Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Keep Up Your Guard (1 Corinthians 10:12-13)

"… let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall" (1 Cor. 10:12)

Paul warned the Corinthians to keep guard against temptations that cause even the strongest Christians to sin. He referred to the Israelites who were blessed with many manifestations of God’s grace and were given many privileges, yet still sinned and perished. Professors of religion in every age are in the same danger. They run recklessly into temptation, thinking they have the strength to withstand even the most daring seduction. But Paul inserts a warning, “Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” No matter how strong you think you are, no matter how many sins you have overcome in the past, you should not let down your guard, you should never assume that you are beyond temptation.

“False security as to our power to resist temptation rests on an overweening self-confidence in our own strength,” Hodge wrote. “None are so liable to fall as they who, thinking themselves strong, heedlessly run into temptation. This probably is the kind of false security against which the apostle warns the Corinthians, as he exhorts them immediately after to avoid temptation.”

Our only security is in the strength and grace of Jesus Christ. Our salvation from first to last is dependent, not on our strength, but on God’s. Once we begin to put our confidence in our own flesh, we are in danger of letting down our guard, of failing to lean on God, and thus of perishing as the Israelites did.

Paul assures us that the temptations that do rise against us are not uncommon to man, and that God has promised to sustain His own against the rising tide. “He has promised that those given to the Son as His inheritance, should never perish,” Hodge wrote. “They are kept, therefore by the power of God, through faith, unto salvation, 1 Peter 1:4.… The absolute security of believers, and the necessity of constant watchfulness are perfectly consistent. Those whom God has promised to save, He has promised to render watchful.” When temptation comes upon the children of God, He will make a way of escape, a way that comes through the power of Christ that is given to all who bear His name. But our duty remains, and that is to take heed, to be watchful of our own hearts and the designs of Satan as he seeks to ensnare us.

What are some practical ways that you can keep guard against temptation? Write down sins that you might even be remotely prone to, considering your circumstances, relationships, history, and personality. Make a list of things that you can do to guard against falling into these sins. Be specific.