THE POWER OF TEMPTATION (PART II)

Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.  No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.  God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (I Corinthians 10:12-13)

In this passage Paul says that no temptation that we face is uncommon.  We all experience them and all too often we fall into sin because of them.  But the good news is that “God is faithful!”  He is faithful even when we are not.  He will never let us down.  He will not leave or forsake us.  And because of His faithfulness, He will not let us be tempted beyond our ability.  In other words, He will give us the power, the weapons and the armor to face temptations.  Sin does not have to overtake us.

Temptation itself is not a sin.  Jesus was tempted (Matthew 4:1-11).  When He was tempted He used the weapon God had provided for Him, the Word of God which is the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17).  He quoted Scripture to Satan and overcame the temptations that He was facing.

When we fall into sink, the problem is that we are not trusting in the power of Christ and in the weapons, both offensive and defensive, that He has provided for us.  God through these weapons has provided us a way out, a way of escape.  We do not have to yield to temptation.  We must fight and fell.  Read the story of Joseph in Genesis 39.  You see, we can endure temptation and not give way to it when it comes.

As I mentioned in the last post, I am constantly tempted to trust in my own self righteousness.  Martin Luther said that there are two devils (speaking figuratively).  The “red devil” tempts us to commit adultery, steal, lie, etc.  But the “white devil” is far more subtle because he is the devil of self righteousness.  But in either case, God is faithful.  He has delivered me from my bondage to sin, granted me forgiveness through the sacrificial death of Christ and imputed Christ’s perfect record (His righteousness) to my account.  He gives me the power and ability to resist temptation and always gives me a way of escape.  Now, it is my responsibility to fight and to flee when temptation comes my way.

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