1 Corinthians 10:13 - Temptation Comes with Limits and a Way of Escape! (updated)
1 Corinthians 10:13 - Temptation Comes with Limits and a Way of
1 Corinthians 10:13 (KJV) 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.
This verse is one of the most helpful verses in the NT and
presents the great antidote to falling into sin through temptation.... The
temptations that come to the Christian are those all human beings face--they
are unavoidable. But, says Paul, God is right there with us to keep
us from being overwhelmed by the temptation. [Expositors Bible
Temptation in itself is not sin. Jesus was tempted (Mt 4:1-11).
Yielding to the temptation is sin. [NIV SB]
Temptation is not sin. Jesus was holy and pure; yet He was
tempted in all points as we are...5T425-7
I have often heard my husband tell our teenagers, "Temptation is
not only an opportunity to do the wrong thing, but an opportunity to
do the right!" Although we usually consider temptation in negative
terms, God allows us to be tempted in order to provide us with a chance
to be obedient. If we are to learn to say no, and we are certainly
supposed to say no sometimes to some things, then circumstances become
life's workshop to that end. Saying no when you want to say yes
strengthens you, produces endurance, and builds character - Christian
character. [Jill Briscoe; Time with God devotional SB]
Some time ago, a few ladies met to study the scriptures.
While reading the third chapter of Malachi, they came upon a
remarkable expression in the third verse:
"And He [God] shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver"
One lady decided to visit a silversmith to learn about the
process of refining silver. After the smith had described it to her,
she asked, "But Sir, do you sit while the work of refining is going
"Oh yes, Madam," replied the silversmith; "I must sit with my
eye steadily fixed on the furnace, for if the time necessary for
refining be exceeded in the slightest degree, the silver will be
The lady at once saw the beauty, and comfort too, of the
expression, "He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver."
God sees it needful to put His children into a furnace; His
eye is steadily intent on the work of purifying, and His wisdom and
love are both engaged in the best manner for us. Our trials do not
come at random, and He will not let us be tested beyond what we can
Before she left, the lady asked one final question, "When do
you know the process is complete?"
"Why that is quite simple," replied the silversmith. "When I
can see my own image in the silver, the refining process is
finished." [source unknown]
JESUS IS THE WAY OF ESCAPE
If they looked only to themselves, they would fall. If they
depended on the faithfulness of God, they would be secure. The sense is,
not that God would keep them without any effort of their own; not
that he would secure them if they plunged into temptation; but that
if they used the proper means, if they resisted temptation, and
sought his aid, and depended on his promises, then he would be
faithful. This is everywhere implied in the Scriptures; (Barnes' Notes)
If we are self-confident or self-righteous we shall be left to
fall under the power of temptation; but if we look to Jesus and trust
in Him we call to our aid a power that has conquered 5T425-7
We cannot fall by temptation, if we cleave fast to him. [Matthew
The way out is not the way of surrender nor of retreat, but the
way of conquest in the power of the grace of God. [Barclay
Trusting in Jehovah: this is the secret of victory. The first
mark of the true Christian is reliance on Jehovah-Jesus. We rely on
Him exclusively as the vicarious Sinbearer through whom we have the
salvation of our souls. We are to rely on Him continually as our
victorious Champion through whom we have victory in our daily life ... So
long as we rely on Him we have victory. Temper, fear, lust, pride,
envy, grudging, moodiness, impatience, despondency, worry ; over all
such we gain victory as we really rely on Jesus. We are to rely on
Him as our vigilant Provider, who "supplies all our need" (Phi.4:19;
Psa.34:22). He does not always employ ravens to feed His Elijahs, but by
one means or another He sustains them if they really rely on Him.
[J. Sydlow Baxter; Time with God devotional SB mod]
If you draw close to Jesus, and seek to adorn your profession by
a well-ordered life and godly conversation, your feet will be kept
from straying into forbidden paths. If you will only watch,
continually watch unto prayer, if you will do everything as if you were in
the immediate presence of God, you will be saved from yielding to
temptation, and may hope to be kept pure, spotless, and undefiled till the
last. If you hold the beginning of your confidence firm unto the end,
your ways will be established in God, and what grace has begun, glory
will crown in the kingdom of our God. GW127,8
FLEEING IS OFTEN JESUS' WAY OF ESCAPE
In affirming the faithfulness of God, Paul makes it clear that
no one has to sin when testing comes. But note that Paul says God
will "provide a way out." What is the "way out"? The next verse,
10:14, says it succinctly: "Flee from idolatry." Don't stay in a
situation where you experience temptation to sin. This is an important
principle for us to remember. God's "way out" is often quite simple. We
are to "get out!" [Victor Bible Background Commentary mod]
God does make us a promise. We are able to successfully overcome
every temptation - if we take God's way out of it. Don't think that
God's way out is all that hard to find, either. Paul summed it up in
the next verse when he said, "Flee from idolatry." That word "flee"
occurs several times in Paul's writings. The Greek word, pheugo, is
found here, in 6:18; 1 Timothy 6:11; and in 2 Timothy 2:22. We're not
only told to flee idolatry, but to flee fornication, flee love of
money, and to flee youthful lusts. We may have to stand and fight Satan
(James 4:7), but when it comes to temptation, Scripture's "way to
escape" is just that: escape! [The 365-Day Devotional Commentary]
It is wonderful that the Lord has clearly stated that
temptations will come to us and that others before and beside us have
suffered with them, too. We are not alone in our struggle to live
victoriously! It is also wonderful that the Lord has provided a way to walk
through the temptation without committing sin. Our problem, then, is to
be discerning and obedient: discerning enough to see the way of
escape; obedient enough to take it! Do you look for a way to escape when
tempted to sin? Do you run to it when you see it? Fleeing may be the
escape, but if it isn't, God will show you the escape, as you run. Think
about it. [In His Time; Walk With Wisdom]
God knows how much we can take and always provides the way of
escape. Sometimes the smartest thing to do is to flee (v. 14; 6:18).
Always look for the open door and the blessing on the other side.
[Chapter by Chapter Bible Commentary by Warren Wiersbe]
You don't have to look far to find temptation. Actually, all
you have to do is try to quit a bad habit. Suddenly the reality of
temptation is all too clear. The appeal of doing what we shouldn't is a
part of our sinful nature. Even as a new believer, old temptations
linger. Maybe even some new ones have emerged. You want to please God,
but the temptation to sin can be very strong. What can you do?
Paul offers assurance. Not only does God make sure that your
temptations are not too strong for you, he also provides you with a way out.
In other words, the temptation will loom very large in front of
you, but take your focus off of it for a moment and look around. You
will see it--the way out. You just have to learn where to look and
what to look for.
You can take God at his word. In those white-knuckle moments
of temptation when you are simply trying to resist and hold on--hold
on to God. Ask him to show you that escape hatch. And then run for
all you're worth! [The One Year Bible for New Believers re 1Co.
Prayer is heaven's ordained means of success in the conflict
with sin and the development of Christian character. AA564
There are times when we just say, "Lord, take me home, this is
too much for me." But when we finish saying that, we must remember
that His strength is made perfect in our weakness and that He gives
us no more than we are able, with His Spirit, to bear. [In His
Time; Walk With Wisdom]
When Satan comes in like a flood, we must meet his temptations
with the sword of the Spirit, and Jesus will be our helper and will
lift up for us a standard against him. 5T425-7
Jesus, the Christian's example of right living, found that "way
out" in the written Word of God (see Luke 4:4, 8, 12). So we, His
followers, may find the "way out" in Jesus, the living Word (see John
1:1-3, 14). He is ever ready and willing to deliver those who call upon
Him and to keep them from falling into sin [SDA Bible Commentary]
There is no security in depending on self, but if the believer
relies entirely on the promises of our covenant-keeping God, he will be
safe. However, he should remember that God will not deliver him if he
deliberately places himself on the enemy's ground by going where he is likely
to meet temptation [SDA Bible Commentary]
One of the best ways to overcome temptation is to keep busy for
the Lord. Find something to do for Him. Seek to serve Him. [Billy
In every difficulty He has His way prepared to bring relief. Our
Heavenly Father has a thousand ways to provide for us, of which we know
nothing. Those who accept the one principle of making the service and
honor of God supreme, will find perplexities vanish, and a plain path
before their feet. DA330
Harry Houdini will always be remembered as a master of
escape. No matter what the contraption, he could free himself. Chains,
locks, straitjackets, boxes, jails, and trunks could not hold Houdini.
It seemed he always managed to find a way out.
When it comes to temptation, God wants us to be like Houdini.
That's the clear teaching in this section of 1 Corinthians. God wants
us to escape temptation's chains, trunks, and straitjackets, but he
does not expect us to do this alone. In fact, he has given us an
advantage even Houdini did not have - the Holy Spirit showing the way to
escape temptation's grasp...
Corinthian society was much like ours today. Immorality was
everywhere, and the pressure on Christians to participate in it was
tremendous. For believers surrounded and plagued by all this temptation,
Paul offered these words of hope. There's always a way out (1
At times we may feel that temptation is overpowering or
impossible to resist, but God never lets that happen. Wrong desires and
temptations happen to everyone all the time. In every case, God provides a
There are five steps you can take to avoid unnecessary
temptations: (1) learn to recognize tempting circumstances; (2) stay away
from every activity you know is wrong; (3) consciously choose to do
only what is right; (4) ask God to help you; and (5) ask friends who
love God to hold you accountable. Most importantly, whenever you are
tempted, take the way out that God provides. Do not think that you have
no choice. There's always a way out. [The One Year Through the
Bible Devotional by Dave Veerman]
In a culture filled with moral depravity and sin-inducing
pressures, Paul gave strong encouragement to the Corinthians about
temptation. He said: (1) wrong desires and temptations happen to everyone,
so don't feel you've been singled out; (2) others have resisted
temptation, and so can you; (3) any temptation can be resisted because God
will help you resist it. God helps you resist temptation by helping
you (1) recognize those people and situations that give you trouble,
(2) run from anything you know is wrong, (3) choose to do only what
is right, (4) pray for God's help, and (5) seek friends who love
God and can offer help when you are tempted. Running from a tempting
situation is your first step on the way to victory (see 2 Tim. 2:22).
[Life Application SB]
Paul's warning to "take heed lest [you] fall" (v. 12) is as
necessary today as it has ever been. For we, like all who have gone before
us, are fallen, temptable, and subject to thinking and doing what is
wrong. Few teachings of Scripture have more practical implications for
Opportunities for temptation are almost endless. And since
human nature is not getting any better, nor is any of us immune to the
corrupted appetites of the flesh, we need to take Paul's warning seriously
and watch out for temptation, or we will surely fall. Yet Scripture
offers several alternatives for dealing with temptation as we find it:
(1) We should avoid temptation whenever possible. Proverbs
4:14-15 urges us, "Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not walk
in the way of evil. Avoid it, do not travel on it." Often we know
beforehand whether a certain set of circumstances is likely to lead to sin.
Therefore, the obvious way to avoid sin is to avoid those circumstances.
Paul described a "way of escape" from temptation (l Cor. 10:13).
Often the escape is to stay away from the place or the people where
As believers, we can help others in this regard. We can avoid
setting up situations that encourage people to do wrong. Teachers, for
example, can help students avoid cheating by making assignments, giving
tests, and communicating expectations in ways that reduce the need or
incentive to cheat. Likewise, business owners and managers can devise
procedures that don't needlessly place employees in a position where they
might be tempted to steal cash, inventory, or equipment. It's not that
a teacher or employer can't trust students or employees, but that
no one can trust human nature to be immune from temptation.
(2) We should flee from powerful temptations. Earlier in this
letter, Paul warned the Corinthians to flee sexual immorality (6:18).
Here he warned them to flee idolatry (v. 14). Elsewhere he warned
Timothy to flee the lust for material possessions and wealth (1 Tim.
6:9-11), as well as youthful lusts (2 Tim. 2:22). The message is clear:
don't toy with temptation. Flee from it!
(3) Chronic temptation is something we need to confess and
offer to Christ and ask for His cleansing work. Some temptations are
powerful inner struggles, with thoughts and attitudes that graphically
remind us of how fallen we really are. What should we do with that kind
of temptation? Rather than deny it or try to repress it, we should
bring it to Christ. He alone is capable of cleaning up the insides of
(4) Finally, we must resist temptation until it leaves us.
When Christ was tempted by the devil, He resisted until the devil
went away (Matt. 4:1-11). James encouraged us to do the same (James
4:7). Resistance begins by bathing our minds with the Word of God and
standing our ground. We have the promise, after all, that the temptations
we experience will never go beyond the common experiences of
others, or beyond our ability to deal with them ( 1 Cor. 10:13). That is
great news! [Word In Life SB]
D. L. Moody admitted, "When I first became a Christian, I
thought I would be glad when I got further on, and got established. I
thought I would be so strong there would not be any danger. But the
longer I live, the more danger I see there is."
After he learned that strength and capacity to meet dangers
come from God alone he also admitted, "The moment we lean on
ourselves, down we go. The moment we get self-contented and think we are
able to stand and overcome, we are on dangerous territory. We are
standing on the edge of a precipice."
Yet God can keep us from plunging into the canyon below -
when we call to him for help. Moody urges us to realize that our
strength and help come from on high. He emphasizes nothing in heaven or
on earth is too hard for God. Rather, he is able to do "above and
beyond whatever we can imagine." Yet, we must be patient and let God do
it his way, in his time.
Moody uses as an illustration the story of a woman in
Scotland who was complimented on being a woman of great faith: "No," she
replied, "I am a woman of little faith. But I have got a great God."
When we see the dangers Moody saw - as we move further along
on our spiritual journeys and become dismayed at our weakness and
the forces threatening us encouragement comes as we realize we
have a great God who loves us.
The Lord reaches down to the precipice and helps us scramble
not only to safety but to fresh beginnings.
Father of all creation, help me to be filled with a sense of
wonder and praise at your love and grace. Flood my mind and soul so
that impurities drain away. Protect me from myself and fill me with
your Holy Spirit.
If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall.
The temptations in your life are no different from what others
experience. And God is faithful. 1 Corinthians 10:12-13 NLT [The One Year
Book of Encouragement by Harold Myra]
Temptations come into every believer's life -- no one is
exempt. Temptation is not sinful; the sin comes when the person gives in
to temptation. Believers must not be shocked or discouraged, or
think that they are alone in their shortcomings. Instead, they should
realize their weaknesses and turn to God to resist the temptation.
Enduring temptation brings great rewards (James 1:12). Yet God does not
leave his people to Satan's whims. God is not a spectator; he does not
leave his children alone to face whatever temptations Satan can throw
at them. Instead, God is faithful. He will not always remove the
temptation, because facing it and remaining strong can be a growing
experience; however, God does promise to keep the temptation from becoming
so strong that you can't stand up against it. This means that there
exists no temptation that a believer cannot resist. But the believer
must resist and stand against it. Each temptation can be resisted
because God made it possible to resist it. The secret to resisting
temptation is to recognize the source of the temptation and then to
recognize the source of strength in temptation. God promises to give his
people the strength to resist.
Not only that, but God also promises to show you a way out so
that you will not give in to the temptation and fall into sin. It
will take self-discipline to look for that "way out" even in the
middle of the temptation and then to take it when it is found. The way
out is seldom easy and often requires support from others. One of
the God-given ways of escape from temptation is common sense. If a
believer knows that he will be tempted in certain situations, then he
should stay away from them. Another way out of temptation is through
Christian friends. Instead of trying to deal with temptation alone, a
believer can explain her dilemma to a close Christian friend and ask for
support. This friend can pray, hold the person accountable, and give
valuable insights and advice.
The truth is that God loves his people so much that he will
protect them from unbearable temptation. And he will always give a way
out. Temptation need never drive a wedge between believers and God.
Instead, a believer ought to be able to say, "Thank you, God, for
trusting me that much. You know I can handle this temptation. Now what do
you want me to do?" (Life Application Commentary Series)
The bathysphere is an amazing invention. Operating like a
miniature submarine, bathyspheres have been used to explore the ocean in
places so deep the water pressure would crush a conventional submarine
as easily as if it were an aluminum can. Bathyspheres compensate
for the intense water pressure with plates of steel several inches
thick. The steel withstands the water pressure, but it also makes a
bathysphere very heavy and hard to maneuver. The inside is tiny and cramped,
allowing for only one or two people to survey the ocean floor through a
tiny plate-glass window.
Amazingly, divers find fish and other sea creatures at every
depth of the ocean! Some of these creatures are quite small and have
normal-looking skin. No heavy metal for them! They swim freely, remaining
flexible and supple in the inky waters.
How is it that fish can live at these depths without being
crushed? They compensate for the outside pressure with equal and opposite
pressure from inside.
Spiritual fortitude works in the same way. The more negative
the circumstances around us, the greater the need for us to allow
God's power to work within us to exert an equal and opposite pressure.
[God's Little Devotional Bible]
MINI-VIDEO DEVOTIONALS ON THIS PASSAGE BY PASTOR SHAWN BOONSTRA: