Submit Not to Temptation

Submit Not to Temptation

A wonderful blessing that we receive, when we become Christians, is the forgiveness of sins through the blood of Jesus Christ in baptism (Acts 22:16), but this does not mean that our problem with sin is over. In matter of fact, we still sin at times (1 John 1:8, 10). Thankfully, the Scriptures outlines the development of sin and how to overcome (James 1:12-15).

The first stage is temptation (James 1:14). It includes two things: desire and enticement (an opportunity to satisfy the desire). At this stage in the development of sin, actual sin has not been committed (Heb. 2:18; 4:15). Since this is where the process begins, it is the best place to overcome sin.

First, we must transform our minds (Rom. 12:1-2) by allowing the perfect will of God to change our desires (Ps. 119:11, 104; Matt. 4:3-10; Gal. 5:24). The more we study God’s Word, the less likely we will have the desire to sin, but changing our desires takes time. While engaged in the process, what else can we do?

Second, we must limit our opportunities. This can be done by asking for God’s providential help, as Jesus taught (Matt. 6:13; 26:41). Additionally, we can cooperate with God by purposely avoiding situations that might excite unrighteous desires (Ps. 101:3-4). Finally, we can cooperate with God by avoiding those whose evil behavior encourages us to sin (Ps. 101:6-7; 1 Cor. 15:33). But we will unlikely remove every desire and opportunity to sin in this life, so what else can we do?

Finally, we must exercise self-Control. Remember, it becomes sin when we submit to our desires. Certainly, it is proper to pray for spiritual strength, as Paul did for the Ephesians (Eph. 3:16, 20), but it is equally important to act upon it, trusting that we are not alone as we do God’s will (Phil. 2:12-13). Therefore. if we can control ourselves, so that we do not submit, we can overcome sin! As Christians, we have no excuse for submitting to a temptation (1 Cor. 10:13).