Escape from what? Take heed and praise God that He has given us a way of escape!
[SW113] 10/27/2013 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2013
“The Way of Escape”
The scripture: 1 Corinthians 10:1-16
Corinth, the cosmopolitan city
Sin among the believers
Self-discipline (Spirit-control) so they are not disqualified in running the race (1 Corinthians 9:27)
— The Corinthians can see the Lord’s miracles, as the fathers did (verse 1)
(see Exodus 7:14 and forward, and Exodus 14:22)
— They can be baptized into Him, as the fathers were (verse 2)
(see Exodus 14:22)
— They can eat His spiritual food, as the fathers did (verse 3),
that is, the manna from heaven (see Exodus 16:4)
— They can drink His spiritual drink, as the fathers did (verse 4),
that is, the water from the Rock which is Christ (see Exodus 17:6)
AND YET not please God,
even to the point of their death (verse 5),
— They crave (lust after) evil things as some of the fathers did (verse 6),
that is, what they had in Egypt — meat, fish, veggies, appetizing food —
and spurn what the Lord provides.
— They make idols in their hearts (“I am god in my life”) or worship idols,
as the some of the fathers did (verse 7)
and as a result, eat, drink and play, as they did
(becoming their own idols, living selfishly)
and the rebellious were separated and killed.
(see Exodus 32:6, 26-28)
— They bow down to Baal, a god of fertility and sensuality (verse 8),
as some of the fathers did
for that is spiritual adultery against God
and a plague killed them (see Numbers 25).
— They try the Lord (verse 9) as some of the fathers did,
loathing “this miserable food” —
food that the Lord provided (manna and water from the rock) —
and fiery serpents destroyed them (see Numbers 21:5-6).
— They complain that God is unfair in His dealings with rebellion (verse 10), (when the earth opened up, swallowing Korah and his followers),
as some of the fathers did,
and a plague struck them (see Numbers 16:41, 49)
These are good “bad examples” for the church at Corinth,
and they are also for you and me (verses 6 and 11).
These things do not please God.
1Corinthians 10:6 Now these things happened as examples for us . . .
1Corinthians 10:11 Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
Paul loves the church at Corinth,
thought they don’t like him very much (2 Corinthians 6:11-13).
Because he loves them, he warns them:
1Corinthians 10:12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.
Some of the fathers thought they stood,
thought they were the Lord’s.
But many fell (1 Corinthians 10:5).
O Christian, O Church!
Even though we see His miracles
even though we are His,
and eat His food and drink,
we must take heed that we do not fall.
To take heed is to beware,
be careful, consider,
be on guard.
Temptation will come!
But God is faithful —
He has given us the way of escape.
1Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you [gotten hold of 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 [bear up under it].
God is faithful!
He won’t let you be tempted beyond what you can stand.
and gives you a way to escape it.
Trials and temptations are not in themselves sinful.
God will provide a way out, in life’s unavoidable temptations,
so you can stand firm under it.
What is this “way of escape?”
The Holy Spirit!
When you are filled with the Spirit,
you no longer rebel against God.
He breaks the power of sin,
so we are no longer slaves to it.
By the refining fire of the Holy Spirit,
our selfish desires are destroyed,
and our desires become the Lord’s desires.
BUT . . . some of the Corinthians were filled with the Spirit.
And so was Paul, yet he exercised Spirit control so he himself
would not be disqualified from the race for the prize
of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Did they also need to watch for temptation?
Did they also need a way of escape?
Temptations will always come.
Our hearts are God’s,
they are pure, no more mixture.
But we will be tempted.
So we do what Jesus did when He walked the earth:
We take authority over temptation (Luke 10:19),
for temptation comes from Satan, and Christ has defeated him.
We use the Word of God,
just as Christ did in the wilderness when Satan tempted him.
The Word of God drives Satan away.
And sometimes we must simply leave a situation where temptation has come.
God will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able.
but with the temptation — each individual temptation —
He gives the way out.
The Holy Spirit takes the sin nature, willful disobedience against God,
and afterwards, warns us of “surprise” temptations that come along —
the “knee jerk” responses I talked about last week.
Praise God that the blood of Christ covers us,
when we miss it, and respond to provocations.
Are you willfully disobeying God today?
Ask God to cleanse you by filling you with the Holy Spirit!
Many say it is impossible to escape willful disobedience against God. But that goes against Galatians 5:24. As Oswald Chambers says in My Utmost for His Highest:
“If you are in debate as to whether God can deliver from sin, either let Him do it, or tell Him He cannot. Do not quote this and that person. Try Matthew 11:28 — “Come unto Me.” Come, if you are weary and heavy laden; ask, if you know you are evil (Luke 11:13).”