The Book of 1 CORINTHIANS
James J. Barker
TAKE HEED LEST YE FALL
- Verse 12 says, “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” “Wherefore” is an adverb. It connects verse 12 with the preceding verses.
- It means, “therefore” or “so then…” as the result of all these admonitions in verses 1-11…
- He that thinketh he standeth could easily fall (10:12).
- Some Christians think they are standing strong and secure, but unfortunately, they are relying on their own strength, not God’s.
- Albert Barnes said,
- That a confidence in our own security is no evidence that we are safe.
- Such a confidence may be one of the strongest evidences that we are in danger. Those are most safe are those who feel that they are weak and feeble, and who feel their need of Divine aid and strength. They will then rely on the true source of strength; and they will be secure.
- All professed Christians should be admonished. All are in danger of falling into sin, and of dishonoring their profession; and the exhortation cannot be too often or too urgently pressed, that they should take heed lest they fall into sin.
- Then the adversary will be peculiarly desirous to draw away their thoughts from God, and to lead them into sin, as their fall would most signally dishonour religion;
- then they will be less likely to be on their guard, and more likely to feel themselves strong, and not to need caution and solicitude.
- “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (10:12). Peter was trusting in his own strength, and he fell. Peter boasted, “Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended” (Matthew 26:33).
- Jesus said unto him, “Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice” (Matthew 26:34).
- Peter said unto him, “Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee” (Matthew 26:35).
- But Peter went on to deny Christ three times, just as Jesus said. I have entitled tonight’s message, “Take Heed Lest Ye Fall.”
ALL MEN FACE TRIALS AND TEMPTATIONS
- “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man” (10:13). The Bible does not specify any particular temptation, though idolatry is referred to several times in this passage of Scripture (cf. 10:7, 14, 19-21).
- “Taken you” (10:13) means to be seized upon by temptation. Albert Barnes said it means, “As when an enemy grasps us, and attempts to hold us fast.”
- God will never allow us to be tempted above our ability to bear it.
- Furthermore, when temptation comes, God will always provide a way of escape. But there must be a willingness to escape. Joseph escaped Potiphar’s wife because Joseph refused her solicitations.
- Satan is referred to as “the tempter” in Matthew 4:3 and I Thessalonians 3:5. As long as Satan is around, men will continue to be tempted.
- However, we are promised all the necessary strength and power to withstand temptation. Our hope and strength is in the Lord. We must depend on Him.
- Ephesians 6:11 says, “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”
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.
Ask the Savior to help you,
Comfort, strengthen and keep you;
He is willing to aid you,
He will carry you through. Horatio R. Palmer
GOD IS FAITHFUL (10:13)
- Satan uses the world and the flesh to tempt people. Satan is assisted by his evil spirits. “But God is faithful…” (I Cor. 10:13).
- In 2008, evangelist John Van Gelderen preached a message here in our church, entitled, “The Way of Escape” (10:13).
- Bro. Van Gelderen used an illustration of a heavy truck with brake problems. In mountainous areas, drivers can see emergency truck escape ramps (sometimes called “runaway truck ramps”) located adjacent to the highway.
- He said that the way of escape is time-sensitive. For example, if a truck driver with bad brakes passes the emergency truck escape ramp he could crash his truck.
- If Joseph would have passed the way of escape he could have gotten into a lot of trouble with Potiphar’s wife. But Joseph quickly took the way of escape.
- Paul told Timothy, “Flee also youthful lusts” (II Tim. 2:22). “Flee” means to move quickly. “Flee from idolatry” (10:14). To procrastinate is dangerous.
GOD ALWAYS PROVIDES A WAY OF ESCAPE
- The Psalmist said, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalm 119:11).
- In Matthew 4:1, it is recorded that Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. There are three temptations mentioned, and each time our Lord said to the devil, “It is written…” (Matthew 4:4, 7, 10).
- James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
- Verse 13 says, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man.” The temptations that come upon us are never uncommon or unusual.
- They are “common” temptations, everyday temptations that have been here ever since the serpent tempted Eve.
- People say they were so badly tempted that they couldn’t resist the temptation, but that is contrary to Scripture. There is no such a thing as an overwhelming temptation.
- “Every temptation that ever confronts us is an old and a common one. Our forefathers had it, they wrestled with it. And we have the choice, it’s up to us!” (W.A. Criswell).
- We have victory over sin. Romans 6:18 says, “Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.”
- Romans 8:37 says, “in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”
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