A friend/accountability partner of mine sent me an e-mail yesterday that was of such encouragement to me, I asked if I could post it here for your edification. This is a tremendous, practical summary of how the gospel is at work to transform us in the midst of our temptation. It is only lightly edited.
I had a breakthrough last night and today, while meditating on the gospel, the resurrection, and Romans 6 (“Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace”).I know that Jesus Christ overcame the power of sin and death. I know that He forgave my sin and counted His righteousness to my account. But He also overcame sin for me right now, in 2009. In Christ, I am free to present my being to God rather than to sin.My breakthrough is this: In the midst of temptation, I usually believe that sin is the most powerful thing, that it can’t be overcome, that I have to give in, that I have no power against it (so often I do give in, feeling I have no real power to overcome it). But this is not the case. Jesus overcame the power of sin in me, in 2009. And Christ is in me. The reality is that with the Spirit in me, I have the power to say no to temptation and sin. I really can and will overcome temptation because God dwells in me and because I’m under grace.I know that I hate sin, that I don’t want it, that I want Christ. I know I’m forgiven and counted righteous. But the power of God being in me to overcome sin just hit me this morning. So, this is my work – in the midst of temptation – to believe that the power in me is greater than my sin or the Devil, that I don’t have to give in. I can walk away from sin because of God.It goes like this: I Corinthians 15 – “O death, where is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.” My being “steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord” is dependent on the victory Christ has won for me in the resurrection over sin. He has won the victory – I just have to believe that He has won it – and then don’t budge when temptation comes, because it has no more victory over me.Sin lost in Christ – once and for all. What a glorious truth. I must “believe in the Lord Jesus Christ” and “be saved,” especially in the midst of temptation. This is the hope of the gospel.
Thanks for preaching the gospel to me!