Summary: Many new Christians think getting saved will make all lust for sin to go away; some new Christians will suffer more severe temptation than ever.
WHAT CAN I DO WHEN I AM TEMPTED TO DO WHAT I DON’T WANT TO DO? (I Corinthians 10:13)
A. Many new Christians think that getting saved will make all lust for sin to go away. Actually, some new Christians will suffer more severe temptation than ever.
B. On the other hand, God takes away from some all desire for vile sin at the moment of salvation. They never have to face it again. I’ve seen God take away alcoholism, addiction to smoking or cursing, at the moment of salvation. On the other hand I’ve seen some face continued temptation to these sins.
C. The Lord’s Prayer - "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil" (Matthew 6:13). First, since Jesus instructed us to make this prayer, He certainly expects us to be delivered. Second, since God warned us that temptation would come, He doesn’t automatically take it away.
D. The Bible promises a crown to those who are victorious over temptation. "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him" (James 1:12).
II. HOW TO OVERCOME TEMPTATION.
1. Every Christian no matter how spiritual or how carnal: no matter how long they’ve been saved or short they’ve been saved; will be tempted. "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man" (I Corinthians 10:13).
2. Temptation falls into two categories. First, the desire to do wrong things. Second, the temptation not to do right things. "Therefore, to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin" (James 4:17). The first temptation involves wanting to get drunk, commit adultery, or steal. The second temptation involves staying home from church, not tithing, or not winning souls.
3. Every time you sin it hurts. It’s just like having a brand new car. Every accident hurts the car and decreases its value. So every sin hurts the Christians.
B. God promises that temptation will not be greater than the Christian can handle. "Who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able" (I Cor. 10:13).
1. Many Christians think they’ve got to give up when they face a problem. The perfect Christian life is not one without problems. "Yet man is born into trouble and the sparks fly upward" (Job 5:7). The perfect Christian life is one that overcomes problems.
2. God has promised that no temptation will be greater than our resistance to bear it. "God is faithful who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able, but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it" (I Corinthians 10:13).
C. CHRISTIANS SHOULD QUOTE THE BIBLE WHEN TEMPTED.
2. When Jesus was tempted He always quoted the Scriptures. Jesus was tempted to make rocks into bread, to throw Himself off of the pinnacle of the temple, and to fall down and worship Satan. Jesus answered, "It is written . . ." (Matthew 4:4).
3. The Bible is a sword that will protect us in temptation. "For the word of God is quick and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword" (Hebrews 4:12).
4. The Bible is not magical. Just because we rub it like some people rub a rabbit’s foot, does not mean we will get victory. Victory comes in the following manner:
a. We must constantly study the content of the Bible to be knowledgeable and have insight into how sin get to us.
b. When lust catches us in a moment of weakness, the influence of the Word of God will give us strength and put our thoughts back on God.
c. Constant study of the Bible will keep us clean. "That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word" (Ephesians 5:26).
d. The Bible cleanses us and revives us. "The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether" (Psalms 19:9).
D. CHRISTIANS SHOULD STRUGGLE AGAINST SIN.
1. Some Christians get into sin, simply because they are tempted. We do not give in to every salesman that asks us to buy his product. We do not give in to every commercial on television simply because it is aired. Neither should we give in to every sin simply because it comes across our path.
2. We have two natures within our heart that war against each other. "That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness" (Ephesians 4:22-24).