Sin, For Christians, Is A Choice

Friends,
Let’s not forget that, though we are told in Scripture that we are “set free from sin” (Rom. 6:18), we are NOT free from temptation. Even Jesus was tempted. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are –yet was without sin.” (Heb. 4:15) “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” (1 Cor. 10:12) “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith…” (1 Peter 5:8,9) “But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but YOU must master it.” (Gen. 4:7) See? WE must take control –control of ourselves– and we (true Christians) DO have His power in us that can rise to that challenge! ! !

“This is the victory that has overcome the world [or the flesh or the devil], even our faith.” (1 John 5:4) Faith in what? Faith in Jesus being the Son of God, (God becoming human –John 1:1,14), and in His work for us on the cross –setting us free from the penalty of sin (Rom. 6:23) as well as setting us free from sin being our master! (v.14) It is NEVER our master again –unless we GIVE it back the reins. (v. 6,16-22)

And how did Jesus overcome temptation? By quoting the Word of God. “Jesus answered, ‘It is written [in Deut 8:3]: ‘Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.'” (Matt. 4:4) Yes, even the devil quotes Scripture. So do false teachers. That’s why we need to know it well enough to “correctly handle / divide the word of truth.” (2 Tim. 2:15)

Another way we overcome temptation is by fleeing (1 Tim. 6:11), or by rebuking the source immediately. Matt. 16:23 tells us that “Jesus turned and said to Peter, ‘Out of My sight, Satan! [Or] Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.'”

Rev. 12:11 informs us further: “They overcome him [satan] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.” We can apply that verse by speaking aloud God’s Word and thanking Him for His blood shed that washes our sins away. The evil ones hate to hear such things, so they flee. After that, we have no one to blame for any sin-indulgence, but ourselves. However, we don’t need to indulge, because “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 of escape so that you can stand up under it.” (1 Cor. 10:13)

The rest of Rev. 12:11 says, “…they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” Is that also a way to overcome temptations… temptations to doubt God, or to fall for deception, or to deliberately sin? Yes. Because if we value being righteous before God, pleasing to Him, and committed to obedience to Him, MORE than we value our lives (or our desires), then we are invulnerable to attacks from Satan, the world, or anyone. We know we stand pure before God. Thus all the insults, accusations, and fiery darts from them do not faze us. We say with Paul, “I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me…” (Gal. 2:20), and “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (6:14) Self is dead. And by being dead –yet also alive and hidden in Christ– nothing can harm us. It’s a really good place to be. As well as the place of victory. We can live there… –if we so choose.

So let’s not give in to temptation. We do have the CHOICE.

Love,
Rachel

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~ by smilesback on September 3, 2009.

 
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