1 Corinthians 10:13
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
Explanation and Commentary on 1 Corinthians 10:13
This verse means that the strength of the temptations we face will be proportionate to the strength God gives us to resist them.
Many people misinterpret this verse to mean that God will not let bad things happen in life that you cannot handle. Such an interpretation contradicts Paul’s later writings where he said he experienced hardship in Asia where he was under great pressure, far beyond his ability to endure it, so he despaired of life itself (2 Corinthians 1:8-9). God allowed Paul, and allows us, to experience difficulties that are too much for us to bear so we lean on God for strength, and do not rely on ourselves (2 Corinthians 1:10).
In contrast to the extreme deadly peril experienced by Paul in Asia, Paul in this verse refers specifically to carnal temptations. Carnal temptations are not new or unusual, but are “common to mankind” and faced in our daily lives. Paul was encouraging the Corinth church to anchor themselves to God for the spiritual strength to resist falling into sin. To anchor themselves to God, they must only worship the one true God (1 Corinthians 10:14).
Breaking Down the Key Parts of 1 Corinthians 10:13
1: “No temptation has overtaken you…”
There is no temptation, trial or burden you have faced that would lead you to abandon your faith and commit sin.
2: “…except what is common to mankind.”
Except for the temptations of sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 10:8) and complaining (1 Corinthians 10:10). The temptations we face are the same faced by other people all over the world and are not unique (1 Peter 5:8-9).
3: “And God is faithful…”
While Satan and many humans are deceitful, God will be by our side regardless of the trouble we have. God does not lie (Numbers 23:18-19) and he keeps all His promises (Deuteronomy 7:9-10).
4: “…he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.”
God knows what capacity each one of us has to deal with temptation, and protects us from temptations that are too much for us to handle.
5: “But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
God gives us the strength to bear and not succumb to our sinful urges. If we fail and fall into sin, He will allow us to repent and restore our relationship with Him. However, those that practice idolatry should not presume they will receive the safety or salvation of God (1 Corinthians 10:14).