(supplemental to the current preaching series, Sex in a Broken World, from 1 Corinthians 5-7. Audio sermons available here.)
I memorized this Bible verse in my teen years, 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
The application of this promise is vast, applying to every thing we face. The immediate context of 1 Corinthians 10 includes widespread sexual immorality in Israel, not the only area of sin and temptation, but certainly a “common to man and woman” challenge, and particularly complex today.
In my current preaching from 1 Corinthians 5-7, Sex in a Broken World, we won’t come to this passage for a few more chapters and after we’ve moved to a different sub-theme in the series. But I have to make the link, particularly in relation to the powerful temptation to pornography and the whole range of sexual temptation.
What may seem startling to some in Paul’s key text about sexual immorality in 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 is how Paul put God right into the middle of the discussion. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body – verse 13; “your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit – verse 19. One reason we are so weak against temptation is that we have learned how to live segmented or dis-integrated lives. God intends that our lives are fully integrated with God being at the heart of everything.
Making right choices won’t come apart from a solid Battle Plan for dealing with temptation, particularly a God-saturated and Scripture-saturated life. A list of great “fighter verses” as John Piper calls them, are found in this article by Jon Bloom, How to Endure Common-to-Man Temptations.
Ironically, this article was blocked by the protection software on our server in my first attempt to open it because of key words that made it suspicious. So, if it’s not blocked for you, you’ll find this to be part of God’s resource for your way of escape to keep you from bad choices. Memorize 1 Corinthians 6:13, 19; 10:13, 31; Proverbs 3:5, 6; Psalm 37: 4. Keep God in the middle of everything and you will experience the way of escape.