Back in 1981 in Connecticut, a trial took place that involved a man named Arne Johnson, who was charged with the killing of his landlord. The case, which later ended up being depicted in a movie, resulted in the conviction of first-degree manslaughter. What made this trial so unique was the argument used by the defense as to why Mr. Johnson committed the crime. Their claim was that he was controlled by a demon at the time of the murder and thus could not be held liable for the murder. As a result, this case has also come to be known as “the devil made me do it” case.
Whether or not Mr. Johnson truly was demon-possessed at the time of his crime is certainly up for debate, and certainly not relevant for any of us today. However, this idea of whether or not someone, specifically a true believer, can blame anyone or anything else for their sin is something that we touch on today in our reading. 1 Corinthians 10:13 reads, ” 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.”
In this verse we see several truths. First of all, any temptation that we face is “common to man.” Yes, the situation may be unique but the core of the temptation is something that men and women have faced going back to the book of Genesis. We next read that “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.” There will never be a temptation that we face in which we can honestly say that we had to commit the sin. Any argument to that affect is essentially calling God a liar. This verse teaches that God will not allow us to be tempted more than we are able to resist, through His strength, but that specifically there will be a way of escape from the temptation. That way of escape may be to bite our tongue, figuratively and maybe even literally. It might be to close our eyes, get up and leave the room or to start meditating on Scripture. Whatever the temptation or situation, God promises there is an escape from that temptation. So the next time you are tempted to sin, remember this promise that there is a way of escape; and we don’t have to yield to temptation!