A Way Out (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.” (1 Corinthians 10:13, KJV)

Many years ago, I was able to go to San Francisco on a business trip for my employer. Since it was to pick-up an award that my plant had earned, my boss allowed me to take my wife along on the trip. While we were there, we had an opportunity to take a bus tour around the city. Included in the tour was a trip to Alcatraz. It was quite an eerie place.

While we toured Alcatraz, we came across a cell that was made up and had a bunk with a papier-mâché head with hair glued upon it. it was to represent something a guard discovered in the early morning of June 12, 1962. Three of the inmates had made an escape from Alcatraz. They planned the escape together in meticulous detail. Frank Morris, and Clarence and John Anglin had enlarged the grill openings in their cells and slipped out to the water’s edge where they used a makeshift raft to traverse the water. They were never discovered and presumed to have drowned in the bay. They went through much planning and painstaking effort to escape.

Paul in this passage tells us that there is always a way to escape temptation to sin. All of us are subjected to temptations in life. Anyone who says they are never tempted is deceived and in that mere statement has fallen. Our Lord Jesus, Himself, was tempted. The writer of Hebrews, writing of Jesus as out high priest tells us, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15, KJV). Remember that Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness in three specific ways and yet Jesus did not sin (Matt 4:1-11).

Paul wrote that we can escape every temptation for two reasons. First, our God will never let us be tempted beyond our ability to withstand it. He has recreated us and indwelt us with His Spirit. As such, we have tremendous power within us to overcome the temptations thrown at us. The problem is that as believers, we are in the process of understanding how to walk by the Spirit and thus, experience this power to its fullest. Remember Paul’s word to the Galatians, “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16, KJV). The problem is that sometimes we walk not by the Spirit, but by the flesh.

The second thing Paul wrote that tells us we can escape temptation is this. With every temptation, God will give us a way out. We should be reminded of Joseph when Potiphar’s wife attempted to seduce him. She offered herself to him day after day attempting to have him sin by having sexual relations with her. (Gen 39:6-10). Yet every day Joseph refused her advances. Then, one day when none of the men were in the house, she tried again. She grabbed his garment and asked Joseph to lie with her (Gen 39:11-12). This time Joseph fled out of the house. Joseph knew that to lie with Potiphar’s wife was a sin against God (Gen 39:9) and he chose the way of escape that was available to him.

We must remember several things. First, sin is something that we do against God. Sometimes we look at it too trivially. Sin is serious. Second, we can always escape temptation to sin. God always gives us a way out. Third, while we as believers are not defined by sin, for we have been delivered from its dominion over us, we still on occasion succumb to it. In those cases, we must remember that God still loves us, that Christ paid the penalty for that sin, and when we confess it, we are cleansed from it (1 John 1:9).

Published by Steve Hankins, Th.D.

Steve has had extensive military, business and ministry experience. He has served for over 16 years in full time vocational ministry and many years of part time ministry in churches. He has led churches through start-up and recasting of vision. Now He resides on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where he is working to help smaller churches and believers to renew their hearts and regain the joy of the Lord.

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