In 1 Corinthians 10:12 Paul states, “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” In essence Paul is saying watch out or be careful when you think you have it made because you might just slip. I find it interesting that this leads right into verse 13 were Paul speaks about temptation and makes it clear that there is nothing new. In verse 13 he states, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” In consideration of verse 13 I would like for us to consider a few points.
First, notice that there is no temptation that someone, somewhere has not had to deal with. This reminds me of the statement made by the Ecclesiastical writer when he said, “There is nothing new under the sun.” Truly, at times we feel as though we are the only ones in the world that are having problems with something, at times we think there is no one that understands; but on the contrary there have been and are hundreds if not thousands that are having the same problem. So never think you are alone.
Secondly, “God is faithful” to the extent specifically in this context that we will not be “tempted beyond” what we can handle. Since God is the One who sustains us, the One Who created everything; He understands us, His crown and jewel of creation, the only created entity that is said to have been made in His image. However what must be realized is that the temptations that come upon us always have an escape hatch. That’s the point, when temptation rears its ugly head; God is faithful in that there will always be a way out. Also, sometimes the way out might not look like the best to us, remember Joseph and Potiphar’s wife? When his wife tried to seduce Joseph he fled from the presence of the temptation and into the jail. Might not have been what Joseph had in mind but it kept him from sinning.
Lastly, we notice the reason the temptation is bearable is because of the way of escape. As Paul concludes verse 13 let us notice it again in its entirety. “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” The final phrase is key, the reason that we are able to bear any temptation that is presented, is because there is always a way of escape. I am often reminded of what the Psalmist declared in Psalm 119:11, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You!” If we will truly meditate upon the word of God and apply it to our lives, the way of escape will be easily seen.
“Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.”
by: John Ratliff
Evangelist Prescott church of Christ,