It is by the presence of God's Holy Spirit that we are given freedom. Whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. The Holy Spirit sets us free from every bondage, every sin, every temptation, every bad emotion, every evil desire, and then we are free to experience the presence of God, which is Love, joy, and peace.

 

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OVERCOMING  TEMPTATION
AND
Freedom From Temptation

 We are getting many letters from Christians that are struggling with temptations and sins in their lives. They desire to follow God's laws but they sometimes fall. It is good to hear from people who are honest about their battle with temptations. There is great hope for these people that admit such struggles, they have arrived at the point where their only hope is in God's grace, His mercy, and His infinite compassion. That is the place where the Lord is waiting to meet them, to rescue them, and carry them into victory, for the battle is the Lord's, not ours.

The Apostle Paul described his battle with his flesh this way. (Romans 7:14-25 NIV) We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. {15} I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. {16} And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. {17} As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. {18} I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. {19} For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. {20} Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. {21} So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. {22} For in my inner being I delight in God's law; {23} but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. {24} What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? {25} Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

But then Paul gives us the good news in the following verse, (Romans 8:1-2 NIV) Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, {2} because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. The same way that we are saved from our sins is the same way we are set free from sins and even temptations, it is by God's grace. (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV) For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- {9} not by works, so that no one can boast. It is by the presence of God's Holy Spirit that we are given freedom. (2 Corinthians 3:16-17 NIV) But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. {17} Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

The Holy Spirit sets us free from every bondage, every sin, every temptation, every bad emotion, every evil desire, and then we are free to experience the presence of God, which is Love, joy, and peace. (Galatians 5:16-23 NIV) So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. {17} For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. {18} But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. {19} The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; {20} idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions {21} and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. {22} But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, {23} gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

It is by grace that we are saved from every evil thing past, present, and future. It is by faith that we receive God's grace, and by faith that the power of the Holy Spirit gives us the freedom to do God's will in our lives. Faith comes through the revelation of knowing that God really does love you, even when you sin. You are still His child and He waits for you to turn toward Him so He can give you His mercy, His forgiveness, His compassion, His Love. Because God is Love, and your love for Him comes when you get a glimpse of How much He Loves you.

When Jesus taught the disciples how and what to pray He included freedom from temptation in the prayer. (Matthew 6:9-15 NIV) "This, then, is how you should pray: "'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, {10} your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. {11} Give us today our daily bread. {12} Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. {13} And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.' {14} For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. {15} But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

In this prayer we are taught that God is our loving Father. We are taught to pray His will on earth. We know God's will through His Word, and by the leading and insight given to us by the Holy Spirit. We are taught to pray for our physical needs. We are taught to seek God's grace and mercy for our sins, and to have compassion and mercy on others. Then we are taught to pray that God will keep us from temptation, and from Satan. In this prayer we are taught that we are totally dependent upon God for all these things. So often we fail because we are trying to fight the battle ourselves, when the Lord is trying to continuously teach us to depend upon Him, to trust Him, to have faith in Him. So the Lord gives us all these things and there is only one thing He requires us to do and that is to show mercy to others, have compassion, to allow His Love to flow through us to touch other people. (Matthew 5:7 NKJV) Blessed are the merciful (compassionate), For they shall obtain mercy (compassion).

Sometimes the Lord will allow us to go through temptations and even fall into sins because we are trying by our own efforts to fight the battle, this is pride and always leads to a fall because "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble." Sometimes God will allow us to fall so that we will be more compassionate to others. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV) Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, {4} who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. If we look down with pride upon a brother who has fallen than we could also end up in temptation. (Galatians 6:1 NKJV) Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.

The Bible says that Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. The reason for Jesus going through this temptation was so we could know that He has compassion for us when we are being tempted, He knows what suffering through temptation feels like. (Hebrews 2:17-18 NIV) For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. {18} Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. (Hebrews 4:14-16 NIV) Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. {15} For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin. {16} Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Jesus came to set the captives free from all oppression including sin and even temptation. (Luke 4:18 NIV) "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed.

If we are bound by sin and burdened by temptation that is not from God, Jesus came to set us free. (Matthew 11:28-30 NIV) "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. {29} Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. {30} For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Jesus told His disciples in (Mark 14:38 NIV) Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak." Pray and seek God's strength, quit trying to fight the battles on your own, the battle is the Lord's and the victory will glorify Him.

The joy of the Lord is your strength, (Psalms 16:11 NIV) You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Remember where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. (Luke 11:13 NKJV) "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!" (Exodus 33:14 NIV) The LORD replied, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."

You were created by your Father so that He could Love you, and so that you would Love Him. God also created you so that you could be a channel for His Love to flow through touching other people with His Love, His compassion. (Jude 1:20-25 NIV) But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. {21} Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy (compassion) of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. {22} Be merciful to those who doubt; {23} snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear--hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh. {24} To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy-- {25} to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.

For more help with this subject read the message about GRACE .

For more information about getting free from bondage see Stepping Into Freedom

There are also many other scriptures about overcoming temptation and freedom from temptation in the Bible Says Page called OVERCOMING TEMPTATION.


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