Strength for the Tempted

1 Corinthians

Strength for the Tempted

October 23rd, 1955 @ 7:30 PM

1 Corinthians 10:12-13

Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. 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.
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STRENGTH FOR THE TEMPTED

Dr. W. A. Criswell

1 Corinthians 10:5-13

10-23-55    7:30 p.m.

 

Now this morning we left off with the fourth verse of the tenth chapter of the first Corinthian letter, the fourth verse of the tenth chapter of the Corinthian letter, the first Corinthian letter [1 Corinthians 10:4].  Now tonight we begin at the fifth verse and go through the thirteenth [1 Corinthians 10:5-13].  Now I told you that the section here concerns an admonition from the apostle Paul about discipline, about giving yourself to the work of the Lord.   And he said at the end of the ninth chapter that it was possible for he himself to be a castaway in his ministry [1 Corinthians 9:27].  Then he used another illustration, and he spake of the fathers of Israel, who though they had all of the privileges of the presence and power of God among them, yet they failed.

And this is the way that he says it.  After mentioning them, after speaking of their spiritual meat and their spiritual drink [1 Corinthians 10:1-4], then he continues.

But with them God was not well pleased:  for they were overthrown in the wilderness.

Now these things were our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they lusted.

Neither be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.

Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.

Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.

Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.

Now all of these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

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 you may be able to bear it.

[1 Corinthians 10:5-13]

Now there are three things in that twelfth and thirteenth verses which are our text tonight.  The first one is this, that all of us are in danger all the time.  We have an adversary, Satan, who is deceptive and wise beyond what any man has ever been wise.  “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” [1 Corinthians 10:12].  All of us are in danger all the time.

Now the second avowal; the temptations that come upon us are never superhuman.  They are common ones, everyday ones—been here ever since the race was created.  There is no such a thing as an overwhelming temptation.  Every temptation that ever confronts us is an old and a common one [1 Corinthians 10:13].  Our forefathers had it, they wrestled with it.  And we have the choice, it’s up to us!  We may do with it as we please, for it is a common, ordinary thing that confronts us.

Now the third is this:  in my text, God is battling on the side of the man who faces up to all of the issues and problems and temptations of life [1 Corinthians 10:13].  We have a recourse.  We have a strength.  We have a conquering name.  And we have a faithful High Priest [Hebrews 2:17].  Now those are the three things in this text.  Now let me read it again.

Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

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 you may be able to bear it.

[1 Corinthians 10:12-13]

Now let’s start.  All of us are in danger all the time.  “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” [1 Corinthians 10:12].  Do you remember in the garden of Eden where the tree of temptation was located?  Do you remember it?  The Book of Genesis says that the tree was in the midst of the garden [Genesis 3:3].  It was right in the center of Eden.  All of the paths converged there, and Adam and Eve passed by it every day of their lives.

We are not in Paradise now.  We are out of Eden, but the tree of temptation is still in the midst of our lives.  Every path we travel goes by it.  We look at it and we see it every day of our lives.  This thing is of God.  The Lord put it there.  And the man who thinks, “I am untouchable, I cannot be tempted,” is a man who knows not himself.  And Paul says he is the man that is likely to fall.  Take heed, take heed! [1 Corinthians 10:12]

There is not any area in life, there is not any place in life where temptation does not fiercely, and violently, and continuously, and vehemently assail.  There are temptations that come to us in youth when the blood runs red and hot.  But there are also temptations that come in manhood, and in womanhood, in middle age, and there are also other temptations and other devices that come to us in old age and in senility.  Somebody one time said, “Opportunity knocks but once, but temptation bangs away at our lives every day that we live.”

When God framed us and when God made us, He put something in us that is always temptable.  There is something in human nature entwined at the very roots of our structure that is somehow inclined to evil and iniquity.

Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God:  God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man:

But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin:  and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

[James 1: 13-15]

That thing is in us.  The tree of life—the tree of temptation, like the tree of life, is placed there of God for a choice.  But the inclination to pant after iniquity and to do evil is entwined in our fallen nature.  It’s in us.  Sometimes we’re in a calm, like a ship in the harbor, and sometimes we’re on the fierce ocean.  Sometimes things are quiet with us, then sometimes we are thrown into a fiery furnace, seven times heated.  But every man shall go through every phase of it.  And by “every man” I mean every soul that lives shall be tried of Satan.  That’s his job!  That’s his business, going to and fro in the earth, seeking whom he may devour [1 Peter 5:8].  And his wiles and his deceptions are smart ruses indeed.  In the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve looked upon that tree, and Satan says, “Does God say you die if you partook of that? Why, God knows better than that.  Look at that tree.  It makes thee wise.  Good for food, to open your eyes, to make you like God Himself” [Genesis 3:1-5].  That’s Satan!

When Lot stood with Abraham on the hill, and Lot had his choice, there was the great, well-watered plain, and in that plain were Sodom and Gomorrah.  And Satan says, “See the riches of the city, see the beautiful and fertile valley, see all of the opportunities in Sodom.”  And he pitched his tent toward Sodom [Genesis 13:10-12].  That’s Satan!  When Jericho fell, Achan touched the accursed thing, and hid away a goodly Babylonish garment [Joshua 7:1, 20-21], for Satan said to him, “Who would ever find this out and who would ever know?”  And David said in his heart, “Am I not a king?  May I not have whom I please and what I want?” [2 Samuel 11:1-4].  That’s Satan!  And there’s not any time or any period in a man’s life when those things do not assail him.  “Why, just one time.  Why, that wouldn’t matter.  Why, that’s a privilege for you.  Why, who would ever know?  Why, this thing—how do you know about it?  Why don’t you find out for yourself?  Why don’t you try?”

I couldn’t imagine the number of times that I have been asked by people to go on slum visitations.  Ah, they want me to see the nightlife of Dallas or the nightlife of Paris.  Or they say, “You can’t be a good preacher, and you can’t tell the people unless you know of all of this dreg and filth and smudge.”  That’s the devil!  “Why don’t you go and look at this?  Why don’t you go and share in that?  Why don’t you go and visit that?”  And then he says, “How do you know what that wine tastes like?  How do you know about that beer?  How do you know about that liquor?  How do you know about that life?”  And especially to young people, does he say, “Why, be a good sport!  What would that matter?  Why, come along, come on.  Be one of the crowd!”  Then he whispers, “After all, you’re just human like the rest.”  That’s Satan.  That’s the devil.

You don’t need to be educated in sin.  I don’t have to have typhoid fever to know that it’s bad!  I don’t have to be inoculated with tuberculosis to know I don’t want it!  You don’t have to go out there and live in the dregs and go through all of the sewers of Dallas to know that there are sewers in this city.  Filth and dirt, shame and rot, sin and crime, dirt and iniquity, that’s the devil—pass it by, pass it by!  But he tries and he appeals day and night, and he never ceases, he never let’s up.  All of us are tempted.

 The youth, I say, due to the great surge of life in him, he has certain temptations.  Manhood and womanhood, they have certain temptations.  The temptation to be busy making money is the grossest temptation you’ll ever see in a man’s life.  A virile man, a man who has reached his manhood, he’s making money, and he likes it.  He loves money.  He loves his place.  There’s a fellow that’s ambitious, he wants to—oh, he’s got lots of things ahead of him.  And he’ll do anything in order to achieve those ends.  He wants to be elected.  He wants to placate the population.

Lots of things come to a man in his life of the devil: the temptation to be proud, the temptation to be lifted up, the temptation to be haughty, the temptation to love compliments, the temptation to be fawned upon, and cajoled, and caressed.  Why, there’s hardly any great man in this world whose head cannot be turned by compliments, and the bigger the man is, the easier his head is turned.  He gets accustomed to loving nice words and pretty compliments.  It’s of the devil!

And old age has its temptations.  Sometimes the most domineering of all people in this world are our older people.  They demand things of their children, and they demand things of everybody else—and they’re crabby and sore if they’re not ministered unto just so.  That’s the devil!  All of us are tried in all the periods of our lives.

How many of you are tempted?  How many of us are tempted to be violent in our tempers, to be quick-spoken, to be vicious in our words and attitudes?  That’s the devil sawing us down, making breaches between us and gulfs between us and all kinds of things to ruin and destroy our lives.  We all are tempted, all of us, all the time.

If there was ever one man who could have escaped, it was the Lord Jesus Christ.  You look at the Book!  You look at the Book!  In the fourth chapter of the Book of Matthew, it says, “Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil” [Matthew 4:1].  You turn over here to the Book of Hebrews, Hebrews 2:18, “He Himself hath suffered being tempted.”  Turn the page and there in 4:15, “He in all points was tempted like as we are, though without sin” [Hebrews 4:15].

We’re tried, every one of us.  And a fellow who says, “I am not a subject of the devil.  I’m not afraid,” Brother, you may be the worst of all.  For sins of pride and hypocrisy and contumaciousness are the most abominable of all the sins in the world.  All of us, all of us, are in danger all the time.

Now let’s turn to that second avowal.  The temptations that overwhelm us are common to all man [1 Corinthians 10:13].  There’s nothing new in it.  There’s nothing new to be said about it.  There’s not a new experience in any part of it.  Down that road every man before us has already traveled.  The apostles went down that road; they were tried by the devil.  The saints and the martyrs went down that road; they were tried by the devil.  All of our fathers who lived before us, they’ve been tried by the devil.  And everybody around you, they’re tried by the devil.  You look at him and you say, “Ah, wouldn’t it be great to have a wonderful disposition like that man!”  And you look at her and you say, “Wouldn’t it be great to be that one!”  And you look over yonder and say, “Wouldn’t it be marvelous to be like that!”  But you don’t know.  On the inside the devil tries them too.  All of us, these things that overwhelm us, everyone goes down that road!  They are common to man.  They are common to man!  God sees to that.  There are no temptations that are new or mysterious or strange, God sees to that.

Let me say it like this.  I wonder what kind of enticing Satan did when he persuaded one-third of the angels of heaven to fall [Revelation 12:3-4].  I wonder what he did.  Say, what a smart ruse that must have been, wonder what Satan engineered and contrived when he persuaded one-third of the angels of God to fall.  That man Satan, that person Satan, that archenemy of God and of humanity, wonder what he did?  I don’t know what it was.  The Bible doesn’t say.  But I do know this, that he doesn’t use for humanity any other thing than God allows him, which is a common thing among us all.  Whatever those things were by which he pulled the angels out of the hand of God, he doesn’t use on us, for the things by which he tempts us are common things to man.

You look at that a minute, just for a minute.  Did you know a part of the keen edge of a trial is the mystery that is bound up in it?  So much—could I speak just plainly and flagrantly, openly?—so much of the mystery that is put around this thing to young people—look here, young fellow, look at that.  Wonder what that is?  Wonder what that’s like?  Wonder how that feels?  Wonder how that is?  There are all of those things of drink and of lewdness and of lust, all of those things are over there, and Satan puts an air of mystery around all of it.

The Book says don’t be sharpened by the so-called mystery that Satan puts about anything.  These things are common to humanity, all of them.  And when you take away the air of mystery from any of it, you take away half of its cutting edge.  Drunkenness is not a mysterious thing, not at all.  It’s a common thing!  Lewdness, gross personal sin is not a mysterious thing, it’s a common thing.  You can go down the street of anybody’s city and meet the people on the streets, practically all of them know all about it.  It’s a common thing.

I say that thing of mystery, that’s what pulls and gives a sharp edge.  I think of old Belshazzar, scared him to death, scared him to death, that handwriting on the wall [Daniel 5:5-6].  I think about that fellow, shaking there, trembling, that handwriting on the wall.  No wonder it scared the living daylights out of him.  Could he have seen the body to which the hand belonged, it wouldn’t have been half as frightening, but just that hand stuck there on the wall, the mystery of that thing.  That’s what gets you in this thing of temptation from Satan; so much of it is bound up in a mystery.

No, there’s nothing mysterious about any of it.  It is all common life, common, common to all men everywhere [1 Corinthians 10:13].  How you were made and how you function is a thing that is written large on every book of anatomy in this earth.  Nothing funny, or strange, or peculiar, or mysterious about any of it, it’s a common thing.  And the life we live, and what lies ahead for us, and all of these things that God has made, there’s nothing mysterious about it at all.  It is a common thing [1 Corinthians 10:13].

Therefore, the best way to do is like the Savior did [Matthew 4:1-11].  He met it head on!  Don’t run away, don’t.  Don’t postpone, don’t.  Just meet it head on, just like He did.  You’re going to face it, you’re going to have it—all kinds of temptations, temptations in the mind, all these philosophical aberrations, these theological infidelities, these doubts that assail us day and night.  You’re going to have them.  I’ve been afflicted with them all my life, and still am, fighting Satan!

Martin Luther one time, studying his Bible there at his desk, picked up his inkwell and threw it against the wall, throwing it at Satan.  You have temptations that overwhelm you in your heart, in your heart.  Beat them!  They’re coming; face up to them!  You have temptations that come in your body; they’re coming, face them head on, square in the eye, just like the Lord did.

“Then was Jesus led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil” [Matthew 4:1].  And He stood there, and He was tried sore by Satan [Matthew 4:3-10].  Remember the first temptation?  “Look here, Jesus.  Look here, Jesus.  You are the Son of God.  You are the Son of God.  You are hungry now after forty days.  Well, look at these stones.  They look like loaves of bread.  You are hungry.  Turn these stones into bread and eat.  You are hungry.  There is a wanting on the inside of You.  Feed it.  Respond to it by the prostitution of Your divine powers!” [Matthew 4:2-3]. Satan does it all the time and to everybody.  To be hungry is natural.  There are great natural things in all of us, but to satisfy them by the prostitution of the divine functions God hath given us is the thing that Jesus refused to do [Matthew 4:4].  That’s Satan’s trial.  Face up to it.  Meet it.

This is Satan’s trial.  “See this pinnacle way up here to the dizzying heights” [Matthew 4:5].  Josephus said that thing was so high, it made you dizzy looking down.  The corner of the temple there by the Kidron Valley, filled in now, but then was a precipitous thing.  “Get on top of that pinnacle—all these thousands of people around.  Get on top of that pinnacle and cast Yourself down [Matthew 4:6].  Nothing bad or hurtful will come to You.  The angels will pick You up, lest You dash Your foot against the stones.  Cast Yourself down” [Matthew 4:6]

Can you imagine the sensation that would have caused?  Fellow get on top of that high, high lighted neon projection on top of the Republic Bank Building, and throw himself down there in the middle of Ervay Street.  Brother, wouldn’t that make a sensation?  Wouldn’t that make a sensation?  Think of the self-glory.  Ah, everybody is  talking about you.  You jump a thousand feet—580 feet, whatever that is—and you just came down light as a feather, didn’t hurt you at all.  Didn’t hurt you at all.  Wouldn’t that appeal to your vanity and your self-glory?  “Why, preacher, you would be the most famous man in the world.  Just like that you would.  Yes, sir!”  That’s the trial of the devil.  He feeds your vanity and your self-glory.

Then you get mad.  “They don’t appreciate me, they don’t care anything about me.”  That’s the devil!  To love self and praise, to love self-glory and adulation, our names on other people’s lips—speaking of us, doing deference to us, oh, my soul, that’s the devil!  “Get on top of that high pinnacle and cast yourself down” [Matthew 4:5-6].  Oh, what a sensation!  What a sensation!  Like that, like for people to name us, like to be a sensation!  That’s the devil.  That’s the devil.

And then that last one.  “This kingdom—You came into the world to found the kingdom, didn’t You” [Matthew 4:8].

“Yes.”

“Well, this is the way.”

What an easy way.  What a simple way; achieving a good result by questionable principles.  Oh, how many times, in how many ways, the end justifies the means.  This is what you want, isn’t it?  Well, then this is the way to do it.  But that way isn’t God’s way!  And it isn’t a good way, and it’s an unprincipled way!

 That’s the devil.  He tries us all the days of our lives in every way that he can. Meet it head on, face to face, because it’s coming.  And that thing has come upon all the generations who have ever lived.  Don’t be afraid.  It’s a common thing, nothing mysterious about it.

Now, this last avowal here in my text, “God; but God…no temptation hath taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able; but will with the temptation make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it” [1 Corinthians 10:13].

“God is faithful” [1 Corinthians 10:13].  God somehow runs this world.  I have a hard time with that theological proposition.  When I see God’s people suffer, oh, I have a hard time with it!  Children afflicted, I have a hard time with it.  War, and the terrible destructions of war, I have a hard time with it.  I don’t understand.  I can’t explain.  But God’s Word says that God runs this universe [Job 38:4-38].  And to a man who will try, to a soul that’ll enlist on the side of the Lord, the Lord is there by his side battling with him and helping him through.  Now there are a lot of people that don’t try.  Oscar Wilde, the great author, one time said, “I can resist everything but temptation.”

Another one of those smart, modern writers—and I can’t remember which one it was, but I read what he said.  He had a little sentence.  He said, “The only way to be rid of a temptation is to yield to it.”  Well, that would work.  That would end it.  They are pilgrims on the road of least resistance.  They’re trees that lean.  All you do, push them over, and they fall.  They don’t try.  They make no profession.  They just follow the line and the course, wherever the stream flows.  They are drifting with the tide.  But the man who wants to stand, the man who wants to serve God, God’s with that fellow.  “God is faithful” [1 Corinthians 10:13].

Look at the Lord’s Prayer.  “Lord, lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” [Matthew 6:13].  What is that prayer?  That is an admission on our part that we are weak and frail.  And the prayer is this, “Lord, do not let me be tempted above that which I am able to bear, but help me.  Stand by me.  Deliver me.  Give me strength.”  That’s the first thing that a Christian wants to do is to pray, to make it a matter of prayer.

In one of these textile mills over there in North Carolina, a man put a sign above every one of those machines where the girls work.  He put a sign, and it said, “If the threads become tangled, call for the foreman.”  And a new girl who had been taught how to operate a machine was working there her first day.  And the threads got all tangled, and she worked and worked and wasted time and worked, and it got more tangled, and finally, she called for the foreman.  And when the foreman came, why, he looked at what she had done and the time she spent, and he pointed to the sign.  And he said, “See the sign?  ‘When the threads become tangled, call for the foreman.’  Why didn’t you call for me?”  And she replied, “But sir, you see, I was trying to do the best that I could.”  And the foreman kindly and patiently replied, “But my child, the best thing you can do is to call for me.”  That’s we!  That’s us!  The best thing we can do is to call for God.  Name the name of Jesus.  “Lord, look at me, I’m a covetous wretch.  Look at me, Lord, I’m sensual.  Look at me, Lord, I have a violent and vitriolic temper.  Look at me, Lord, I’m self-lifted up, and I’m—and I’m egotistical.  Look at me, Lord.”  And just go through those things that Satan tries us with and tell the Lord about it.  “And Lord, Lord help me, deliver me.”  Send for the Foreman, that’s the best thing; send for Him.

Another thing, when you fall—and you’re going to fall: there’s nobody who wrestles with Satan but that bears wounds in his soul.  He’s got scars in his body.  You don’t fight this war and not be wounded.  You don’t fight against Satan that he doesn’t sometimes overwhelm us.  All of us do, all of us.  “There is none righteous, no, not one” [Romans 3:10].  “We all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” [Romans 3:23].  Your sin may be this, and yours that, and yours another, but we all have been tried in that furnace, and we’ve been burned with the fire.

Well, then what?  Then what?  This is what, this is what?  When you rise, when you stand up again, you’ll be stronger and more blessed—did you know that—because of that trial and that experience.  Listen to David in the fifty-first Psalm, “Lord purge me with hyssop . . . wash me clean . . . then will I teach transgressors Thy ways; and sinners shall be turned unto Thee” [Psalm 51:7, 13].  Listen to Jesus as He speaks to Simon Peter, “Simon, Simon, Simon, Simon, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat, that he may try your soul:  But I have prayed for thee, and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren” [Luke 22:31-32].  Strengthen thy brethren.  Simon, when you come back, when you get right, strengthen thy brethren.

Augustine one time said that on the steps of our dead sins we rise to holiness and to perfection.   That’s true!   We learn humility and kindness.   We learn sympathy, we learn to distrust ourselves.  We learn all of those Christian virtues, as we wrestle with Satan in this life.

There’s another thing, “God is faithful; He will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able” [1 Corinthians 10:13].  Everything that happens to us happens in the permissive will of God.  Satan cannot go beyond what God allows.  God says, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” [Hebrews 13:5].  There in Deuteronomy, the Lord says, “As thy days, so shall thy strength be” [Deuteronomy 33:25].   When Satan wanted to afflict Job, he had to go up there to the courts of God and gain permission to do it; he could not touch Job, not a hair of his head until God allowed it [Job 1:12, 2:6].  In the [twenty-seventh] chapter of the Book of Isaiah and the eighth verse, is the most unusual saying; it is this, “He stayeth His rough wind in the day of the east wind” [Isaiah 27:8].  Think of that!  “He stayeth the rough wind in the day of the east wind.”  If the wind blows from the north, it doesn’t blow from the south at the same time.  He tempers the wind to the shorn lamb.  God doesn’t allow us to be tempted above that which we are able to bear [1 Corinthians 10:13].

  If it is God’s will for His children to pass through the fire and not the flood, Satan himself can’t make God’s children pass through the flood.  In the twenty-fourth chapter of the Book of Matthew and the twenty-second verse, the Lord Jesus says, “Of those days shall be a tribulation like as never was in the earth, but for the elect‘s sake those days shall be shortened” [Matthew 24:22].  God in heaven looks upon us, and He doesn’t allow Satan to tempt us above what we are able to bear.  Everything that happens to us happens in the permissive will of God, and the Lord cares for you and His own.  And that’s what it meant when it said, “But will with the temptation make a way of escape.”  The Greek of that is this, “but will with the temptation make the way to escape” [1 Corinthians 10:13].    There may be forty dozen ways that are not right and improper and won’t work and fail, but there is the way, the one way that will never, never fail!  That’s God’s way, that’s the proper way, that’s the right way, that’s the holy way, but He will make the way to escape.  That’s coming to Jesus, that’s giving your heart to God, that’s trusting in Him.

 Lord, in me, in my flesh, is no good thing.   Lord, I’m trusting Thee.  In me is nothing but weakness and failure.   Lord, my strength is in Thee.  Lord, I don’t trust myself, I am trusting Thee.   I’m not looking to myself, I’m looking to Thee.  In Thy conquering and saving name, Lord, I am resting my soul and my case, my destiny and my future forever.  Lord, I am not pleading my righteousness, but Thine.  Lord, I am trusting in Thee.  That is the way of victory and of triumph, and it never fails.  It cannot fail.  It is God’s way to heaven, to glory, away from Satan to the city of God.

While we make our appeal now in song and while our people prayerfully sing it together, somebody you, into that aisle and down here by the side of the preacher, “Here I come, pastor, and here I am, tonight, this night, tonight, I am taking the Lord as my Savior.   I am looking to Him; I’m trusting in Him, not in myself but in Him.  And here I come, and here I am.”  Some of us tonight, putting our lives here in the fellowship of His church, while we sing the song and while we make appeal, “Here I am, preacher, and here I come.”  A family of you, “We’re putting our lives here in the church.”   As God shall say, and as the Spirit shall lead, and as the Lord shall open the door, while we sing this song and while we make appeal, will you make it now?  “Here I come, pastor, and here I am,” while we stand and while we sing.

STRENGTH FOR THE TEMPTED

Dr. W. A. Criswell

1 Corinthians 10:5-13

10-23-55

I.          All of us are tempted, in danger(1 Corinthians 10:11-12)

A.  The tree of temptation was located in the center of Eden

B.  There is not any place in life where temptation does not fiercely and continuously assail – in youth, in manhood, and in age

C. There is something temptable in all of us(James 1:13-15)

1.  Every man shall be tried of Satan(1 Peter 5:8, Genesis 3:1-5, 13:10-12, Joshua 7:20-21, 2 Samuel 11:1-4)

D. If anyone could have escaped, it was the Lord Jesus

1. But look in the Book (Matthew 4:1, Hebrews 2:18, 4:15)

II.         There are no superhuman temptations

A.  The temptations that overwhelm us are common to man

B. We are never tempted as angels were

C.  Mystery puts edge upon the sword of trial(Daniel 5:5-6)

D.  Meet it head on – like Jesus, who did not run away(Matthew 4:1, 3-10)

1.  Satisfy natural hunger by prostitution of divine power

2. Self-glory – turn religion into magic

3.  If it gets results, forget principles involved

4. Each time met with answer from God’s Word

III.        We are not in the battle alone(1 Corinthians 10:13)

A.  God is faithful

1.  To a man who will try to resist, God will help him through

2.  Some do not try to resist

B.  The man who wants to stand, to serve God, God is with him

1.  The Lord’s prayer – because we are weak and frail(Matthew 6:13)

2.  If you fall, God can life you up(Romans 3:10, 3:23, Psalm 51:7, 13, Luke 22:31-32)

3. Not left without help in the hands of Satan(Hebrews 13:5, Deuteronomy 33:25, Job 1:12, 2:6, Isaiah 27:8, Matthew 24:22)

a. The way of escape(1 Corinthians 10:13)

4. The strength to overcome comes from God