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Life Has Temptations; God is (Still) Faithful
1 Corinthians 10:13
May 24, 2020

In this world there is temptation.

  • Virtually every biblical character and hero was a tempted person: Adam, Noah, Lot, Abraham, Moses, Samson (and the rest of the judges), Saul, David, Solomon, and the rest of the kings of Israel and Judah, Jonah, Peter, Demas, and the apostle Paul all were tempted or spoke of temptation.
  • Jesus was tempted and He taught us to beware of and pray about temptation: “And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Mt. 6:13) and “Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Mt. 26:41).
  • Jesus’ half-brother, James (who was a martyr for Christ) instructed us: “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials…Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him” (Js. 1:2, 12).
  • Peter, who knew something about temptation and trials exhorted his readers. “In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials… Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you…” (1 Pt. 1:6; 4:12). And he also promised, “the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment…” (2 Pt. 2:9)
  • And Paul also promised temptation: “But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction” (1 Tim. 6:9)

In this world, there is temptation. Those temptations are often related to our trials — when we suffer various difficulties, we are prone to particular temptations. What are we thinking about that temptation? If we are going to be victorious over temptation we are going to need to change the way we think about temptation and about God’s provision for us in our temptation. That’s what today’s passage teaches us. What we will find in 1 Corinthians 10:13 today is that —

Every trial and temptation is endurable for the believer in Christ.

Followers of God have not always understood that truth. In fact, in the background to this verse, Paul reminds us that God’s chosen people, Israel, often made a mess out of their lives and relationship with God because they did not believe that God had given them a way out. In spite of the reality of God’s provision, Israel preferred the sins of the nations that surrounded them. Like us, they lived in a culture hostile to faith in God. And they chose to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin rather than the enduring pleasures of God.

And the NT church of Corinth struggled with those same desires. They also lived in a sin-saturated society. And they liked it. They found ways to self-justify and accommodate their sins with their claim that they were also embracing Christ. Perhaps some of them (or many of them) were claiming that they “just couldn’t help it” — they were stuck and couldn’t get out.

Maybe you’ve felt the same way. Maybe you feel like the influence of the world is overwhelming and that you are too weak to do anything about it. You’ve tried and failed so many times both you and your friends no longer can keep count. And since you can’t do anything about it, you might as well just give in to the sin.
If so, then Paul’s words to the Corinthians are for us as well.

Every trial and temptation is endurable for the believer in Christ.

Here are four truths that we must cling to if we will live like Christ. These are four principles that are wrapped around the essential truth that God is faithful. The statement that God is faithful is not just a theological truth, but one of the essentials of life that we must come to know and believe so we can survive temptation and also be faithful to God.

1. Temptation is Common
2. God is Faithful
3. No Temptation is Beyond a Believer’s Ability to Withstand
4. Every Temptation Has a Way of Escape

Download the rest of this sermon on 1 Corinthians 10:13.

The audio will be posted on the GBC website by tomorrow.