1 I want you to bear in mind, friends, that all our ancestors were beneath the cloud, and all passed through the sea;
2 that in the cloud and in the sea they all underwent baptism as followers of Moses;
3 and that they all ate the same supernatural food,
4 and all drank the same supernatural water, for they used to drink from a supernatural rock which followed them, and that rock was the Christ.
5 Yet with most of them God was displeased; for they were ‘struck down in the desert.’
6 Now these things happened as warnings to us, to teach us not to long for evil things as our ancestors longed.
7 Do not become idolaters, as some of them became. Scripture says —
‘The people sat down to eat and drink, and stood up to dance.’ \nb
8 Nor let us act immorally, as some of them acted, with the result that twenty-three thousand of them fell dead in a single day.
9 Nor let us try the patience of the Lord too far, as some of them tried it, with the result that they ‘were, one after another, destroyed by the snakes.’
10 And do not murmur, as some of them murmured, and so ‘were destroyed by the angel of death.’
11 These things happened to them by way of warning, and were recorded to serve as a caution to us, in whose days the close of the ages has come.
12 Therefore let the person who thinks that they stand take care that they do not fall.
13 No temptation has come upon you that is not common to all humanity. God will not fail you, and he will not allow you to be tempted beyond your strength; but, when he sends the temptation, he will also provide the way of escape, so that you may have strength to endure.
14 Therefore, my dear friends, shun the worship of idols.
15 I speak to you as man of discernment; form your own judgment about what I am saying.
16 In the cup of blessing which we bless, is not there a sharing in the blood of the Christ? And in the bread which we break, is not there a sharing in the body of the Christ?
17 The bread is one, and we, though many, are one body; for we all partake of that one bread.
18 Look at the people of Israel. Do not those who eat the sacrifices share with the altar?
19 What do I mean? That an offering made to an idol, or the idol itself, is anything?
20 No; what I say is that the sacrifices offered by the Gentiles ‘are offered to demons and to a being who is no God,’ and I do not want you to share with demons.
21 You cannot drink both the Cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake at the Table of the Lord and at the table of demons.
22 Or ‘are we to rouse the jealousy of the Lord’? Are we stronger than he?
23 Everything is allowable! Yes, but everything is not profitable. Everything is allowable! Yes, but everything does not build up character.
24 A person must not study their own interests, but the interests of others.
25 Eat anything that is sold in the market, without making inquiries to satisfy your scruples;
26 for ‘the earth, with all that is in it, belongs to the Lord.’
27 If an unbeliever invites you to his house and you consent to go, eat anything that is put before you, without making inquiries to satisfy your scruples.
28 But, if anyone should say to you ‘This has been offered in sacrifice to an idol,’ then, for the sake of the speaker and his scruples, do not eat it.
29 I do not say ‘your’ scruples, but ‘his.’ For why should the freedom that I claim be condemned by the scruples of another?
30 If, for my part, I take the food thankfully, why should I be abused for eating that for which I give thanks?
31 Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do everything to the honor of God.
32 Do not cause offense either to Jews or Greeks or to the church of God;
33 for I, also, try to please everybody in everything, not seeking my own advantage, but do what is best for others, so that they may be saved.