Why Christians Need To Avoid Temptation

Let me begin with a Bible quote from the apostle Paul’s letter to the Church at Ephesus -

"So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, and you must no longer live as the gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all insensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more" -
Ephesians 4: 17 to 20

In his book "O Brave New Church" Mark Stibbs speaking of addictions points out that Paul very clearly describes what addiction is in the above Biblical portion, and he insists that Christians must no longer live as they did before when they were addicted to many evil things. Mark Stibbs then lists various verses from the 4th Chapter of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians and I want to comment on three from his list.

Speaking lies - Each one of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbour, for we are all members of one body -
Ephesians 4: 25

God comes down very heavily on liars, because lying can cause such lasting harm. False witnesses, false prophets, deception, and poisoned lips are roundly condemned throughout the Bible, and the New Testament is very clear about lying.

The cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the adulterers and all liars - their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulphur. This is the second death -
Revelation 21: 8

Stealing - He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work - that he may have something to share with those in need -
Ephesians 4: 28

In these difficult financial times those of us who have work must be prepared to help, as we can, those who have lost their jobs and are in need, because stealing is sin and finally there is no excuse for it.

Unwholesome talk - Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen - Ephesians 4: 29

I'm afraid that many of us are guilty of this one, and it can take many guises. A good guide in everything we say is - Is it appropriate, is it necessary, is it true, is it kind.

This is the message that I believe the Lord would have me remind fellow believers at this time -
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows -
Galatians 4: 7

It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God -
Hebrews 10: 31

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for "God is a consuming fire" -
Hebrews 12: 28

There is a phrase in the apostle Peter’s pastoral letter which shows how serious all this is -
"If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and sinners" -
1 Peter 4: 18

You who are reading this article: have you made your salvation secure? Maybe you have relied on culture, rituals and ceremonies and the occasional prayer when you need to make a clear commitment to receive Jesus Christ into your life and follow him.

Pray now confessing your sin and your need: and begin a new life in Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. Remember, although God is awesome beyond our imaging, he is also love: love in all its many splendored fullness!

He is not willing that you should perish and so he sent his only Son into the world to live a life without sin and to die on the Cross that you might be saved.

Gordon Guillermo Burgess
The Pastor Church Of The Good Shepherd
San Juan De Alicante

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