1 Corinthians 10:13 – My thoughts

I just wanna preach a little sermon on an often misconstrued verse of the bible.

1 Corinthians 10:13 says this:

“No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. (NASB)”

Many people believe this verse to mean that God will never put anything upon them that they are not able to take.  I disagree.

The verse clearly says that you will not be tempted beyond what you can bear.  To be tempted (especially in the Christian sense of the word) is to be lured or enticed into something that is sin (among the other definitions, that is the basic gist of the word even in the non-christian sense).  Temptation is often used by God as a test of our faith in Him.  (Bear in mind, I do not believe that God is the one who tempts us but that it is the enemy.  God does, however, allow satan to tempt us as a test of our faith – remember Gen 50:20 “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good.” (NLT) also see James 1:13: Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.)  1 Corinthians 10:13 is wonderfully clear in how we can pass such tests; God “will provide a way of escape”.  When we live under the grace of God we will always be able to withstand any temptations before us.  Most of the time, in my experience, surrendering to temptation is avoided by removing myself from the situation, which is a way of escape that God provides.

The first part of the verse is very encouraging. The NLT version of the bible states it as “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience.” This tells me that we are all tempted.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a drug addict living in an alley in some obscure town somewhere or the pastor of the famous Saddleback church – we are all tempted.  So we can truly know that we are never alone in our temptations – someone else has been there, done that and God will always provide a way to avoid succumbing to it.

As for the common misconception, that the verse means that God will never give us anything we can’t handle, I believe that the truth of the matter is quite the opposite of that.  God has plans and tasks for our lives.  And some of those plans and tasks are big.  And I mean BIG.  So big that there is no possible way we can accomplish them.  On our own, that is.  The plans for our lives will only be accomplished through God’s strength.  God doesn’t call us to something after we are trained and prepared to do it.  He calls us to something first and then trains and prepares us to do it.  And we don’t do it on our own.  He does it through us.  I don’t know who said this first, but it’s an incredible truth; “God doesn’t call the qualified.  He qualifies the called.”

So whatever we may be going through right now, know that if we are living by the grace of God, whatever happens, He is with us and will see us through it.  We just have to put ourselves in His hands.

James 1:12-16

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2 Responses to 1 Corinthians 10:13 – My thoughts

  1. I guess the plague is that from my past life, I panic and think that it’s MY responsibility to IMPRESS God. Hahahahaha. I know… it’s absurd. It’s so hard to unlearn though, especially when you’ve got the devil whispering in your ear the whole time, trying to keep you from God (ie. sin). So maybe if I just lie on the grass all day today and don’t strive to accomplish anything (easy to do when the vertigo won’t quit), I’ll see miracles happen.

    I love you Sharon. If even just on this silly contraption we call the “computer”. We should get tea.

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