Find the Way of Escape
Paul reproved, rebuked, and exhorted the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 6:11-7:1 for falling into sin. By conforming to the world’s standards, they were prevented from avoiding sin and pursuing holiness. They even risked losing their fear of the Lord.
First the reprove/rebuke:
“O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged. Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own bowels. Now for a recompence in the same, (I speak as unto my children,) be ye also enlarged.”
They had become carnal and were conformed to the world. They were fellowshipping with those who knew not salvation and watered down the apostle’s doctrine. The snares of their culture shaped their church, their understanding, and their ways.
Then the correction; to stop and repent:
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? . . . Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing;
The Exhortation: . . . and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”
Jesus also exhorts us, who are believers, to continue and stand firm in the apostles’ teaching and that alone, “Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast” (Rev. 3:3).
Our standard for faith and practice is found solely in the Bible: not in a denomination, not in the early church fathers, not a popular preacher, nor a historic statement of faith. Rather, our authority was written 2,000 years ago and it is the pastors’ and deacons’ responsibility to adhere to it. The believers are also wise to compare what they hear with scripture (Acts 17:11) and act accordingly.
The church has no authority to change or modify any New Testament teaching in order to make it fit today’s culture. Jesus says a great deal about this in Revelations 2 and 3. We’d be wise to heed His words and prepare ourselves for the rest of what is coming, lest we fall leaning on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Today’s world is so sophisticated we sometimes fail to see the snares around us and those already entrapping us.
I pray we have eyes to see and the wisdom to avoid temptations leading to sin, we must consider the source, mark it, and consciously decide not to let it overtake us. Sometimes that means staying away from the influence altogether. Jesus promised that we can overcome the temptations of this world and we have a holy and solemn responsibility to do so.
So, find the way of escape. He has made a way. His promise is always with us if we search it out like treasures of gold and precious silver.
This is the promise:
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13
This is something I am personally working on. As I find verses pertaining specifically to this, I will add them below in hopes that others may be encouraged as well!
a) “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof” (Rom. 13:11-14).