1 Cor 10:12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall! NIV
One of the biggest problems in the church at Corinth was the lack of understanding how to properly apply God’s grace. All throughout the book of First Corinthians, Paul had to correct them for abusing their freedom in Christ. When they tried to convince him that they had “knowledge,” about spiritual matters, he replied, “We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. 2 The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know.” (1 Cor 8:1-2)
What he meant by that is that knowledge, if not tempered by love, can lead to improper application of scripture. In turn, that can harm people rather than help. Paul will give many examples of this in this letter, including the above warning.
Just before this warning, he explains that during the exodus, even though all the Hebrews had access to God’s supernatural provision and all could see His miraculous powers employed on their behalf, their disobedience had brought judgment upon them. Paul informs the Corinthians that they should be paying attention to that example. 1 Cor 10:6 Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did.
What he is conveying to them, is that the children of Abraham had taken God’s grace for granted and that they, the believers in Corinth, were doing the same thing. It seems that the Corinthians felt that they could continue in certain sins and that God would not hold them accountable. Furthermore, they often did not consider others in their “liberty” in Christ,” and caused others to stumble. There was a prideful attitude present.
So Paul warns them to not make the same mistakes that the Hebrew children did. Instead of taking advantage of God’s grace, they should be looking for ways to stay out of sin. He states t that it is possible to avoid sinning because God provides a way of escape from temptation! (v.13)
The application for us today is pretty obvious. We can often think that we are standing firm in our relationship to the Lord because God’s grace covers all our sin. That is true, but if we are willing to take that grace lightly and sin with impunity, it calls into question whether we truly have committed our life to Him or not. When we have surrendered our heart to Jesus, our desire is to do what is pleasing to Him.
When we are tempted to sin, we should be looking for and then using that way of escape, rather than thinking we can participate in it and then rely on God’s forgiveness. We should not think our standing is Christ is so firm, that we cannot ever fall. All of us will continue to face the opportunity to sin and thus an opening to give in to its lure. It is a daily choice we must make.
I pray that each day we live, we would choose to put on the full armor of God (Eph 6), so that we may stand against the enemy and our own flesh. I pray that we would choose obedience to God and His word by the power of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5). I pray that we would always remember Paul’s exhortation to be careful about sin and not arrogant. And when we are victorious over temptation, lets be careful to give glory to whom it belongs, Jesus Christ, our faithful Lord and Savior!
God bless you
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