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Feb 11, 2024

Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 10:1-13

1 Corinthians 10:13 is one of the most familiar verses in this letter, and for good reason.  It contains a strength-giving promise for grace in times of trouble.  "No 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."

As an instruction, Paul cites the accounts of the Israelites in the wilderness … warning the Corinthians that they could incur God's judgment if they commit the same sins their fathers were guilty of.

The great spiritual privileges of Israel are noted in verses 1-4.  But spiritual privileges, alone, do not insure a vital relationship with God.  In verses 5-10 we have the recounting of Israel's neglect of their privileges … seen in their repeated and varied sins. 

Finally, in verses 11-13, we have a sober warning and a wondrous promise.  "Therefore, let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed, lest he fall" (1 Cor 10:12).  Paul does not differentiate between the kind of falling exemplified by Peter and the kind of falling exemplified by Judas.  One application of this warning is to unbelievers, to turn from their sins, lest they fall eternally. 

A second application of this warning is to Christians, to look to God in their many temptations and afflictions.  He promises His children the strength to endure life's trials.  In another place Paul speaks of being "afflicted in every way, but not crushed, perplexed, but not driven to despair . . . struck down, but not destroyed" (2 Cor 4:8.9).