1 Corinthians 10:13 Commentary



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1 Corinthians 10:13 Commentary

1Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.  (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: peirasmos humas ouk eilephen (3SRAI) ei me anthropinos; pistos de o theos on ouk easei (3SFAI) humas peirasthenai (APN) huper o dunasthe, (2PPI) alla poiesei (3SFAI) sun to peirasmo kai ten ekbasin tou dunasthai (PPN) hupenegkein. (AAN)
Amplified:  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. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
ASV: There hath no temptation taken you but such as man can bear: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation make also the way of escape, that ye may be able to endure it.
Berkley: No
temptation except what all people experience has laid hold of you, and God is faithful, who will not permit you to be tempted beyond your ability but will, at the time of temptation, provide a way out, so that you will be able to stand it.
BBE:  You have been put to no test but such as is common to man: and God is true, who will not let any test come on you which you are not able to undergo; but he will make with the test a way out of it, so that you may be able to go through it.
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.  (ESV)
KJV: 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.
Moffatt: No
temptation has waylaid you that is beyond man's power; trust God, he will never let you be tempted beyond what you can stand, but when temptation comes, he will provide the way out of it, so that you can bear up under it. 
Montgomery: No
temptation has overtaken you that is beyond man’s power; but God is faithful, who will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear, but will, with every temptation, provide the way of escape also, so that you may be able to withstand.
trial has overtaken you that is not faced by others. And God is faithful, who will not let you be tried too much, but with the trial will also provide a way through it so that you may be able to endure.  (NET Bible)
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.  (NIV - IBS)
NJB:  None of the
trials which have come upon you is more than a human being can stand. You can trust that God will not let you be put to the test beyond your strength, but with any trial will also provide a way out by enabling you to put up with it.  (NJB)
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.
NLT: But remember that the
temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can't stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it. (NLT - Tyndale House)
testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.
Phillips: No
temptation has come your way that is too hard for flesh and blood to bear. But God can be trusted not to allow you to suffer any temptation beyond your powers of endurance. He will see to it that every temptation has a way out, so that it will never be impossible for you to bear it.  (Phillips: Touchstone)
TEV: Every
test that you have experienced is the kind that normally comes to people. But God keeps his promise, and he will not allow you to be tested beyond your power to remain firm; at the time you are put to the test, he will give you the strength to endure it, and so provide you with a way out
TLB: But remember this--the wrong desires that come into your life aren't anything new and different. Many others have faced exactly the same problems before you. And no temptation is irresistible. You can trust God to keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can't stand up against it, for he has promised this and will do what he says. He will show you how to escape temptation's power so that you can bear up patiently against it.
Wesley: There hath no
temptation taken you, but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above your ability, but will with the temptation make also a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
Weymouth: No
temptation has you in its power but such as is common to human nature; and God is faithful and will not allow you to be tempted beyond your strength. But, when the temptation comes, He will also provide the way of escape; so that you may be able to bear it.
Wuest: A
testing time or a temptation has not laid hold of you with the result that these have you in their grip, except those to which mankind is continually subject. But God is faithful who will not permit you to be tested nor tempted above that with which you are able to cope, but will, along with the testing time or temptation, also make a way out in order that you may be able to bear up under it.  (Eerdmans
Young's Literal: No
temptation hath taken you--except human; and God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above what ye are able, but He will make, with the temptation, also the outlet, for your being able to bear it.


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NO TEMPTATION HAS OVERTAKEN YOU BUT SUCH AS IS COMMON TO MAN: peirasmos humas ouk eilephen (3SRAI) ei me anthropinos: (Je 12:5; Mt 24:21, 22, 24; Lk 11:4; 22:31,46; 2Co 11:23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28; Eph 6:12,13; He 11:35, 36, 37, 38; 12:4; James 5:10,11; 1Pe 1:6,7; 5:8,9; Re 2:10; 3:10) (Common - 1Cor 1:9; Dt 7:9; Ps 36:5; 89:33; Is 11:5; 25:1; 49:7; Lam 3:23; Ho 2:20; 1Th 5:24; 2Th 3:3; 2Ti 2:11-13; He 6:18; 10:23; 11:11; 1Pe 4:19; 1Jn 1:9; Re 19:11)

Having just given a warning (1Cor 10:12, really 1Co 10:1, 2, 3, 4, 5,6, 7,8, 9, 10, 11) Paul passes to encouragement.

No temptation - The Greek word for "no" signifies absolute negation. Ponder what this entails the next time you are tempted/tested!

Temptation is the first word in the Greek for emphasis. It refers not only to temptation but to trials and testings. Some versions in fact translate it as a test and others as a temptation (see versions above), which is understandable in view of the fact that in every test that God allows there always comes with it the potential that we might allow it to become a temptation to sin. God never tempts us to sin (Jas 1:13-note), but our fallen flesh processes the test God allows and says in essence "I think I will use this as an opportunity to sin." We are always responsible for how we chose to respond. Don't blame God, other people, circumstances, etc, if you sin when tested/tempted!

Every temptation is an opportunity of our getting nearer to God. - John Quincy Adams

Temptations discover what we are. - Thomas à Kempis

Temptations are a file which rub off much of the rust of our self-confidence. - François Fenelon

My temptations have been my masters in divinity. - Martin Luther

Just to make sure we understand -- whether the test becomes a proof of righteousness or an inducement to evil depends on our response. If we resist in God’s power (The only way! cp self control Gal 5:23- note, Gal 5:16-note, Gal 2:20-note, Ro 8:13-note, etc), it is a test that proves our faithfulness. If we do not resist, it becomes a solicitation to sin.

Playwright Oscar Wilde once jokingly remarked, “I can resist everything except temptation.” We smile when we read those words because they speak an important truth about the human condition. Temptation pays a visit to each of us every day and most of us struggle to say no. (See From Temptation to Triumph by Dr. Ray Pritchard - Nov 1996)

Robertson and Plummer...

An appeal to their past experience. Hitherto they have had no highly exceptional, superhuman temptations, but only such as commonly assail men, and therefore such as a man can endure. The typoi (types) just mentioned show that others have had similar temptations. This ought to encourage them with regard to the future, which he goes on to consider. (A critical and exegetical commentary - Page 208)

Matthew Henry...

We live indeed in a tempting world, where we are compassed about with snares. Every place, condition, relation, employment, and enjoyment, abounds with them; yet what comfort may we fetch from such a passage! For, 1. "No temptation," says the apostle, "hath yet taken you, but such as is common to man, what is human; that is, such as you may expect from men of such principles as heathens, and such power; or else such as is common to mankind in the present state; or else such as the spirit and resolution of mere men may bear you through." Note, The trials of common Christians are but common trials: others have the like burdens and the like temptations; what they bear up under, and break through, we may also.

Temptation (3986) (peirasmos [word study] from peirazo [word study] = to make trial of, try, tempt, prove in either a good or bad sense) describes first the idea of putting to the test and then refers to the tests or pressures that come in order to discover a person’s nature or the quality of some thing. Peirasmos connotes trouble or something that breaks the pattern of peace, comfort, joy, and happiness in someone’s life. Trials rightly faced are harmless and in fact beneficial to the saint as Peter (and James 1 explain), but wrongly met become temptations to evil as explained below. Think of yourself as a tube of "spiritual toothpaste". Pressure brings out what's really on the inside! 

Jay Adams writes that peirasmos is...

itself colorless and depends upon the context for its specific hue. In one sense every trial (or test) is also a temptation for it affords the opportunity to fail. Viewed from one perspective, a problem is a test which, if solved biblically, strengthens and helps one grow in grace (cf. James 1:2, 3, 4). Looked at from a different perspective, the same problem may be used by Satan as a temptation for sin. The book of Job shows the two-sidedness of every trial. (Adams, J. E.  Competent to Counsel: Introduction to Nouthetic Counseling)

In a sermon titled "Faith Tested and Crowned," Alexander Maclaren distinguished between being tempted and being tried or tested. He said that the idea inherent in temptation

conveys the idea of appealing to the worst part of man, with the wish that he may yield and do the wrong. The latter (trial) means an appeal to the better part of man, with the desire that he should stand.

"Temptation says, 'Do this pleasant thing; do not be hindered by the fact that it is wrong.'

Trial or proving says, 'Do this right and noble thing; do not be hindered by the fact that it is painful.'"

In sum, peirasmos refers to all the trials, testing, temptations that go into furnishing a test of one's character.

Matthew records that

Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted (verbal root of peirasmos) by the devil. (Mt 4:1)

The temptation was morally neutral -- there was nothing inherently evil in offering Jesus bread. The context however allows us to determine that the purpose of the testing is for evil not good.  Satan, the Evil one himself, uses the "neutral" peirasmos for the purpose of inducing Jesus to sin,. When the context in a passage is to induce one to sin, most modern Bible versions translate the test as a "temptation". Remember however that God in His sovereignty is able to take even temptations to evil and cause them "to work together for good to those who love God" (see notes Romans 8:28, 8:29).

John MacArthur comments that

tests and temptations are two sides of the same thing. I want you to follow that: tests and temptations are two sides of the same thing. Life is full of tests. Every test, every trial potentiates a temptation.

A friend of mine told me one time, that he had taken a new job, with a very important company—he was very excited about it. He had only been on the job for a little while. Everyone had left the office one night and on his desk someone had left a HUGE sum of money. He immediately took the money, put it in his briefcase, and thought I am going to have to return this. He wrapped it up and the next morning brought it back, and when he came to work he immediately walked into the bosses’ office and put the money down on the desk and said, “Somehow, someone left this money on my desk and I don't know who it was or who will be missing it, but I wanted to turn it in as fast as I could, so no one would be distressed by its absence.” The boss looked him in the face and said, “I put the money there—it was a test—you passed.”

Now life offers us those kinds of tests. If my friend had gone home, and opened the brief case and counted the money, and thought about, hmmm . . . nobody will know and began to battle in his heart . . . boy, I could use that money. I could buy this and I could buy that, and I could go here and I could go there. I could think of ten ways to explain if anyone wondered about the money . . . then it would have become a temptation.

Once the external becomes the solicitation of the heart, it's turned into a temptation. Temptation is an inward solicitation resulting from an outward test. Life is full of those kinds of tests. Tests can be financial stress . . . financial setback. You are in the midst of the test of financial setback, and you say I am just going to trust God for this; I am going to believe the Lord for this: we are going to cut things back, we are going to live frugally, we are going to budget, we are going to be faithful to our obligations, we are going to live on less, and we are going to believe the Lord to provide. You've passed the test. If you say, how can I steal from the till, how can I cheat on my income tax, how can I not pay what I owe to someone—you have moved it into a temptation because the external problem has become an inward solicitation to evil.

It could be personal disappointment. You had expectations of someone—they didn't perform. You either accept that with a trusting heart, love them in spite of it or you begin in your heart to feel animosity and bitterness, and now you are dealing with a temptation. It could be unkindness, it could be mistreatment, it could be injustice, it could be the test of illness, it could be the test of injury, it could be the test of unexpected disaster, it could be the test of death in the circle of your love, it could be the test of thwarted plans, it could be the test of failure to accomplish something that you had dreamed for a long time, it could be the test of facing a problem with no acceptable solution, it could be the test of a person or an experience that gives you an opportunity to do evil.

These are the tests that make up life and when they go inside, then they begin to solicit evil and they become temptations. Look at James chapter one for a very lucid explanation of this internal processing. In James chapter 1, verse 13, James talks about the fact that God is not involved in tempting anyone. “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself doesn't tempt anyone.” Now that is very important. God does not bring about an inward solicitation to do evil in anyone's life. But go back to verse 2. “Consider is all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various tests, (“trials,” same word), because the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” God sends tests but not temptations. God will bring the outward extremity to produce patience and endurance and spiritual maturity. 1 Peter 5 says, that after you have suffered for awhile, the Lord will make you perfect.

So God allows the tests of life to make us strong, but God never brings them to inward solicitation to do evil. You say, “How does that happen?” Verse 14, God doesn't tempt . . . verse 14 . . . “but each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by” . . . what? “His own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. Don't you be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above." That's all God ever sends. God will bring the test for spiritual maturity and perfection. It is your own lust that begins to produce the solicitation to do evil.

Our victory then, I think, starts with understanding the means by which temptation comes. It comes through the trials, tests, and disappointments of life. So, we simply remind you that when things aren't going the way you want them in life and you are facing a test, that is the means by which temptation comes to you, so you learn to watch how you respond to tests.  (
Sermon notes)

Frederick Godet...

The term peirasmos, proof, temptation , comprehends all that puts moral fidelity to the proof, whether this proof have for its end to manifest and strengthen the fidelity—it is in this sense that God can tempt, Gen. 22:1;Deut. 13:3;—or whether it seeks to make man fall into sin—it is in  this sense that God cannot tempt, James 1:13, and that the devil always tempts. It may also happen that the same fact falls at once into these two categories, as for example, the temptation of Job, which on the part of Satan had for its end to make him fall, and which God, on the contrary, permitted with the view of bringing out into clear manifestation the fidelity of His servant, and of raising him to a higher degree of holiness and of knowledge. There are even cases in which God permits Satan to tempt, not without consenting to his attaining his end of bringing into sin. So in the case of David, 1Chr 21:1; compare with 2Sa 24:1. This is when the pride of man has reached a point such that it is a greater obstacle to salvation than the commission of a sin; God then makes use of a fall to break this proud heart by the humbling experience of its weakness. Such undoubtedly is the meaning in which we are to say: “Lead us not into temptation.” These remarks will find their application in the immediate sequel.  (Godet Commentary Online)

Oswald Chambers wrote that ...

Temptation is not sin; temptation must always be possible for our sonship to be of worth to God. It would be no credit for God to bring mechanical slaves to glory—“for it became Him … in bringing many sons unto glory”—not slaves, not useless channels, but vigorous, alert, wide-awake men and women, with all their powers and faculties devoted absolutely to God. (The Philosophy of Sin)

J C Ryle once said...

Trials are intended to make us think, to wean us from the world, to send us to the Bible, to drive us to our knees.

Spurgeon explains the great value of his personal trials writing...

I am afraid that all the grace that I have got out of my comfortable and easy times and happy hours might almost lie on a penny. But the good that I have received from my sorrows, and pains, and griefs, is altogether incalculable. What do I not owe to the crucible and the furnace, the bellows that have blown up the coals, and the hand which has thrust me into the heat?... I bear my witness that the worst days I have ever had have turned out to be my best days... I can bear my personal testimony that the best piece of furniture that I ever had in the house was a cross. I do not mean a material cross; I mean the cross of affliction and trouble.... In shunning a trial we are seeking to avoid a blessing.

John Macarthur has an excellent illustration and explanation of the purpose of "trials" (temptations). He writes

"To test the genuineness of a diamond, jewelers often place it in clear water, which causes a real diamond to sparkle with special brilliance. An imitation stone, on the other hand, will have almost no sparkle at all. When the two are placed side by side, even an untrained eye can easily tell the difference. In a similar way, even the world can often notice the marked differences between genuine Christians and those who merely profess faith in Christ. As with jewels, there is a noticeable difference in radiance, especially when people are undergoing difficult times. Many people have great confidence in their faith until it is severely tested by hardships and disappointments. How a person handles trouble will reveal whether his faith is living or dead, genuine or imitation, saving or non-saving." (Macarthur J. James. 1998. Moody)


Has overtaken you - "has laid hold of you" (Berkley, Wuest), "has seized you" (NIV), "has waylaid you" (Moffatt), "has overtaken you and laid hold of you" (Amplified), "has you in its power" (Weymouth). As you can see, some of the translations render the Greek verb lambano (eilephen) in such a way that it paints a picture of an emotion or urge that suddenly attempts to seize a person's mind, will and emotions, so that he or she might be led astray from the right way. The picture is as occurs in a war, when the enemy seizes or grasps us and attempts to hold us fast.

Overtaken (2983) (lambano) means taken hold of, grasped, seized and in so doing bringing under one's control. In some secular uses lambano meant to be taken by violence, seized or carried off (as prize or booty). It was also used of passions, feelings, etc meaning to be seized by them (cp Lk 5:26), and such a nuance could apply in the present context.

Paul uses the perfect tense which emphasizes that they had not only been solicited by temptation but seized and overcome and that this temptation was now "holding them fast" as Edwards phrases it (1 Corinthians 10:13 Commentary).

Robertson and Plummer add that the perfect tense

brings us down to the present moment; there never has been peirasmos me anthropinos. In addition to this there is the certainty that God will never prove faithless: est certus custos suoruym (Calvin). (A critical and exegetical commentary - Page 208)

Common to man - Such as is human. But don't use this as an excuse for sinning when you are tested rationalizing it by saying "I'm only human!" That's not the application Paul intends! As one person has written God promises a safe landing but not a calm passage.

Barclay comments that...

Any temptation that comes to us is not unique. Others have endured it and others have come through it. A friend tells how he was once driving Lightfoot, the great Bishop of Durham, in a horse carriage along a very narrow mountain road in Norway. It got so narrow that there were only inches between the wheels of the carriage and the cliffs on one side and the precipice on the other. He suggested in the end that Lightfoot would be safer to get out and walk. Lightfoot surveyed the situation and said, “Other carriages must have taken this road. Drive on.”

In the Greek Anthology there is an epigram which gives the epitaph of a shipwrecked sailor, supposedly from his own lips. “A shipwrecked mariner on this coast bids you set sail,” he says. His bark may have been lost but many more have weathered the storm. When we are going through it, we are going through what others have, in the grace of God, endured and conquered. (Barclay, W: The Daily Study Bible Series. The Westminster Press or Logos)

Albert Barnes...

What temptation the apostle refers to here is not quite certain. It is probable, however, that he refers to such as would, in their circumstances, have a tendency to induce them to forsake their allegiance to their Lord, and to lead them into idolatry and sin. These might be either open persecutions, or afflictions on account of their religion; or they might be the various allurements which were spread around them from the prevalence of idolatry. They might be the open attacks of their enemies, or the sneers and the derision of the gay and the great. The design of the apostle evidently is to show them that, if they were faithful, they had nothing to fear from any such forms of temptation, but that God was able to bring them through them all. The sentiment in the verse is a very important one, since the general principle here stated is as applicable to Christians now as it was to the Corinthians.

The word temptation suggest something bad we need to remember that (1) temptation is really a test and (2) temptation is not in itself is sin. In fact temptation is a guarantee as long as we exist in these mortal bodies.  As Oswald Chambers says...

Temptation comes to me, suggesting a possible shortcut to the realization of my highest goal— it does not direct me toward what I understand to be evil, but toward what I understand to be good. Temptation is something that confuses me for a while, and I don’t know whether something is right or wrong. When I yield to it, I have made lust (Ed: And self or flesh) a god...Temptation is not something we can escape; in fact, it is essential to the well-rounded life of a person. Beware of thinking that you are tempted as no one else--what you go through is the common inheritance of the human race, not something that no one has ever before endured. God does not save us from temptations--He sustains us in the midst of them...

For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered (Jesus' suffering was a test - yes, He was fully God, but he was tested in His Humanity), He is able to come to the aid (pictures one who upon hearing a cry for help comes running) of those who are (present tense, passive voice = continuously being) tempted. (Hebrews 2:18-note)

For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One Who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace (Ed: When should we draw near? Of course, always, but in context, when we are being tempted!), that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:15, 16-note).

But such as is common to man...The design of the apostle is to comfort and encourage the Corinthians, and to keep their minds from despondency. He had portrayed their danger; he had shown them how others had fallen (cp 1Co 10:5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12); and they might be led to suppose that in such circumstances they could not be secure. He therefore tells them that they might still be safe, for their temptations were such as human nature had often been subject to, and God was able to keep them from falling.

Think of it this way - Trials/temptations are part of human nature and we all experience them. To be sure, each of us has his or her besetting sin or susceptibility to temptation but none of us are immune to these "intruders". They are part of our fallen human condition.

Jesus as the God-Man also experienced the temptations common to man...

For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted. (He 2:18-note)

For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. (He 4:15-note)

In Galatians Paul alludes to this "common" aspect of temptation writing...

Brethren, even if a man is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, lest you too be tempted (Ga 6:1)

Vine writes...

God permits the circumstances to take place from which a temptation arises, but He does not bar the way of retreat. The believer must take it. This is his responsibility. God is not the author of sin. (Vine, W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson or Logos)

J Vernon McGee writes that...

A great many people feel that nobody has ever been tempted as they are tempted. My friend, no matter what temptation you experience, there have been others who have had the same kind of temptation. The encouraging thing is that God will make a way of escape for you. God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can endure. Dr. Hutton used to say it like this:

God always makes a way of escape and sometimes the way of escape is the king's highway and a good pair of heels.

In other words, let the Devil see your heels -- run as hard as you can to get away from the temptation. One of the reasons we yield to temptation is that we are like the little boy in the pantry. His mother heard a noise because he had taken down the cookie jar. She said, "Willie, where are you?" He answered that he was in the pantry. "What are you doing there?" He said, "I'm fighting temptation." My friend, that is not the place to fight temptation! That is the place to start running.


We often want to excuse our particular tempting circumstances as "very unique" and a "special exception." But God reminds us that our temptation is not unique, many other men and women of God have faced the same or similar temptation, and have found the strength in God to overcome the temptation.  Others before you have found strength in the Lord to overcome your same temptation and worse. So, you can be victorious in the strength of Jesus, not in your own strength (cp Jn 3:30, Ro 13:14-note, Gal 5:16, 17-note). We fight temptation with Jesus' power, like the girl who explained what she did when Satan came with temptation at the door of her heart: "I send Jesus to answer the door. When Satan sees Jesus, he says, 'OOPS, sorry, I must have the wrong house.'"

Alan Carr addresses who is affected and where the temptation comes from...

A. All humans are subject to temptation. (Ill. Best to the least) (Ill. Jesus, Peter, David, etc!)

B. We are daily assaulted with a wide range of temptations. (List some!) (Illustration -We all have one area where we are particularly susceptible.

C. It is not a sin to be tempted. (Ill. Jesus - Heb. 4:15) Sin enters the picture  when temptation is surrendered to.

D. Our greatest danger is to think we have arrived at a place where we are above sinning, 1Cor 10:12; Pr 16:18. When our pride tells us that us that we cannot fall, then we are headed for a huge one! Pride in this area just tempts the devil!

E. Why doesn’t God just kill the devil and remove the attraction for sin? If that were to happen, then you and I would lose the ability to be overcomers in Jesus. Without opposition, there is no victory! God has not called us to a life of ease, but to one of victory. A victory that we cannot enjoy until we have faced evil and overcome it.



A. “Common” - Do not think your temptations are so great, they are just like the ones we all face. They are just common, run of the mill, garden-variety temptations. We all get the same ones from the same sources. (Ill. 1John 2:16; Eve - Ge 3:1, 2, 3, 4, 5ff) There are three primary sources of temptation:

The world, the flesh and the devil. Let’s look at these three sources and how they attack us.

B. The World - In the Bible, the word for world means “system or order.” The Bible speaks of this system called the world and says that it is evil. (Ill. 1John 2:15; James 4:4) It is possible for believers to become so worldly that they fail to stand out for the Lord. We are to be different and distinct. We are not to allow the world to force us into its mold, Rom. 12:1, 2; Mt. 5:13, 14, 15, 16 (Illustration of a Thermostat and thermometer) Ill. The world’s idea of beauty - 1Pe 3:3. God’s Idea is inward beauty of the soul untouched and unspoiled by the taint of the world.

C. The Flesh - Born into everyone of us, from the most innocent child to the most godly adult, is a bent in our nature. There is a leaning toward sin. We inherited this from our first father, Adam. It is called the “old Nature.” (Ill. There is a civil war in the heart of every saved person here today - Gal 5:17! ) When we fail, we try to blame our sin on the devil. Yes, he tempts us and points us toward sin, but we are responsible for the final decision, Ill. V.13. (Ill. Even if Satan were gone, we would still sin - Illustration Millennium - Rev. 2:27.

D. The Devil - His main objective, as far as you are concerned, is to cause you to fall so that God is dishonored and your become useless to the Kingdom work of God. He knows every weakness you have and he exploits them trying to get you to sin. He tells you how great sin will be, that you will get by with it, that you even deserve it, but he hates you and he is plotting your defeat. He loves to point at fallen saints and laugh before God as he stands accusing us of evil. Don’t give him the satisfaction!

J. C. Philpot in his devotional Pearls has this entry entitled "Were we left wholly in its hands!"

"No temptation has seized you except what is common to man." 1 Cor. 10:13

There is not a single sin ever perpetrated by man which does not lie deeply hidden in the recesses of our fallen nature! But these sins do not stir into activity until temptation draws them forth.

Temptation is to the corruptions of the heart, what fire is to stubble. Sin lies quiet in our carnal mind until temptation comes to set it on fire.

Temptation is to our corrupt nature, what the spark is to gunpowder. Have you not found this sad truth: how easily by temptation are the corruptions of our wretched heart set on fire, and burst into every kind of daring and dreadful iniquity?

In temptation, we learn what sin is . . .

its dreadful nature,
its aggravated character,
its fearful workings,
its mad, its desperate upheavings against God,
and what we are or would be,
were we left wholly in its hands!

"Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation." Matthew 26:41

"Hold me up, and I shall be safe!" Psalm 119:117

AND GOD IS FAITHFUL: pistos de o theos on ouk easei (3SFAI): (Nu 23:19, Dt 7:9, 32:4, Ps 100:5, Is 25:1, 49:7, La 3:22, 23,1Co 1:9, Php 1:6, 1Th 5:24, 2Th 3:3, Titus 1:2, Heb 2:17, 6:18, 10:23, 11:11, Re 19:11)

When we are most satisfied in Him
Is when we are safest from sin

Observe, that when the temptation/test comes, God does not or has not "vacated the premises". He is there with you (Heb 13:5-note), in you (Col 1:27-note, Gal 2:20-note), and for you (Ro 8:31-note). Nothing can separate you from Him (Ro 8:38, 39-notes). Of that truth, that certainty you can be fully assured and confident. You can trust Him, secure in Who He is and what He promises.

As S Lewis Johnson observes...

The text says God is faithful, doesn’t it? So if we fall, who’s to blame? Well it’s not God. He’s faithful. The text says that God is in control. No temptation is overtaken you except such as is common to man, but God is faithful who will not allow you to be tempted above that which you are able. He is in control. So if I fail, it cannot be excused.

Not only that, we read, he will also make a way of escape that you may be able to bear it, and so since he provides a way of escape there are no excuses for our falls. We have a God who is faithful, we have no excuse. We have a God who controls circumstances, we have no excuse. We have a God who, as he says here in the last part of the text, makes ways of escape. We are of course inexcusable. This is marvelous provision for the weak and I happen to be of this category, the weak. There is a beautiful protective providence, no temptation is ever overtaken you except such as is common to man. What a comfort that is. God has overseen my life and he does yours to be sure I do not have a temptation beyond my capacity with his help to overcome. Not only a protective kind of providence but a preventive kind of providence; God is faithful he will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able. He doesn’t shield us, but he sustains us in the trials of life.

In all these things we are, in all the things Paul says, doesn’t he, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us; not out of them, in them. And so many of us have to go through some very disappointing circumstances. I wouldn’t want anyone to go through some of them. The loss of loved ones, how deeply one feels that through him who loved us. Job, what an illustration of this. Joseph what an illustration. And finally this kind of providing providence we could call it in verse 13c, but with the temptation also make the way of escape -- something like a way out that you may be able to bear it. Not an escape from temptation, but a present power to endure it in its midst. What a glorious provision is made for those who are sorely tried in the Christian life to know there is a way of escape that God provides. Some of you in this audience have had some very serious, serious trials. I know some of them, some I don’t know. But this is the comfort of the saints in the midst of their trials. May God help us to live in such a way that we are not disqualified. (
1 Corinthians 10:1-13 Lessons From the Past)


God is faithful - Timothy Edwards notes that "God's faithfulness is shown in not permitting temptation to be too intense in degree or too long in duration." (1Corinthians 10:13 Commentary).

Faithful  (4103) (pistos [word study] from peitho = to persuade - induce one by words to believe, have confidence) is something or someone who is worthy of faith or keeps promises and is applied to God, humans, His Word, etc. Paul's point is that God always acts consistently with His character, and thus has made provision adequately to meet the need of those who rely upon His strength and seek to be conformed to His will (cp He 4:14, 15, 16-see notes)

Pistos is used 67 times in the NT (Mt 24:45; 25:21, 23; Luke 12:42; 16:10, 11, 12; 19:17; John 20:27; Acts 10:45; 13:34; 16:1, 15; 1Cor 1:9; 4:2, 17; 7:25; 10:13; 2Cor 1:18; 6:15; Gal 3:9; Eph 1:1; 6:21; Col 1:2, 7; 4:7, 9; 1Th 5:24; 2Th 3:3; 1Ti 1:12, 15; 3:1, 11; 4:3, 9-10, 12; 5:16; 6:2; 2Ti 2:2, 11, 13; Titus 1:6, 9; 3:8; Heb 2:17; 3:2, 5; 10:23; 11:11; 1Pe 1:21; 4:19; 5:12; 1Jn 1:9; 3Jn 1:5; Rev 1:5; 2:10, 13; 3:14; 17:14; 19:11; 21:5; 22:6) Pistos is translated believe(2), believer(4), believers(5), believing(1), faithful(43), Faithful(1), faithful one(1), faithfully(1), sure(1), trustworthy(7), who believe(1).

J. C. Ryle exhorts us to...

settle it firmly in our minds that there is a meaning, a needs-be and a message from God in every sorrow that falls upon us...There are no lessons so useful as those learned in the school of affliction... (and be encouraged for) The tools that the great Architect intends to use much are often kept long in the fire, to temper them and fit them for work.

Spurgeon after preaching on 1Corinithians 10:13 prayed...

O Lord, fulfill thy gracious purpose unto thy servants! Hold thou us up, lest we fall. We are very weak; keep us, for thy dear Son’s sake! Amen.

John MacDuff writes...

"For myself," says one whose saintliness has stirred the pulses of the century, "now, at the end of a long life, I say from a full heart that God has never failed me; never disappointed me; has ever turned evil into good for me…and what He has been to me who have deserved His love so little, such He will be, I believe and know, to every one who does not repel Him, and turn from His pleadings." (John MacDuff. The Pillar in the Night)

Illustration of God's faithfulness - There was once a young boy whose dad left him on a downtown corner one morning and told him to wait there until he returned in about half an hour. But the father’s car broke down and he could not get to a phone. Five hours went by before the father managed to get back, and he was worried that his son would be in a state of panic. But when the father got there, the boy was standing in front of the dime store, looking in the window and rocking back and forth on his heels. When the father saw him, he ran up to him and threw his arms around him and hugged and kissed him. The father apologized and said, “Weren’t you worried? Did you think I was never coming back?” The boy looked up and replied, “No, Dad. I knew you were coming. You said you would.”

Jamieson writes...

To be led into temptation is distinct from running into it, which would be “tempting God” (1Co 10:9; Mt 4:7).

C H Spurgeon writes...

God is true to His promises. “God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able” (1 Cor. 10:13). “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Heb 13:5). “God is faithful,” and He will fulfill that promise. This is one of Christ’s promises, and Christ is God. “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand” (John 10:27–28). “God is faithful,” and God will fulfill these promises.

You have often heard this promise, “As your days, so shall your strength be” (Deut. 33:25). Do you believe it? Or will you make God a liar? If you believe it, then banish all dark depression with this blessed little sentence, “God is faithful.”

God sends our trials at the right time. If He puts an extra burden on us in one way, He takes something off in another. John Bradford, the famous martyr, suffered with rheumatism and depression, in which I can greatly sympathize. Yet when they imprisoned him in a foul damp dungeon, and he knew that he would never come out except to die, Bradford wrote,

It is a singular thing that ever since I have been in this prison and have had other trials to bear, I have had no touch of my rheumatism or depression. (Ed note: This writer can attest to this truth, for more than 10 years ago I began to have a loud humming/buzzing noise in my right ear and I thought I would go crazy. And yet to this day, even though I can still "hear" it, God daily gives me the grace to be able to "ignore" it.)

How blessed, and you will find that this is true, “God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted (tested) beyond what you are able, but with the temptation (test) will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Cor. 10:13). (Spurgeon, C., & Clarke, R. H. Beside Still Waters: Words of Comfort for the Soul Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.)

Albert Barnes...

God is faithful. This was the only source of security; and this was enough. If they looked only to themselves, they would fall (cp 1Co 10:12, Pr 16:18, Peter's example Mt 26:33). If they depended on the faithfulness of God, they would be secure. The sense is, not that God would keep them without any effort of their own; not that he would secure them if, they plunged into temptation; but that if they used the proper means, if they resisted temptation, and sought his aid, and depended on his promises, then he would be faithful. This is everywhere implied in the Scriptures; and to depend on the faithfulness of God, otherwise than in the proper use of means and in avoiding the places of temptation, is to tempt him, and provoke him to wrath. See Barnes "Matthew 4:1" and following.

Matthew Henry...

God is faithful. Though Satan be a deceiver, God is true. Men may be false, and the world may be false; but God is faithful, and our strength and security are in him. He keepeth his covenant, and will never disappoint the filial hope and trust of his children.


He will “keep” you as the apple of His eye (Ps 17:8).
He will “keep” you in all your ways (Ps 91:11).
He will “keep” that which you have committed to Him against that day (2Ti 1:12).
He will “keep” you as a shepherd cares for his flock of sheep (Jer 31:10).
He will “keep” you in perfect peace (Is 26:3).
He will “keep” you from the hour of temptation and support you in the time of trial (1Co 10:13).
He will “keep” you from falling (Jude 24). (The Speaker's Quote Book)

WHO WILL NOT ALLOW YOU TO BE TEMPTED BEYOND WHAT YOU ARE ABLE: on ouk easei (3SFAI) humas peirasthenai (APN) huper o dunasthe, (2PPI): (Ex 3:17; Ps 125:3; Da 3:17; Lk 22:32; Jn 10:28, 29, 30; Ro 8:28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39; 2Co 1:10; 12:8, 9, 10; 2Ti 4:18; 1Pe 1:5; 2Pe 2:9)

He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men (violate the "law of nature" and conscience) for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented (imperfect tense = over and over - describes a vessel tossed by the waves Mt14:24, disease Mt 8:6, pains of childbirth Re12:2) day after day with their lawless deeds), then the Lord knows (Study passages that speak of what the Lord knows - 2Ti 2:19, Ps 1:6, Lk 16:15, Ps 103, 14, Nah 1:7, Mt 6:8) how to rescue (rhuomai = bring out of severe, acute danger emphasizing greatness of peril from which deliverance is given by a mighty act of power) the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment, (2Pe 2:7, 8-notes, 2Pe 2:9-note)

Who will not allow...-As a natural (supernatural) effect or outflow from His eternal, immutable, infinite faithfulness to His children. (For which we thank Thee! Amen)

Not (3756) (ou) signifies absolute negation -- as a child of the Living God, you can be sure that He will absolutely not allow a temptation or test into our life that He knows we cannot handle. He is not trying to destroy us but refine us.

To be tempted beyond - "to be pressured above". As Vine puts it, God...

is fully aware of all the circumstances attaching to every temptation and not one comes to us except under His permissive will. His restraining power is such, that we can meet and overcome the temptation by the exercise of our wills in response to, and by the power of, the Holy Spirit’s work in our hearts. (Ibid)

Beyond (5228) (huper) is used in this context as a marker of a degree beyond that of a compared scale, thus signifying over and above or more than. This speaks of the extent of the temptation we experience. God made each of us and knows each of us intimately and thus He can be trusted to not allow us to go into a temptation which is more than we can handle. A corollary thought is that the test/temptation that God allows in the life of a more mature saint might be "stronger" or "greater", but it will always be within the spiritual capability of the one tested to be able to bear up under it. (See Joseph Stowell's devotional on "Load Limits")

The Plimsoll Mark- It was due to the efforts of Samuel Plimsoll (1824-98), British reformer, that the Merchant Shipping Act of 1876 was passed, requiring all ships to bear a mark known as the Plimsoll mark and indicating the maximum load line. By this act the Board of Trade of England was empowered to detain any vessel deemed unsafe, and the amount of cargo was restricted, thus making the long and perilous ocean voyage of those days much safer. Because of his work, Plimsoll became known as the sailor's friend. The Plimsoll mark, with its gradations and figures, may be seen on the bow of ships near the water line as they lie at anchor in a harbor. In God's sight, each of us has a similar mark, though we may not be able to see it The burdens and responsibilities He gives us may seem unbearable, but He knows our limit, His everlasting arms are underneath, and by His grace we can bear them without sinking. "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" (1 Cor. 10:13b).—Sunday School Times

Beyond what you are able - In short, no trial/temptation is inherently stronger than our spiritual resources. People sin because they willingly sin. Notice that God does not promise to deliver us from the trial/temptation, but He does promise to limit its intensity so that it does not overwhelm our ability to handle it. And as discussed more below, He also promises to provide the way of escape that we might be enabled to bear up under the trial/temptation.

Standing on the Promises
by R Kelso Carter

Standing on the promises of Christ my King,
Through eternal ages let His praises ring,
Glory in the highest, I will shout and sing,
Standing on the promises of God.

Standing, standing,
Standing on the promises of God my Savior;
Standing, standing,
I’m standing on the promises of God.

Standing on the promises that cannot fail,
When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,
By the living Word of God I shall prevail,
Standing on the promises of God.

Standing on the promises I now can see
Perfect, present cleansing in the blood for me;
Standing in the liberty where Christ makes free,
Standing on the promises of God.

Standing on the promises of Christ the Lord,
Bound to Him eternally by love’s strong cord,
Overcoming daily with the Spirit’s sword,
Standing on the promises of God.

Standing on the promises I cannot fall,
Listening every moment to the Spirit’s call
Resting in my Savior as my all in all,
Standing on the promises of God.

Able (1410) (dunamai [word study]) conveys the basic meaning of that which has the inherent ability to do something or accomplish some end. Thus dunamai means to be able to, to be capable of, to be strong enough to do or to have power to do something. The derivative word dunamis (from dunamai) refers to intrinsic power or inherent ability, the power or ability to carry out some function, the potential for functioning in some way, the power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature. The word group (dunamai, dunamis, dunatos, etc) gives us our English word dynamic, (synonyms = energetic, functioning, live, operative, working) which describes that which is marked by usually continuous and productive activity or change. That which is dynamic is characterized by energy or forces that produce motion, as opposed to that which is static.

BDAG says that dunamai means...

to possess capability (whether because of personal or external factors) for experiencing or doing something.

Larry Richards says that dunamis and dunamai...

look to the inherent physical, spiritual, or natural strength or power of individuals. The verb raises the issue of one's being "strong enough" and thus able.

TDNT writes that...

Words of this stem all have the basic sense of ability or capability. Dunamai means a. “to be able” in a general sense, b. “to be able” with reference to the attitude that makes one able, hence sometimes “to will,” and c. (of things) “to be equivalent to,” “to count as,” “to signify.”

Thayer's summary of dunamai...

1 to be able, have power whether by virtue of one’s own ability and resources, or of a state of mind, or through favorable circumstances, or by permission of law or custom.

2 to be able to do something.

3 to be capable, strong and powerful.

Vine summarizes dunamai writing that it means...

“to be able, to have power,” whether by virtue of one’s own ability and resources, e.g., Ro 15:14 (note); or through a state of mind, or through favorable circumstances, e.g., 1Thes 2:6 (note); or by permission of law or custom, e.g., Acts 24:8, 11; or simply “to be able, powerful,” Matt. 3:9;2Ti 3:15 (note), etc. See can, may, possible, power.

Oswald Chambers encourages us writing that...

Patience has the meaning of testing—a thing drawn out and tested, drawn out to the last strand in a strain without breaking, and ending in sheer joy. The strain on a violin string when stretched to the uttermost gives it its strength; and the stronger the strain, the finer is the sound of our life for God, and He never strains more than we are able to bear. (The Love of God—The Ministry of the Unnoticed)

William MacDonald comments that in...

Reading this verse, one cannot help but be struck by the tremendous comfort it has afforded to tested saints of God through the centuries. Young believers have clung to it as to a life-line and older believers have reposed on it as upon a pillow. Perhaps some of Paul’s readers were being fiercely tempted at the time to go into idolatry. Paul would comfort them with the thought that God would not allow any unbearable temptation to come their way. At the same time they should be warned that they should not expose themselves to temptation. (MacDonald, W & Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson or Logos)

Matthew Henry...

God is wise as well as faithful, and will proportion our burden to our strength. He will not suffer us to be tempted above what we are able. He knows what we can bear, and what we can bear up against; and he will, in His wise providence, either proportion our temptations to our strength or make us able to grapple with them. He will take care that we be not overcome, if we rely upon Him, and resolve to approve ourselves faithful to Him. We need not perplex ourselves with the difficulties in our way when God will take care that they shall not be too great for us to encounter.


God has promised to supervise all temptation which comes at us through the world, the flesh or the devil. He promises to limit it according to our capability to endure it ? according to our capability as we rely on Him, not relying on ourselves. Satan would destroy us in a minute if God would let him, even as he wanted to destroy Job (Job 1:6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 1112) and Peter (Luke 22:31), but God will not let him. So, like a mom who keeps her child from the candy aisle in a store, knowing the child couldn't handle that temptation, God keeps us from things we can't handle. But what we can and can't handle changes over the years!


This is a general promise, just as applicable to all Christians as it was to the Corinthians. It implies,

(1.) that all the circumstances, causes, and agents that lead to temptation, are under the control of God. Every man that tempts another; every fallen spirit that is engaged in this; every book, picture, place of amusement; every charm of music and of song; every piece of indecent statuary; and every plan of business, of gain, or ambition, are all under the control of God. He can check them; He can control them; He can paralyze their influence; He can destroy them. C. Matthew 6:13 (note).

(2.) When men are tempted, it is because God suffers or permits it (cp Job 1:8, 9, 10, 11, 12;  Lk 22:31). He does not himself tempt men, (James 1:13, 14-
note) He does not infuse evil thoughts into the mind; He does not create an object of temptation to place in our way, but He suffers it to be placed there by others. When we are tempted, therefore, we are to remember that it is because He suffers or permits it; not because He does it. His agency is that of sufferance, not of creation. We are to remember, too, that there is some good reason why it is thus permitted; and that it may be turned in some way to his glory, and to our advancement in virtue (James 1:2, 3, 4 - notes).

(3.) There is a certain extent to which we are able to resist temptation. There is a limit to our power. There is a point beyond which we are not able to resist it (cp 1Co 10:12, 2Cor 12:9-
note, 2Cor 12:10-note). We have not the strength of angels.

(4.) That limit will, in all cases, be beyond the point to which we are tempted. If not, there would be no sin in falling, any more than there is sin in the oak when it is prostrated before the tempest.

(5.) If men fall into sin, under the power of temptation, they only are to blame (James 1:14-
note). They have strength to resist all the temptations that assail them (cp James 4:6,7), and God has given the assurance that no temptation shall occur which they shall not be able, by His aid, to resist. In all instances, therefore, where men fall into sin--in all the yielding to passion, to allurement, and to vice--man is to blame, and must be responsible to God. And this is especially true of Christians, who, whatever may be said of others, cannot plead that there was not power sufficient to meet the temptation, or to turn aside its power.

 Conflicting Feelings
by John Newton
Play hymn

Strange and mysterious is my life.
What opposites I feel within!
A stable peace, a constant strife;
The rule of grace, the power of sin:
Too often I am captive led,
Yet daily triumph in my Head,
Yet daily triumph in my Head.

I prize the privilege of prayer,
But oh! what backwardness to pray!
Though on the Lord I cast my care,
I feel its burden every day;
I seek His will in all I do,
Yet find my own is working too,
Yet find my own is working too.

I call the promises my own,
And prize them more than mines of gold;
Yet though their sweetness I have known,
They leave me unimpressed and cold
One hour upon the truth I feed,
The next I know not what I read,
The next I know not what I read.

I love the holy day of rest,
When Jesus meets His gathered saints;
Sweet day, of all the week the best!
For its return my spirit pants:
Yet often, through my unbelief,
It proves a day of guilt and grief,
It proves a day of guilt and grief.

While on my Savior I rely,
I know my foes shall lose their aim,
And therefore dare their power defy,
Assured of conquest through His Name,
But soon my confidence is slain,
And all my fears return again,
And all my fears return again.

Thus different powers within me strive,
And grace and sin by turns prevail;
I grieve, rejoice, decline, revive,
And victory hangs in doubtful scale:
But Jesus has His promise passed,
That grace shall overcome at last,
That grace shall overcome at last.

BUT WITH THE TEMPTATION WILL PROVIDE THE WAY OF ESCAPE ALSO: alla poiesei (3SFAI) sun to peirasmo kai ten ekbasin: (Ge 19:20,21; Ps 124:7; Je 29:11; Lk 16:26; Acts 27:44; Jas 5:11)

But (235) (alla) is an adversative that signifies contrast.

Will provide (4160) (poieo) can mean to make, to create (Mt 19:4), to accomplish (speaking of bringing about a state or condition). God is able to undertake or do something (anything He wants to do - see Omnipotent; Sovereign) that brings about an event, state, or condition, which in context would refer to the specific way of escape.

With (4862) (sun/syn) speaks of intimacy in contrast to meta which speaks of nearness without the idea of intimacy. An excellent illustration of this difference is the two thieves on the Cross. The believing thief was crucified (physically but more importantly spiritually) with (sun) Christ (see word study on crucified with = sustauroo) while the other thief was crucified (physically next to) with Christ. The first thief experienced intimate union with Christ, while the second experienced only close proximity to Christ, the result of which was eternal separation from Christ.

As John MacArthur says...

when God allows us to be tested, He always provides a way out. There is always a path to victory. (MacArthur, J., F., Jr. The Vanishing Conscience. Dallas: Word Pub)

Robertson and Plummer...

But will provide, with the temptation, the way of escape also.’ ‘A way to escape’ (AV.) ignores the article before ekbasis, ‘the necessary way of escape,’ the one suitable for such a difficulty. The sun/syn (with) and the articles imply that temptations and possibilities of escape always go in pairs there is no peirasmos without its proper ekbasis, for these pairs are arranged by God, Who permits no unfairness. He knows the powers with which He has endowed us, and how much pressure they can withstand. He will not leave us to become the victims of circumstances which He has Himself ordered for us, and impossibilia non jubet...

As to God’s part in temptation, see Mt. 6:13-note; 1Chr 21:1; Job 1:12, 2:6; Ex 16:4; Dt. 8:2; and, on the other side, Jas 1:13-note. (See A critical and exegetical commentary - Page 209)

Temptation (3986) (peirasmos from peirazo = to make trial of, try, tempt, prove in either a good or bad sense) describes the idea of putting to the test and then the tests or pressures that come in order to discover a person’s nature or the quality of some thing. Pressure brings out what's really on the inside! 

Alex Deasley reminds us that...

testing and temptation are facts within God's world and constitute some of the tools through which he is bringing to fulfillment His redemptive purpose. Both trials (as revealing and stimulating character and progress) and temptations (understood as allurements to evil) may minister to the divine purpose, provided the outcome is positive (Jas 1:12-note). But there is this important distinction: since temptation embodies incitement to evil, it cannot be God's doing (Jas 1:13-note). Hence the tendency of the biblical writers is to say that while God sustains his people during testing (Ro 5:3-note; Re 3:10-note), he delivers them from temptation (1Co10:13; 2Pe 2:9-note). What is true in the private experiences of individuals is also true in the history of salvation in which the testing of Abraham (Ge 22:1), Israel (Ps 66:8, 9, 10, 11, 12), or Christ (He 2:17,18-note) contributed to the furtherance of God's saving purpose.

Temptation neither constitutes nor necessarily leads to sin. Temptation could not destroy Christ's sinlessness (Heb 4:15), and his temptations were entirely like those of all other humans (He 2:17-
note). Still more, succumbing to temptation is never inevitable. The triumph of Christ over the powers of darkness (Mt 12:28,29; Col 1:13-note, cp Acts 26:18, 1Pe 2:9-note) means that a way of escape is always open for those united to him (1Co 10:13). When temptation is yielded to, forgiveness is available through Christ (He 2:18-note; He 4:14, 15, 16-notes; 1Jn 2:1). (Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology)

With the temptation - "With the pressure".


Temptation works like rocks in a harbor; when the tide is low, everybody sees the danger and avoids it. But Satan's strategy in temptation is to raise the tide, and to cover over the dangers of temptation. Then he likes to crash you upon the covered rocks.

God has promised to not only limit our temptation, but also to provide a way of escape in tempting times. He will never force us to use the way of escape, but he will make the way of escape. It's up to us to take God's way of escape. The way of escape isn't the same as mere "relief" from the pressure temptation, which some people find by giving into the temptation! There is often a wrong way to relieve a temptation, and we will often face the same temptations over and over again until we show Satan and our flesh we are able to bear it.. Barclay says the word for a way of escape is really a mountain pass, with the idea of an army being surrounded by the enemy, and then suddenly seeing an escape route to safety. It isn't necessarily an easy way!

The way of escape - "the outlet" (YLT). Notice that the definite article (ten) "the" is present in the Greek, signifying not just a way in general but a specific way. Robertson and Plummer = "the necessary way of escape"; the one suitable for such a difficulty. (1Corinthians - A Critical and Exegetical commentary - p209)

As Vine observes this way is...

not merely “a way of escape” but the way appointed by Him and suited to each temptation. The word rendered “way of escape” is ekbasis, lit., a way out. The word is used in the New Testament elsewhere only in Hebrews 13:7. The temptation and the way out always go together. God never allows us to be the mere victims of circumstances. All these are under His control and in all this His faithfulness is manifest. Joseph availed himself of the way of escape when his special temptation came (Ge 39:12). So with Daniel (Dan. 1:8). God orders the circumstances, but it is ours to pass through them victoriously for His glory (cp 1Co 6:20, Mt 5:16-note), and the fulfillment of this lies in the explanatory phrase “that ye may be able to endure it”; cp. James 1:12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 (see notes;), where the 17th verse has a bearing upon the subject of the way of escape. (Ibid)

Way of escape (1545) (ekbasis from ekbaino = to go out <> ek = out + baino = to go) is a noun which literally means an exit, a going out, an egress and thus describes a way out or way of escape. God always provides an "escape hatch"!

The only other NT use of ekbasis is in Hebrews...

Hebrews 13:7 (note) Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result (ekbasis) of their conduct, imitate their faith.

Comment: The idea of "the way out" gives way to the concept of the end or outcome of an event or state which BDAG says in the context of this verse in Hebrews is the "result of one's way of life, with implication of success". Thayer adds that ekbasis here "is not merely the end of their physical life, but the manner in which they closed a well-spent life as exhibited by their spirit in dying."

Barclay comments that...

With the temptation there is always a way of escape. The word is vivid (ekbasis). It means a way out of a defile, a mountain pass. The idea is of an army apparently surrounded and then suddenly seeing an escape route to safety. No man need fall to any temptation, for with the temptation there is the way out, and the way out is not the way of surrender nor of retreat, but the way of conquest in the power of the grace of God. (Barclay, W: The Daily Study Bible Series. The Westminster Press or Logos)

A T Robertson writes...

"The way out" is always there right along with (see word study sun/syn) the temptation...It is cowardly to yield to temptation and distrustful of God. (Are you as convicted as I am by Robertson's reproof!)

Jamieson writes...

The Greek is, “the way of escape”; the appropriate way of escape in each particular temptation; not an immediate escape, but one in due time, after patience has had her perfect work (James 1:2-4, 12). He “makes” the way of escape simultaneously with the temptation which His providence permissively arranges for His people.

Matthew Henry...

There is no valley so dark but he can find a way through it, no affliction so grievous but he can prevent, or remove, or enable us to support it, and in the end overrule it to our advantage.

Oswald Chambers reminds us that...

The moments of severest temptation are the moments of His divinest succour. (Disciples Indeed)

In his background for the occurrence of the following hymn by Horatio Palmer writes that...

This song was an inspiration. I was at work on the dry subject of ‘Theory,’ when the complete idea flashed upon me, and I laid aside the theoretical work and hurriedly penned both words and music as fast as I could write them. I submitted them to the criticism of a friend afterward, and some changes were made in the third stanza, but the first two are exactly as they came to me—I am reverently thankful it has been a power for good.

(Play Hymn)

Yield not to temptation, for yielding is sin;
Each victory will help you some other to win;
Fight manfully onward, dark passions subdue,
Look ever to Jesus, He’ll carry you through.

Shun evil companions, bad language disdain,
God’s Name hold in reverence, nor take it in vain;
Be thoughtful and earnest, kindhearted and true,
Look ever to Jesus, He’ll carry you through.

To him that o’ercometh, God giveth a crown;
Through faith we shall conquer, though often cast down;
He Who is our Savior our strength will renew;
Look ever to Jesus, He’ll carry you through.
Ask the Savior to help you,
Comfort, strengthen and keep you;
He is willing to aid you,
He will carry you through.

SO THAT YOU WILL BE ABLE TO ENDURE IT: tou dunasthai (PPN) hupenegkein. (AAN):

Robertson and Plummer note that the article "tou" is used...

with the infinitive (dunasthai - PPN) to express purpose or result is very frequent in Luke (Lk 1:77, 79, 2:24) and not rare in Paul (Gal. 3:10; Php 3:10; Ro 1:24, 6:6, 7:3, 8:12, 11:8, 10). Hupenegkein  means ‘to bear up under,’ ‘to endure patiently’ (2Ti 3:11; 1Pe 2:19; Pr 6:33; Ps 69:7; Job 2:10). Temptation is probation (Ed: a critical examination and evaluation of our hearts; a subjection of our character to a divine examination and evaluation), and God orders the probation (= subjection of an individual to a period of testing and trial to ascertain fitness!) in such a way ‘that ye may be able to endure it.’ The power to endure is given "with the temptation"; the endurance is not given; that depends on ourselves (Ed: Woe!). (A critical and exegetical commentary - Page 209)

Will be able (1410) (dunamai) conveys the basic meaning of that which has the inherent ability to do something or accomplish some end. Thus dunamai means to be able to, to be capable of, to be strong enough to do or to have power to do something. The derivative word dunamis (from dunamai) refers to intrinsic power or inherent ability, the power or ability to carry out some function, the potential for functioning in some way, the power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature. The word group (dunamai, dunamis, dunatos, etc) gives us our English word dynamic, (synonyms = energetic, functioning, live, operative, working) which describes that which is marked by usually continuous and productive activity or change. That which is dynamic is characterized by energy or forces that produce motion, as opposed to that which is static.

Adam Clarke rightly observes that...

The highest saint under heaven can stand no longer than he depends upon God and continues in the obedience of faith. He that ceases to do so will fall into sin, and get a darkened understanding and a hardened heart.

To endure (5297)  (hupophero from hupo = under + phero = bear) means to bear up (from underneath), to bear a burden, to submit to, to put up with, to underpin (to form part of, strengthen, or replace the foundation of as of a sagging building) despite difficulty and suffering. The principle is that one is made able to get under a heavy load and to carry it. The picture in secular Greek was of one who under a burden as for example would be an armor-bearer who is under the arms that he carries. Clearly the present context means to bear up under trouble or difficulty.

There are only 3 NT uses of hupophero -

2Ti 3:11 (note) persecutions, and sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord delivered me!

1Peter 2:19 (note) For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a man bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly.

In summary, observe that there are at least 4 truths which should encourage you dear saint, the next time you are seized by what might seem at first glance to be an overwhelming temptation or test -

(1) Others have already trodden this same path. Knowing that other Christians suffer (also have suffered and will suffer) these same trials, temptations and afflictions should help strengthen our resolve to cast our burden (Ps 55:22-note; cp Ps 27:14-note; Ps 37:5-note) upon our faithful God (see His attribute - Faithfulness). Our mortal enemy, the devil (diabolos), who specializes in the strategy of "divide and conquer", wants each believer to believe that their trial is unique and that they alone are suffering alone! (cp 1Pe 5:9-note, 1Pe 5:10-note, 1Pe 1:6-note; 1Pe 2:21-note; 1Pe 3:14-note; 1Pe 4:12, 13-note; Jn 16:33; Acts 14:22; 1Th 3:3-note; 2Ti 3:12-note).

(2) God can be trusted in your trial and temptation. He is sovereign (see His attribute - Sovereignty) and because He is sovereign, He is in control. Therefore He is trustworthy. We can rely on Him as we are experiencing the "winds and waves" of trial and temptation. He will never forsake us and leave us alone in the "dark night" of our trial (even though we may feel that way at times) (Suggestion: If you are doubting the truth of the Father's faithfulness [and most of do from time to time if we are brutally honest] take a moment and ponder [slowly, like when you eat a savory steak - take time to "chew" these wonderful passages that speak about our great and awesome God -- He 13:5, 6-note, Dt 4:31, 31:6, 7, 8, Josh 1:5, 9, Ps 27:1-note, Ps 37:25-note, Ps 46:1-note, Ps 46:2-note, Ps 46:7-note, Isa 41:10, 13, 17, 42:2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 1Sa 12:22,1Chr 28:20, 2Chr 20:17, 32:8, Ro 8:31-note, Php 4:11, 12-note, Php 4:13-note; 2Ti 4:16, 17-note). (Related resource: Fear, How to Handle It)

(3) God will not allow too great a temptation or test to come into your life, although it might feel that way. He is not trying to destroy us, but to refine us (cp Ps 66:10-note which speaks of Israel but is applicable to saints of all ages -Spurgeon's note) and conform us to the image of His Son (Ro 8:29-note; Php 3:21-note) Who was also tested in the days of His flesh (He 2:18-note).

(4). With every temptation or test, there is the way of escape. We can be sure of and should be looking for God's provision of the specific way of escape that will allow us to walk through the time of temptation or test and thereby to bear up under it.

Robert Morgan in his sermon on lists as step #6 "Memorize 1Corinthians 10:13" (see topic Memorizing His Word) commenting...

I don't know of a better verse for people who are trying to break free from a besetting sin than 1 Corinthians 10:13: No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful who will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear, but will with the temptation also make a way of escape that you may be able to bear it.

Lynette Morgan's father, Dr. LaVerne Miley, was a missionary physician in the Ivory Coast for many years. One day he was greatly disturbed to learn that four of his prime converts had fallen into sexual sin. One of them, Benjamin, spoke for them all when Miley confronted them. "Monsieur," Benjamin said, "I believe the Bible, but some parts of it only work for you white folks. Black men have a stronger sex drive than you."

Dr. Miley turned in the Bible to 1 Corinthians 10:13 and asked Benjamin to read it. Then he asked, "Benjamin, does that promise specify skin color?" The young men were silent, then they began to weep. They confessed their sins as the doctor prayed with tears in his own eyes.

That verse will work for us any time day or night, regardless of our background, regardless of our circumstances, regardless of our skin color or the land or our origin. (See all the "steps" in Robert Morgan's message on
Seven Ways to Break Bad Habits)


The way of escape does not lead us to a place where we escape all temptation (that is heaven alone); the way of escape leads us to the place where we may be able to bear it.  We are reminded that to be tempted is not sin; but to entertain temptation, or surrender to temptation is sin. When we bear temptation, Satan often condemns us for being tempted (cp Rev 12:10-note, Job 1:9,10, 11, 2:5, Zec 3:1,2), but it is that condemnation from Satan the Christian does not need to accept (cp Eph 6:13-note, James 4:7, 1Pe 5:9-note)! At a market, a little boy standing by some candy looked like he was going to put some in his pocket and walk out the door. A clerk watched the boy for a long time, and finally spoke to him. "Looks like you're trying to take some candy" the clerk asked. The boy replied, "You're wrong, mister. I'm trying not to." For the time being, he was able to bear it!

Charles Hodge comments...

No temptation , i.e. no trial , whether in the form of seductions or of afflictions, has taken you but such as is common to man ; literally human , accommodated to human strength such as men are able to bear. ‘You have been subjected to no superhuman or extraordinary temptations. Your trials hitherto have been moderate; and God will not suffer you to be unduly tried.’ This is the ordinary interpretation of this passage, and one which gives a simple and natural sense.

It may, however, mean, ‘Take heed lest ye fall (1Co 10:12). The temptations which you have hitherto experienced are moderate compared to those to which you are hereafter to be subjected.’ In this view, it is not so much an encouragement, as a warning that all danger was not over. The apostle is supposed to refer to those peculiar trials which were to attend “the last times.” As these times were at hand, the Corinthians were in circumstances which demanded peculiar care. They should not run into temptation, for the days were approaching when, if it were possible, even the elect would be deceived.

As, however, there is no contrast between the present and the future intimated in the passage, the common interpretation is the more natural one.

But God is faithful . He has promised to preserve His people, and therefore His fidelity is concerned in not allowing them to be unduly tempted. Here, as in 1Co 1:9, and every where else in Scripture, the security of believers is referred neither to the strength of the principle of grace infused into them by regeneration, nor to their own firmness, but to the fidelity of God. He has promised that those given to the Son as His inheritance, should never perish. They are kept, therefore, by the power of God, through faith, unto salvation, 1 Peter 1:4 (note). This promise of security, however, is a promise of security from sin, and therefore those who fall into willful and habitual sin are not the subjects of the promise. Should they fall, it is after a severe struggle, and they are soon renewed again unto repentance (cp Ps 51:10-Spurgeon's note). The absolute security of believers (1Pe 1:5-note; cp Jn 10:29, Jude 1:24, 25, Ro 8:38,39-notes), and the necessity of constant watchfulness, are perfectly consistent. Those whom God has promised to save, he has promised to render watchful.

Who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able , i.e. able to bear. This is the proof of his fidelity.

But will with the temptation make a way of escape. This means either, that when the temptation comes, God will make a way of escape; or, that when God brings the temptation He will also bring the way of escape. In the latter sense God is regarded as the Author of the temptation, in the former He is not. The latter is to be preferred on account of the sun, with (word study - sun/syn). ‘He will make with the temptation a way of escape,’ i.e. He makes the one, He will make the other. The apostle James indeed says, “God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man,” James 1:13 (note). To tempt there, however, means to solicit, or attempt to seduce into sin. In that sense God tempts no man. But He does often put their virtue to the test, as in the case of Abraham (Ge 22:1, He 11:17-note, Jas 2:21-note cp Dt 8:2, 3, 13:1, 2, 3, 1Pe 1:6, 7-notes). And in that sense he tempts or tries them. What the apostle here says is, that when God thus tries his people it will not be beyond their strength, and that he will always make a way of escape that they may be able to bear it. This expresses the design of God in making a way of escape. (The genitive tou dunasthai , etc., is the genitive of design).

Oswald Chambers exhorts us to...

Stedfastly endure the trial and you will get direction from it. “What I tell you in the darkness, that speak ye in the light” (Matthew 10:27). Darkness is the time to listen, not to speak; if you do speak, you will speak in the wrong mood; you will be inclined to criticize God’s providential arrangements for other lives and to tell Him He has no business to allow these things. As long as you are in the dark you do not know what God is doing; immediately you get into the light, you discover it. “Because thou hast kept the word of My patience…” (Revelation 3:10-note). The test always comes along the line of patience. (He Shall Glorify Me)

From an article in Discipleship Magazine on enduring temptation in area of sexuality...

As you develop your moral filter, don’t presume on its strength. Our minds can be so quickly overwhelmed with ungodly stimuli that we can no longer sift it out or reject its implications. (cp 1Sa 11:2...could David have been going to the roof to have some time alone with God? If so it points out the ever present danger of temptation) Like a dam that restrains water, our grid may withstand a certain level of pressure from immoral input. But also like a dam, when the pressure is too great, the grid will succumb to it. Once weakened, a dam collapses (Pr 25:28). Once collapsed, the forces formerly controlled reign supreme, wreaking devastation and ruin. Many Christians—including Christian leaders—have overestimated the strength of their mental dams. They carelessly let tiny rivulets of impurity join forces into streams and ultimately a mighty river too powerful for the dam of moral conviction to restrain. The once guarded territory of their minds (see value of taking every thought, repeat every anti-God thought, captive - 2Cor 10:5-note) is ruthlessly flooded by forces they can no longer control. Achan’s confession in Joshua 7:21 contains an instructive progression of verbs: He saw, he coveted, he took, then he hid (cp Pr 28:13, Nu 32:23). His sin was not in seeing the robe, silver, and gold, but he permitted his eyes not only to glance, but also to gaze upon these forbidden treasures (cp Job 31:1, 7= note relation between eyes and heart; Ps 101:3- note effect of  Mt 5:27-note, 1Sa 11:2, 3, 4, 5)

Adam Clarke...

that is, small, short, moderate. Your temptations or trials have been but trifling in comparison of those endured by the Israelites; they might have been easily resisted and overcome. Besides, God will not suffer you to be tried above the strength he gives you; but as the trial comes, he will provide you with sufficient strength to resist it; as the trial comes in, he will make your way out. The words are very remarkable, "He will, with the temptation, make the deliverance, or way out." Satan is never permitted to block up our way, without the providence of God making a way through the wall. God ever makes a breach in his otherwise impregnable fortification. Should an upright soul get into difficulties and straits, he may rest assured that there is a way out, as there was a way in; and that the trial shall never be above the strength that God shall give him to bear it.

Albert Barnes...

God knows what his people are able to endure, and as he has entire control of all that can effect them, he will adapt all trials to their strength, and will enable them to bear all that is appointed to them. This is a general promise, and is as applicable to other Christians as it was to the Corinthians. It was to them a positive promise, and to all in the same circumstances it may be regarded as such now. It may be used therefore, as a ground of encouragement to those who are in temptation and trial. God knows what they are able to endure; and he will sustain them in their temptations. It matters not how severe the trial; or how long it may be continued; or how much they may feel their own feebleness; yet he who has appointed the trial is abundantly able to uphold them. They may, therefore, repose their all upon him, and trust to his sustaining grace.

John Gill...

(that ye may be able to bear it) for God does not always think fit to remove at once an affliction or temptation, though at the earnest request of his people, as in the case of Paul, (2 Corinthians 12:7,8) yet he gives them grace sufficient to endure and stand up under it, yea, to get the victory of it, to be more that conquerors, and triumph over it.

Jay Adams writes that...


One of the words which is taboo in nouthetic counseling with Christian clients is the word “can’t.” A catchword of nouthetic counselors is, “You can’t say can’t.” In 1Corinthians 10:13, Paul makes that point quite vividly. He says that there is no test which has overtaken you but such as is common to others. God allows no Christian to plead that his case is unique or special. There are, of course, unique features about everyone’s problems. No two cases are exactly the same. But the basic elements of the problem are not significantly different from those which others have faced. Christ faced the same problems of hunger, sleeplessness, misunderstanding, hatred, discouragement and pain that Christians today must experience. Countless other Christians, in following him, also have faced these problems successfully. Knowledge of this fact brings encouragement and hope.

If the doctor says an operation is needed, it is very encouraging to know that others have successfully undergone a similar operation. Clients need such encouragement in the hour of trial. That is why Paul declares that no test is unique. But such encouragement also removes that any possibility of excusing one’s self on the grounds that “my case is an exception to the rule.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 allows for no such exceptions. Christians can’t say “can’t” because God says they can. They can cope with their problems just as Christ did, and as thousands of other Christians have done.

Secondly, Paul says that Christians can’t say “can’t,“ because even though the basic designs are not unique, temptations and tests are tailor-made to each individual; and God is the Tailor.  He will not allow the Devil to tempt them above that which they are able to withstand. The book of Job stands as a sturdy witness to this promise. At any given period in his life, what a Christian is able to withstand may differ from his previous ability or from that which God will enable him to endure at a future time. But whatever the test may be at any moment, it is not beyond his ability to withstand in Christ. Given the grace (help) of God, given his knowledge of God’s Word, given the sanctification that is his to that point, given the resources of the Holy Spirit, no test is beyond his ability to withstand. It may be that it is only in stepping out to do God’s will that the strength will come. God does not promise dying grace before it is time to die.

That this is an important promise to which to refer in counseling, is evident in counseling. Most Christians who come for counseling use speech studded with the word “can’t.” A Client’s language not only indicates what he thinks, but also influences the way he acts and reacts. If Christians continually say, in effect, “I can’t do all that Christ asks me to do,” instead of saying, “I can do all things that Christ requires me to do,” (cp Php 4:13-
note) they soon begin to believe their own rebellious lie. The lie is so flagrantly rebellious because of the nature of the promise; it is based upon the faithfulness of God. Paul introduces the promise with the words, “God is faithful…” The promise that God will not allow Christians to be tested beyond their capacity is as certain as God’s nature itself. To deny it is to call God unfaithful, and a liar. So in nouthetic counseling the very use of certain words sometimes must be counteracted, because words are not only indicative of but also influence thinking, attitudes and behavior.

Counselors often come down hard on the word “can’t” when they find Christians using it in counseling sessions, and they say, “You can’t say ’can’t.” For so long some Christians have excused themselves with the idea that their case is unique or that they have some overwhelming “cross to bear” (a misinterpretation of the phrase) that when someone for the first time confronts them with the promise in 1 Corinthians 10:13, they are astonished. They sometimes protest and say. “But, you see, it’s different with me.” And yet Paul was very careful to note that no matter how difficult, their problem is not significantly different. Eventually, after an evasive attempt or two, most Christians agree that they have been living according to a false notion of responsibility and reluctantly accept Paul’s promise as referring to them. When they do, an important gain has been made; a reversal of attitude has occurred, and God’s promise gives rise to a growing hope. (Ibid) (Bolding added)

Frederick Godet...


the epithet human (refers) to the nature of the temptation: “A temptation proportioned to the strength of man;” but without isolating man from God, for God only can give man victory even in the slightest temptation. (Ed: Amen!) And to account more fully for this unprecedented expression, must we not contrast it with an angelic temptation? Suppose the Corinthians, impatient of the apostle's exactions, should in their ill-humor express themselves thus: “We should require to be angels to live as he demands!” “No,” Paul would answer; “I do not ask of you superhuman sacrifices in the name of your Christian profession. Your faith has not put you into a situation which a weak man cannot bear; but God is faithful, and He measures the temptation to the amount of strength.”


Then the apostle adds, that if the situation became difficult to such a degree as to appear utterly intolerable, the faithfulness of God would show itself by putting an end to such a situation. Thus everything seems to me to find its natural connection.


The words beyond what ye are able, come as a surprise. Has man then some power? And, if the matter in question is what man can do with the Divine help, is not the power of this help without limit? But it must not be forgotten, that if the power of God is infinite, the receptivity of the believer is limited: limited by the measure of spiritual development which he has reached, by the degree of his love for holiness and of his zeal in prayer, etc. God knows this measure, Paul means to say, and he proportions the intensity of the temptation to the degree of power which the believer is capable of receiving from Him, as the mechanician, if we may be allowed such a comparison, proportions the heat of the furnace to the resisting power of the boiler. It is evident from the words: with the temptation , that God cooperates with it in the sense we have spoken of above, and this is precisely the reason why He can also bring it to an end at any moment He chooses.


The issue (way out), ekbasis, may be obtained in two ways. Either God by His providence can put an end to the situation itself, or by a ray of light from on high He can rid the believer's heart of the fascinating charm exercised over him by the tempting object, and change into disgust the seductive attraction which it exercised. Of the two ways, the struggle to the death between inclination and duty issues in the victory of the believer. The conclusion is this:


“Victory being assured over the temptations which God sends you, seek not to throw yourselves into those which He does not send” (1Cor 10:14).


Hofmann rightly observes, that nothing rendered the breach (the break) of the converted heathen with his past and with his surroundings so conspicuous as his refusal to take part in the sacrificial feasts. And so, many Corinthians sought to persuade themselves that they might harmonize this participation with their Christian profession. Had they not declared the nothingness of idols? Such a feast, therefore, had no longer for them the character of a sacrifice; it was a purely social act, to which the great maxim of Christian liberty in regard to external things applied: “All things are lawful for me.” (1Co 10:23) Paul well knew that here was the most difficult sacrifice to be obtained. Accordingly with what prudence does he proceed! His whole handling of the question is a masterpiece of strategy. In chaps. 8 and 9 he treats the Corinthians as strong; only for the sake of their brethren does he ask them to deny themselves meats offered to idols; he encourages them by describing the sacrifices which he has made and is daily making for the Churches and the gospel. Then suddenly (1Co 9:23) he passes to an entirely new order of considerations: “And if I act thus,” he adds, “it is also for the sake of my own salvation, which I should certainly compromise by acting otherwise.” Then he demonstrates the reality of this danger by the case of the Israelites who drew down on themselves the Divine condemnation by revolting against the self-denial which the wilderness life imposed on them. “Do ye also, therefore, fear to fall by refusing to God the sacrifices which He asks of you!”  (Godet Commentary Online)

Charles Hodges commentary on 1Corinthians 10:13...


No temptation , i.e. no trial , whether in the form of seductions or of afflictions, has taken you but such as is common to man; literally human, accommodated to human strength such as men are able to bear. ‘You have been subjected to no superhuman or extraordinary temptations. Your trials hitherto have been moderate; and God will not suffer you to be unduly tried.’ This is the ordinary interpretation of this passage, and one which gives a simple and natural sense.


It may, however, mean, ‘Take heed lest ye fall (1Co 10:12). The temptations which you have hitherto experienced are moderate compared to those to which you are hereafter to be subjected.’ In this view, it is not so much an encouragement, as a warning that all danger was not over. The apostle is supposed to refer to those peculiar trials which were to attend “the last times.” As these times were at hand, the Corinthians were in circumstances which demanded peculiar care. They should not run into temptation, for the days were approaching when, if it were possible, even the elect would be deceived (Ed: Jesus' warning in Mt 24:24 referring to the time of Jacob's distress or the Great Tribulation). As, however, there is no contrast between the present and the future intimated in the passage, the common interpretation is the more natural one.


But God is faithful. He has promised to preserve His people, and therefore His fidelity is concerned in not allowing them to be unduly tempted. Here, as in 1Cor 1:9, and every where else in Scripture, the security of believers is referred neither to the strength of the principle of grace infused into them by regeneration, nor to their own firmness, but to the fidelity of God. He has promised that those given to the Son as His inheritance, should never perish (Jn 10:28, 29). They are kept, therefore, by the power of God, through faith, unto salvation, 1Peter 1:4-note. This promise of security, however, is a promise of security from sin, and therefore those who fall into willful and habitual sin are not the subjects of the promise. Should they fall, it is after a severe struggle, and they are soon renewed again unto repentance. The absolute security of believers, and the necessity of constant watchfulness (cp Pr 4:23-note), are perfectly consistent.


Those whom God has promised to save,
He has promised to render watchful.

John MacArthur emphasizes that when we encounter a test or temptation...

The way out is “through.” Listen carefully, the way out of the temptation is to endure it as a trial and never let it become a solicitation to sin which effects a sinful response. The way out is to take it as a test and a trial and not internalize it so that it begins to solicit sin. So you've been wronged, so you've been falsely accused, so you've been maligned and treated unkindly and unjustly. Accept it, accept it with joy and you will endure it and that is the way of escape.

So someone had promised you something and they didn't fulfill it, and you had tied some of your greatest expectations to that promise. Accept it, understand it, acknowledge it as a trial that is intended to strengthen your faith and the way out is through it. Sustaining it as a test, never letting it be turned into a temptation. That you may be able to bear it or endure it is, hupophero. It literally means to "get under it and carry it." Usually we are looking for a quick and easy route, but the only way out is “through it.” You remain under it, but you endure it as a test, with the view that God is using this to bring about my maturity.

You say, “But how do you do that?” Well, you know what the “keys” are, and I only mention them:

1. Meditating on the Word. (Ps 1:1-
note, Ps 1:2-note, Ps 1:3-note; Joshua 1:8-note) Psalm 119, what does it say in verse 11? “Thy Word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin.” When the test comes, you turn to the Word of God, you don't listen to your own lusts, you don't listen to the solicitations that your own heart will conjure up. When the test comes you turn to the Word of God, you listen to that.

2. Secondly, you pray. I think what Jesus taught us to pray, in the prayer called the Lord's Prayer, better called the Disciple's Prayer. “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us.” (Mt 6:13-
note,cp Mt 26:41) You turn to God and you cry out to Him to keep this test from becoming a temptation.

3. A third thing that you would do, would be to take the shield of faith. (Ep 6:16-
note) That means to trust God, no matter how the fiery darts may be coming at you, understand that God has a purpose—and trust God for that purpose (cp Pr 3:5,6, 2Chr 14:11, 12, 20:20, 21, 22, 23, 24; Ps 4:5-Spurgeon note), Ps 9:10-Spurgeon note, Ps 37:5-Spurgeon note.; Ps 91:2-Spurgeon note; Isa 12:2, 26:3, Jer 17:7, 8)

4. Another important element, maybe a fourth one, is to focus on Christ. (cp Heb 12:2-
note) He endured every temptation to the maximum and so you can turn to Him, and you can say to Him, "My faithful High Priest, you know what I am going through? Strengthen me for this."

Simple, really, we know these things:

--When the test comes, turn to the Word.

--When the test comes turn to the Lord in prayer.

--When the test comes retain your faith in God's purposes through the test.

--When the test comes look to Christ (He 12:2-
note), the faithful High Priest who will nurture you through this test (He 2:18-note)

No, there is no test that is more than we can bear. When we fall and the test becomes a temptation, and the temptation becomes a sin, it is not that we are victims, it is that we made bad choices. We chose not to turn to the Word of God, but rather to listen to our own hearts and our own lusts enticed us. We chose not to cry out to God and ask Him to lead us away from this and deliver us from evil, but rather we pursued the evil because we wanted the hankerings of our own flesh to be fulfilled. We failed to trust that God had a divine purpose in the test, and that we could enjoy the test not for it's own sake, but for what it yields and we wanted it immediately removed. We turned away from God, perhaps even angry at Him. And if we failed it's because we took our attention away from Christ, the faithful High Priest who could nurture us through it and focused on something else.

It should be true of us, that the next time we come back to the Lord’s Table the list should be shorter. Know this, nothing is going to happen to you between now and the next time, that is so powerful, that you can't possibly deal with it. You can. One thing happened at your salvation--sums it up. It is this: Sin no longer has dominion over you. (

Have you allowed the test
to become a temptation?
And the temptation
to become a sin?

I have sadly fallen into this trap too many times. And what was initially only temptation turned into sin and fellowship with the Father was disrupted. But just as our Faithful Father provides the "way out" for each trial, He also provides the "way back" from each sin, though confession (1John 1:9), repentance, restoration and rest (cp Acts 3:19, 20 - referring to the initial experience of salvation for Peter's Jewish audience but applicable to all saints when we experience the times of rebellion which come from our fallen flesh!). Come to Him now and receive His offer of cleansing and renewal as did King David (cp Ps 51:10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17)

Alan Carr...

A. There are three words to remember when facing temptation: Flight, Faith, Fight.

B. To Overcome The Flesh We Need Flight - The key to defeating fleshly temptations is to flee from them. (1Co 6:18 - “flee fornication”; 1Co 10:14 - “flee idolatry”; 2Ti 2:22 {
note} - “flee youthful lusts”) (Ill. You cannot expose yourself to fleshly temptation and expect to walk away untouched - Pr 6:27 {see note} - Ill. Situations to avoid!) (Ill. Joseph and Potiphar's wife - Ge 39:12)

C. To Overcome The World We Need Faith - Faith that Jesus will take care of us when we willingly give up the attachment to worldly things. If we are loving the world, we are not loving God - 1Jn 2:15; Jas 4:4. If you really want victory over the world, then love Jesus more than you love it - He12:2 {
note}. Ill. It is our faith in him that offers us the victory - 1Jn 5:4.

D. To Overcome The Devil We Must Fight - If we stand up to him and fight, he will flee - Jas 4:7. You cannot run away from him, but you can drive him away from you. You must face him in the power of the shed blood of Jesus Christ. He doesn’t fear you, but he trembles before the blood of the Lamb! Fight Satan and he will flee! (Ep 4:27 {
note}; 1Pe 5:8 {note}) (Jesus and His temptations - Mt 4:1, 2, 3, 4ff) (1 Corinthians 10:1-13 How To Tame Temptation)


Victory Over Temptation- Wanda Johnson, a single mother with five children, was on her way to the pawn shop, where she was hoping to get a loan of $60 for her TV set. Then something bizarre happened. As an armored truck filled with sacks of money drove past her, its rear door flew open, and a bag dropped out. Wanda stopped and picked up the sack. When she counted the cash, she found that it totaled $160,000.

A battle raged in her soul. That money would pay all her bills and provide for the needs of her children. But it wasn't hers to keep.

After a fierce 4-hour struggle with her moral convictions, Wanda called the police and turned in the money. Her sense of doing the right thing won a victory over the temptation to keep what wasn't hers to keep.

How strong is your ethical fiber? Will it break down if you are faced with an enticing chance to do something wrong? Adam and Eve, as well as Jesus, were attacked by Satan on three fronts: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (1John 2:16). Our first parents succumbed to the serpent's solicitation (Genesis 3:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). Jesus did not (Matthew 4:1, 2, 3, 4, 5,6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11).

No matter what evil is pressuring us, let's follow Jesus' example and do what's right.— Vernon C. Grounds (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Yield not to temptation, for yielding is sin—
Each victory will help you some other to win;
Fight manfully onward, dark passions subdue,
Look ever to Jesus—He will carry you through.—Palmer

To withstand temptation, stand with Christ.


Ice-Cream Man - Little Jeff was trying his best to save money to buy his mother a present. It was a terrible struggle because he gave in so easily to the temptation to buy goodies from the ice-cream man whenever the brightly colored van came through the neighborhood.

One night after his mother had tucked him in bed, she overheard him pray, "Please, God, help me run away when the ice-cream man comes tomorrow." Even at his young age he had learned that one of the best ways to overcome temptation is to avoid what appeals to our weaknesses.

All believers are tempted to sin. Yet they need not give in. The Lord provides the way to be victorious over evil enticements (1Corinthians 10:13). But we must do our part. Sometimes that involves avoiding situations that would contribute to our spiritual defeat.

The apostle Paul admonished Timothy to run away from the evil desires of youth (2Ti 2:22-
note). He was to keep his distance from the temptations that might cause him to yield because of their strong appeal. That's good advice.

If possible, we should never let ourselves be in the wrong places or with people who will tempt us to do the things we should be avoiding.

Be sure to run from the "ice-cream man"!— Richard De Haan
(Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

It's wise to flee when tempted—
A fool is one who'd stay;
For those who toy with evil
Soon learn it doesn't pay. —D. De Haan

We fall into temptation when we don't flee from it.


Yield Not- Imagine a song with a message so powerful it could stop a prison riot. According to one account, the song "Yield Not To Temptation" served that purpose. As the story goes, a group of women prisoners had been allowed out of their cells to listen to a visiting speaker. During the meeting, the supervisor gave an order that some of the prisoners didn't like, so they began to scream and hurl threats at her. The confrontation was escalating.

The supervisor sent for help, and it came in an unusual way. A voice was heard singing over the tumult of the upset prisoners: "Yield not to temptation, for yielding is sin; each victory will help you some other to win." Amazingly, the rebellion quieted, and the women joined in singing as they filed back to their cells.

We save ourselves a lot of trouble by not yielding to the temptation to let anger control us. Likewise, we protect ourselves when we "yield not." Yielding not to the temptation to lie protects us from a loss of respect and further misrepresentations. Yielding not to the temptation of greed helps us avoid a gnawing dissatisfaction. But most important, when we "yield not" to temptation, we please God.

With each temptation God provides an "escape" (1Corinthians 10:13). You'll find it as you yield to Him. — Dave Branon
(Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Ask the Savior to help you,
Comfort, strengthen, and keep you;
He is willing to aid you—
He will carry you through. —Palmer

To escape temptation, flee to God.


Tested And True - A young nurse was assisting a surgeon for the first time. As he was completing the operation, she told him he had used 12 sponges, but she could account for only 11. The doctor curtly replied that he had removed them all from inside the patient. The nurse insisted that one was missing, but the doctor declared he would proceed with sewing up the incision.

The nurse, her eyes blazing, said, "You can't do that! Think of the patient!" The doctor smiled and, lifting his foot, showed the nurse the twelfth sponge, which he had deliberately dropped on the floor. "You'll do fine!" he said. He had been testing her.

Daniel's three friends faced a different kind of test (Daniel 3:15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30), but they too would not budge. They knew their refusal to worship the image might result in their death, yet they never wavered. They proved they were true to God by standing firm.

The Lord still permits trials and temptations to enter the lives of His children. The challenge may come as an opportunity to gratify the lusts of the flesh, or as a series of disheartening circumstances. Whatever form it takes, we must not yield. Rather, we must stand for what is right and trust God to supply the grace we need (1Corinthians 10:13).

Are you "tested and true"? — Herbert Vander Lugt
(Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

A gem cannot be polished without friction,
nor can we be perfected without trial.


God is faithful, who . . . with the temptation will also make the way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13).

In 1346, during the Hundred Years' War, the English army of King Edward III met a French battalion at Crecy, France. The King's son, Prince Edward, led one vital division of the British force while Edward III stood nearby with a strong band of soldiers, ready to send relief if needed. Soon after the battle started, the prince thought he was in danger, so he sent for help. But the king didn't come. Young Edward sent another message, pleading for immediate assistance. His father responded by telling the courier, "Go tell my son that I am not so inexperienced a commander as not to know when help is needed, nor so careless a father as not to send it."

This story illustrates the heavenly Father's relationship with believ­ers as we battle temptation and sin. Often we cry out for help, but it seems that God sends no relief. Yet at no time does He withdraw His eye from our precarious position. He never allows us to be tempted beyond what we are able to bear, and when He sees that we are about to be overcome He rushes to our aid or provides a way to escape. So we need not get frantic—our Father is aware of our situation. In 1 Corin­thians 1:9 the apostle Paul said, "God is faithful." Commenting on this, Ambrose Serle noted, "He is wise to foresee and provide for all my dangers. He is faithful to perfect and perform all His promises."

No matter how hot the conflict, the Lord is ready to intervene at the right moment. He is always standing by. —P. R. Van Gorder
(Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

When God sends us,
He also goes with us.


Concerned about his personal life, Ed went to his pastor for help. After listening to the young man's mild list of supposed sins, the wise preacher felt that he had not been completely honest. "Are you sure that's all?" the preacher asked. "Yes, pastor," Ed said. "Are you positive you haven't been entertaining any impure thoughts lately?" the pastor continued. "Oh, no," Ed replied, "but they've sure been entertaining me."

Temptation may be defined as a desire for sinful pleasure. If it didn't offer pleasure, it would be easy to resist. Perhaps that's why we under-stand the truth behind the cartoon in which a man says, "I don't mind fleeing temptation—as long as I can leave a forwarding address." And, if we're honest, we admit that sin often takes place first in our mind. For many people, illicit sexual thoughts provide pleasure.

Temptation is not sin. For it to develop into sin, we have to wel­come it, dwell on it, and enjoy it. For example, the temptation to get back at someone who has hurt us is wrong only when we begin to think about ways to harm that person and get revenge. Paul said that every thought must be brought "into captivity to the obedience of Christ" (2Co 10:5).

When we allow wrong thoughts into our minds, we must confess them as sin, ask God to help us, and then fill our minds with good and pure thoughts. When we submit to God and resist the devil, we can say no to tempting thoughts. —D. C. Egner 
(Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Character is shaped by what the mind takes in.


Be Careful! - Several years ago my wife Carolyn and I were hiking on Mount Rainier in Washington when we came to a swollen, glacial stream. Someone had flattened one side of a log and dropped it across the river to form a crude bridge, but there was no handrail and the log was slippery.

The prospect of walking on the wet log was frightening, and Carolyn didn't want to cross. But she found the courage, and slowly, carefully she inched her way to the other side.

On the way back we had to walk on the same log, and she did so with the same care. "Are you afraid?" I asked. "Of course," she replied, "that's what keeps me safe." Again, fully aware of the danger, she made her way to safety.

Much of life poses moral danger for us. We should never assume in any situation that we're incapable of falling. "Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall" (1Corinthians 10:12). Given the opportunity and circumstances, any of us are capable of falling into any sin. To believe otherwise is sheer folly.

We must watch and pray and arm ourselves for every occasion by putting our total trust in God (Ephesians 6:13-
note). "God is faithful" (1Corinthians 10:13), and He will give us the strength to keep from falling. — David H. Roper (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

The hand of God protects our way
When we would do His will;
And if through danger we must go,
We know He's with us still. —D. De Haan

God provides the armor, but we must put it on


Load Limit - We've all seen load-limit signs on highways, bridges, and elevators. Knowing that too much strain can cause severe damage or complete collapse, engineers determine the exact amount of stress that various materials can safely endure. Posted warnings tell us not to exceed the maximum load.

Human beings also have their load limits, which vary from person to person. Some people, for example, can bear the pressure of trial and temptation better than others; yet everyone has a breaking point and can take only so much.

At times, circumstances and people seem to be pushing us beyond what we can bear. But the Lord knows our limitations and never allows any difficulties to enter our lives that exceed our strength and ability to endure. This is especially true when we're enticed by sin. According to 1Corinthians 10:13, "God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able."

So when trials and temptations press down on you, take courage. Remember, your heavenly Father knows the limits of your ability to stand up under life's pressures. Draw on His strength; no temptation will ever be greater than that! — Richard De Haan
(Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

When sorrows assail us or terrors draw nigh,
His love will not fail us, He'll guide with His eye;
And when we are fainting and ready to fail,
He'll give what is lacking and make us prevail. —Anon.

If you yield to God, you won't give in to sin


Thompson Chain Reference

Deliverance from, promised to Believers - Job 5:19 Ps 91:3, 116:8 Isa 46:4 1Co 10:13 2Co 1:10 2Ti 4:18 He 2:15 2Pe 2:9

Often Blessings in Disguise -Job 5:17 Job 23:10 Job 34:31 Ps 119:67 Eccl 7:2Jn 2:2 Zech 13:9 2Co 4:17 He 12:11 Re 7:14

Special Comforting Passages Job 5:19 Job 11:16 Ps 27:5, 30:5, 42:5, 103:13, 119:50, 138:7 Isa 46:4, 61:3, 63:9 Mt 5:4 Jn 14:1 Ro 8:28 1Th 3:7 1 Th 4:13

Despondency, Moments of, in the Lives of Good Men
Moses -Numbers 11:15
Joshua -Joshua 7:7
Elijah -1Kings 19:4
Job -Job 10:1 Psalms 31:10
David -Psalms 42:6, 69:2, 73:16, 137:1
Jeremiah -Jeremiah 15:10 Micah 7:1
The Disciples - Luke 24:17

True Believers do not Faint under - 2Co 4:1, 4:16 Ga 6:9 Ep 3:13 He 12:5 Re 2:3

Crying to God in, examples of - Ex 2:23, 14:10, 17:4 Jdg 3:9; 4:3; 6:7 1Sa 7:9 1Ki 17:20 1Chr 5:20 2Chr 13:14, 14:11 Ps 34:6, 61:2, Lam 2:18

Sometimes Prolonged - Psalms 6:3, 13:1, 35:17, 79:5, 80:4, 89:46, 90:13, 94:3 Hab 1:2 Zech 1:12

Promises to the Afflicted - Job 11:16
Brighter Days -Psalms 30:5
Deliverance -Psalms 34:19, 34:20
Divine Care in Sickness -Psalms 41:3, 50:15, 94:12, 138:7
Comfort of God's Presence -Isaiah 43:2
An Eternal Home -John 14:1 John 14:2
All Things work for the Believer's Good -Romans 8:28 2 Corinthians 4:17
Sufficiency of Divine Grace -2 Corinthians 12:9
Fellowship in Christ's Sufferings -1 Peter 4:12 1 Peter 4:13
Membership in the Company of the Redeemed -Revelation 7:13 Revelation 7:14
Final Deliverance from Sorrow and Pain -Revelation 21:4

Refining Influence of - Job 23:10 Ps 66:10 Isa 1:25, 48:10 Je 9:7 Zech 13:9 Mal 3:3 1Pe 1:7, 4:12

Famine -Habakkuk 3:17, 18 Matthew 5:12 Luke 6:23
Persecution -Acts 5:41
Imprisonment -Acts 16:23 Acts 16:25
Poverty -2 Corinthians 6:10 Colossians 1:24
Loss of Property -Hebrews 10:34
Fiery Trials -1 Peter 4:12 1 Peter 4:13

Eli -1 Samuel 3:18
David -2 Samuel 12:23, 15:26 2 Kings 20:19
Job -Job 1:21
Christ -Mark 14:36 John 18:11
Paul's Friends -Acts 21:14

Torrey's Topics:
Affliction, Consolation Under

God is the Author and Giver of -Ps 23:4; Ro 15:5; 2Co 1:3; 7:6; Col 1:11; 2Th 2:16,17

Christ is the Author and Giver of -Is 61:2; John 14:18; 2Co 1:5

The Holy Spirit is the Author and Giver of -John 14:16,17; 15:26; 16:7; Acts 9:31

Promised -Is 51:3,12; 66:13; Ezekiel 14:22,23; Hosea 2:14; Zechariah 1:17

Through the Holy Scriptures -Psalms 119:50,76; Romans 15:4

By ministers of the gospel -Is 40:1,2; 1Corinthians 14:3; 2Corinthians 1:4,6

Is abundant -Psalms 71:21; Is 66:11

Is strong -Hebrews 6:18

Is everlasting -2Thessalonians 2:16

Is a cause of praise -Is 12:1; 49:13

Pray for -Psalms 119:82

Saints should administer to each other -1Th 4:18; 5:11,14

Is sought in vain from the world -Ps 69:20; Eccl 4:1; La 1:2

To those who mourn for sin -Ps 51:17; Is 1:18; 40:1,2; 61:1; Mic 7:18,19; Lk 4:18

To the troubled in mind -Ps 42:5; 94:19; John 14:1,27; 16:20,22

To those deserted by friends -Psalms 27:10; 41:9, 10, 11, 12; John 14:18; 15:18,19

To the persecuted -Deuteronomy 33:27

To the poor -Psalms 10:14; 34:6,9,10

To the sick -Psalms 41:3

To the tempted -Ro 16:20; 1Co 10:13; 2Co 12:9-
note; James 1:12; 4:7; 2Pe 2:9; Re 2:10

In prospect of death -Job 19:25,26; Ps 23:4; John 14:2; 2Co 5:1; 1Th 4:14; He 4:9; Re 7:14, 15, 16, 17; 14:13

Under the infirmities of age -Psalms 71:9,18

Made Beneficial

In promoting the glory of God -John 9:1, 2, 3; 11:3,4; 21:18,19

In exhibiting the power and faithfulness of God -Psalms 34:19,20; 2Corinthians 4:8-11

In teaching us the will of God -Psalms 119:71; Isaiah 26:9; Micah 6:9

In turning us to God -Deuteronomy 4:30,31; Nehemiah 1:8,9; Psalms 78:34; Isaiah 10:20,21; Hosea 2:6,7

In keeping us from again departing from God -Job 34:31,32; Isaiah 10:20; Ezekiel 14:10,11

In leading us to seek God in prayer -Judges 4:3; Jeremiah 31:18; Lamentations 2:17-19; Hosea 5:14,15; Jonah 2:1

In convincing us of sin -Job 36:8,9; Psalms 119:67; Luke 15:16-18

In leading us to confession of sin -Numbers 21:7; Psalms 32:5; 51:3,5

In testing and exhibiting our sincerity -Job 23:10; Psalms 66:10; Proverbs 17:3

In trying our faith and obedience -Genesis 22:1,2; Hebrews 11:17; Exodus 15:23-25; Deuteronomy 8:2,16; 1 Peter 1:7; Revelation 2:10

In humbling us -Deuteronomy 8:3,16; 2Chronicles 7:13,14; Lamentations 3:19,20; 2Corinthians 12:7

In purifying us -Ecclesiastes 7:2,3; Isaiah 1:25,26; 48:10; Jeremiah 9:6,7; Zechariah 13:9; Malachi 3:2,3

In exercising our patience -Psalms 40:1; Romans 5:3; James 1:3; 1Peter 2:20

In rendering us fruitful in good works -John 15:2; Hebrews 12:10,11

In furthering the gospel -Acts 8:3,4; 11:19-21; Philippians 1:12; 2Timothy 2:9,10; 4:16,17

Joseph’s brethren -Genesis 42:21
Joseph -Genesis 45:5,7,8
Israel -Deuteronomy 8:3,5
Josiah -2Kings 22:19
Hezekiah -2Chronicles 32:25,26
Manasseh -2Chronicles 33:12
Jonah -Jonah 2:7
Prodigal’s son -Luke 15:21

General Scriptures

God appoints -2Kings 6:33; Job 5:6,17; Psalms 66:11; Amos 3:6; Micah 6:9

God dispenses, as He will Job 11:10; Isaiah 10:15; 45:7

God regulates the measure of -Psalms 80:5; Isaiah 9:1; Jeremiah 46:28

God determines the continuance of -Ge 15:13,14; Nu 14:33; Isa 10:25; Je 29:10

God does not willingly send -Lamentations 3:33

Man is born to -Job 5:6,7; 14:1

Saints appointed to -1 Thessalonians 3:3

Consequent upon the fall -Genesis 3:16-19

Sin produces -Job 4:8; 20:11; Proverbs 1:31

Sin visited with -2Samuel 12:14; Psalms 89:30-32; Isaiah 57:17; Acts 13:10,11

Often severe -Job 16:7-16; Psalms 42:7; 66:12; Jonah 2:3; Re 7:14

Always less than we deserve -Ezra 9:13; Psalms 103:10

Frequently terminate in good Ge 50:20; Ex 1:11,12; Dt 8:15,16; Je 24:5,6; Ezek 20:37

Tempered with mercy -Ps 78:38,39; 106:43, 44, 45, 46; Isa 30:18, 19, 20, 21; La 3:32; Mic 7:7, 8, 9; Nah 1:12

Saints are to expect -John 16:33; Acts 14:22

Of saints, are comparatively light -Acts 20:23,24; Romans 8:18; 2Corinthians 4:17

Of saints, are but temporary -Ps 30:5; 103:9; Isa 54:7,8; Jn 16:20; 1Pe 1:6; 5:10

Saints have joy under -Job 5:17; James 5:11

Of saints, end in joy and blessedness -Ps 126:5,6; Isa 61:2,3; Mt 5:4; 1Pe 4:13,14

Often arise from the profession of the gospel -Matthew 24:9; John 15:21; 2Ti 3:11,12

Exhibit the love and faithfulness of God - Dt 8:5; Ps 119:75; Pr 3:12; 1Co 11:32; He 12:6,7; Re 3:19


F B Meyer in his book "The Call and Challenge of the Unseen" and an instructive chapter entitled...



"Christ was tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin."--Heb. 4:15


WHAT is God doing at this moment? He may be creating new worlds; may be working up into new and beautiful shapes what we should account as waste products; or may be preparing to unveil the new heavens and the new earth. But there is one thing of which we may be sure: He is bringing many sons unto glory! In order to help these to the uttermost, the Son of God was tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin. It was real temptation, for He suffered being tempted; but being perfected through the terrible ordeal, He has become the Author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him. Let us learn His talisman of victory!

This bringing of many sons unto glory is a long and difficult process, for three reasons:


(1) It is necessary that we should be created as free agents, able to say "No" as well as "Yes."

(2) We have to choose between the material world, which is so present and very attractive to our senses, and the eternal, spiritual, and unseen. But the choice is inevitable if we are to really know things. We can only know a thing by contrast with its opposite:

(3) There is a realm of evil spirits constantly regarding us with envious hatred, and bent on seducing us from the paths of goodness and obedience. They are adepts at their art.


If it be asked why we are placed in circumstances so perilous, so trying, the answer, so far as we can formulate it, is that we are being tested with a view to the great ministries awaiting us in the next life. We are to be priests and kings! There are vast spaces in the universe that may have to be evangelized or ruled or influenced for righteousness. It may be that important spheres of ministry are needing those to fill them who have learned the secret of victory over materialism on the one hand, and over the power of Satan on the other. We know that there was war in heaven before Satan and his angels were cast down to earth, and there may be another, and yet another. Therefore earth may be the school, the training-ground, the testing-place for the servants and soldiers of the hereafter. This thought need not be in conflict with, the ideals of rest and worship which we are wont to associate with the future life. Eternity will give opportunities for all I But, if it became Him of whom and through whom are all things to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through the suffering of temptation, it stands to reason that His comrades and soldiers must pass through the same, that they may become more than conquerors, and, having overcome, may sit with Him on His throne, as He overcame and is set down with His Father on His throne.


The First Temptation

The first temptation on record is that of our first parents in Eden. It is a masterpiece of psychology. The experience of all after-time has added nothing to this marvellous analysis.

1. Temptation is more formidable when we are alone f Solitude is full of peril, unless it is full of Christ!

2. Some outward object, or some fancy of the mind, attracts our attention. It may be an apple, a face, a gratification, the lure of popularity, or money. The longer we look at it the stronger the fascination grows. Some birds are mesmerized by the fixed gaze of their foe at the foot of the tree. The longer we gaze at something forbidden, the stronger its mesmeric power. While we continue to look, the tempter covers the walls of imagery with more definite and attractive colors, and his ideals imperiously demand realization in act. Our only hope is to tear ourselves away from those basilisk eyes; to hasten from the haunted chamber; to escape, as Joseph did in the house of Potiphar.

3. If we linger, many thoughts will gather to ply us--all of them suggested by the tempter, who speaks through the voice of our own soul. These suggestions will question the love and wisdom which have forbidden. "Perhaps we have placed an exaggerated interpretation on our limitations and prohibitions. Are they not rather arbitrary? Would it not be good to know evil just once, that it might be avoided ever after? Besides, is it not necessary to know evil in order to realize good? Perhaps it would be better to satisfy the inner craving for satisfaction by one single act; then the hungry pack of wolves would at least be silenced! After all, is it not probable that if one were to know the forbidden thing it would be so much easier to warn others?" Such are the reasonings in which the tempted shelter themselves, not realizing that the only certain way of knowing evil is not by committing, but by resisting it.

4. Finally, we take the forbidden step, eat the/or-bidden fruit; the garment of light which veiled our nakedness drops off; the tempter runs laughing down the forest glade; a shadow falls on the sunshine, and a cold blast whistles in the air. Our conscience curses us, and we die, i.e. we cease to correspond to our proper environments, which are God, purity, and obedience. Eve ought to have dropped that apple like a burning coal, and hurried from the spot; but, no; she lingered, ate, and gave to "her husband; so sin entered into the world; and sin opened the door to pain, travail, sorrow, the loss of purity, the loss of God's holy fellowship in the cool of the day, the fad-hag of the garden, and the reign of death and the grave.


The Temptation of our Lord


1. It came after the descent of the Spirit as a dove. We may always expect deep experience of the tempter to follow close on the highest moments of spiritual exaltation. Where you have mountains you must look for valleys!

2. He was led of the Spirit to be tempted; clearly, then, temptation is not sin. A holy nature might go through hell itself, assailed by clouds of demons, and come out on the farther side untainted. So long as the waves of evil break on the outward bulwarks of the spirit they are innocuous. Jesus was tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin.

3. The sword of the Spirit and the shield, against which the darts of evil fall blunted to the ground, are the words of the ever-blessed God, and the upward glances of a steadfast faith. Remember how Jesus said, "it is written "; "it is written again." He is also the Pioneer and Perfection of faith!

4. Each temptation which He overcame seemed to give Him power in the very sphere in which it had sought His overthrow.

He was tempted to use His power to satisfy His own hunger; but, having refused to use it selfishly, He was able to feed five thousand; and four thousand men, besides women and children.

He was tempted to cast Himself from the wing of the temple to the dizzy depth below, in order to attract attention to Himself; but having refused, He was able to descend into Hades, and then ascend to the Father's throne; to lay down His life and take it again for a world of sinners.

He was tempted to adopt Satan's method of gaining adherents by pandering to their passions; but He refused, and adopted the opposite policy of falling into the ground to die, of treading the winepress alone, of insisting that it is not by yielding to passion, but by self-denial, self-sacrifice, and the Cross that salvation is alone to be obtained. Therefore, a great multitude, which no man can number, have washed their robes and made them white in His blood, and stand before the throne.

Having, therefore, met temptation in the arena, and mastered it in its threefold spheres--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--Jesus is able to succor them that are being tempted; and if they should fail He is able to understand, because He has gone every step of the way Himself, and is well acquainted with its perils. He can easily trace the lost sheep on the mountains, because He has The Fiery Ordeal of Temptation marked every pitfall and the lair of every enemy. He has looked over the cliff-brink to the bottom, where those who have missed the track "in the cloudy and dark day" may be lying; and when He has found them He brings them home on His shoulder rejoicing.


Our Own Temptations.


We all have to pass through the wilderness of temptation, the stones of which blister our feet, and the air is like a sirocco breath in our faces.

1. All God's sons are tempted. As we have seen, we only know light by darkness, sweet by bitter, health by disease, good by evil resisted and overcome.


"Oh, where is the sea?" the fishes said,
As they swam through the crystal waters blue! ""


They had never been out of it, and .so were in ignorance of that which had always been their element.

2. The pressure of temptation is strictly limited. When Satan approached God with regard to Job, he was on two occasions restricted to a fixed barrier, beyond which he might not go. In the case of Peter also, when he obtained permission to approach him, he could only go so far as to sift him as wheat; he might rid him of chaff, but not hurt anything essential. Remember also that glorious announcement "There hath no temptation taken you but such as man can bear: 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 of escape, that ye may be able to endure it" (1 Cor. 10:13).

3. As you live near God the temptation gets deeper down in your nature. You are aware of it in subtler forms and disguises. It attacks motives rather than the outward habits and actions.

One summer afternoon, when I came down to the Auditorium at Northfield, Massachusetts, I found Mr. Moody and his brother on the platform, and between them a young apple tree, just digged up and brought from the neighboring orchard. There were about a thousand people in the audience. When I reached the platform the following dialogue took place:


Mr. Moody to his brother: "What have you here?" "An apple tree," was the reply. "Was it always an apple tree?"

"Oh no, it was a forest sapling, but we have inserted an apple graft."

Mr. Moody to me: "What does that make you think of?"

"You and I were forest saplings," said I, "with no hope of bearing fruit, but the Jesus-nature has been grafted into us by the Holy Spirit."

To his brother: "Does the forest sapling give you trouble?"

"Why, yes," said the gardener. "It is always sending out shoots under the graft, which drain off the sap."

"What do you do with them?"

"We pinch them off with our finger and thumb; but they are always coming out lower down the tree."

Then he turned to me and asked if there was anything like it in the spiritual life, to which I replied: "It is a parable of our experience. The old self-life is always sending out its shoots, and we can have no mercy on them; but if we deal with the more superficial sins on the surface of our life, as we get older we realize their deeper appeals, and to the end of life shall be more and more aware of their sinister power. The quick sensitiveness of age must not be ignored or overlooked. It may be as strong a shoot in the old forest sapling as the manifestations of passion in earlier life. Old men, for instance, may be jealous of young ones, and quick to take offence if there are symptoms of their being put aside."


4. Temptation is not in itself sin, but we cannot say, as our Saviour could, "The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me." We cannot appropriate those last words. We know that all the inner gunpowder magazines are not emptied. Therefore it is just as well, after a severe time of testing, as the demons leave us, to ask ourselves if there has been some subtle response in the depths of our nature it may be forgiven. We must not risk the loss of ship or cargo because the combustion is so slow and so deep in the hold.

5. In the hour of temptation affirm your union with your all-victorious and exalted Saviour! Stand in His victory! (cp Jas 4:7, Ep 6:11, 12-
note) You are part of" His mystical Body; take your rightful position! God has set Him at His own right hand in the heavenlies; be sure to come down on your foe from the heights of the throne (cp Ep 2:6-note). It is always easier to fight down from the mountain slope than up from the lowland valleys. You can be more than a conqueror through Him that loved you (Ro 8:37-note); but abide in Him (Jn 15:4, 5, 6, 7, 1Jo 2:28).

6. Always ask the Saviour to hold the door on the inside. Satan will burst it open against your feeble strength; but when Jesus stands within all hell will be foiled. Though ten thousand demons are at you, in your patience possess your soul!

7. One other point is of immense importance. Be sure to claim the opposite grace from Christ. The fact that an attack is being made at a certain position in your fortifications proves that you are weakest there. When therefore the tempter advances to the attack, and you are aware of his strategy, take occasion to claim an accession of Christ's counterbalancing strength. When tempted to quick temper, "Thy patience, Lord!" To harsh judgment, "Thy gentleness, Lord!" To impurity, "Thy purity, Lord!"


"By all hells hosts withstood,
We all hews hosts o'erthrow;
And conquering ,till by Jesus" blood,
We on to victory go.'"


Sometimes temptation will come upon us in the hatred and opposition of man, and we shall be strongly tempted to use force against force, strength against strength, and to employ weapons of flesh and blood. This is not the best. The raging foe is best encountered by the quiet faith and courage which enable a man to go boldly forward, not yielding, not daunted, not striking back. Hand the conflict over to the Captain of your salvation. It is for you simply to stand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Love the truth more than all, and go on in the mighty power of God, as good soldiers of Jesus Christ (2Ti 2:3,4-
note); in nothing daunted by your adversaries, but witnessing a good confession (1Ti 6:12, 13)), whether man will bear or forbear. "Greater is he who is in you than he that is in the world." (1Jn 4:4)

It may be that this earth on which we find ourselves is the Marathon or the Waterloo of the universe. We are as villagers who were born on the site and are implicated in the issues of the war. We are not merely spectators but soldiers, and whether in single combat or in the advance of the whole line, it is for us to play a noble part. Full often in the history of war the achievements of a single soldier have changed the menace of defeat into the shout of victory. Think of David's conflict with Goliath; of the three that held the bridge in the brave days of old; and of the Guards at Waterloo! From their high seats the overcomers, who in their mortal life fought in the great conflict for the victory of righteousness and truth, are watching us. Are they disappointed at our handling of the matter? Are we worthy to call ourselves of their lineage, or to be named in the same category? Fight worthily of them, whether in private secret combat, or in the line of advance, that you may not be ashamed at the grand review!

Fight first against the wicked spirits that antagonize your own inner life. Repeat the exploits of David's mighties: of Benaiah, who slew a lion in a pit in time of snow; of the three who broke through the Philistines' lines and drew water from Bethlehem's well for their king; of Amasai and his host, the least of whom was equal to a hundred. Every lonely victory gained in your closet and in your most secret sacred hour is hastening the victory of the entire Church. Listen! Are not those the notes of the advancing conquering host? Are not the armies of heaven already thronging around the Victor on His white horse?

It is high time to awake out of sleep! The perfecting of God's purpose is at hand! The return of the Jews to Palestine; the budding of the fig tree; the bankruptcy of politicians and statesmen; the threatened overthrow of European civilization; the rise of Bolshevism; the new grouping of the nations for war, notwithstanding the appeals of the League of Nations; the awful havoc of Spiritism; the waning of love; all these are signs that we stand at the junction of two ages (Ed: How much more should the signs of the times motivate saints today to fight the good fight of faith. 1Ti 1:18, 6:12, 2Ti 4:7-
note; cp Da 11:32b, 1Chr 12:32). The one is dying in the sky, tinting it with the sunset; the other is breaking in the East, and the cirrus cloudlets are beginning to burn. Let us then put off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life (Ro 13:11, 12, 13, 14-note), that when He shall come in His glorious majesty to receive the kingdom of the world, we may rise to the life immortal, through Him Who liveth and reigneth with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, blessed for evermore!

"Fight the good fight with all thy might,
Christ is thy strength, and Christ thy right;
Lay hold on life, and it shall be
Thy joy and crown eternally."


NO. 2912

“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.” — 1 Corinthians 10:13.

THIS verse immediately follows the warning to “him that thinketh he standeth to “take heed lest he fall.” We none of us know what stuff we are really made of until we are tried and tested. It is a very easy thing to imagine yourself to be strong, but it is a very different matter to find that you have sufficient strength when you actually need it. It has even been found possible, in these modern days, for some brethren and sisters to believe themselves to be perfect, — to believe that sin is entirely conquered within them; but I will warrant you that you will find that the practice of perfection is not nearly so common as the profession of it, and nothing like so easy. And I will venture to go even further, and to say that, if you watch those in whom sin is said to be dead, you will find that, if it is dead, it is not buried, and that it smells remarkably like other dead things, which ought to be buried. It is, possibly, worse than when it was alive, for it has become alive again, in an even worse sense, with a double putridity. Let no one of us imagine himself to be perfect, or to be proof against the temptations of Satan, or even the grosser vices to which the flesh is prone. It may only need for you to be attacked at a certain point, and in a certain way, and you will be overcome even as others have been. Thy wisest way is to believe thyself neither to be wise nor strong, and therefore to lie humbly at his feet who can make thee both wise and strong, and to look, away from thyself, up to him who will keep the feet of his saints. It ought to cool the hot blood of self-conceit, in any man, to remind him that, although he thinketh that he standeth, it is simply because he has not been tempted as others have been, who have fallen; or, if he has been tempted in a way which overthrew them, while he has stood fast, yet, if the temptations were still further increased, and he were left to himself, he would find that, at the last, the fierce wind from the pit would sweep him off his feet even as it has swept off other men, who thought that they could never be moved.

After the apostle Paul had, by this warning, rebuked the boastings of these who thought they were standing securely, he thought of the far larger number of persons who never think that they can stand, but who are in constant terror lest they should fall. They say they are not the people of God; yet, in almost the next breath, they say they are afraid that they will lose what they just said they had not got! They sometimes hope that they are saved, yet they quickly doubt if it is so with them; and they are troubled with the fear that, even though they are saved, they may yet fall and perish. Their feelings are a strange mingle-mangle of incorrect caution and incorrect doubt; and Paul seems to me, in this verse, to give them a cordial by which their fainting spirits may be revived, and I would like to pass it on to any of you who also need it. You may be tried in two senses, — trial will come, and the trial will often be a temptation, while the temptation will always be a trial.



I. Now comes in the comfort, and the first comfort, even in great trouble, is, that We Have Not, After All, Been Tried In Any Very Unusual Way: “There hath no temptation (or trial) taken you but such as is common to man.”

YOU may think, my dear brethren and sisters, that you have been tried more than others; but it is only your want of knowledge of the trials of others which leads you to imagine that your own are unique. There are many others, besides yoursesf, in the furnace, and in quite as hot a part of it as that in which you are now placed. Note what Paul says: “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man.” It is a human temptation, not a superhuman one, which-has assailed you; that is to say, one which can be withstood by men, — not one that must inevitably sweep them away. You have never been tempted with an angelic temptation. Satan has tempted you, young man, but not with the same temptation with which he allured the angels who kept not their first estate. There may be other orders of intelligence, for whom there are other forms of temptation, because their intellects are superior to yours; but God has allowed you to be assailed in a way which is suitable as a best to you as a man. The trials, that have come upon you, have been moderated to your capacity as a man. The Lord knows that you are but animated dust, so he has not permitted you to be treated as if you were made of steel or iron. He has himself dealt with you as an earthen vessel, — a thing of clay in which he has caused life to dwell. He has not broken you with his rod of iron, as he would have done if he had smitten you with it.

“But I am very sorely tempted,” saith one. Yes, perhaps you are; but the Lord has given you the history of the children of Israel in the wilderness, to let you see that you have not been tempted more than they were. “Ah!” says another, “but I find myself placed in a very peculiar position, where I am greatly tried. I have to labor hard, and I have much difficulty in earning my daily bread, and I am beset with trials of many kinds.” Well, dear friend, even though what you say is perfectly true, I am not certain that your position is any more likely to bring temptation than was that of the children of Israel in the wilderness. “Ah!” you say, “but they had not to work to earn their bread. The manna came to them every morning, and they had only to gather it, and to eat it. They were not engaged in commercial transactions, there were no markets in the desert, — no Corn Exchange, no Stock Exchange, no Smithfield, no Billingsgate, — no taking down the shutters in the morning, and putting them up again at night, and going a great part of the day without any customers. They were separated from all other nations, and were in a peculiarly advantageous position. Yet, dear friends, you need not wish to be placed in such a position, because, advantageous as it was, in some respects, the Israelites there were evidently tempted to all sorts of sins, and fell into them very grievously. Having often read the story of their forty years’ sojourn in the wilderness, you know their sad history. With so favorable a position granted to them, under the Lord’s own special guardianship, and enriched with many choice mercies, we might have expected that they would have been free from temptation; — or, at any rate, that they would not have fallen into its snare; yet it was not so, for the devil can tempt in the wilderness quite as well as in the city, as we know from the experience of Christ himself. The devil would tempt you even if your bread was given to you every morning, instead of your having to earn it; he would tempt you if you had no business to attend to, and never had to go into the world to meet with your fellow-men. In fact, the story of the Israelites teaches me that it is best for you to work, and best for you to be poor, and best for you not to make money as fast as you would like, and best for you to be surrounded by cares of various kinds. I think I judge rightly that the people of God, the saved ones, do not fall into such- gross sins as the Israelites did in the wilderness; so that the saints’ position, though it may appear worse than that of Israel, is really better.

To what, my dear brethren and sisters, are you tempted? Are you tempted to lust after evil things? They lusted after the meat that was not suitable to the climate, nor good far their health; and they despised the manna, which was the very best food they could have. Do you ever get a craving for what you ought not to desire? Are you growing covetous? Do you long for ease? Do you wish for wealth? Do you love pleasure? Well, dear friends, this temptation has happened to others before; it happened to those people in the wilderness. You are not the first to be tempted in that fashion; and if divine grace has helped others to overcome the covetous desire, and the lusting of the spirit, it can help you to do the same; but, mark also that, if others have fallen through such temptations, and perished in the wilderness, you, too, apart from divine grace, will do the same. Therefore have you urgent need to cry to the Strong for strength, lest you also should fall even as they did.

Are you tempted to idolatry? It is a very common temptation to make an idol of a child, or of same particular pursuit in which you are engaged; is there anything in the world that is so dear to you that the very thought of losing it makes you feel that you would rebel against God if he took it away from you? Remember what John was inspired to write: “Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” But if you are tempted to idolatry, do not forget that this is a thing that is common to men. In the wilderness, the Israelites were tempted to set up a golden calf, and to worship it, and even to practice other idolatrous rites which were too foul for me to describe. They were tempted to idolatry, so it is not an uncommon temptation; and if you also are tempted in a similar fashion, you must cry to God for grace to resist and to overcome the temptation.

Are you tried, sometimes, even with that terrible temptation which is mentioned in the verse where Paul says, “Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed”? Has strong passion sometimes suggested to you that which your soul abhors? Have you been, at times, forced to the very brink of that, dread abyss of uncleanness, till you have had to cry, with the psalmist, “My feet were almost gone; my steps had well-nigh slipped”? Ah! this temptation also is not uncommon to men and even those who live nearest to God, and are the most pure in heart, sometimes have to blush before the Lord that such evil suggestions should ever come into their minds.

And have you, too, been tempted “to tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents”? They wanted God to change his plans and purposes concerning them; and they found fault with him, and said that he had brought them into the wilderness to destroy them. Do you feel that your present troubles are too severe, — that they should not have been sent to you, — at least, not so many and so heavy as they are? If so, and if you feel that you have a cause for complaint against the Most High, and that you want him to change his methods of dealing with you so as to suite your whims and fancies, — alas! sad as such a state of mind is, it is only too “common to man.”

And, possibly, you may also have been tempted to murmur, “as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.” I must withdraw that word “possibly,” for I am greatly afraid that many professing Christians do murmur, and that they do not always realize what a gross sin it is to murmur, seeing that it is an act of distinct rebellion against God. But, should you, as any time, feel a murmuring spirit rising up within your heart, you must not say, “This is a trial which nobody else has ever experienced.” Alas! it is a very human temptation, which is exceedingly “common to man.”

So, summing up all that I have been saying, and looking round upon this congregation, and upon all of you who know the Lord, — although it would be impossible for me to recount all the different forms of temptation and trial through which you have gone, yet this is a matter of fact, — ”there hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man.” We are all in the same boat, brothers and sisters, so far as temptation and trial are concerned. We are all warring the same warfare; your duty may call you to one part of the field, and mine may call me to another part, but the bullets whiz by me as well as by you. There is no nook so quiet but it hath its own special dangers, and there is no Valley of Humiliation so lowly but, is hath its peculiar temptations. Sins are everywhere; they sit down with you at your board, and they go with you to your bed. Snares are set for you in your home and in the street, — in your business and in your recreations. Snares are not absent from your pains, and they are abundant in your pleasures. Everywhere, and under all circumstances, must we expect, to be tried; this experience is common to men. The remembrance that it is so ought to be somewhat of a comfort to us in every time of trial and temptation.


II. But, secondly, in our text we have a far better source of comfort than that; it is this: but God Is Faithful. “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.”

“God is faithful.” Oh, how I love those words! They sound in my heart like heavenly music. “God is faithful.” You are not faithful, my brother or sister; at least, I know I am not, in the full sense of the term, faithful, — full of faith, and faithful. “But” — oh, that blessed “but,” — “but GOD is faithful”! “If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful,” — always true to every promise he has made, — always gracious to every child whom he has adopted into his family, — ”a very present help in trouble,” — preserving us from sinking in our seas of trouble, and delivering us from the trouble when it has accomplished the purpose for which it was sent.

“God is faithful,” — faithful to that first promise of his which came into thy soul when thou didst yield thyself to Jesus, and he whispered to thine heart, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Dost thou remember that promise, and has not the Lord been faithful to it? “God is faithful” also to that promise which he made of old concerning his Son, Jesus Christ: “He shall see his seed.” He has seen his seed in thee, and he will see thee to be his seed for evermore.

“God is faithful” to all his promises; and in thy experience, my brother or sister, he has been faithful to the promises which met thy case in all thy changing circumstances. Has he not been faithful? Canst thou put thy finger upon a single page of thy diary, and say, “God was unfaithful then”? Thy friend, who ate bread with thee, has lifted up his heel against thee; but has thy God forsaken thee? Even thine own children have been unkind and ungrateful to thee; but has the Lord ever treated thee ill? Where thou hadst the most hope, among thine earthly friends and acquaintances, thou hast had the most disappointments; but has Jesus ever been a wilderness unto thee? “All men are liars,” thou hast said, in the bitterness of thy spirit, when thou hast trusted in them, and they have failed thee in the time of trial; but hast thou ever found Christ false to his Word? Canst thou not join thy testimony with that of all the saints above, and the saints below, and say with Paul, “God is faithful”?

Even if any of you are looking forward to a dreaded sickness, or to a painful operation, or to business losses which may sink you from your present comfortable position to one of great trial and poverty, — think of this blessed truth, “God is faithful.” The whole world may reel to and fro, like a drunken man; but the Rock of ages stands secure. The shooting stars of temporary prosperity may die out in everlasting night, but God is “the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” “God is faithful.” Whatever thy future briars are to be, put thou this short sweet sentence into thy mouth, and keep it there, as a heavenly lozenge which shall sustain thee at all times. Make it also into a jubilant refrain; and, as thou goest on thy way, sing, again and again, “God is faithful.” Trials and temptations will assail you; “but God is, faithful.” Friends will fail and forsake you; “but God is faithful.” wealth may be lost, and property may vanish; “but God is faithful.” What dost thou want more than this, soldiers of Christ? Here you have breastplate, helmet, sword, shield, spear, — yea, the whole panoply of God.


III. The third comfort for a tried and tempted believer arises from GOD’S POWER, for Paul says, “God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able.”

God, then, has power to limit temptation; it is clear, from the Book of Job, that Satan could not tempt or try the patriarch except by divine permission; and, even then, his power was limited; nor can he tempt us unless God allows him to do so. Although the devil had great power over the elements, so that he brought disaster upon poor Job, yet there, was a very definite limit to his chain, even when the Lord let him loose to a certain extent; and when God set up his barriers, Satan could not go beyond them. You remember that the Lord first said to Satan, concerning his servant Job, “Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand.” When the devil again in intruded himself among the sons of God, the Lord let out more links of his chain, but there was still a most emphatic limit to his power over the patriarch, “Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.” The devil would have liked to kill Job outright, but he could go no further than the Lord allowed him to go; and God still has unlimited power over the devil and over every form of temptation or trial that, can ever come upon you. If the Lord appoints for you ten troubles, he will not suffer them to be increased to eleven. If he ordains that you shall be in trouble for six years, you will not be in it for six years and a day; but, when the allotted time has expired, you shall come out of it. Nothing can resist, the might of the omnipotent Jehovah, “who makest the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind.” He can put a bit in the mouth of the tempest, and rein in the rushing steeds of the storm; and the fiercest of thy trials and temptations must feel the force of his overruling and restraining hand. When thou art on the, dunghill, recollect that God is on his throne. Well did the psalmist sing, “The Lord reigneth; let the earth rejoice;” but much more may his own people rejoice because his sovereignty is pledged to defend them. Why, if all the armies of the devil were, let loose upon a single saint, who felt himself to be weak as a worm, and the Lord said to them, “I am his defense, and ye shall not touch him;” they could not touch him, and he would be able to say, with the utmost confidence, “Greater is he that is for me than all that can be against me.” The adversaries of the righteous may rage as much as they will; but they will have to spend their strength in raging, for that is all they can do against God’s people without his express permission. Not a hair of their head can be scorched by the fires of persecution unless the Lord allows it. The waters of the Red Sea cannot drown them: they march between the watery walls dryshod. The lions cannot devour them: Daniel enjoyed a good night’s rest even in the lions’ den. Even the waves of the sea become the servitors of the saints, for “Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights,” in preparation for future service for God. All his people are kept by his almighty power. How greatly this ought to comfort you who are sorely tried! Every twig of the rod of correction has been made by God, and every stroke of it is counted by him. There is not a drop more gall in your cup than the Lord has ordained. He has weighed, in the scales of the sanctuary, every ingredient of your medicine, and mixed it with all his infallible skill so that it may produce the cure of all your ills; should not this make you rejoice in the Lord all the day long, and in the night seasons as well?


IV. Fourthly, not only should tried believers rejoice in God’s power, but they should also rejoice in God’s Judgment, for Paul says, “God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able.”

Who beside God knows how much we are able to be? Our consolation arises from the fact that God knows exactly how much we can bear. We have no idea, ourselves, what we can bear. I have, many a time, heard a person say, “If such-and-such a thing were to happen, I should break my heart, and die.” Well, that very thing has happened, but the person concerned did not break his heart, and he did not die. On the contrary, he behaved himself as a Christian in trial should; God helped him wondrously, and he played the man, and became more than conqueror, and was the brighter and the braver, ever afterwards, for all the affliction through which he had passed. Brother, your own strength, in same respects, is greater than you think, and, in other respects, it is less than you think; but God knows just how much you can bear, so leave yourself in his hands.

I have known some people who have wished for trouble; it is a great pity that anybody should be so foolish as that. I remember one, who used to think that he was not a child of God because, he had not had much trouble. He used to be fretting all the day long because he had nothing really to make him fret. I once heard a woman, in the street, say to her child, who was screaming lustily, “If you cry for nothing, I’ll give you something to cry for.” So, when a man wants trouble, he will probably get it; but it is a very silly child or man who asks for the rod. Be content to have as little of it as you really must; you will have quite enough of it before you get to heaven. Do not ask for it; you will have it in due time. God knows, to an ounce, just what his children and his servants can carry, and he never overloads them. It is true that he sometimes sends them more trouble than they could have carried by themselves; but, then, as he increases the, weight of their burden, he also increases the strength of the back upon which he places it.

I have often admired the lovingkindness of the Lord to many of my own flock here, and have noted the, great joy that our young Christians have had for a number of years, and observed how remarkably God has preserved them from temptation without and from trials within. The Lord does not send his young children out to battle. He does not intend such little boats as these to go far out to sea. He will not overdrive these lambs. Yet the advanced Christians are just as happy as the young people, are, and they are stronger and more fit for stern service and more able to sympathize with others, who are in trouble, because of what they have themselves passed through. As they have grown stronger, God has given them more fighting to do for him, while the raw recruits have been kept at home to be drilled and disciplined. You know that, when there is a desperate fight being waged, and the issue of the battle seems in doubt, the commander orders “the old guard” to the front. That is part of the privilege of being an old guardsman, — to go into the hottest place on the field of battle; and it is one of the privileges of the advanced children of God to be tempted more than others, and to suffer more than others. If I could have any trial or temptation, which, otherwise, would fall upon a young brother, who has only known the Lord a week or two, I would gladly say, “Let me have it.” It might stagger him, and I should be sorry for him to be staggered by it, so I will willingly endure it. You tried believers must not imagine that God does not love you as much as he did in the days of your spiritual youth, when he did not test you as he does now. He loves you quite as much as he did then, and he trusts you even more than he did then; because he has made you stronger than you used to be, he gives you the honor and privilege of marching with the vanguard of his army, or leading the forlorn hope, or standing foot to foot with old Apollyon.
God knows exactly how much temptation or trial you can bear, and he will not suffer the trial to go beyond that point. But, mark you, it will go right up to that point, for there is no such thing in the world as faith that runs to waste. For every grain of faith that God gives, he usually gives the equivalent, trial of some sort or other; for, if faith could ever be in excess, it would degenerate into fanaticism, or some other unholy thing. If the Lord supplies us, at our back door as it were, with his good treasure, we are to dispose of it in our front shop in our holy trading for him.


V. Fifthly, our text seems to intimate that God Hath In Store Something To Go With Our Temptations: “He will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that, ye may be able to bear it.”

You know how you treat your own child. There is a dose of nasty physic to be taken, and the little one does not like it. The very sight of the spoon and cup makes it feel queer. But mother says, “Now, Johnny, take this medicine, and then you shall have this lump of sugar, or this fruit, to take away the taste of it.” And when God sends a trial or trouble to one of his children, he is sure to have a choice sweetmeat to go, with it. I have heard a child say, “I do not mind taking the physic so long as I get the sugar;” and I have known some of the Lord’s people say, “We will willingly bear sickness, pain, bereavement, temptation, persecution, if we may but have our Savior’s presence in it all.” Some of us will never forget our experiences in sickness; when our pain has been sharpest; and worst, it has also been sweetest and best, at the same time. What do I not personally owe to the file, and the anvil, and the hammer in my Master’s workshop? I have often said, and I say again, that the best piece of furniture in my house is the cross of affliction. I have, long ago, learned to prize it, and to praise God for it, and for that which has come, to me with it, for I have often found that, with the trial, the Lord has made a way of escape, that I have been able to bear it.

Even with the temptation to sin, the Lord often sends, to the tempted soul, such a revelation of the sinfulness of sin, and of the beauty of holiness, that the poison of the temptation is quite neutralized. Even with temporal trials, the Lord often gives temporal mercies; sometimes, when he has been pleased to take away a man’s wealth, he has restored to him his health, and so the man has been a distinct gainer. I have known several instances in which that has occurred. And when one dear child has been taken away out of a family, there, has, perhaps, been the conversion of another of the children, which has been a wonderful compensation for the trial. And, oftentimes, trouble has been attended with an unusual delight in the Lord. The Word of God has been peculiarly sweet at such a time, and the minister has seemed to preach better than ever he did before, his message exactly fitting your condition just then. You have been surprised to find that the bitterness, which came with the trouble, has passed away almost before you were aware of it; and, as death is swallowed up in victory, like one bitter drop in a glass of water, so your trouble has been diluted with sweet wine, and you have swallowed it, and have scarcely tasted its bitterness. Thus the Lord, by his grace, and presence, and comfort, has made you so glad that you have hardly known that you have been in such trouble, because of the superabounding mercy which came with it. Ought not that to comfort us, and to make us ready for whatever the Lord pleases to send to us, or to permit to come upon us?




VI. Now, notice, in the last place, that God Makes A Way Of Escape For His People: “He will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

I will read that over again: “He will with the temptation also make a way to escape” — ”that you may get out of it?” Oh, no! — “that you may not have to endure it”? Oh, no! — “that ye may be able to bear it.” That is a curious way to escape, is it not? Here is your way of retreat blocked up, and the opposing army is in front of you, yet you are to escape. You say to the Lord, “Which way am I to run?” But the Lord replies, “You must not run away; your way to escape is to cut a road right through your adversaries.” That is a singular way to escape, but it is the most glorious way in the whole world. The best way for an army to escape is by conquering its foe. It is not the best way for the pilgrim to go, to the right, into the dark mountains, or to the left, into the thick forest, to escape from his enemies; the best way for him to escape is to go straight forward, despite all his adversaries; and that is the only right way for you to escape.

Now, beloved brother or sister, you may, at this moment, be expecting some very heavy affliction; and you have been asking the Lord to make a way of escape for you. You have said, “Oh, that I might not have to come to that hour of trial!” But you will have to come to it. But cannot that dear one’s life be spared? “I hope it may; but it is possible that it may not.” Then, how am I to have a way of escape? Your way of escape is not to avoid the trial, but to be able to bear it. What a mercy it is that God, though he will not let his people escape trial, will really let them escape, for this is a way of escape for them, and the best way of escape, too. It is a way of escape from all the sin of the temptation, and from all the evil of the trial; you must have the trial, but you will only have the beneficial part of it. Brother, you must be plunged into that sea of sorrow; but it will not drown you, it will only wash and cleanse you. Sir, you must go into that fire, your Lord has so ordained it; yet you are going to escape the fire. Do you ask, “How can that be? Why, thus, — none of your gold shall be destroyed, only the dross shall be consumed, and you shall be all the purer for passing through the fire; so again I say that this is the very best way to escape; for if we could escape in any other way, we should lose all the benefit of the trial.

What shall I say, then, in closing, but this, brethren and sisters? Are you troubled just now, and are you inclined to despair? Take wiser counsel; the storms that are beating about your barque are only such as beat about your Master’s vessel, and the ships and boats in which his apostles sailed across the sea of old. The storms are not supernatural; they are not beyond what believe in Jesus are able to bear. Put your vessel’s head to the wind, like a brave sailor; do not try to avoid that fierce blast. Sail in its very teeth, for there is a power within you which can overcome all the winds and the waves, for is not the Lord himself with you as your Captain, and is not the Holy Ghost with you as your Pilot, and have you not a faithful God to trust to in the stormiest night you will ever know? True, your foes are many and mighty; but face them like a man. Have no thought of turning back, and flinging away your shield; but resolve, in the mighty power of faith, that, since, the Lord has said that, “as thy days, so shall thy strength be,” to the end thou shalt endure; and that, with Job, thou wilt say, “Though he slay me, yet, will I trust, in him.” It will not be easy to keep that resolve, yet the Lord deserves that we should keep it. Think of yourself, beloved brother, in the worst conceivable condition; and then know that there is no sufficient reason, even in such a condition as that, for you to doubt your God. Suppose yourself brought to your last penny; yet remember that there was a time when you were not worth a penny, a time when you could not put food into your own mouth, and could not put on your own garments. You were cast upon God in your first childhood, and he took care of you then; and if you grow to be a child again, and the infirmities of age increase and multiply, he who was so good at the beginning, will be quite as good at the end. Remember his ancient promise: “Even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.” Such a promise as this, if God the Holy Spirit will bless it, will make the most tried believer rejoice in the Lord, and go on his way defying every foe who may be in his path.

What I cannot understand is, what people do who have not, a God to trust to. I often go to see poor sick people, full of aches and pains, and it charms me to hear them talk of the goodness of the Lord to them. In talking, this week, with one of our brethren, who is very sick and ill, he spoke with such holy joy and boasting of the Lord’s goodness to him, that I could not help saying that it would take a great many infidel arguments to make me doubt the power of true religion after I had listened to him. I like to see God’s tried people dying full of joy, praising and blessing the name of the Lord who is their All-in-all in their most trying hour. It is not so with all of you; then what do you do, when trial comes, without a God to help you? You have not much of this world’s goods, and you have to work hard; yet when you die, you have no home to go to, you have no hope of going to heaven. Oh, you poor No-hopes! “Oh!” says one, “we are not all poor; some of us are quite well-to-do.” But you are poor, for all that, even if you have all your heart can wish for here. If you have not a God, where do you carry your troubles and your griefs, for I am sure that you have some! O my dear friend, may the Lord make you feel that you cannot do without him! And when your heart has come to this resolve, “I cannot do without my God, I will not try to do without him; I feel that I must have him, “then you shall have him. He waiteth to be gracious, and he hath said, “They that seek me early shall find me.” May you seek him now, and find him, and to him shall be the praise for ever and ever! Amen.



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Last Updated July, 2013