Though this passage is often quoted and applied out of context (“God won’t give you any more than you can handle”), it seems that this passage includes something that most overlook, the escape clause. That’s right. Temptations have an escape clause, if you are willing to look for it.
As Christians we have the option to avoid temptation. I say its an option, because we don’t have to sin. We have been saved from sin. We are not subject to sin. And when we do sin, it is a great victory for Satan. Consider that as a Christian, you are saved from sin and its eternal consequences. Your heart is cleansed, but our flesh is still very much with us. Our old habits are still instilled in our brains. It will take time to unlearn them. But God is gracious, and familiar with our frailties. Don’t let that become your excuse. “I’m only human.”
So what is our greatest temptation? It’s our “get out of jail free” card. We may now sin, and not die for eternity in Hell. As Christians, Jesus died for our sins, past, present, and future. Sins we have yet to commit have already been forgiven. Paul saw this early, saying in Romans 6 that some Christians will say, “let us continue to sin so that grace may abound.” His reminder? Since we have become Christians, we are dead to sin, because we have been crucified, and buried, with Christ. Our greatest temptation is that we can now sin and not have consequences. That is a lie, because sin always has consequences. While we may not suffer eternal consequences, there are temporal we cannot avoid. You will be jailed for murder. Your family will suffer if you watch porn. If you are still selfish, you will find yourself violating commandments to “love one another.” And the ultimate danger of all of this is that you will lose your salvation. The longer you stay away from the grace of the Lord Jesus, the harder it will be to come back. And God will not force you to go into heaven.
My prayer for you and for myself this morning is that we will not give in to this greatest temptation, and that we will find our way of escape through His grace.