Hope

Faith Church July 18, 2009 1 Corinthians 10:13

 

Introduction:

1.  One of the things that irritates people a lot is when somebody makes a promise, and then doesn’t keep it – that could be in regard …

- to one’s marriage vows (review them occasionally)

- to pay you back for something they broke or damaged

- to give you something that you desperately needed . . . .  

Point: You want people to do what they say they will do!

2.  But the problem with ‘promise keeping’ is Genesis 3 – the curse of sin

- Adam’s sin affected his ability to think and reason, therefore, our minds (and/or hearts – the inner man) does not always function the way the Creator intended it to function

- that’s why people promise they will do something but then DON’T!

Q: Have you have had somebody promise you something and then didn’t follow through?

[various examples – don’t give names or be overly specific w/details]

Q: How did you respond? (you thanked God for them and ask the Lord to bless them . . . right?? – I doubt it)

– you probably got upset with the person, and maybe even confronted them about the situation [which would have been the right thing to do if you really loved that person]

Note: I hope you are the kind of person that when you say make a promise, you KEEP it!

3.  We would all agree: There is one person Who has never broken a promise!

Answer: God – and that’s true because God is holy (being completely separate from sin)

  • 1 Peter 1:16 because it is written, "YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY."

- Peter is actually quoting a verse in the OT:

  • Leviticus 11:44 'For I am the LORD your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy. And you shall not make yourselves unclean with any of the swarming things that swarm on the earth.
  • Leviticus 11:45 'For I am the LORD who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God; thus you shall be holy, for I am holy.'"

- in fact, because of His holiness, He doesn’t even have the ability to break a promise!

- if He did, He would no longer be HOLY (completely separate from sin!)

Input: What are some of the promises that God has made? [discuss various ones]

4.  Our focus today is on 1 Corinthians 10:13 – probably a very familiar verse to many of you – but one that gives us HOPE in any situation!

READ 10:1-13

5.  Keep in mind The context of 1 Corinthians 10:13:

1.  Paul had just written chapters 8 & 9 on the subject of Christian liberty. – i.e. although Christians are free to do whatever Scripture does not forbid as being morally wrong, if we love as God and others the way He wants us to [which are the 1st and 2nd greatest commandments], we will limit our liberty for the sake of weaker believers and ultimately for the glory of God!

2.  Paul was reminding the church at Corinth of Israel’s lack of restraint in their loyalty to God and in their faith that He could truly help them do the right thing in any situation!

“When a Christian becomes so confident of his strength that he thinks he can handle any situation, he is overconfident and in great danger of falling. The warning is summarized in verse 12: “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” The danger is not of failing from salvation but of falling from holiness and from usefulness in service. It is a serious danger and one the Lord does not take lightly.”[1]

- let’s focus on the HOPE we can have as result of this verse:

I.  Hope: All Situations Are Common to Man

A. “Temptation” – the basic meaning of temptation is to test or prove

- this Greek word can refer to either:

1.  A temptation to sin (to consciously choose to disobey God’s Word)

- it can refer to the way the devil (or our flesh) uses it to entice us to sin

- Example: Jesus tempted in the wilderness – the temptation was to make a sinful choice

  • Matthew 4:1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. [explain how Satan wanted Jesus to bow down and worship him!]

- Ex’s for us to be tempted: To get sinfully angry when somebody pulls out in front of you

IMPORTANT POINT:  Sin is a choice (an act of the will) you don’t HAVE to sin, you CHOOSE to sin!

- this word can also refer to …

2.  A trial of your faith (to test or to prove the genuineness of your faith)

- this idea is more specifically explained in James 1:

  • James 1:2. Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3. Knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.  4. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

[Example of a trial:  Going through a job loss or an illness, death of a loved one, etc.]

- those kind of trials or temptations are designed to purify us

> to conform us more to the image of Christ (to GROW to THINK like Christ and then ACT like Christ for glory of God!

Point:  No matter what kind of ‘temptation’ you may be facing, the promise is this: It is . . .

B.  “Common to man”: Your situation is NOT unique!

- your specific circumstances may differ, but the basic nature of temptation does not!

1. Other believers have faced your sinful temptations.

Example: we’re not talking about David have problems with internet pornography

- but he did have problems with adultery and committed an act of sin w/Bathsheba

* IMPORTANT POINT: God does not tempt us to sin!

  • James 1:13 Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.

- in His sovereignty, He allows us to be tempted (but Satan is on a rope and can only go as far as a sovereign God allows Him)

- but He is not ‘tempting’ us (trying to get us to sin), He only allows it to reveal the true nature of our hearts and our love for Him (or lack of love) in the way we obey!

2. One Perfect Man has faced it all!

- remember what the author of Hebrews wrote about Jesus:

  •  Hebrews 4:15 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.

Point: No matter what situation you are facing – a sinful choice or broader sense of ‘testing’ your faith and trust in God in a particular situation if ANY kind – IT’S NOT UNIQUE!!

- don’t think, “I’m the only one facing this kind of situation” – “Nobody understands what I’m going thru!” because others have faced it & chose to bring glory to God and have grown as a result of it!

II.  Hope: God is Faithful [THIS IS THE BIG FOCUS OF THE PROMISE!]

- what Paul is saying is that God is right there with us to keep us from being overwhelmed by whatever temptation we may be facing

- you can depend on Him – God’s Word emphasizes His faithfulness:

Q: How many times does the Word have to say something for it to be true?

- He only has to say something ONCE for it to be true – but I think God repeats things for our benefit because sometimes we just don’t get it the 1st time!

- So He emphasizes His faithfulness all throughout the scriptures!

‘faithful’ = to be trusted, reliable

- the concept of faithfulness is said of:

A.  The faithfulness of God

  • Deuteronomy 7:9 "Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments;
  • 1 Corinthians 1:9 God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
  • 1 Peter 4:19 Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.

Input: How has God shown His faithfulness to you? [share examples]

B.  The faithfulness of Christ

  • Hebrews 2:17 Therefore, He [referring to Christ] had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
  • Revelation 1:5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood.

- Jesus is the perfect model of ‘faithfulness’ – He lived that attribute of the Godhead!

C.  The faithfulness of God’s Word

- Paul gave Titus instruction regarding his relationship to the Word of God:

  • Titus 1:9 holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.

- God spoke to John and told him to write:

  • Revelation 21:5 And He who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." And He said, "Write, for these words are faithful and true."

Point: Nobody can point their finger at God or His Word and say, “God isn’t faithful”

- He’s demonstrated that faithfulness in a number of ways

MAJOR: Some of that faithfulness (& promises) will be demonstrated in the future (maybe today!)

- but the issue in the text is this: HOW is God demonstrating His faithfulness?

- the answer is in the next phrase:

- God’s faithfulness is demonstrated in that whatever situation you are facing, there is hope because…

III.  Hope: It’s Not More Than You Can Handle

  • 1 Corinthians 10:13 . . . 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.

- this is God’s response to how Jesus told us to pray in Matthew 6:13 “…lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”

- you might THINK it’s more than you can handle . . . and it may SEEM LIKE it’s more than you can handle . . .and others may tell you that it’s more than you can handle . . . or you may even FEEL like it’s more than you can handle

- but God PROMISED you will not be tempted beyond what you are able

‘able’ = (Greek word, dunamos – pronounced “dun” “ah” “moss”) meaning power or ability

e.g. God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we could ask or think = He has the power, He can do it

  • Jude 1:24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

- in this verse (1 Cor. 10:13), we are able to handle whatever situation we are facing because we have the help of a FAITHFUL God!

- we can say no to sin, and we can handle a trial in a way that pleases Him – THAT’s HOPE!!

- not only will His faithfulness not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able, but there is more HOPE in the fact that . . . .

IV.  Hope:  There Is a Way of Escape

- an important part of this process is the following phrase

A. He will with the temptation” . . .

- not apart from it – we want the temptation to ‘go away’

God does admonish us to ‘make no provision for the flesh in regard to it’s lust’ – Romans 13:14 – we need to AVOID (sometimes run) from temptation – that’s wise!

POINT: When God in His sovereignty allows us to face the temptation (sin or a trial) then…

B.  He will provide a way of escape

Escape = a way to properly handle the situation

“The imagery is that of an army trapped in the mountains, which escapes from an impossible situation through a pass. The assurance of this verse is a permanent comfort and source of strength to believers. Our trust is in the faithfulness of God.” – Tydale, New Testament Commentaries

Input: What are some possible ‘ways of escape’ to handle various trials/temptations?

- Joseph in Genesis – RAN from Pharoah’s wife

- PRAY as Jesus did in the wilderness

- Go to the Word of God and OBEY it – Jesus quoted Scripture to Satan

- ASK FOR HELP – there is wisdom in a multitude of counselor

[OTHER EXAMPLES]

Point: We have hope because there is always a way of escape – a way to handle the problem and bring glory to God . . . Who is FAITHFUL to provide that way of escape

- but we still have to choose to take that ‘way of escape’

- and finally, our faithful God even gives us the reason WHY He will ‘not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able’ and He will ‘with the temptation provide a ways of escape . . . .’

V.  Hope: There Is a Purpose – to ‘endure’

“endure” = a military term, literally, the idea of standing your ground when everyone else has fled the battle

- in short, to not quit, to not give up, or run from the battle

- that is exactly what Satan wants us to do – to quit fighting the good fight of faith

- he wants us to ‘give up’ – which is a REFLECTION/TESTIMONY of what we think of God

- God always has a purpose & plan for His sovereign choices

* Ultimately, the goal is to glorify God and confirm us to the image of Christ!

Conclusion:

1.  How are you doing in responding to 1 Cor. 10:13 and this promise?

2.  Do you see how God wants to use these situations to bring glory to Himself by the way you RESPOND?

Faith Church