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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.
I. IDOLATRY: MORE COMMON THAN WE THINK.
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.
II. IDOLATRY BEGINS IN THE HEART, PRODUCING IDOLATROUS ACTIONS IN LIFE. Isa. 44:18-20
-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
III. ELEMENTS OF IDOLATRY.
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.