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The Outrage of Idolatry

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
August 18, 2022 4:00 am

The Outrage of Idolatry

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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August 18, 2022 4:00 am

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When you go out and you worship in a fall system or religion or you sit around and be a part of it. You are actually in a communion situation be identified with the worshipers of the worship.

One was when you go out the rest of the world is displayed in the rest of the world's activities have decided that what it means to be male and what it means to be female are open for debate, but does a debate like that apply to what it is to be a Christian. In other words, do you decide what it looks like to follow Christ, or is your spiritual identity fixed and unchanging.

John MacArthur is going to answer that question today on grace to you is continuing his series called pitfalls of Christian liberty with a lesson that explains why your decisions should be less about what you want and more about your identity in Christ. So here now is John MacArthur hours were looking at chapter 10 versus 14 to 22 under the subject, the truth about idolatry.

The subject of idolatry has arisen in first Corinthians because of the fact that some of the Corinthian Christians in the name of Christian liberty in the name of their so-called freedom in Christ were attending idolatrous activities and Paul writes to that very issue here in first Corinthians in his word to them in verse 14 is very clear.

Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry in the name of Christian liberty don't pursue idolatry is one thing, perhaps to eat a piece of meat that you bought in a butcher shop rate that once at one point might have been offered to an idol. It's one thing to go to somebody's house for dinner and eat something that they give you that may have personally and privately been dedicated to an idol, but it's something else to push that to the point where you're attending idle festivals idol celebration pagan feasts and so forth. And that then becomes the theme of what he's saying and 14 to 22. Why a believer should avoid the idolatry of the world if you will now as a basis of his argument to make his point here he uses the Lord's supper must look first about 16 the cup of blessing. What is a couple blessing verse 16 again, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ. So taking the cup which Jesus blessed and in turn, blessing it, setting it apart for sacred use and then participating in it is an act of communion with the death of Christ.

Now it's gone a step further. Verse 16 the bread, or literally, the loaf to correspond more with The loaf which we break is it not the communion of the body of Christ now know when we commune with the bread is the body of Christ and the breaking of it has no symbolic connection to the cross will say of the Lord's body was broken on the cross.

It was not broken, the Bible makes a specific point of that in John 1936 it says and not a bone of them was broken that the scripture might be fulfilled.

The only reason that Jesus took the loaf and broke it was to give everybody a piece of the same low you see we are all partakers of one bread, who is Christ. And it has to be broken to be passed out to us. The symbolism is only that in distribution not in death.

His body was never broke so when we have this re-summarizes thought. Hang on the breaking refers only to the distribution of the one loaf it relates to the fact that all believers share in that one life, we not only commune, beloved, we not only communion with Christ death. We commune with his life. Also in Philippians 310. II want to know him the power of his resurrection. That's related to his death and the fellowship of his. What suffering that's related to his life, being made conformable to his death.

Pulses I want to be able to suffer for him.

I want to be able to have the humanity of Jesus, as it were relived in me. I want to bear the marks of Jesus in this body I want to fill up in my body.

The sufferings are meant for Jesus Christ.

I want to commune with his humanness. I want to commune with his suffering. I want to be persecuted for righteousness sake. As he was persecuted for righteousness sake. I want to be able to go to him and find him a sympathetic high priest who knows everything that I suffer because he suffered himself. So when you come to the table of the Lord beloved the bread represents the humanity of Jesus and represents his humiliation and represents his humanness is human suffering is a man for us something we definitely communion something we definitely relate to as he is our sympathetic high priest. We carry our cares to him, knowing he's been there and he knows the cup represents his violent death for the forgiveness of sin, something we also commune. We also are actualized into being identified in his death person so we are literally communing with him in that Now want to see something when we take those things. They're not just symbols. There is an actual communion that occurs, let me show you what I mean. There is confusion about that and there are different views of how that works. The word point near their communion in verse 16 is the word to participate. The verb means to share or to partake of, or to participate or to be a partner in the noun client on a amine's participation, partnership, fellowship, communion as a Christian we literally participate in Christ. First Corinthians 19 says we participate with the sun. Second Corinthians 13. We participate with the spirit Philippians 21. We participate in the ministry segment is 84 we participate in the gospel.

Philippians 3 we participate in suffering we are fellowship in all the time with Christ, sharing him his spirit, his ministry, his gospel, his suffering and we come to the table.

We participate in his death, we are sharing the benefits of his death. That's with me. We are sharing in the meaning of his death. The purpose of at the point of so it's more than just remembering it sharing fellowship in just a fading partake in community you come to that. You look at the cup and look at the bread they are just a couple bread.

They don't even just symbols. All of a sudden, Christ is alive all of a sudden you are sensitized in the reality of Christ is actualized in your mind and you see his cross, and you see your union with him and you see his body, and you see it given in your behalf and you see the fact that he lived and he suffered and is a sympathetic high priest. All of that is actualized is like reading the Bible, you can spend your day just Christ is with you where two or three are gathered if you maybe with Christians. He was there actively but he's there anyway in your life and all day long trying to go along.

These there is there but you really are aware of it and then an evening you sit down. He open the Bible to begin to read what happened. Hebrews 412 says the word of God is what alive and all of a sudden you pick up the pages and things begin to come alive in Christ becomes real to you is actualized in your mind to sensitized an intense kind of way in an intense kind of way.

Christ becomes very real and your consciousness is made will aware of the fact that he's there where he's been there all the time but you weren't really sensitized or maybe you came home and you'd been busy with the things of the world and you got down and you sat in a chair and began to pray and you talk to the Lord and all of a sudden the Lord of been there all the time became very, very real to you and you were very very aware what that is exactly what the Communion does is not just a symbol but it is to see a symbol and have your mind sensitized to actuality that he's alive and he's there that he lived for you and he carried his cares through this world, that he might carry years later and he died on the cross for your sins that you might not have to bear the that all of the things about Christ that are always true all the time become sensitively brought to your mind in the community. That's the meaning now watch all of that. I'm telling you to give you an understanding of the soul passes and the rest is just a run right there. He's saying, look people when you come to the Lord's table. You are communing with Christ. You are actively involved in a partaking of all that he is and all that he has the you are fellowship in participating in his reality.

That's what that service means and when you go over to an idol Festival and you eat that idle offering of drink and meet and you fellowship with those idol worshipers. You are in a sense identifying with that I know whether you like it or not. So at one point you are communing with Christ and at the next turn your communing with idols and that is hopelessly inconsistent.

What he saying is drawing this is saying a religious service a religious feast constitutes communion with the one being worshiped. If it's Christ it's communion with him. If it's an idol it's communion with him, you can't do both inconsistent were 70 further. This is best translated by the new American since there is one bread, we who are many, are one body we all partake of that one bread is only one bread and its Christ as so everybody who partakes of that one bread is one with everybody else. And this is the second great point of communion. We are all one body we all partake of one loaf we are all joined to Christ, so we are inseparably joined region. Now watch everybody who comes to the Lord's table know not only enters into communion with Christ, but he enters into communion with everybody else who's also at the Lord's table. You see what he say we all come to that one bread. We all partake of that one bread, so we all constitute one body communion and means we are actually communing with Christ and actually communing with everybody else who's there in a religious festival in a religious feast worship the worshiper. The worshipers and the one being worshiped are all one know when you going idol feast. You may say I'm not a good of all. If you take place. You are a worshiper involved with worshipers involved with the one being worshiped. Whatever your intention might be. That's his point and he uses illustration an illustration from Israel.

Verse 18 behold Israel after the flesh are not they who eat of the sacrifice is partakers of the owner. Look at the history of Israel the altar there refers to God when they came to their sacrifices didn't they all partake in the give some of the food of the priest partake of some of it.

Some of that was burned up by God to to God soap part of the sacrifice with the God particle went to the priest and the other worshipers were involved as well. Part of it was There was an involvement. Israel was involved in sacrificing they were involved with each other and they were involved with God.

So what is he saying that participation in religious rights has deep spiritual meaning it implies a real union between the worshipers and the one being worshiped. That's what he say so you can't do this with idols without having that reality take place. Israel brought sacrifice a portion of which were consumed by the priests portion of which were burned on the altar. The rest were divided between the priest and the worshiping Jew and there was a communion between the Jew, the priest, and God as they partook of the altar are. That's Paul's point worship is identification communion with whoever's being worshiped. So if you're going to be like Israel. Verse 18 communion with the altar for the Jews meant fellowship with God and everybody else at the altar communion with Christ at the Lord's supper for the Christian means fellowship with Christ and everybody else that is table communion with the feast of an idol means fellowship with that idle and everybody else was there to listen Christian.

This comes right down to our living. We can't participate in idle feasts, any of the idolatrous godless priceless activities of our world without becoming identified with them without becoming one with all the rest of the people that are doing it well you know I don't know what the world does. I've been attending some of the wild social deals around and I out. I just cannot say back you are one with what's going on. You have identified and that kind of communion with the system at this point you have liberty, but if your liberty take you out to the places where the world is communing with its own system which is run by Satan in your part of that whole fellowship and that is hopelessly inconsistent can't do it just inconsistent to make sense is his first point second idolatry is not only inconsistent his demonic look at verse 19.

This really is easy to see what say. I then that the idol is anything that which is offered and sacrificed to idols is anything in the answer is no. Am I saying that that idle is a true God, but there really is a God there are that some sacrifice offered to him is anything no I'm not saying that a chapter 80 said the opposite in chapter 8.

Forest is an idol is nothing in chapter 8, 80 says in the food offered to an idol is nothing. I'm not saying that I'm not saying that when you go to commune with that idle you really communing with another God, no you're not. I'm not saying that you're really involved in the worship of another God I got to cover my tracks. Here Paul is saying I don't want you to be confused. I don't believe another God's. And that's not what I'm saying but I still say a real communion exists is a block and a real communion exist if there is in the real God just a rock and there's nobody there could be a real communion.

Verse 20 but I say that the things which the heathen sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and to a know God it's not a God.

It's a no God but a demon will be there and I don't want you to have fellowship with demons. Here's what happens. People worship an idol and we showed you this before and there is no God but if a person wants to believe there's a God there. You know what Satan will do.

He'll send one of his demons to impersonate the God with the people think is there and that demon will do enough supernatural works to keep the people worshiping that idle. I've said this to you many times. Why do you think somebody in some other society will bow down to a rock all his life because a demon will impersonate the God he thinks is in the rock and do enough stuff to keep the guy believing the rock is real why you think you will follow astrology because demons make another that stuff come true to those people. Why do you think people stay in false systems of religion, year after year after year and can never see the light because they have seen supernatural revelations in those system not because there is a God there. There is no God there but a demon will impersonate a 20 say so what constitutes actually a demonic communion is really taking place. When you go out and you worship in a fall system or religion or you sit around and be a part of that you are actually in a communion situation being identified with the worshipers in the worship.

One was a deep when you go out and do what the rest of the world does when you participate in the rest of the world's activities, your communing with demons. That's Paul's whole point here. It's demonic because Satan is the prince of this world and because he rules in this world by the use of his demons. His demons move around and impersonate all the religious systems of the world is demons still end and maintain all of the evil systems of this world better. What you get into your communing with them. You can avoid serious and from 96 five. The Greek translation of that verse is this all the gods of the heathen are demons. That's the Septuagint, the Greek all the gods of the nations or all the gods of the heathen are demons if they worship a false God, a demon will impersonate it. Deuteronomy 3217 of Psalm 106 37 say the same thing they sacrifice to demons for the fellow shipping with demon so here we have a Christian is over here and is communing with the Lord needs got the cup and the bread they turns around and goes to an idol feast as soon as he enters that idle feast and participates. He becomes a commuter with demons commuter with demons pulses. I don't want you verse 22 have fellowship in communion with demons. That's ridiculous that is unbelievable. Verse 21 you cannot and that is not the cannot of impossibility that is the cannot of inconsistency. You cannot be consistent and drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons you cannot be partakers of the Lord's table and the table of demons.

Why should a Christian avoid the things of the world.

Why should a Christian come out from among them and be separate and never touch the unclean thing, why should a Christian avoid the fashion of the world and the festivals of the world and the evil systems of the world. Whether they're moral or religious because a Christian cannot commune with demons turnaround in communion with Christ and maintain any kind of consistency that's clear all idolatry in every form, whether it's libel against God's character, whether it's the worship of an image or whether it's covetousness, luster, aisles in the heart, all of it is demonic.

People said you think, demons bother Christians yeah I sure do. When Christians put themselves in a place to get it. Stay away is only two times in the New Testament that I can see where Christian really got messed up by demons. One was when Ananias and Safar willfully sinned against the Holy Spirit and did it without confessing or turning from it. They just open themselves up. Satan came in and the other is right here where Christians hang around the things of the world. The systems of the world so that they wind up communing with demons as problems. You can't do what he says in verse 21.

It is the can't of spiritual inconsistency.

All you can do it is not impossible is just inconsistent and it's going to bring about a terrible terrible result.

This may help you understand why John says if anybody comes to your house.

I can John and teaches any other doctrine than this. Don't bid him good speed and door them in your house or you will become a what partaker there's the word again. Commuter with his evil deed. So she let that guy in your house with that false truth, you have commune with him again.

There is a spiritual connection made put them out. You see, there is that tremendous truth that we must maintain separate in order that our communion might be holy and purely identifying with Jesus Christ and not with the say well I don't see that that's that big of a of an issue. I can commune with Christ over here in a few of those things I can enjoy it make that much difference. Oh, verse 22 gives the third reason not to hang around idols and that is it is offensive to the Lord, are you ready for this. Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy. Are we stronger than he was and I've commune with Christ. What would I do with that order. Well I will have a pardon, but just his third argument is its offensive to the Lord. And this is what he says are you provoke the Lord to jealousy. Are you stronger than he know what I've learned in my life only make enemies of people weaker than you your Internet don't make enemies out of people who can handle you. The only way that I would ever want to make God jealous and get him upset at me would be if I was tougher than he so you know what I don't ever do anything to get him irritated. That's what he say you want to make the Lord jealous and in Deuteronomy 3221 he said they have stirred me to jealousy with what is it no God, there provoke me with her idols.

You want to stir got a jealousy then you better be stronger than he is, or you will be able to handle him because he deals very strongly with idolatry or you gonna do is read the Bible about that you just read Deuteronomy 7 Deuteronomy 16 Deuteronomy 17 Jeremiah 25 Jeremiah 44 just read Revelation chapter 14 chapter 21 chapter 22 their inferences. In all those places about the vengeance of God against idols and idol worship only what you Y provoke God. Jealousy is if you're stronger than he is. Its offensive to the Lord. He judges idol worshipers and you will escape no one ever had a dangerous place to be. Remember the Scripture below that if you're Christian. Don't don't worship idols. Some of the Corinthians, apparently because they had been doing this the idols of the world hang around communing with those demons wound up sick and dead they actually were the largest actually chastise them some cases he took their lives were about an unbeliever. He says again and again the Bible goes who are idolatrous will have no part in this King, we are free in Christ love that's true you are. I am we have to keep two things in mind. How will my freedom affect others.

I want to do anything to offend them how my freedom affect me. I want to do anything in my liberty to screw exposed me to idolatry and Satan system and catch me in sin and then the chastisement of God. So I would say to you what John the beloved said little children, keep yourselves from idols, spray father, thank you for your love for your grace and mercy and your concern about us the same time that we see all those things father in there so manifest as we share your table in your cup and even as we read your word.

Know your truth. We recognize these trips but father.

We also know that your God of vengeance, your God of judgment of God, who chastens your God, who will deal with those who are idolatrous help was to have no other gods before you help us to worship nowhere, but at your feet, help us to commune only with Christ and with the believers and the brother never with any other spirit. Any other worship. We realize it were to run from anything that even borders on idolatry because it is inconsistent demonic and offensive to you.

Give us the senses you for your apostle Paul instructed the Corinthians to judge what Paul has said is intelligent people make a commitment to a decision about praying Christ sees Grace to you with John MacArthur. Thanks for being with us along with teaching each day on radio. John also serves as Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary. The focus of his study today. Pitfalls of Christian liberty will John after spending the last two weeks looking at first Corinthians 10. It seems this issue of Christian liberty is more about serving others than it is about exercising our own freedom that a fair summary that is exactly right.

Christian liberty is more about serving others than it is exercising our own freedom but but is not the Christian life is in the Christian life more about serving others totally risen Jesus. The example came not to be ministered to but to minister him not to be served but to serve, and give his life a ransom for many. This is Christianity. Christianity is setting aside my own freedom. Setting aside my own desires and wants priorities liberties if need be. Setting aside anything and everything for the sake of love for the sake of not offending. For the sake of building up another for the sake of setting the highest example. You want people flaunt their freedom. That is just that is just lack of love and lack of love indicates the presence of dominating pride say it another way, only humble people love and only people who love set aside their liberties for the sake of others goes back to humility and if you're proud that is the sin that God hates God gives grace to the humble start with humility, you end up loving.

If you end up loving you end up sacrificing anything for the service of others. So we had a wonderful time in the study. The pitfalls of Christian liberty.

I would love for you to have this series for yourself. You can download the messages on the grace to website G or you can get the pitfalls of Christian liberty on a five CD album. These are important things as we live out our Christian lives in the body of Christ. Get your copy today either on CD or downloaded from the website. That's right, friend. If you want to know how to exercise Christian liberty in a humble, loving Christ exalting way.

Let me encourage you to pick up a copy of John series pitfalls of Christian liberty, or his classic book titled the vanishing conscience get in touch with us today.

The vanishing conscience book is a great complement to John's pitfalls of Christian liberty audio study book outlines a practical strategy for fighting sin and pursuing holiness and enjoying a conscience to order call our customer service line at 855 race or visit our website G and when you visit G Make sure to take advantage of the thousands of free resources available where you can read daily devotionals, watch episodes of grace to you.

Television or download more than 3500 of John sermons to tap into those free Bible study aids and download John's current study pitfalls of Christian liberty visit G also friend. Let me encourage you to follow us on social media. We regularly post about John's newest books, upcoming series and the latest grace to you news. You can find us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube now for John MacArthur and the entire staff. I'm Phil Johnson thank you for making this broadcast part of your day in join us tomorrow when John looks at how you can stand for the truth in a society that's actively fighting against it. Another half hour of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on grace

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