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Triumph Over Temptation
How does a Christian resist sinful temptations? Whenever a person is saved, a great struggle begins. He still has the old nature; the sinful nature of Adam, which will try to drag him into sin all the time. But he also has the new nature, the life of God, which hates sin and wants to do what is right. The two natures fight against each other continually. The question is which will win. The answer is, “the one you feed.”
16 I say then, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.17 For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don’t do what you want.
5 For those whose lives are according to the flesh think about the things of the flesh, but those whose lives are according to the Spirit, about the things of the Spirit. 6 For the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set of the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind-set of the flesh is hostile to God because it does not submit itself to God’s law, for it is unable to do so. 8 Those whose lives are in the flesh are unable to please God.
The old nature is incurably bad. It cannot be improved, and it will not be removed until the Christian goes home to heaven. God condemned it when Christ died on the Cross, and He wants Christians to treat it as if it were dead. Don’t encourage it! Don’t feed it! Don’t give it a chance!
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no plans to satisfy the fleshly desires.
The new nature inspires the Christian to behave well and to be good. It should be encouraged and fed. This, then, is how the Christian resists temptation—by saying “No” to the world, the flesh and the devil. At the same time he must nourish the new life that is within. Here is a practical suggestion as to how this may be done:
Read the Bible–study, memorize, meditate and obey God’s Word.
9 How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping Your word.
10 I have sought You with all my heart;
don’t let me wander from Your commands.
11 I have treasured Your word in my heart
so that I may not sin against You.
The Word of God helps to keep us from sinning. Be sure, therefore, that you set aside a definite time each day for the reading of God’s Word.
Let the message about the Messiah dwell richly among you, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, and singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, with gratitude in your hearts to God.