Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost

 Sermon Text: 1 Corinthians 10:1-5,11-13

 Other Readings: Exodus 16:2-20 and John 6:24-35


  1. What do you think Paul meant when he wrote, “[The Israelites] were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea” (v. 2)?
  2. The Greek word which the NIV translates as “temptation” and “tempted” could also be translated as “testing” and “tested”, as in a testing of faith. Which one do you think best fits the context? (Scanning our First Lesson from Exodus 16:2-20 might help.)
  3. How does Paul show that it is good for us to read the Old Testament (v. 11)?
  4. Explain further what Paul means by falling when he wrote, “Be careful that you don't fall” (v. 12).
  5. Paul promised, “God is faithful… He will provide a way out so that you can endure [temptation]”. Jesus promised, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35). How does Jesus’ promise help explain Paul’s promise?

  1. It is NOT saying that they received some spiritual benefit by being connected to Moses, as we receive benefit from being baptized into Christ. Paul’s point is that the Israelites were closely connected to Moses because of his leadership through the Red Sea and wilderness. And yet, many did not have the faith of Moses.
  2. There is no right or wrong answer. Temptation is a good option because the Corinthians were facing the temptation to participate in some pagan idol practices (confer the rest of chapter 10). Testing is a good option because Paul is using the manna episode from Exodus 16:2-10, and in Exodus 16:4 God said, “I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions.”
  3. The Old Testament shows us real people who lived real lives and experienced situations similar to ours. We can learn from the experiences with sin and God, especially the “warnings” found in the Old Testament.
  4. Paul is referring to falling from the saving faith. In other words, Paul is warning that someone does not fall out of trust in Jesus as the Savior because then that person will be damned to hell.
  5. Through faith in Jesus, we receive all the spiritual nourishment we need to make it through life because Jesus gives us forgiveness of sins, eternal life, and salvation. God keeps faithfully giving Jesus to us through Word and sacrament. So, as we receive those gifts regularly, we know God will sustain us so that we can endure through any temptation or trial which we experience, no matter how long it lasts.