Sermon Summary

This week, Pastor Chris continued in our Healthy Church series with a powerful and convicting word on idolatry. Chris exhorted us to ask ourselves who or what we currently worship, since everybody is always worshipping something. Whatever we place our ultimate trust in will have the highest priority in our hearts. If there is anything other than Christ on the throne of our hearts, that thing will not only control us, but it will ultimately disappoint us.

1 Corinthians 10:1–7 (ESV)
1 For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, 2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 and all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, with most of them God was not pleased, for they were overthrown in the wilderness. 6 Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did. 7 Do not be idolaters as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.”

“The Israelites fell in the desert because they never really gained inner freedom from the thought and life patterns related to their former bondage.” Francis Frangipane

1 Corinthians 10:8–9 (ESV)
8 We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. 9 We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents,

Numbers 21:4–6 (ESV)
4 From Mount Hor they set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom. And the people became impatient on the way. 5 And the people spoke against God and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food.” 6 Then the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died.

1 Corinthians 10:10–14 (ESV)
10 nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. 11 Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. 12 Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.

Four Major Sins of the Israelites

  1. Idolatry (:7, :14)
  2. Sexual Immorality (:8)
  3. Testing God (:9)
  4. Complaining (:10)

“An idol is anything in our lives that occupies the place that should be occupied by God alone. Anything that is central in my life, anything that seems to me essential. An idol is anything by which I live and on which I depend, anything that holds such a controlling position in my life that it moves, rouses, and attracts too much of my time, attention, energy and money.”Martin Lloyd-Jones

Examples of Idolatry:

1. Education
2. Music Star
3. Career
4. Approval
5. Success
6. Pleasure
7. Vehicles
8. Hobbies
9. Sports Teams
10. Pets
11. House
12. Appearance
13. Family
14. Sex Life
15. Body
16. Stomach
17. Income
18. Social Media
19. Comfort
20. Recognition

Psalm 115:4–8 (ESV)
4 Their idols are silver and gold, the work of human hands. 5 They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see. 6 They have ears, but do not hear; noses, but do not smell. 7 They have hands, but do not feel; feet, but do not walk; and they do not make a sound in their throat. 8 Those who make them become like them; so do all who trust in them.

Questions to Expose Idolatry
• Who or what do you go to for comfort?
• Who or what are you most afraid of?
• Who or what gets you up in the morning?
• Who or what do you long for most passionately?
• Who or what do you care about?
• Who or what do you think about?
• Who or what are you motivated by?
• Who or what do you give yourself to?
• Who or what drives or compels you?
• Who or what do you complain about the most?
• Who or what makes you happiest?
• Who or what do you want that makes you angry when you don’t get it?
• Who or what do you crave?
• Who or what do you want to obey you?
• Who or what do you turn to save you?

Deuteronomy 30:17–18 (ESV)
17 But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, 18 I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. You shall not live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess.

Consequences of Consistent Idolatry
• Idolatry arouses God’s displeasure.
• Idolatry brings physical ruin.
• Idolatry brings spiritual destruction.

Discussion Questions

  1. How is an idol created in your life? How do good things become God things?
  2. How is the story of the Israelites (depicted in 1 Corinthians 10:1-7) a warning for us today?
  3. Do you struggle with grumbling or complaining? What happened to the Israelites who grumbled in the wilderness?
  4. Think about your life. What takes up the most of your time, attention, energy, or money?
  5. How much affection do you have for the world? Do you have any specific idols you need to dethrone (see the list of examples)?

Application Questions

  1. How can our old thought patterns still plague us even after we’ve found levels of freedom from a sin issue? Do you have any old thought patterns that you need to lay at the feet of Jesus? Do so this week.
  2. Look at Pastor Chris’s questions to expose idolatry. Determine any idols you currently have by asking yourself these questions and pray with your discipler this week.