The Gospel of Matthew: Takeaways of Temptation. Part Two.

13 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.” (1 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV)

What are some takeaways about temptations in the Christian’s life that we can glean from Scripture? There are several principles regarding the subject that can be taken from today’s text.

First, temptations will happen in our lives. We may not know when, how, or by whom they will occur. What we do know is that temptations will occur.

Secondly, God is faithful. For God to be faithful (πιστός; pistos) means that He is always trustworthy, dependable, committed and praiseworthy. Not only is God faithful when life is good, but the context of today’s text indicates that He is also faithful when His children face temptations from the world, their sinful nature (flesh) and the devil.

Additionally, God in His faithfulness “will not let you be tempted beyond your ability.” This statement reveals that God is sovereign and in control of our lives; especially when temptations occur. He actively will not allow or permit us to be tempted beyond our ability (ὑπέρ; hyper), or to a greater degree, than we can handle at that particular time. This means that our temptations are compatible to our spiritual strength.

“Ancient teachers often pointed out that adversities come to everyone, and that one should not be proud but submit to what comes one’s way. But whereas pagan writers emphasized human will, Paul emphasizes God’s faithfulness,” explains commentator Craig S. Keener.

“While this verse is challenging, encouraging, and hopeful, most of all, I find this verse incredibly humbling. There’s one phrase in the verse that stops me in my tracks and makes me want to let out a long, deep sigh. It’s the part about whatever temptation I’m fighting being “common to man,” states Melissa Kruger, director of women’s content at The Gospel Coalition. “Most days, I don’t view my temptations as common. In fact, I want people to understand how terribly uncommon my struggle is so that they’ll sympathize with me when I don’t take the way out provided. Secretly, I want to tell them my tale of woe as a means to escape the guilt of my own sinful choices.”

“The notion that whatever temptation comes knocking at my door is typical silences my inner justifications. My temptation isn’t special. My circumstances are not cause for disobedience. Others have faced this very thing and by the Spirit have faithfully endured. My pride protests, “Anyone facing this circumstance would give in!” But the Spirit faithfully reminds me that there’s a way of escape. By God’s grace, obedience is possible,” Kruger continues.

“Whatever temptation you face, the power of Jesus is available to help. His Spirit is alive in you. God knows exactly what you can bear, and He’s actively arranging all the details of your life to provide a way out so you may endure. Whatever you face today is a common struggle. The grace He provides in the midst of the struggle will strengthen and protect you,” Kruger concludes.

I am praying for you as you face temptations. I would appreciate your prayers.

Soli deo Gloria!

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