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1 MOREOVER, brethren, I want you to know, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2 And all were baptized by Moses, both 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 of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. 5 But with many of them God was not well pleased; for they were smitten in the wilderness.
6 But they became an example to us, so that we should not covet evil things as they did covet. 7 Neither should we become idolaters as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to quarrel. 8 Neither should we commit adultery, as some of them committed, for in one day twenty-three thousand of them fell dead. 9 Neither should we tempt Christ, as some of them tempted; for they were destroyed by snakes. 10 Neither should you murmur, as some of them murmured; for they were destroyed by the hand of the destroyer. 11 Now all of these things which happened to them are an example for us: and they are written for our admonition, for the world will come to an end in our day. 12 Therefore, let him who thinks he can stand, take heed so that he may not fall. 13 No other temptation has overtaken you but that which is common to man: but God is faithful; he will not suffer you to be tempted beyond that you are able; but will make your temptation to have a way of escape, so that you may be able to bear it. 14 Therefore, my beloved, keep away from idolatry.
15 I speak as to wise men: you are able to judge what I say. 16 The cup of thanksgiving which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? 17 For just as the loaf of bread is one, so we are all one body; for we are all partakers of that one bread. 18 Behold Israel whose observance is after the flesh: do not those who eat the sacrifices become partakers of the altar? 19 What do I say then? that the idol is anything, or that the sacrifice to idols is anything? No. 20 But that which the pagans sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils and not to God: and I would not have you in fellowship with devils. 21 You cannot drink the cup of our LORD, and the cup of devils: you cannot be partakers of the table of our LORD and of the table of devils. 22 Are we trying to provoke our LORD to jealousy? are we stronger than he?
23 Everything is lawful for me, but not everything is expedient: everything is lawful for me, but everything does not edify. 24 But let no man seek for himself alone, but let every man seek for his neighbor also. 25 Anything for sale in the market place, that eat without question for conscience sake: 26 For the earth is the LORD''s and the fulness thereof. 27 If any pagan invite you, and you wish to go, whatever is set before you eat, without question for conscience sake. 28 But if any man say to you, This meat has been offered as a sacrifice, then do not eat it for the sake of him who told you and for conscience sake. 29 But the conscience of which I speak, is not yours, but the conscience of him who told you: for why is my liberty judged by another man''s conscience? 30 For if I by grace am made worthy why should I be reproached for that for which I give thanks? 31 Whether therefore you eat or drink, or whatsoever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give no offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Syrians, nor to the church of God; 33 Just as I please all men in all things, not seeking my own good, but the good of many, that they may be saved.
the First Week after Epiphany