The Cup of Demons
In C. S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters, Uncle Screwtape offers his nephew a little advice on the goal and strategy of temptation.
You will say that these are very small sins; and doubtless, like all young tempters, you are anxious to be able to report spectacular wickedness. But do remember, the only thing that matters is the extent to which you separate the man from the Enemy. It does not matter how small the sins are, provided that their cumulative effect is to edge the man away from the Light and out into the Nothing. Murder is no better than cards if cards can do the trick. Indeed, the safest road to Hell is the gradual one-the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.
Your affectionate uncle,
Contact With Demons Exposition: (1 Corinthians 10:14-22)
Historical/Cultural Background: The going taboo in Paul's day was eating meat that had been sacrificed to idols. This practice posed three problems.
THE SACRIFICIAL DINNER. This posed a problem for the Christian who was invited to this event where meat was served that had just been sacrificed to idols.
THE MEAT MARKET.This involved the question for the Christian regarding whether or not he should buy meat in the marketplace that had earlier been sacrificed to idols.
THE PRIVATE DINNER PARTY. The Christian who was invited to this event held by an unbelieving Gentile had to make the decision as to whether or not he would eat in this particular situation.
A PERILOUS ACTIVITY MAY APPEAR SAFE INITIALLY 1 Corinthians 10:19-20 “What am I saying then? That an idol is anything, or what is offered to idols is anything? 20 Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons.” (NKJV)
PARTICIPATION BRINGS CONTAMINATION 1 Corinthians 10:20 “Rather, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice they sacrifice to demons and not to God, and I do not want you to have fellowship with demons.” (NKJV)
CONTACT WITH DEMONS BREAKS COMMUNION WITH CHRIST 1 Corinthians 10:21-22 “You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the Lord's table and of the table of demons. 22 Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?” (NKJV)
Their Entrance - Ground and Hold
Ephesians 4:26-27 "Be angry, and do not sin": do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give place to the devil. (NKJV)
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