How does a Christian overcome temptation?

Published 2:59 pm Friday, September 15, 2017

There are those that believe that temptation should never come their way. However, the fact remains that all people face temptations. This has been the case for all men since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden. The Apostle Paul reminds us that such temptations are common to all men. In 1 Corinthians 10:13, Paul said, “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man.” Temptation is similar to the itch of poison ivy, it begs us to pay attention to its presence and then to scratch the itch or the desire that comes along with it. It is a well-known fact that once poison ivy has been scratched the poison spreads and the itching increases in severity. So it is with temptation, once we give in to the temptation the desire to give in to the next temptation intensifies.
Regardless of the temptation we must all realize that temptation does not come from God. James said, “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.” (James 1:13 KJV). Further, James teaches us that temptations are a result of our own desire. James said, “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” (James 1:14-15 KJV). If temptations are not of God but man then how do we resist the very temptations that war against our souls? The Word of God gives us insight as to how to avoid and perhaps overcome sinful temptation.
Paul continues to discuss temptation in 1 Corinthians 10:13 KJV, where he said, “but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” The promise for the child of God is the ability to overcome temptation.
Consider the following verses where Jesus time and time again reminded His disciples to pray when facing temptation. (Matthew 6:13 KJV) “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.” (Matthew 26:41 KJV) “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
While Jesus was tempted by Satan, he never gave in to the temptations. We learn in (Hebrews 4:15) “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.”
John said, “For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith.” (1 John 5:4). The Christian can use prayer and his faith in God to overcome sin. Also our study and adherence to the Word of God can keep us from giving in to temptations. Paul said, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” (Gal. 5:16). James wrote, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7).
When we experience the itch of temptation we should beware and not give in, but rather center our minds, our thoughts on God and His Word, we should immediately go to God in prayer.
(Tony Hoss is minister at the Centerview Church of Christ, Elizabethton. He can be contacted at 737-2287 or by email at:

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