1 Corinthians 10 Lesson

Learning from history

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

At some point in our lives, a lot of us have probably heard this quote. It is an important quote.

History is a great teacher! Students of history learn both things that they would like to repeat and things that they would like to avoid. There are thousands of books available to study history, none more important than the Bible.

The Bible is the single greatest teacher in the world! As the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy:

  • "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.

WHAT DOES THE HISTORY IN THE BIBLE TEACH US?

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

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 keeping God's commandments and avoid the sins of those who did not.    

In Chapter 10, Paul is reminding 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.  He is pleading with them to learn from the mistakes of others.

There were many sin problems facing Corinth at the time of Paul’s letter.   These included:

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

There are three points for us to consider today, and then the lesson will be yours:

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

POINT #1 - GOD IS PATIENT WITH OUR SINS

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

The Apostle 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 still be made right with God through the redeeming blood of Jesus.

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

God loves us. He loves us so much that He sent His only Son to die on the cross for our sins.

  • "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.

In return, He asks for us to confess our sins and repent when we slip up.

POINT #2 - IF WE CONFESS OUR SINS, GOD WILL FORGIVE THEM

 We all will sin, and we all will make mistakes and bad choices.  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 expanded 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 God that is waiting for us to return to Him so that we can be saved. When we do sin, we can take comfort in these words, also found in 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.

POINT #3 - Paul shared with sinners a better way to live, by obeying the Gospel.

Paul led by example.  He shared the Gospel with everyone.  Through his spoken words, his example, and his many letters, Paul showed how much he loves the Lord and how much he loved his neighbor. 

We do well to follow Paul’s example and to share the teachings of the Bible with others.

We will conclude today’s lesson with the following four Proverbs on the topic of learning:

  1. “A wise person will hear and increase in learning .” - Proverbs 1:5.
  2. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” - Proverbs 1:7.
  3. “The mind of the discerning acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.” - Proverbs 18:15.
  4. “Give instruction to a wise person and he will become still wiser; teach a righteous person and he will increase his insight.” - Proverbs 9:9.

Comments

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.

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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.

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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.

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Michael

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!

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