“…But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:” (Romans 5:20)
When you receive Jesus as your Saviour, you’re wonderfully saved from sin’s eternal penalty, but not from earthly temptation. Yet just as God gave us salvation by grace, He also gives us grace to resist temptation; grace that is greater than sin, as our opening verse says.
1 Corinthians 10:13 is a great verse to help you when you’re tempted to sin: “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
The first part of the verse says clearly that temptation is “common to man:” Whatever sin it is that tempts you, don’t feel alone. Many people are tempted by the same sin. The Bible says so. The next part, though, says God is faithful not to let you “…be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
That’s a great promise, but the reality is that Christians do sin. The Bible says so. Paul told the believers at Colosse, “…put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.” (Colossians 3:8) Obviously some of them struggled with bad attitudes and foul mouths. So how can, say, 1 Corinthians 10:13 and Colossians 3:8 both be true?
The problem is not that the temptation is too great, but that we don’t resist it as we should. All believers have this constant struggle, old and young. In fact, Paul himself fought this inner battle. He said in 2 Corinthians 7:1, “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”
Notice he didn’t say, “you people cleanse yourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit,” but “…let US cleanse OURSELVES from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit,” (capitals added) So Paul, as great a Christian as he was, struggled with temptation and didn’t always succeed.
“Okay,” some may ask, “What should I do when I sin?” John the apostle, also a great but imperfect Christian, told us what to do in 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” When you realize you’ve sinned, stop and confess the sin directly to God. Ask Him to forgive you and help you not repeat it. God knows when you mean it: “…the LORD looketh on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
Paul also said in 2 Corinthians 7:1: “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved,” Those words are important. We’ll see later how God’s Word helps against sin. Most importantly, if you want to see in the Bible how to have eternal forgiveness of sins and a home in heaven, please go to www.clevelandbaptist.org, click “Helpful Links,” then “How Do I Go to Heaven?”
Brian Miller 9/20/2021
Cleveland Baptist Church 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 216/671-2822