By Jacqui Jacoby
Have you ever heard someone say, “That’s just not my temptation.”?
I used to say that all the time. Drinking wasn’t my temptation, sexual sin wasn’t a temptation for me, etc. I thought I was a good person who could avoid those sins.
But we are all vulnerable to all sin. No one is “immune” to sin. Not the girls who have been a believer since age 2, not the pastor of your church, no one.
Apart from God, we are prone to sinning.
“I say to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord; apart from You I have no good thing.’” – Psalm 116:2
In Christ, we are free – free to not sin with the power of the Holy Spirit.
“You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.” – Romans 6:18
I used to think I was immune to sexual sin because I was pure. The truth is, I am extremely self-conscious of my body. My lack of sexual sin didn’t come from being “good”; it came from my own flaws. Without those insecurities, I would have sinned in a heartbeat. The only way to “be pure” was to pursue purity in a relationship with Jesus.
I used to think that drinking just wasn’t my temptation. The real reason that I didn’t drink was that I was a control freak – I didn’t want to lose control. This means that I wasn’t giving Jesus control over areas of my life.
As soon as I was willing to give over control to alcohol with people I trusted, I fell to drunkenness. The more I sinned in this way, the more I distanced myself from God. Suddenly, some other sin struggles fell into my lap. I learned that the only way to battle sin is to draw near to God through His Word, His people, and His church.
Like Paul says in Romans 7:18-19, we are human, and we fail to do what is good, even when we want to. The main point is that we cannot fight temptation by our own will. If we try to do good by our own merit instead of out of love for the Father, what happens when we come to the end of where our flesh can take us? When we grow weary and fail? We need a Savior!
We either choose God or choose the world. Every moment we abide in Him, we do not sin. When we sin, we are not abiding in Him.
“No one who lives in Him keeps on sinning.” – 1 John 3:6
Goodness in us comes from God’s creation of us, His love for us, our clean slate that is found in repentance (a change of mind that results in a change of action), and our personal relationship with Jesus. The Lord has humbled me, and I am now even more thankful for His love and sacrifice on the cross.
Tim Keller says it perfectly:
“We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.”