Deliverance from Temptation

The following is a brief answer to the question: “What are the ways that I can prevent myself from falling into the temptations that I face?”

Prayer. The Lord Jesus said to the apostles in the garden of Gethsemane: Pray that you enter not into temptation, Luke 22:40. Temptations will come, but we do not need to fall into [enter] the temptation. Prayer beforehand keeps us near the Lord.

Consider the scripture that governs the situation. The Lord Jesus is again the perfect model. In the desert, the devil used every temptation, but Jesus met it, as a man should, by quoting from the scriptures. See Luke 4:1-13. There is a word, a verse, to govern us for every situation in life.

Run away. Consider Joseph in Genesis 39:7-18. When the woman tried to induce him to do a wrong thing, he fled.

Paul writes in 2 Timothy 2, “Flee youthful lusts…”

Do not put yourself in a position where you could be tempted. For example, if a man has a tendency to drink too much alcohol, then it is best that he does not have it in his house; nor should he associate with those who drink.

Deliverance from sin is an important lesson in Romans 5:11 to the end of chapter 8. In Romans 6:11 we are told to “reckon yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus”. We are alive in our bodies, of course, but in our minds we are to consider [reckon] or think of ourselves as dead when sin is put before us. Sin cannot have anything to say to a dead person. But we are alive to God.

In Romans 7, the man wants to do what is right, but finds that he does not have power to do it. The answer comes at the end of the chapter – it is not “what” will deliver him, but “who” - the Lord Jesus Christ.

Positive occupation and thoughts helps to shut out temptation. Regarding our thoughts, see Philippians 4:8 - “whatsoever things are true… noble… just… pure… amiable… of good report; if there be any virtue and if any praise, think on these things.”

Resist the devil and he will flee from you” – see James 4:7. Refuse to be tempted.

As an aside, there is no scripture that tells us to “bind” Satan. To people who promote that teaching, I feel like asking: “When do you loose Satan?” Whenever the Lord spoke of the principle of “binding”, He refers also to “loosing”. It refers to church discipline. Regarding the man in 1 Cor. 5, Paul instructs them to discipline him – “with such a one not even to eat”. He was to be bound. But in 2 Cor. 2:6-11, Paul instructs the assembly there to receive him - forgive him - “loose” him, because he was obviously repentant.

MM July 2013