“At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Ps. 16: 11)
The Basket Case Chronicles #108
“Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (1 Cor. 10:12).
This short verse quite obviously applies to the universal temptation to pride. We know that pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall (Prov. 16:18). This is a truth that is always good to remember.
But there is a more particular meaning as well—there is a theological caution here. The Corinthians believers had fallen into the mistaken notion that they somehow occupied a place in the covenant that was radically different in kind from the place occupied by the Israelites in the wilderness. They were proud over their privileges over the Jews—and pointed to baptism, for example, and to the spiritual food that was supplied to them in the Supper. But Paul replies bluntly to them that they had nothing that Israelites in the wilderness did not also have. They had baptism too (1 Cor. 10:1-2), and they had spiritual food and spiritual drink (1 Cor. 10:3-4). They even had Christ Himself (1 Cor. 10:4). And yet, that did not keep the bodies of many of the Israelites from falling under the judgment of God (1 Cor. 10:5).
So this caution that Paul gives us here is a caution for those who would use false theological assumptions to buttress their pride. We know that God’s election is sure, and cannot be altered. But covenantal standing is a different matter. Beware lest the two are somehow confounded—let him who thinks he stands in the covenant beware lest he fall away from the covenant.