Monday, July 22, 2013

Temptation and The Cross

Grace if properly taught should bring us into a place where we rely totally on God's provision and God's strength.

"But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God." - Galatians 5:16-21 ESV

If you feel the pull of these things remember... your resistance alone is not what will win the battle but identification and correct categorization of desire is important. Grace has not blurred the lines of holiness. It has given us a means to live in holiness. The law is not the means to live a holy life but it does define the boundaries of holiness.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit." - Galatians 5:22-25 ESV

A Spirit filled life is a Holy life and the crucified Christ is the only way we can live that life. Law can not accuse that life. Law can not produce that life. God does this and in the moment of temptation we make choices with Christ in sight. If emotions outside of union drive our decision making in the moment of temptation we can rationalize carnal decisions. Grace has given us a cross. That cross, Christ's cross, becomes a point of reference that guides our decision making. When it does we are on the same page as the Spirit of God. Resurrection emotions and Resurrection fruit will be the result.

"Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself." - Galatians 5:26 - 6:3 ESV

This is a personal dynamic. Not one can make these choices for us. When we are restored we have a mind to restore others. The works of the flesh are self focused works that have no inheritance. A cross minded person loses self as they pass through death into Resurrection life.

"But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load. Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches. Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith." - Galatians 6:4-10 ESV

Temptation is going to happen. We can get grace and mercy then give grace  and mercy through that time. The life in us from God has a supply that will not only keep us but it will give us victory. The 'Yes and Amen' is us overwhelms the desire to be satisfied apart from God. One victory over what we have never had victory over before can start a chain reaction of victory in our life.

"A wise man is full of strength, and a man of knowledge enhances his might... If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small. Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter." - Proverbs 24:5, 10-11 ESV

We may be weak now. No worries God has a provision for the weak. It is His strength. The cross is doorway through death into life. Don't fight your battle alone. Christ has already won the war.

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