Series 3 of 4 exploring how to deal with the carnal man.
Paul begins to warn us by the example of the Israelite's that there is a comparison between the Old Testament and the New Testament.
Reference scripture: 1st Corinthians 10:1-13
Paul provides another example:
'Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink'
'For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness'
Paul outlines the common salvation experienced by the people:
• These people all experienced a common salvation (under the cloud and passed through the sea).
• These people all entered into a common quality of life (baptized into Moses).
• These people all participated in receiving the tangible substance of the life (Ate the same spiritual food and drink).
Paul begins to warn us by the example of the Israelites that there is a comparison between the Old Testament and the New Testament. That under Moses the people received a common salvation through the same person that we have received the greater salvation, Christ. Whilst the greater weight of the Mosaic covenant held to the antitype of the fullness. Paul nonetheless stresses the reality of what the Israelites experienced. Their common salvation was indeed common, because they lived through tangible experiences that they could not deny.
Paul outlines the attitudes and response of the people who experienced the common salvation:
'Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. And do not become idolaters, as were some of them. As it is written, 'The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play'
• They continued in the extremities of worldliness and of religion (lusting after evil things and become idolaters).
• They took their salvation lightly and so played with their faith. Rather than to settle and abide in the covenant that had been established between them and God, they continued in their own ways and thus playfully mistreated the covenant.
'or let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer'
• They remained bound to the dualistic nature in their midst despite the freedom of new government provided in Christ.
• As a result they played the harlot, by their adulterous relationship to other god's rather than the Lord God who had taken them from Egypt. In so doing they tempted him by their actions.
• In like manner they treated the Lord God as one of their other god's murmuring and complaining about lack in the midst of their deliverance.
'Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come'
Paul begins to draw on how the historical accounts of Israel's salvation provide biblical bases of instruction on our salvation.
'Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall'
Paul is pointing to the fact that we do not take lightly the covenant we have with Christ. We must not judge the standard of our response to the covenant in the light of our own reason, but by the revelation of Christ.
'No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it'
Hence Paul recognizes that this dualistic nature is a temptation that is in the midst of the people. However this must be conquered as part of the demonstration of the power of God's salvation through Christ. Hence the nature of the dualistic man is common and has existed throughout the ages. Paul assures us of God's faithfulness to provide a way of escape from this life of turmoil.
Paul then begins to exhort the Citizen to the knowledge of God in Christ. (Christ is the way of escape)