As we continue through First Corinthians, Paul is still laying down principles for handling the “grey areas” of sin. These are the things in society that the Bible doesn’t specifically speak about as being right or wrong.
Paul makes an interesting observation.
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
1 Corinthians 10:13
In order to understand what Paul’s saying here, we need to grasp the concept of temptation. I think that we misunderstand this sometimes.
The Greek word translated as tempt and temptation has a few different English words associated with it. In other passages of Scripture, it’s translated as test and trial. It literally means putting to proof by experiment.
This tells me that temptation is simply a faith experiment. It’s a test designed to see if you really believe what you say that you believe.
James, chapter 1, tells us that it’s these faith experiments that develop godly character in us. They’re things that we all go through. God allows things to cross our path that will bring out and expose our faith in Him.
James also tells us that God doesn’t use evil to test us. It’s the enemy that tries to get us to fall into sin by putting evil across our paths.
You probably don’t look forward to trials and temptations. I don’t. But they’re going to be a part of our lives until the Lord returns.
Paul’s statement above is a bright ray of hope. It’s a promise we can cling to. God will not allow me to go through anything that He and I can’t handle together. The key is that I need to be looking for the exit door.
That’s the reason for his next statement.
Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry.
1 Corinthians 10:14
Idolatry is anything that you place above God in your life. Whatever or whoever you’re willing to rearrange your life or your schedule for is the one you’re serving. Make sure that it’s Christ.
That’s an important key for testing these grey areas. It might not specifically be called sin in Scripture. But if it’s keeping you from serving God wholeheartedly, then you need to flee from it. Or at least put it in its proper place in subjection to Christ.
We need to take inventory of our lives. Just because something isn’t evil doesn’t mean that it’s not hindering your walk with the Lord.
Paul tells us that God gives you the ability to put your life into order. You’re able to overcome the trials and tests in your life. Allow the work of the Holy Spirit to bring you to your destiny in Christ
Question: What areas of testing and temptation are you going through right now?
© 2019 Nick Zaccardi