Temptation and Deliverance from Evil

God preserves His people from the ultimate consequence of sins committed against Him. Jesus Christ died on the cross, shedding His blood for the forgiveness of all the sins of His people (Mt 1:21; Eph 1:7). Christians, at regeneration, receive the Holy Spirit. A new life, with a new nature, now operates in the converted saint. This does not remove believers from temptation to sin. The born again do succumb to temptation, sinning, sometimes in the most heinous ways.

If grace reigns in the beloved of God, is God responsible for the sins of His chosen ones? It would be blasphemous to ever attribute sins to God, for He is holy and righteous. Believers, just as unbelievers, are fully responsible for their own sins. So what is the relationship between God’s grace and sinning Christians?

First, it is the work of the flesh to sin. Christians retain their body of sin, following conversion. This is now in conflict with the new nature given to them. It is the flesh at war with the Spirit. This is captured by the Apostle Paul in Romans 7.

The apostle John warns fellow believers against love for the world, lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, and pride (1 Jn 2:15–17). This is an argument against the false doctrine of Christian perfection. Christians are tempted, and Christians do sin (1 Jn 1:9).

Grace, which is God’s beneficial working for the salvation of His elect, prevails against every sin of every believer. God maintains His righteousness, and this is illumined for His people to see.

God permits His children to experience temptation and sin, with consequences. The consequence is no longer judgment, with the sentence of eternal death, rather, there is a fresh view to the Savior, Jesus Christ, as the Holy Spirit convicts the child of transgressions. The beauty of Christ is contrasted with the ugliness of sin. The Christian hates his sin, grieves over it, and repents of it. He has offended the One who loved him and gave Himself for him (Eph 5:25).

The adopted child is reminded of the dangers of sin, as disaster is narrowly avoided. Sin, Satan, and the world may appear to have won the day, as they overtake and overwhelm the saint, but the grace of God comes to clean up the mess. Words of comfort are accompanied with lessons to be learned about being lazy about sin.

Peter’s slumber in the Garden of Gethsemane, along with his arrogant boast, about his dying allegiance to Jesus was meted out, by his denial of Christ that very night.

Gethsemane is about watching and praying amidst temptation. The devil loves to visit in our times of being alone, and when we are weak because of the flesh. The war with temptation is being alert, sober, prayerful, and with God’s Word before our eyes and in our hearts. This is why Christians must see their spiritual disciplines, as a fruit of God’s grace.

God’s grace, in preserving His royal priests, can never be overcome by the works of sinful flesh of men. God is all-wise and all-powerful, to accomplish His holy will in the lives of His own (Ps 138:8; Eph 1:11). He ever leads them through the forays of sin, and by His grace, continues to work Christ in them. They are being conformed to Christ’s image (Rom 8:29), and Christ cannot fail to manifest in them. He has begun His good work within them, and He will perfect it unto glory (Phil 1:6).

God’s people, throughout the Scripture witness, are guilty of every type of sin. David shows us by example that a man after God’s own heart can be subject to temptation and terrible sins. Being fully responsible for his adultery, murder, and lying, David was positioned in God’s providence to express some of the deepest laments known to the human heart.

Christian, your fight against temptation may leave you in the dust some days. God will not leave you nor forsake you, as a consequence of your innumerable sins (Heb 13:5). His grace is sufficient for you, to grow into the man or woman of God He has intended for you to become (2 Cor 12:9).

Be diligent in your spiritual warfare (Eph 6:10–20), knowing your adversary wishes to harm you in the most awful ways (1 Pet 5:8). He is working to destroy your marriage, your children, and your relationship with others. Watch with the Sword of the Spirit firmly in your grasp. Fight the good fight of faith and stay near the cross. Pray in the Spirit, without ceasing, “lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.”

David Norczyk

Spokane Valley, Washington

August 25, 2022

Some random theologian out West somewhere, Christian writer, preacher

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David Norczyk

Some random theologian out West somewhere, Christian writer, preacher