1. I want you to be quite certain, brothers, that our ancestors all had the cloud over them and all passed through the sea.
2. In the cloud and in the sea they were all baptised into Moses;
3. all ate the same spiritual food
4. and all drank the same spiritual drink, since they drank from the spiritual rock which followed them, and that rock was Christ.
5. In spite of this, God was not pleased with most of them, and their corpses were scattered over the desert.
6. Now these happenings were examples, for our benefit, so that we should never set our hearts, as they did, on evil things;
7. nor are you to worship false gods, as some of them did, as it says in scripture: The people sat down to eat and drink, and afterwards got up to amuse themselves.
8. Nor, again, are we to fall into sexual immorality; some of them did this, and twenty-three thousand met their downfall in one day.
9. And we are not to put the Lord to the test; some of them put him to the test, and they were killed by snakes.
10. Never complain; some of them complained, and they were killed by the Destroyer.
11. Now all these things happened to them by way of example, and they were described in writing to be a lesson for us, to whom it has fallen to live in the last days of the ages.
12. Everyone, no matter how firmly he thinks he is standing, must be careful he does not fall.
13. None of the trials which have come upon you is more than a human being can stand. You can trust that God will not let you be put to the test beyond your strength, but with any trial will also provide a way out by enabling you to put up with it.
14. For that reason, my dear friends, have nothing to do with the worship of false gods.
15. I am talking to you as sensible people; weigh up for yourselves what I have to say.
16. The blessing-cup, which we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of Christ; and the loaf of bread which we break, is it not a sharing in the body of Christ?
17. And as there is one loaf, so we, although there are many of us, are one single body, for we all share in the one loaf.
18. Now compare the natural people of Israel: is it not true that those who eat the sacrifices share the altar?
19. What does this mean? That the dedication of food to false gods amounts to anything? Or that false gods themselves amount to anything?
20. No, it does not; simply that when pagans sacrifice, what is sacrificed by them is sacrificed to demons who are not God. I do not want you to share with demons.
21. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons as well; you cannot have a share at the Lord's table and the demons' table as well.
22. Do we really want to arouse the Lord's jealousy; are we stronger than he is?
23. 'Everything is permissible'; maybe so, but not everything does good. True, everything is permissible, but not everything builds people up.
24. Nobody should be looking for selfish advantage, but everybody for someone else's.
25. Eat anything that is sold in butchers' shops; there is no need to ask questions for conscience's sake,
26. since To the Lord belong the earth and all it contains.
27. If an unbeliever invites you to a meal, go if you want to, and eat whatever is put before you; you need not ask questions of conscience first.
28. But if someone says to you, 'This food has been offered in sacrifice,' do not eat it, out of consideration for the person that told you, for conscience's sake-
29. not your own conscience, I mean, but the other person's. Why should my freedom be governed by somebody else's conscience?
30. Provided that I accept it with gratitude, why should I be blamed for eating food for which I give thanks?
31. Whatever you eat, then, or drink, and whatever else you do, do it all for the glory of God.
32. Never be a cause of offence, either to Jews or to Greeks or to the Church of God,
33. just as I try to accommodate everybody in everything, not looking for my own advantage, but for the advantage of everybody else, so that they may be saved.