Overcoming Temptations and Sin
lust, pornography, anger, lying, lack of self control and ____.
"Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion
of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the
whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment,
including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil"
According to these verses (and many similar ones),
our whole duty is to fear God and keep His commandments. And God
will bring every hidden deed we do into judgment.
Some people are apathetic about being judged by God--they don't seem to care perhaps because they think they are good enough. This article is not written for them.
This article is written for the many people who feel a sense of fear or dread at the thought of entering into God's judgment. Oftentimes, that dread exists because deep within themselves they question their devotion to God. They doubt their loyalty to Him and then doubt His love for them. Usually, sin is at the root of their doubts. Sin--sometimes hidden, sometimes not--is the curse that Jesus came to deliver us from. He came to save us FROM our sins not IN our sins. If you CARE about the sin in your life and if you want to stop hurting Jesus with your sins, then this article is written to you.
There is GOOD NEWS! You don't have to remain in bondage as a slave to sin. You can overcome. A Christian has real power from God to stop lust, addictions to pornography, alcohol, drugs, etc. A Christian can resist temptations to lie, to overeat, to complain. As Jesus said, "For those who believe, all things are possible" (Mark 9:23).
It comes down to this: Do you believe God? I mean, really believe Him. Many will make excuses for their sin. "We're only human." "We are weak." And God says, "My power is made perfect in your weakness" (2 Cor 12:9).
Do you want to have confidence on the day of judgment? God wants that too! "Love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like Him" (1 John 4:17). If we follow the example that Jesus set for us we will have confidence on the day of judgment! But notice something very important. "Confidence" for the day of judgment comes as a by-product of loving God and obeying Him. A Christian recognizes by faith what God has done. A Christian sees God's amazing and undeserved love and then wants to respond. The follower of Jesus wants to dedicate his life to his Lord; he wants to learn to love Him more and more. Obedience follows love. Confidence results from faith, love, and obedience working together. The Christian's focus is on believing God and loving Him instead of on self-focused thoughts like, "I sure hope I'll go to heaven."
"No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God" (1 John 3:9).
The key word in the above verse is "because." Christians can overcome sin BECAUSE they have been born of God. They have been reborn and are now children of God--sons of light instead of darkness! This is real. It is practical. It is NOT merely imaginary theology. There is a very real re-birth available to all who will follow the Son of God.
Maybe you feel like you have "tried everything." First, I would ask: has there been a genuine rebirth in your life? Have you really become a brand new creation by God's undeserved favor through reliance upon Him? "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" (2 Cor. 5:17). This is for anyone, not merely a select few, who will call on the name of the Lord in sincerity and truth.
If you really believe you have "tried everything," I would also ask: Are you coming to Jesus on His terms? Here's what Jesus said to those who wanted to follow Him:
Victory over sin comes by faith--by believing God. Do you really believe that He is able to work mightily in you? Do you really love God? If so, your job, your cell phone, or anything else won't stand in the way of obeying Him. If you truly recognize what He has done for your, then from the bottom of your heart you will be say, "Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Is there anything I can do for you right now? Can I sacrifice anything for you today?" It can seem hard, no doubt. But worth it? Absolutely!!! What would you give to have confidence on the day of judgment? What would you give for a clean conscience?
This short article has actually only allowed me to scratch the surface. God's love is amazing! God's power for Christians is incredible! Before I conclude I wanted to mention one other aspect of overcoming sin that is often overlooked.
"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective" (James 5:16). "Encourage one another daily, as long as it is called today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness" (Hebrews 3:13).
There is supposed to be a daily interaction among believers. Christians are supposed to be encouraging each other every day! Building each other up daily and praying for each other daily accomplishes amazing things. If you are content to "go to church" a time or two per week and if you are content without daily Christian relationships then you will be greatly weakened in your fight against sin's deceitfulness. If you don't have trusted friends to confess sins and pray with, your ability to continue believing God and walking His path will be greatly diminished. He wants so much more for you. He gave His Son so that He could have real friendship with you.
Will you consider these things afresh?
"No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. 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 stand up under it" (1 Cor 10:13).
"To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy" (Jude 24).
"And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in EVERY way: bearing fruit in EVERY good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience..." (Colossians 1:10-11).
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