I must admit that I’m glad this mini-series is over. It’s been introspective, but it’s also given me a better perspective on why and how sexual sin is so toxic when it comes to our relationship not just with God, but with others as well. At long last we are finished with this series, but as I’ve said before. This isn’t an exhaustive study, and if you’ve been intrigued or interested in finding out more…I’d like to urge you to continue to study this subject on your own. We’ve covered a lot of ground in this study, but I really hope the one thing we all take away from this is that it’s important to be careful with what gets into our hearts…because it’s what is in our hearts that produces fruit in that natural.
Main Message Text: Matthew 5:27-30
Today’s Text: “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” – 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NKJV)
Isn’t it good to know that we’re not alone? “No temptation has overtaken you such as common to man…”. You guys already know by now that I love looking at verses like this through the scope of the Amplified Version, but before we get there I just want to say that I’m glad that every temptation that I face is common to man. What that verse does right there, beloved is it takes away one of the biggest lies satan tells us…that we’re all alone. But, what we find is that we’re not unique, we’re not alone, and if you’ve been isolated then you need to realize that we no longer need to be.
Today, we’re going to find freedom. We’re going to finally seek to escape these temptations, and it’s important to also realize that if we do give in…to not get down on ourselves. So, let’s just for the fun of it look at 1 Corinthians 10:13 in the Amplified version.
For no temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin), [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man [that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not adjusted and adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear]. But God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will [always] also provide the way out (the means of escape to a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently. – 1 Corinthians 10:13 (AMP)
I love what it says here. “No temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance, and that is not adjusted and adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear.” This is where we realize that if we find ourselves involved with sexual sin that we can overcome it.
What this is also telling us is that we don’t have to give into the things were tempted by just because they’re in front of us. Listen, like I said in the last message. Unless your going to shut off your television, radio, internet, and never leave your house there’s always going to be temptation available. Just because the temptation to give in are there doesn’t mean with have to, and often times we’re really going to have to rely upon God for His help in dealing with those temptations.
Just because there’s a hot new secretary or sales man doesn’t mean you have to give in to the temptation to wonder what they would look like naked. That slight moment that you pause to wonder what that person would look like without their clothes on is the exact moment that Jesus is referring to when He says “if you even look upon a person with lust…you’ve already committed the act in your heart.”.
You see, beloved, everything starts in seed form, and it’s up to us to take care of what kinds of seeds we’re planting. If we’re planting seeds of lust then we will eventually reap the physical sins of masturbation, adultery, or fornication. But, the good news of 1 Corinthians 10:13 is that temptation is common. The better news is that we don’t have to give into it.
I know, a lot of us look at this verse at times, and think that there’s no way this verse was written for us. Maybe I’m the only one who has read this, and thought to myself: “Lord, I know that Your Word says that You will never let me be tempted and tried beyond my ability, but I sure wish that You would ease up a bit.” Have you ever been there, or am I the only one who has? Am I the only one who sometimes feels like God’s just piling it on? Then again, maybe your on the other side of the spectrum like I get sometimes too. Pride-fully thinking that I must really be strong spiritually because I’m sure being tested and tried a lot…OH…you thought I wasn’t going to deal with both sides?
I have to deal with both sides of that spectrum because I’ve been on both sides of it, and I’m sure that most of you reading have been also. On one hand there are times we feel like God’s piling it on, and there are times when we feel like we’re passing God’s tests with flying colors…but then we come back to sexual sin…and realize that it’s a whole different animal isn’t it?
Pre-marital sex, adultery, addictions to pornography, and the like don’t go away so easily do they? It is one tough trial or test to deal with, but the truth remains that we do have a way of escape. God’s always providing for us a way to NOT give into the temptations, but it’s up to us to reach out to Him to get there. It’s up to us to recognize that our addiction to pornography cannot be overcome by our own strength. It’s up to us to recognize that there may be a need to come clean about an extra-marital affair, and if it’s possible reconcile the marriage. All of this is hard, but the truth is…God’s provided us a way of escape from all temptations, trials, and tests…and it’s Jesus.
Jesus is the reason we can be victorious in all areas of life…including sexual temptations. One of the most comforting scriptures in all the Bible ought to be Hebrews 2:18: “For because He Himself [in His humanity] has suffered in being tempted (tested and tried), He is able [immediately] to run to the cry of (assist, relieve) those who are being tempted and tested and tried [and who are being exposed to suffering].”
Yes, I am linking Jesus to sexual temptation. How can I do such a thing? “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15). Jesus was in ALL points tempted like we are, but was able to overcome them.
That means that we can too, and Jesus overcame those temptations the same way we can…by being completely reliant upon God. Now, before you say it’s impossible for us to walk in the spirit 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Relax. I’m merely pointing out that there is a way of escape, and that if Jesus can walk through His life without giving into temptation…so can we.
We’re finally finished with this topic, but I would like to urge you like I did in the introduction to study this further if it’s a topic that interests you. We can be healed and delivered from sexual immorality. The victory for all of our infirmities is found in our High Priest. He is understanding of us, and has also purchased the victory with His blood.
Heavenly Father, we need You. We cannot overcome these things without You. I thank You that You sent Jesus, and so that He could understand what it is we go through when it comes to temptation. I thank You that He’s been touched with every temptation that’s common to man, and common to me. Most of all, I thank You for the victory over them purchased by His blood. Please help those who are reading, and myself to overcome the attitude of lust. We love You and need You and ask these things in the name of Jesus’…Amen.