I love reading books that give me insights into a full passage of Scripture. I don’t know about you but one of the disadvantages of memorizing one verse is that I tend to think of it as an complete entity by itself rather than connected, even explained, by the verses around it.
That’s true for me of 1 Corinthians 10:13: “No temptation has overtaken 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” (NASB).
I’m reading Holiness by Grace by Brian Chappel and one of his chapters is on temptation. So of course he picks 1 Cor. 10:13 as his verse but then he goes on to explain how the rest of the chapter connects in:
*verse 10 talks about the Israelites grumbling in the desert. I can see how grumbling sets me up for temptation by making me feel justified to give into the temptation (IE I’m not happy about my circumstances, so I think I’ll go eat a box of chocolates).
*verse 12 says “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.” Pride and thinking, “that can never happen to me” takes away my alertness to temptation lurking.
*verse 14 talks about fleeing, not just standing against the temptation
*verses 16-17 talk about communion and usually I just think we’re onto a different topic, but Brian points out how if we are grateful for Christ’s shed blood on the cross we’ll be more motivated not to give into temptation
*verse 23 says: “All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify.” Maybe that’s a guideline for deciding what actually is temptation: If it’s not profitable, maybe I should reconsider.
*verse 24 says, “Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor.” Temptation comes when I’m selfish and self-focused.
Well, I wish all this made me always willing to resist temptation but it doesn’t. But the Spirit is still working in me. And in the meantime, I’m excited about always looking before and after at a verse to find out more.