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Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 10:14-22

Flee from Idolatry



1.  Idolatry is still alive and well in this world.

2.  Jesus was tempted with idolatry and so are we, Matt. 4:8-10.

3.  Cannot have fellowship with idols and Lord at the same time, 1 Cor. 10:14-22.

4.  What idolatry is (its development and a test for it), and some of the elements of idolatry.



  A.  Definition: Service to and Worship of that which takes the Place of the Living God in One’s Life. (false gods)

    1.  Before and rather than God: Worship/Serve, Exo. 20:1-5.

    2.  Idolater: “A servant, worshipper...of idols”, Moulton, 117.

    3.  Idolater trusts in his idol, Psa. 115:8.

  B.  The Development of Idolatry, Rom. 1:18-25.

  -Sociologists/Anthropologists call it “upward movement”

    “In an age when the study of religion was practically confined to Judaism and Christianity, idolatry was regarded as a degeneration from an uncorrupt primeval faith, but the comparative and historical investigation of religion has shown it to be rather a stage of an upward movement, and that by no means the earliest” (1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, "Idolatry").

    1.  Born out of rejection of God’s truth and His presence, 1:18-20.

    2.  Unthankful elevation of human wisdom (self), 1:21-23.

    3.  Feeds on fleshly lusts, 1:24-27.

    4.  Ends in a depraved mind, 1:28-32.



    -Attitudes that elevate self, things and people - correspondingly diminish the true God in our lives.

  A.  Not Just Homage to a Graven Image, 2 Tim. 3:1-5.

      -Lovers (fond) of self, money and pleasure rather than lovers (fond) of God. Homage paid to these things!

  B.  Test for Idolatry:  Does it have 1st  place in your life? Does it put God and Christ 2nd (or lower)? Deut. 6:13; Matt. 4:10; 22:37-38

    1.  Self, Lk. 9:23 (2 Tim. 3:2).

    2.  Another person: Do I please him/her before and instead of pleasing God? Matt. 10:37

    3.  Time: How much time involved? Eph. 5:16

    4.  Money: How much of your resources does it consume? 1 Tim. 6:10

    5.  Conversation: Do you talk about it all the time?

    6.  Goals: Is it the center of your life; most important? Matt. 6:33

    7.  A matter of life and death: It is all-consuming?

    8.  Beware - “Be Aware!” 1 Jno. 5:21



  A.  The Flesh (work and lust of), Gal. 5:20; 1 Cor. 10:7.

    1.  A consuming desire to please fleshly pursuits turns us from the true God to false gods.

    2.  Serving fleshly pleasures (worldliness and immorality) is equivalent to idolatry, Titus 3:3 (slave, servant)

    3.  Love of self rather than God leads to the corruption of the flesh, Rom. 1:22-25.

  B.  Stubbornness of Heart, 1 Sam. 15:22-23.

    1.  Rejected word of God (v. 3), unwilling to obey (v. 9), hardening (rationalization, v. 13-15).

    2.  Whenever our will is more important than God’s we have become / joined hands with idolaters.

  C.  Covetousness, Col. 3:5 (Eph. 5:5).

    1.  Greedy desire to have more; lust to have what is another’s / Deprive them.

    2.  The object of one’s desire becomes the thing worshipped and served, Lk. 12:15; 1 Tim. 6:6-10 (Job 1:21).

  D.  Enslavement, Gal. 4:8-9.

    -One is enslaved to the depraved ideas one’s idol represents:

    1.  Money -- Power / prestige / possessions.

    2.  Pleasure -- Fleshly lusts.

    3.  Self -- Self-determination (forget God).



1. Whenever God’s people practice idolatry they become a derision before the nations, Exo. 32:25.

2. Flee idolatry: Be on guard against it, 1 Cor. 10:14; 1 Jno. 5:21.