How to Resist Temptation, Pt. 1

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 10:31, 2 Peter 1:3, 1 Corinthians 15:57
Temptation comes to all people, but can we have victory over sin? Is it possible to be delivered from temptation? This talks discusses what the Bible says about the help Jesus offers us. This talk looks at four powerful promises to help give us strength. The first is this: Victory over sin is a gift from God.
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Announcer: It's time now for Bible Talk. Join our hosts Gary Gibbs and John Bradshaw as they open the Bible and talk about themes that affect your life today. Stay tuned because the next 15 minutes will deepen your understanding of God's word.

John Bradshaw: Hi and welcome to Bible Talk where we talk about the Bible and how the Bible affects us today. I'm John Bradshaw and with me is Gary Gibbs. Hi, Gary. Gary Gibbs. Hi, John. Hey, I want to tell you about a cartoon I saw recently.

John: OK.

Gary: There is this man sitting in a chair with his feet and his hands chained, his eyes blindfolded, and his mouth taped. The man's wife is at the door inviting their pastor in to their home and she says to the pastor, "Fred is determined to have victory over sin."

John: That's one way to do it, huh?

Gary: That's one way to do it but it's not God's way, is it?

John: No, it's not God's way at all. We're going to talk today about overcoming temptation. Is it possible? Is it possible and if it's possible, how in the world can we do it? Let's go.

Gary: I believe a perfect text to start this program out with is in 1 Corinthians 10:13. It says, "There is no temptation that's taking you but such as is common to man." So, we're all tempted in a very similar way. But the next words say, "But God is faithful who will not suffer you to be tempted above that which you are able but will with the temptation make a way to escape that you may be able to bear it."

John: Simply put, whatever temptation comes to you, there's power in God, there is a way of escape through Jesus so that you can tolerate or bear the temptation and you don't have to succumb to it.

Gary: Now, John, that's a pretty phenomenal thing to say.

John: Absolutely.

Gary: Because we're all still tempted though, aren't we?

John: Sure, everybody's tempted, no question about it.

Gary: So, are you saying that we can overcome that temptation?

John: According to what the Bible says, the drinker can overcome the temptation to drink. The dirty minded person can overcome the temptation with the dirty mind. The smoker can put down the cigarettes. The person with the very short fuse can overcome the bad temper. According to what the Bible says. "With temptation, when it comes, God will make a way to escape." Now, man, that's a great promise because there are people all across the fruited plain, all around the world wrestling and struggling with sins that they'd love to get out of their lives. Man, if this is true and it must be true because the bible says it, let's put walking shoes on this thing. How do we apply this to our lives and make it real in our experience? Victory over sin, deliverance from temptation.

Gary: That power really only comes through Jesus Christ. There is no amount of will power that will enable you to overcome some real besetting bondage sin that you have in your life.

John: I want to go back to this follow in your cartoon that you talked about. Even if he chained his hand and his feet and his eyes and his mouth and the whole thing, he's still got to wrestle with his mind.

Gary: That's right.

John: He still needs to be born again and be transformed. You know what it says in Romans? "Don't be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." And that's what happens to a person who encounters and accepts Jesus. You get a new mind, am I right?

Gary: That's correct. There's a gentleman who came to a series of meetings where I was teaching on Bible topics and this man told me that, straight out of high school, he landed a job with the fire department and he started smoking. That's kind of an oxymoron. It's contradictory. You're going to go put out fires, yet, you're lighting fires all day on the tip of your nose.

John: I'm guessing this was a fire that he just couldn't put out after a while.

Gary: For 40 years, two packs a day.

John: Wow!

Gary: He wanted to stop. He tried numerous times and it wasn't until he heard me share the four things I'm getting ready to share here with our listeners that he found the power to overcome this two pack a day habit and he found that power instantaneously and he overcame that addiction.

John: Wow! Then, I'm anxious to find out what these four powerful promises are. I'll tell you, if you're listening and you have access to a pen and paper or something, you might want to write these down.

Gary: These, you want to write down. I personally have experienced the power of the word of God and have found victory over something I couldn't get victory over any other way. First, I want to start with 2 Peter 1:3. It says, "That God has given us -- his divine power has given unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of him who's called us to glory and virtue. Whereby are given to us exceeding great and precious promises that by these, you might be partakers of the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world through lust.

John: Boy, we could think about that for a while. There's power in the promises that God has really made to us and given to us.

Gary: That's right and he says it's exceeding great and precious promises. These are valuable promises and the reason they're so powerful is God stakes his reputation. If I make a promise to you, John, I want to fulfill my promise otherwise, it reflects back on me as a person.

John: Through these promises, you can escape the corruptions that are in the world through lust. Well, that's interesting because there might be somebody saying, "You just don't understand my situation." Man, I'm involved in maybe some real dirty emotional sexual thing maybe some dishonesty thing. Maybe they're in a living situation or say, "We can't make this right because we need the money," and you've heard all these things before.

Gary: That's right.

John: There are people who are listening to you saying, "No way man. You don't understand the depth of the struggle." So if there's power in the word, let's hear about it right now.

Gary: 1 Corinthian 15:57. It tells us where this power begins. This is the first powerful promise, "But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our lord Jesus Christ." We have to recognize that victory is a gift from God.

John: If you're in sin and chained to something, what you need over that is victory, right?

Gary: Yes. You can't earn this victory. You can't do some penance. You can't do some pilgrimage. You can't muster up a certain amount of energy or enthusiasm. You simply need to want the gift and recognize that you're only going to get it as a gift from God.

John: Promise number one, victory is a gift given to us from God. Now, hey, Christmas time. You know what happens, somebody gives you a gift. You know you've got it because it's there in your hands. Victory over some sin, how do you know you have that? How can you believe you have that? Listen, aren't you simply saying this is mind over matter?

Gary: No, it's a supernatural element that comes into your life. All right, people want to stop these things. My friend who wanted to stop two packs a day of cigarettes. Like Jim, a truck driver who also had a similar experience. He had a sexual addiction. He wanted to overcome this. He felt dirty after he was unfaithful. He wanted to stop but he couldn't until he found out that victory had to come from without himself and it had to come to him as a gift. There was nothing he could do to create this. But you have to take the second promise and apply it.

John: I'm going to get to that in a moment.

Gary: OK.

John: I got something I need to talk about. That's our offer.

Gary: Yes.

John: Right along with this subject, "Is It Possible To Live Without Sinning?", a little book we want to share with you. At the end of the program, you'll hear an address. You'll hear a phone number. Call, write, email, tell us you want this little book, "Is It Possible To Live Without Sinning?" We'll give it to you. You'll be blessed. It's our free offer today. I really want you to have it. Sorry, Gary. Back to promise number two.

Gary: Yes, by the way, that little book covers all these promises so our listeners definitely want to write or call to get that. Second promise, John, is found in Matthew chapter seven and verse 11. Here, we read that, God is a loving father who likes to give good gifts to his children and he says, "If you being sinful evil people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?" So, the second promise here is that God is willing to give us good things and victory is a good thing but we need to come and we need to ask him.

John: And it says elsewhere in the Bible, ask and you shall receive. So when you ask, you'll ask in faith, right?

Gary: We do.

John: Believing.

Gary: There are many times we're sitting around the table eating and my oldest daughter who's four years old right now, she will say, "I'm thirsty." And I'll say, "That's nice. I'm glad to know you're thirsty." What she's really trying to say is, "May I have a drink, please?"

John: Sure.

Gary: But she hasn't asked. She's just making a statement regarding her condition. She says, "I am thirsty." I'll smile at her and I'll say, "I'm glad to meet you thirsty." She'll say, "But I'm thirsty." I'll say, "That's interesting, I'm thirsty too." Then, finally, you'll see the lights go on in her eyes and she'll say, "Daddy, may I have a drink please?" I'll say, "I'll be happy to get you a drink." So, as a father who wants to please the daughter, God wants to please us when we ask but often, we just go around saying, "I'm trapped in sin. I've got this problem. I've got this addiction." We don't go to God and say, "God, I can't do this on my own but you can and I'm asking you for victory in this area."

John: I'm going to tell you something that revolutionized my experience. When I began coming to the lord and saying, "God, I can't beat this. Without your help today, I'm going to sink. You've got to come and help me." Man, I'm telling you, I found my life just turn around. God's never going to refuse to answer a prayer like that in the affirmative.

Gary: It is amazing what God does when you do this.

John: Now, we've got two of your four promises. Let's go on with number three, number four.

Gary: We have to go through these quickly because of time. The third promise, you'll find in 1 John 5:14, 15. In those verses, John tells us that when we ask, we need to believe that we have received the very thing that we're asking for at the time of our asking. Now, we might not feel different in the prayer or after the prayer but we must believe that when we ask, there's a God in heaven who hears our prayer at that moment and sets in motion the answer to our prayers.

John: If we ask anything according to his will, he hears us and if we know that he hears us whatsoever we ask, we can know that we have the petition we desire of him. You ask God for a million bucks, he may not give it to you.

Gary: No.

John: You ask God for victory, man, you know that God will say, "Yes, I will give that to you." Fourth promise.

Gary: Fourth promise you'll find in Romans 6:11. It says, "Likewise, reckon you also to be dead in deed unto sin but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your moral body that you should obey it and the lust thereof neither yield your members as instruments of unrighteousness, under sin for sin shall not have dominion over you. You're not under the law but you're under grace." God has promised that through Jesus' death and resurrection, we can be dead to sin and alive to God. So when temptation comes, you can reckon yourself to be dead to sin and alive to God. The resurrection power of Christ is in you. Let me give you a quick illustration.

John: Sure.

Gary: When we're tempted, if we say, "Lord, I want victory over tobacco. I've tried to quit a thousand times and I can't get the victory but I'm going to ask you for it. I believe you hear. I believe you've made me now a non-smoker." That doesn't mean you're not going to be tempted.

John: Right.

Gary: When you're tempted to smoke, you don't talk to that voice inside your head and say, "I don't want to smoke." "Yes you do." "No, I don't." "Yes you do." "You're going to lose that battle."

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