Monday, November 5, 2012

Not Left To Ourselves

(1 Corinthians 10:13) "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."

The context of 1Cor.10:1-10 is the example of OT Israel’s temptation and fall into idolatry. Therefore, Paul warns the Corinthian believer’s because of their own temptation and the failure of some in participating in pagan feats- eating of food offered to idols. They were really pushing the limits on the use of their Christian Liberty in regard to heathen feasts.   V.11 is Paul’s challenge, v.12 is the warning- take heed (present imperative) continually take heed & v.13 is the encouragement!  Understand that temptations will come, but we don’t have to fail!!  Victory is always available!
There hath no temptation taken you-  Temptation- this word can mean both testing or temptation. Testing from the outside- trials of any kind meant to strengthen us. If from God, the trials can be to prove/strengthen us!!  But there are also solicitations to sin- (1 Peter 5:8) Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:  
In this context for the Corinthians it is the temptation to compromise!  There were allurements to idolatry and the threat of persecution for those abandoning idolatrous practices. Remember that idolatry was involved in all aspects of life, including at your job/trade. Once a person was saved in that time, they gave up a lot of things. Sometimes jobs, families, social status, economic advancement & so on!  (1 Peter 4:3-4) For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:  
Albert Barnes states that the temptations could be “Anything that would have a tendency to induce them to forsake their allegiance to their Lord & lead them to idolatry & sin.” 
Taken you- to get a hold of, to seize, overtake.  Trials sometimes catch us by surprise and can overwhelm us.  At other times sin will get a hold of us, especially if we are not consistently walking with God!  The threat is always there! (1 Corinthians 10:12) “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”  Just ask David when he saw Bathsheba bathing, or Peter when he denied his Lord, & so forth! 
But such as is common to man:- In talking about our trials and sins, there is nothing new in your experience that someone else hasn’t gone through. They are typical human experiences! 
But God is faithful, who will not suffer you…- God will not allow you to experience any test /temptation that you are not able to meet- to be victorious over!!  John MacArthur notes that “No Temptation is inherently stronger than our spiritual resources.”  God is on our side and He does not want us to fail! His goal for us is that we would be like His Son!!  For protection from failing in trials and temptations to sin, Jesus taught His disciples to pray- (Matthew 6:13) And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.  The prayer is to save us from or deliver us out of trials, temptation, doing wrong. This is a prayer for protection and help.  We can pray this because our God is faithful- He is trustworthy and true to His word!!
Notice the last part of the verse- 2 Parts: 1) “but will with the temptation also make a way to escape,…” God has given us a way of escape.  Escape”, imagery of an army trapped in the mountains and then finding a little mountain pass to escape by. As Ellicott puts it “God makes an open road” and we have a choice to follow it or not!  Go provides a way out in each particular instance.  The problem is that usually we enjoy our sin to much and we are not looking for a way out!  2) “that ye may be able to bear it.” The verse does not say that He will always take away the trial, but He will see us through it- help us to endure it because they are a part of our growth!!   (James 1:12) “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.”  Please understand that our temptations and trials can be met & endured by depending on God who is faithful!
Folks, we don’t have to sin- we can be victorious!! The means are there!!  But also remember that when the testing’s/trial’s also come, they are necessary to our spiritual maturity and God will help us to endure them so that we can mature through them! 
If we can grasp hold of this awesome verse, our faith will flourish!!  We won’t despair, we won’t be full of anxiety, but we will find peace in the storm and endure any trial or temptation with a right understanding. God is with us & wants to help us!!  

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