“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.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Paul here responded to an attitude of the pride manifested by some of the Corinthians believers who viewed the Lord’s Table and baptism in a somewhat superstitious manner. They assumed these rites gave them automatic blessings that protected them from harm, from succumbing to temptation, from falling into sin. But some of them also assumed that nothing they did was sinful. Thus they had nothing to fear from flirting with idolatry or immorality through the exercise of their glorified spiritual freedom and status. Paul reminded them that the Israelites had shared a similar attitude because of their status as the chosen people. Yet they engaged in sexual immorality and idolatry and were severely punished: they died in the wilderness without ever seeing the Promised Land. Paul let them know that this same discipline awaited them if they continued in their pride, selfishness and immorality. Rather than considering their flirtations with sin to be the mere exercise of Christian freedom, they must reject sin and resist temptation.
In the 21st Century our culture ignores and redefines sin as something normal and acceptable. Sins are not sins but merely rights and lifestyle choices. And many Christians do the same. After all, everyone else is doing it. What shouldn’t I? And if it feels so good it can’t be wrong. Paul lets us know that though temptation is common and acceptable in the world, in the Kingdom of God it is evil and destructive. Sin and temptation can be resisted. In essence we have the help and guidance of the Lord to never sin at all. There is always a way of escape that God provides. Though we have forgiveness for our sins, we should never presume that we can do what we want now and beg forgivness later.