Summary: Third in this series based on The Navigators’ "Lessons on Assurance." By the way, I came to Christ through the Nav ministry in college, and these five lessons in this series were the first things I learned as a baby believer.
Cool Things We Can Count On from God’s Word
#3 – The Guarantee of Victory Over Temptation
This last week I finally decided to get my glasses fixed. They weren’t broken, but I had been bothered from the beginning about the fact that the temple pieces were too long.
When the glasses came in, they just bent the temple pieces down and back. But I felt like they made me look like a real dorkoid.
So I finally got fed up and went to the place where I got them and asked if smaller temple pieces could be ordered for them.
It turns out that nope – one size fits all, which is one of the great fallacies of Western culture.
Have you ever seen one of those “one size fits all” hats on someone with a small head? The back of that cap sticks out about 4 inches, and it just doesn’t look cool at all, right? How do you think I know that?
Anyway, the lady says that they can’t order new temple pieces. BUT, she could do something about the ones I’ve got.
So she went in back and performed some surgery on my glasses, and guess what? They turned out great.
I asked what I owed, and she said, “Nothing – satisfaction is always guaranteed.”
That made me pretty happy, as you can probably guess.
But what struck me about what she said was this: the guarantee had always existed – I just didn’t know about it.
And because I didn’t know about it, I couldn’t take advantage of it.
Sometimes people can go their whole Christian life and not know about the great guarantees in God’s Word.
And the one we’re going to talk about today is a huge one.
We’re three weeks into a series entitled, “Cool Things You Can Count On From God’s Word.”
We’ve already looked at the guarantee of heaven for those who possess Christ, and the guarantee of answered prayer as we approach the Father in Christ’s name, counting on the merits of Jesus to gain an audience with the Father.
Today we’re looking at the guarantee of victory over temptation to sin.
You know, so many Christians walk through life feeling frustrated and defeated. And the devil loves that. The devil loves seeing Christians with their heads hanging, never feeling like they can get a handle on whatever they’re doing.
But the Bible is very clear that we can live in victory over sin.
Now, there are some really great brothers and sisters in Christ who will tell you that we sin every day in thought, word, and deed. And depending on how they define the word, “sin,” they may be right.
So just to make sure that you understand what I’m going to be addressing today, I want to define sin as “deliberately disobeying a known law of God.”
You know it’s wrong and you do it anyway.
We miss the mark sometimes, and sometimes we sin unintentionally and unknowingly. That’s not what I’m talking about.
I’m talking about doing something you know is wrong or not doing something you know is right.
This is so important because, as I mentioned, there are plenty of people who feel that they can never overcome the sin in their lives.
They resonate with the words of Paul in Romans 7, where Paul says –
15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do… and…I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out…and…For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing.
Anybody here relate to that? I can.
For some people, it’s a certain sin that you can’t seem to shake. Or maybe there are a number of sins that seem to keep you captive.
Or worse yet, you hold an unhealthy allegiance to a certain baseball team from Kansas City.
But whatever the case, you want to get to the point where this stuff is a thing of the past.
Well, I’ve got some good news for you! The same Paul who wrote these words lamenting his own struggle to get past some sins also wrote this passage we’re looking at today.
And my hope is that you will walk out of here today with real assurance from God that no matter what you’re struggling with, God can work within you to overcome it.
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.