Overcoming Temptation

Principles on Escaping Sin

1 Corinthians 10:13

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

In the preceding verse, Paul wrote, “So if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” In the following study, we will find out how to overcome temptation. To do this we must learn by Apostle Paul’s teaching here in his letter to Corinth.

1. Know the means of how temptation comes about.
We know that God is the One Who sends trials to enter our life. He does this to develop our perseverance [James 1:4] because “perseverance must finish its work so that [we] may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” [James 1:5]. However, temptation comes not from God [James 1:13], but from our own evil desire [James 1:14].

  1. God gives trials to those He loves for the process of sanctification.
  2. Temptation is an inward solicitation to do evil.

Example: John, a businessman, went to work one weekday morning. He was pressured with work that day, so he quickly went straight to his office. As he entered and sat comfortably in his chair, he noticed so many on his desk. He immediately knew that this was not his money. The first thoughts that came to mind were, “Nobody is in here but me. Nobody would know if I kept it for myself.” He then began thinking of ways to persuade himself that he actually deserved the money or that this was his anyway. But John was a Christian, he shattered all of those thoughts by acknowledging that this was really his and someone is missing what could be a great deal of money to them. So he kept safe the money and finished his workday.

The next morning John made an alternate turn during his day and went to his boss’ office to return the money. He told his boss the situation and that he wanted to return because someone is probably missing it. His boss replied, “No one is missing this money. I put it there to test you, John. And you passed.”

2. Know why temptation comes about. (“No temptation has seized you…”)
This part of the verse tells us that temptation’s goal is to overcome you or seize you. Think back of what happened when David saw Bethsheba on the roof top [2 Samuel:11]. He fell into sin and failed the test given him. James speaks about this in verse 14 and 15 of chapter 1. First, we are tempted when, by our own evil desire, we are dragged away and enticed. “Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown gives birth to death.” To put it more clearly James writes in the 16th verse of chapter 5 that we suffer spiritual weakness as a result of sin in our lives.

3. Know the nature of temptation. (“…except what is common to man.”)
Temptation is human, not so demonic. They are very normal. Hebrews 4:15 tells us that Jesus was “tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin.” That is why God understands what we go through.

4. Know the extent of temptation. (And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.)
This part of the verse teaches us that God only gives tests that we are able to handle. God knows our life from beginning to end and His plan for us is to be eternally secure. Thus, He will never test you with something that we cannot withstand.

Let’s look at John 18 when the Roman soldiers were led to capture Jesus. When they arrived, Jesus questioned them saying “Who is it you want?” They answered, “Jesus of Nazareth.” He replied, “I am He.” As soon as He spoke those words, they drew back and fell to the ground. Again Jesus asks, “Who is it you want?” They answered, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus says for the last time, “I told you that I am He,” then goes on to say, “If you are looking for me, then let these men go.” Why did Jesus request this? Because they could not bear what He was to go through. He would loose them if He let them be taken. So the words that were spoken before were fulfilled in John 6:39.

Tests are in measure of your spiritual capability.

5. Know the way out of temptation. (“But when you are tempted, He will also give you a way out so that you can stand up under it.”)
This shows us that there is always a way out, an exit, provided by God. Well, what is the exit? The way out is through it (“…so that you can stand under it.”) Some translations say “endure it.” The way out is to treat is like a test and consider it pure joy as James 1:2 puts it.

Here is how we go through it:

  1. Meditate on the Word of God (Psalm 119:11 – “Your Word I have hid in my heart so that I might not sin against You.”)
  2. Pray (Matt. 6:13 – “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”)
  3. Have Faith in God – Trust God for that purpose of the test.
  4. Focus on Christ – He endured every test to the maximum.
Posted by Jacob Abshire on September 1st, 2008 - 10:58 pm
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