“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Wow!!! What a powerful, and encouraging passage of Scripture, especially for us Christians. Contrary to popular belief, even among Christians, there is no such thing as a superhuman temptation that can overpower us, and force us to summit to sin. That is great news, is it not? God, through the Apostle Paul, teaches us a great lesson about temptation.
First, let’s define temptation. Nelson’s Bible Dictionary defines temptation as “an enticement or invitation to sin, with the implied promise of greater good to be derived from following the way of disobedience.” Notice that temptation is nothing more that an enticement or invitation to which we have the power to decline. What makes it so hard to resist is the promise of something “good” for our disobedience to God. Always remember that Satan is the great tempter (Matthew 4:3: 1 Thessalonians 3:5), and the father of all lies (John 8:44). So, if Satan is enticing us to do something that is wrong in God’s eyes, and promising us something good for doing what is wrong, IT’S A LIE!!!
There are five very important things we are able to take away from today’s passage of Scripture:
- “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity.” – Paul reminds the Corinthian church, and us, that there is no such thing as a superhuman temptation that can not be resisted by humans. There is no need for us to trow our hands up and give in to temptation.
- “God is faithful.” – when we are tempted, God is always there for us. He “never leaves us or forsakes us”, especially in times of trouble.
- “He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able,” – God will not allow Satan to tempt us beyond what we are capable of resisting. God knows the full measure of our strength. Therefore, He will not allow Satan to tempt us beyond what we are able to resist.
- “with the temptation He will provide a way to escape…” – God not only controls how hard we are tempted, He also provides a way to escape temptations. When we’re in a dark theater we can be comforted in the fact that if something happens, there are always lit exit signs that will help us escape danger.
- “so that you are able to bear it.” – so that we are able to resist it.
So, what are our God given defenses against temptation?
- God’s Word – God demands immediate, radical, costly obedience to His commands. The Psalmist says, “I have hidden your word in my heart so that I might not sin against you (Psalms 119:11).” Jesus fought Satan’s temptations by quoting Scriptures (Matthew 4:4-10). We must make time to study God’s Word: “Oh, how I love thy law! I meditate on it all day long. Your commands make me wiser than my enemies (Psalms 119:97-98).”
- Prayer – The night Jesus was betrayed, Jesus prayed and commanded Peter to pray so that he would not fall into temptation (Mark 14:38).” In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus taught us to pray that we would not be led into temptation (Matthew 6:13; Luke 11:4).”
- Common sense – We must not put ourselves in situations that will exploit our weaknesses. If gambling is a weakness, do not go to casinos or places where where betting games are offered. If alcoholic beverages are our weakness, we must stay out of places that serve alcoholic beverages…we get the point, don’t we?
So now that we are well equipped to fight and overcome Satan’s attacks (Ephesians 6),
- How will we obey what we’ve learned in today’s lesson?
- With whom will we share what we learned in today’s lesson?
- With whom will we share the story of our salvation, and the story of what Jesus did for us?
In Christ’s love,