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Building up believers and the New Testament church

Temptation - In the Life of a Christian

Responsibility

At the very heart of the issue of temptation is the question of responsibility. Are we responsible for our actions? Many of us have had teaching that essentially implies that "we just can't help ourselves" and that Christ came to save us in spite of all that we say or do. An often-quoted scripture to justify this teaching is Romans 7. If we are trying to justify ourselves in our disobedience and sin, we can twist the scriptures and find what we are looking for. But if we are those who love the truth, we will not be comforted by false security. Romans 7 describes Paul's experience as a Pharisee; Romans 8 is his experience as a Christian. Romans 8 rings with victory, the victory that Christ secured for us at Calvary. Christ did not die to deliver us only from the penalty of sin. He died to deliver us from the power of sin in every way, and that means that we can now live in the power of His endless life.

Since Christ has destroyed the work of the devil, and made every provision for us to live in victory, He has every right to expect us to walk in that provision. This is not a theoretical salvation; it is a real salvation which delivers us from sin and from ourselves, and brings us into all that God is--not just in heaven, but now. We can do the will of God. We can obey Christ. This message is throughout the New Testament. If there is still a doubt in our minds, then let us search the scriptures again on our knees before God and ask God to open our eyes. He will if we want Him to. Once we begin to see the will of God and the provision of God to see His will worked out in us, then faith must take hold of God and begin to walk in that provision. It is a place of responsibility, but He has not asked us to do it in our own strength. He has made provision for us to walk in His strength. It is God at work within us, both to will and do His good pleasure. His grace is sufficient for each one of us. No matter how impossible it may seem to us at the moment, He is able to take each one of us through in victory.