How to Resist Sin and Temptation
God wants all Christians to be victorious over sin. We are tempted because our desire is in the wrong place. When we succumb to sin, we become its slave. Like fish going after a shiny lure, if we take the bait, death ensues.
James 1:13-15 – “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God, for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempts He any man. But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it brings forth sin, and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death.”
How to Resist Sin and Temptation
- Submit to God. James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves, then, to God.” Turn what you are struggling with over to God and He will give you the power to overcome. 2 Peter 1:3 – “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness.”
Romans 8:37 – “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”
- Resist fleshly urges. If we resist the urges of our flesh, God promises we will have victory. Ephesians 6:12 tells us it’s a spiritual battle, and if we fight it spiritually, we will overcome. James 4:7 – “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
- Flee temptation. According to 1 Corinthians 10:13, sometimes the only way to resist temptation is to run from it. When Joseph was tempted by Potiphar’s wife, he knew if he stayed he would give in to her advances. Genesis 39:12 – “She caught him by his garment, saying, ‘Lie with me!’ He left his garment in her hand and fled.”
- Consider yourself dead to sin. Romans 6:1-8 tells us we are dead to sin. We died, were buried, and rose again to walk a new life in Christ. Picture yourself and the temptation you face nailed to the cross with Jesus. Galatians 5:24 says we must “crucify our flesh daily.” Romans 6:11 – “Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
- Present your body as a weapon of righteousness. You must not only consider yourself dead to sin, but also alive to God. We are to present the members of our body as weapons of righteousness to God. Romans 6:12-13 – “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.”
- Use the Word. Jesus used the Word when faced with temptation in Matthew 4:1-11, and so should we. Contrary to what is normally taught, prayer should be the last thing we do when tempted. We must ask God for grace and mercy daily to keep us from falling into temptation. When confronted with temptation, we must use our sword like Jesus did.
“For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
- Lean on the power of the Holy Spirit. Our flesh is weak – we can never overcome sin through our flesh. We must lean completely on the power of the Holy Spirit. 2 Peter 1:3-4 – “As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
Also read Romans 8:37, 1 John 4:4, 1 John 5:4-5, and Revelation 12:11.