Key Passage: 1 Corinthians 10:1-14
Key Text: 1 Corinthians 10: 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.”
If you find yourself in a fix, sometimes the pressure of that situation can so overwhelm us that we cannot see the way out of it, even if it is so obvious. That’s why sometimes It takes someone external to show you that there is a way of escape or a way out of the situation to break free. Its quite instructive to sometimes observe people who can’t swim in a swimming pool and are in a place where their heads are just below the water, they begin to struggle and splatter and thrash around the whole place, but the more they do this, the worse their situation becomes. Most times they can’t see the life buoy thrown next to them, they can’t see the life-guard next to them asking them to calm down and that they are not going to die. So most times you just have to grab them from the back and then swim on your back to bring them to safety, whilst they continue to kick and scream for help. I know this is not funny, but it illustrates perfectly what I want to share today.
The grace of God as I have often said is not just the forgiveness of our sin and the unmerited favour of God. It is also the provision of God to help us in the middle of a crisis, especially temptations. Most people feel they are powerless against sin and that because they are tempted they should go all the way and sin. This is an abuse of the grace of God. It is actually a lack of deep understanding of the provisions of God’s grace. This is one of the awesome wonders of God’s grace. The simple truth that, though you may be tempted, God will throw you a life line in the midst of the temptation and if you take hold of it, you would escape.
Today’s key text tells us “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.” God never told us we would not be tempted, but he promises to help us in the midst of the temptation, by showing us a way to escape. Sin, is like a trap. It comes with some promise of pleasure, relief etc that is often very difficult to resist. But right there is where God comes in. Whilst we are struggling and striving not to go and sin, we actually find ourselves drawn closer to the sin, but all we need to do is remember that God has promised to make a way of escape for us. So just look up to Him and yield to Him and he would show you exactly what to do, to get out of the sin. Just like the drowning man and the life-guard.
Titus 2: 11-15 – “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self- controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. 15 Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.”
Let me say this unequivocally, no one can resist sin in his or her natural strength, no amount of will power, personal discipline can do it. One may succeed for a while, but in the end, the flesh will give in and yield to sin. The only way to stay out of sin and keep out of sin is to recognise that we need the grace of God and that that grace is available, and lean fully on the provisions of God’s grace, then and only then can you escape sin.
Remember, because you are tempted does not mean you have sinned. It is following through with the temptation that is sin. So if you walk away from the temptation you have not sinned. No matter how difficult the temptation is, there is a way of escape, provided by the God of grace and bought and released by the precious blood of Jesus Christ.
Remember that there is grace not to sin or fall for the temptation.
Let’s pray: Father God, how we need you to live in this world of great temptations and peril. These are perilous times, but we are assured that your grace will help us to stand and escape the corruption in this world through lust. We thank you for the power to say no to sin and escape temptation. Thank you for your help, in Jesus name we pray. Amen.