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Biblical Illustrator i Cor 10

Biblical Illustrator i Cor 10

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 26, 2011
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THE BIBLICAL ILLUSTRATOR I COR 10I. CORITHIAS.CHAPTER X.Vers. 1-13. Moreover ... all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passedthrough the sea. — The castaicaijs and Ihe victors .-—-The analo^^'y between thispassage and the preceding is strikiusj. Tliis nation that bad come out of Egypt toget to Canaan corresponds to the runner who, after starting in the race, misses theprize for want of perseverance in self-sacriiice. The one runnt^r whom the judgeof the contest crowns is the counterpart of the two faithful Israelites, to whom itwas given to enter the Promised Land. {Prof. Godet.) The privUcriea and thedoom of Israel : — I. Their exalted privileges. 1. The i^illar of cloud and of tire.This remarkable body — opaque by day, to screen them from the sun, andluminousby night, was at once their guide, glory, and defence. And what are the ordinancesof religion but a directory and means of refreshment and defence ? 2. The passageopening for them through the Ri^d Sea (Exod. xiv.). Surely it can never be that anyamong this favoured people should ever prove forgetful of their Deliverer ! Yet,so it was. And happy had it been for the Church of God if deliverances exceedingit in wonder had never been treated with equal forgetfulness ! 3. The miraculoussupply of food. "They did all eat the same spiritual meat." "He sent thembread from heaven." And what did they send in return ? Murmurs, rebellion,and blasphemies. Then learn — 1. That miracles can neither convince nor convert,except as they are attended with the influences of the Spirit. 2. That benefits maybe heaped upon man, &c. Yet he may rebel against the bountiful Donor. Whatare the verities of the gospel but spiritual bread? Y'^et in how many instancesare such truths rejected ; yea, even made an occasion of sin ! 3. The refreshingstream issuing from the smitten rock. The water is called spiritual drink, and thebread spiritual meat, yet without spiritual discernment ; while the body wasnourished the soul perished. II. Their awful doom. 1. They incurred theDivine displeasure. " With many of them God was not well pleased." 2. Theyperished under the Divine wrath : " they were overthrown in the wilderness." [T.Mortimer, B.A.) Israel in tlie unlderness : — The Israelites are her^ introduced asexemplifying a common experience. They accepted the position of God's people,but failed in its duties. I. They had their sacr^jients. 1. They were all baptizedunto Moses. By passing throuf;h the Eed Sea at his command they definitelyrenounced Pharaoh and as definitely committed themselves to Moses, and were ascertainly sworn t ) obey him as ever was Riman soldier who took the onth to servehis emperor. When, at Brederode's invitation, the patriots of Holland put on thebeggar's wallet and tasted wine from tlie beggar's bowl, they were baptized unto
William of Orarige nnd their country's cause. W^hen the sailors on board theSwanweighed anc!ioi' and beat out of Plymouth, they were baptized unto Drake andpledged to follow him and fight for him to the death. Christian baptism, then, if itmeans anytliing, means a line drawn across the life, and proclaims that towhomsoeverwe have been bound, we now are pledged to this new Lor.1, and are to live in Hisservice. 2. Israel had also a spiritual food and drink analogous to tlie Communion.They were not led into the desert, and left to do the best they could on their ownresources. He who had encouraged them to enter on this new life was prepared toVOL. II. 12 THE BIBLICAL ILLUSTRATOR. [chap. x.carry them through. Their food and drink were "spiritual," or sacramental, f.e.,their sustenance continually spoke to them of God's nearness and reminded themthat they were His people. And as Christ said of the bread at the Last Supper,"This is My body," so does Paul say, " That Eock was Christ." II. The manna.AD THE WATER WERE TYPES OF Christ, Serving for Israel the purposev/hich Christserves for us, enabling them to believe iu a Heavenly Father who cared for them,andaccomplishing the same spiritual union with the unseen God which Christ accom-plishes for us. It was in this sense that Paul could say that the Eock was Christ.1. Israel did not know that, nor as they drank of the water did they think of Onewho was to come and satisfy the whole thirst of men. The types simply worked byexciting there and then the same faith in God which Christ excites in our mind.It was not knowledge that saved the Jew, but faith, attachment to the living God ashis Eedeemer there and then. So every sacrifice was a type of Christ ; not becauseit revealed Christ, but because for the time being it served the same purpose asChrist now serves, enabling men to believe in the forgiveness of sins. 2. But whilein the mind of the Israelite there was no connection of the type with Christ, therewas in reality a connection between them. The redemption of men is one whetheraccomplished in the diiys of the Exodus or in our own. The idea of salvation is one,resting always on the same reasons and principles. The Lamb was slain " fromthe foundation of the world," and the virtue of the sacrifice of Calvary wasefficacious for those who lived before as well as for those who lived after it. III.These outward blessings, intended to be the channels of grace to most or theIsraelites, remained mere manna and water. 1. Instead of learnuig the sufficiencyof Jehovah they began to murmur and lust after evil things, and shrank from the
hardships and hazards of the way. 2. And so, says Paul, it may be with you. Youmay have been baptized, and may have professedly committed yourself to theChristian career ; you may have partaken of that bread and wine which conveyundying life and energy to believing recipients, and may yet have failed to usethese as spiritual food, enabling you to fulfir all the duties of the life you arepledged to. Had it been enough merely to show a readiness to enter on the morearduous life, then all Israel would have been saved, for " all " passed through theEed Sea. Had it been enough outwardly to i^articipate in that which actnully linksmen to God, then all Israel would have been inspired by God's Spirit and strength,for "all " partook of the spiritual food and drink. But the disastrous result wasthat the great mass of the people were overthrown in the wilderness. And menhave not yet outlived this same danger of committing themselves to a life tliey findtoo hard and full of risk. Conclusion : The practical outcome of all Paul uttersin the haunting words, " Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall."If determined wickedness has slain its thousands, heedlessness has slain its tens of thousands. Through lack of watchfulness men fall into sin which entangles themfor life and thwarts their best purposes. Every man is apt to lay too much stresson the circumstance that he has joined himself to the number of those who ownthe leadership of Christ. The question remains. How far has he gone with hisLeader ? Wlioever takes it for granted that things are well with him, whoever" thinketh he standeth " — he is the man who has especial and urgent need to"takeheed lest he fall." {M. Dods, D.D.) Presuming on freedom: — This chapter isclosely connected with the eighth. The principle there laid down is " act from love,and not mere knowledge." The great danger was that of presuming on the freedomenjoyed under the gospel. To meet this, Paul says, " Beware lest you carry thisprinciple too far. God once had a people privileged as no other people were. Butnotwithstanding this they were overthrown. And you Corinthians, as surely asyou allow your liberty to degenerate into licence, will be destroyed even as theIsraelites were." Consider — I. That God rules by unalterable laws. As underMoses, so under Christ. Then people sinned, and punishment followed ; and so assurely as we sin will judgment overtake us. II. That spiritual privileges are noguarantee of security. The Israelites were privileged — where are they? TheCorinthians were privileged — but where are the Corinthians now? England is agreat nation; but as surely as her laws vary from the Divine code will her glorywane. A Church may have great activity, a fine ritual, and a popular ministry, butas certainly as that Church forgets God, " Ichabod " maybe written upon herwalls.The individual Christian may have conquered sin in various forms, bat as soon ashe begins to say, " I can do it," in that moment he shows his weakness and his fallhas begun. III. That Satan is not omnipotent (ver. 13). He may try his worst,but there will come a time when God wiU say, "Thus far, but no farther." IV.

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