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  • Writer's picturePastor Ryan Quanstrom

Temptation

“He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.” 1 Cor. 10:13. Perhaps no verse in all of the New Testament has caused more consternation. If the Bible says that God will not let us be tempted beyond what we can bear, then why does sin remain in Christians? This is a valid question because taken out of context, this verse seems to say that we will never fall to our temptations. Some read it as saying that if we do sin, then we have been tempted beyond what we can bear. If we read this in context, then we find that Paul is writing to the Corinthians about idols and temptation. The New Testament scholar Richard Hays explains: God provides a “way out” for those who are “overtaken” by trials that all flesh is hit to. But those who put themselves in jeopardy by participating in idolatry are in a very different position and should not to presume to have any guarantees of safety or salvation… Thus, the word of reassurance in a verse 13- which looks like a general maxim affirming the faithfulness of God- is used here as a part of Paul’s larger prohibition of idolatry. Paul is not creating a hard and fast rule. Instead he is speaking about when we find ourselves in situations where we can be tempted to sin. If we can go 5 minutes without falling to temptation, we can go longer. The question is, do we want to? Do we want to be liberated from our slavery to sin and death, or do we want to keep our bondage? On our own, this is impossible. But with God, God can sanctify us. If you would like to read more about this, I wrote a blog for aplainaccount.com this week. You can find it here: http://www.aplainaccount.org/1-corinthians-101-13/

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