! 

Consider the following scripture written by the Apostle Paul:

  • "All Scripture is inspired by God and beneficial for teaching, for rebuke, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man or woman of God may be fully capable, equipped for every good work." - 2 Timothy 3:16-17.


There are many lessons to be learned from the history that is written in the Bible.  One of the most important is this:

  1. Those who obey God are blessed,
  2. Those who disobey God are punished.

There is an important distinction that must be considered.  

These blessings and punishments are spiritual, not earthly.   

As we read from God's inspired word, we need to be mindful of how many times the above two scenarios play out. 

If we are wise, we will follow the behaviors of those who were blessed for their obedience to God and avoid the sins and punishment of those who were not.   


In 1 Corinthians Chapter 10, Paul reminds the Corinthians of all the trouble their forefathers got into during their exodus from Egypt.  

The Israelites were given great privileges by God, but they did not obey Him.  

Instead of trusting and obeying God, they complained and turned away to pursue their own sinful lusts.  

Because of this, God punished the Israelites.

Paul writes to the Corinthians hoping to spare them from God's wrath.  He wants them to turn away from their sins and follow Jesus before it is too late! 

He is pleading with them to learn from the mistakes of others.

At the time of Paul's letter to the Corinthians, Corinth was a city overcome by the sins of the world.  These sins included:

  • Fornication,
  • Prostitution,
  • Adultery,
  • Idolatry,
  • Improper worship.

So, what can we learn from all this?  

There are three points that we will consider in today’s lesson:

  1. God is patient,
  2. If we confess our sins, God will forgivethem,
  3. Paul shared with sinners a better way to live, by obeying the Gospel.


We do not have a God who is sitting around hoping for us to fail so that He can punish us.  

Quite the opposite! 

Peter wrote about this in his second epistle:

  • “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” – 2 Peter 3:9.  

When we sin and fall short, we can be made right with God through the redeeming blood of Jesus.

Paul wrote about this in his letter to the Ephesians.  

  • "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our wrongdoings, according to the riches of His grace." - Ephesians 1:7.

God understands that despite our best efforts to keep His commandments, we are all sinners, and we are all going to make mistakes.  That is why He sent His Son!

  • "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life." - John 3:16.

What God asks from us in return is to confess our sins, and repent (turn away) of them.   


We all sin and make mistakes, despite our best intentions. 

The Apostle Paul wrote about this in his letter to the Romans:

  • "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." - Romans 3:23.

John expands on this thought in his first epistle:

  • "If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us." - 1 John 1:8.

How comforting it is to have a loving Father who is waiting for us to return to Him so that we can be saved!   

We can take great comfort in the following words, also from John's first epistle:

  • “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” - 1 John 1:19.


Paul led by example. 

He shared the Gospel with people from many nations. 

Through his spoken words, his example, and his many letters, Paul showed his love for the Lord and his neighbor. 

He was not ashamed of the Gospel and was always ready to share the good news of Jesus with the people that he met.   

As Christians, we need to follow Paul's example and share the Gospel with the people that God has brought into our lives.

  • "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." - Mathew 28:19-20.


The Bible is the best-selling book of all time, and for good reason!

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, roughly 5-7 billion copies of the Bible have already been sold, and roughly 80 million copies are sold each year. 

We are blessed to have the teachings of the Bible to learn from. 

If we apply what we read, the Bible will help us avoid the mistakes that people have made before us. 

One of the most important lessons we can learn from the Bible is this:

  1. Those who obey God are blessed,
  2. Those who disobey God are punished.  

We will end today's lesson with the following quote from the Book of Hebrews:

  • “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” - Hebrews 4:12.


Pat Dermody

I think it is easy to get caught up in the worldly things...buying material things that are costly because we desire them. (houses,clothes, cars ); We tell ourselves that we “need” them This may cause us to work harder to earn the money for these often expensive trappings we think we need and maybe can’t afford. Movies, TV and the internet often promote styles of life which we tell ourselves is okay because “everyone does it”. Little by little we folllow Satan’s path which is more fun and easier. We get so busy in our day to day routines that we forget to include God through prayer and reading of the scriptures. The scriptures remind us of the sins of the past and what we need to do to avoid Satan and follow God and grow in our faith.

David Wolff

We fail to learn from our past for several reasons. Pride gets in the way and do our best to cover or at least deny it, no matter how evident it may be to others. Again pride gets in the way and we may acknowledge the issue but write it off as a one time error without fully examining the consequences of it. Then there’s generational gap; in which one generation does not fully grasp the consequences of a past action or event. This is usually the fault of both generations; one who has not properly taught the next, the other for thinking themselves above approach.


Satan usually surrounds his lies with half truths. He can put people into our lives to distort the past, say it no longer applies, etc. We need to work at being strong enough in our faith so that we can decide for ourselves what history does or does not mean. Mentors also play an important role. Having someone that you trust to bounce questions off of - about scripture, or life in general - is a tremendous blessing!


Great points!