The church at Corinth in the first century seemed to have the impression that because they had been baptized and participated in the Lord’s Supper that they could live any sinful way they desired and never face any consequences for their evil behavior. The apostle Paul wanted them to know that this was simply not true!
In 1 Corinthians 10:1-13, Paul points out that the Israelites had the same privileges as the Christians in Corinth. They had in a sense been baptized when they passed through the sea in the exodus. They had their own form of communion with the manna and the water that was provided by the Lord. Yet many of them died in the wilderness as a direct result of their sinful behavior.
V.11 says, “These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!”
Christians today have to understand that the consequences of rebellion against God are real, and they are severe. Baptism and regular participation in communion does not give anyone a license to lead a sinful lifestyle. God’s grace is free, but it is not cheap!
This is a truth that Christian parents must impart to their children and church leaders must emphasize to their people. If we don’t learn the lessons from history, we are doomed to repeat them. And, in this case, failure is simply not an option!