Every day I am tempted to sin. Sadly, there are times when I give in to the temptation to sin. After all there are many ways to sin and sin can come in the thoughts we indulge in, things we do and things we say. There are times when I am tempted to rank sin and so deceive myself into thinking that a particular sin is so common place it doesn’t really matter. God does not indulge in such muddled thinking.
One of the forms of self deception is to consider temptation to sin as a test or trial from God, sent by him to help us grow in our ability to combat temptation. James very firmly refutes that. ‘When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.”’ James 1:13 So let us be clear what is meant by sin. ‘Now the works of the flesh (Sin) are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these.’ Galatians 5:19-20 Jesus made clear that sin does not just include our actions it also includes pursuing our sinful thoughts. Mathew 2:28
The bible as a whole, as well as Jesus, asserts sin comes from within not without. We can be just like a child when caught by their parent or teacher and blame others or circumstances for making us sin. In Jesus’ words, ‘For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person.’ Mathew 15:19-20 It is important to face up to our natural inclinations to sin.
Sin is serious. It is because of God’s desire to save us from our sin that Jesus died. When James says, ‘sin, when it is full grown, gives birth to death’ he is not only referring to Adam and Eve. He is referring to permanent separation from God. Jesus taught us to pray each day, ‘lead us not into temptation,’ Luke 11:4 he knew the serious implications of succumbing to temptation.
Have we asked the Holy Spirit to make clear to us how we are tempted and what we are tempted to do?
Do we think in some way we are immune to temptation?
Do we avoid the seriousness of sin?
Do we choose to ignore what our sin cost Jesus?
More than conquerors – Rend Collective