Can you relate to these words, “For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing” (Rom 7:19)? However, “For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted” (Heb 2:18). He is “one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Heb 4:15).
Christ is able to help everyone overcome temptations, habitual sin, and addictions. There is always a way to escape from temptation (1 Cor 10:12–13). The apostle Paul revealed, “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Gal 5:16). Walking by the Spirit means living by faith that produces a life filled with the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal 5:22–24).
To begin walking in the Spirit, one must believe to become obedient to the Gospel (Rom 6:17; 2 Thess 1:7–9). The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the Gospel that saves believers (1 Cor 15:1–4). Each confessing believer must die with Christ repenting of their sins, be buried with Christ by baptism in His name, and be raised with Christ into the newness of life (Rom 6:1–7; Col 2:11–13). This is when God raises the believer with Christ and saves the believer by His grace (Eph 2:4–6).
(1) Realize the resulting feelings and results from irresponsible behavior.
- Will giving into temptations help you stop sinning and help you grow closer to God?
- “What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed?” (Rom 6:20–23)
- Do you feel shame, guilt, resentment, anxiety, stress, and selfish about giving into sin (2 Cor 7:9–11)?
- Do you need someone to help guide you to stop giving into these desires that dominate your mind and body (Rom 6:12; 8:5–6)?
- Do you perceive that sin is ruling over you and controlling you?
- Are temptations common to everyone (1 Cor 10:12–13)? Will desires tempt you again (Jas 1:14–15)?
- What will ultimately happen if you continue this sinful behavior?
- Do you believe that your behavior is keeping you from growing closer to God?
- Do you want God to help you change and live a holy life?
- “What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death” (Rom 6:21).
- “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear” (Isa 59:2).
- “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Rom 6:1–4; cf. Heb 10:26; 1 John 3:4–9).
- “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal 2:20).
Other Scriptures: Mark 7:20–23; 8:36–37; 10:26–28; Luke 12:5; Rom 1:28–32; 3:23; 6:23; 1 Cor 6:9–11; 2 Cor 5:14–15; Rev 19:20; 20:10.
(2) Recognize that thinking must change behavior.
- When you face temptation, are you aware of self-degradation, shame, guilt, resentment, and anxiety that results from this behavior?
- Are there any parts of your behavior that you do not regret? Do these parts appear to be sinful?
- What assumptions have you made that turn you toward this temptation?
- What reasons do you give to allow yourself to give into your urges?
- Will you pray to God to help you face and cope with these urges?
- “Almighty God, Help me to realize that this evil will not stop if I keep giving into these temptations. Holy Father, help me to see that I am able to escape and endure temptation. Give me strength. In Christ’s name, Amen.”
- “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Mark 14:38; cf. Matt 26:41; Luke 22:40, 46).
- “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it” (1 Cor 10:12–13).
- “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts” (Rom 6:12).
- “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death” (Jas 1:14–15).
- “Therefore subordinate to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up” (Jas 4:7–10; cf. Acts 17:26–27).
Other Scriptures: Luke 4:1–13; Rom 2:5–11; 6:16–23; 7:13-25; Eph 4:17–24; 2 Tim 2:24–26; Jas 1:14–16; 1 John 2:16–17.
(3) Set your mind for the way of escape.
- Do you give more time to the thoughts of others than to God?
- How much does God love you (Rom 5:8; 8:35–39)? How does God’s love compare to everyone else in your life?
- How much does God value you (Luke 12:6–7, 22–31)?
- What would the Lord have you to do about your problem behavior? What does the Word of God say?
- Do you believe that God will not to allow sin to tempt you beyond what you are able (1 Cor 10:13)?
- Will enduring urges and resisting temptations help you overcome sin (1 Cor 10:13)?
- Will surrounding yourself with temptations help you escape them (Rom 13:13–14, 1 Cor 15:33)?
- What must you do to avoid temptations and prevent giving into them? Will you have to end some friendships and disconnect from negative influences?
- What can you do to cope with the most difficult part of your temptations? Do you find that prayer and worship help you to cope with temptation?
- “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh” (Gal 5:16).
- “And they that are of Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with the passions and the lusts thereof” (Gal 5:24).
- Jesus said, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. […] Jesus answered them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin'” (John 8:31–34).
- “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it” (1 Cor 10:13).
- “Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires” (Rom 13:14).
- “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals.'” (1 Cor 15:33).
- “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Rom 8:5–6, cf. 12:2).
Other Scriptures: Luke 9:23–24; Rom 6:1–15; Gal 2:20; 5:16–24; 1 John 3:4–9.
(4) Come to a new life with God in Christ.
- How do you feel about Jesus’s death on the cross (Gal 2:20; 2 Cor 5:14–17; Col 2:12–13)?
- What good things will replace sin when you overcome temptations (Gal 5:16–24)?
- What are some ways that life will improve when you endure temptations?
- How do you feel about living a pure and holy life without sin pulling you away from God?
- How would you describe the purity and peace of conscience when these sins stop?
- How will overcoming sin change the way that you view life with God?
- How will you thank God when you are overcoming this sin?
- Will you then encourage and help others to do the same?
- “And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled” (Col 1:21; cf. Eph 4:17–19).
- “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,” (Titus 2:11–12).
- “For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again” (2 Cor 5:14–15).
- “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 walk by the Spirit” (Gal 5:22–25).
- “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Rom 8:31–32).
- “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Rom 8:37).
Other Scriptures: Matt 11:28–30; Rom 8:1–39; Eph 1:3; Phil 4:8; Heb 2:16–18; 4:15–16; 2 Pet 2:9.
*Prayerfully study these Scriptures daily, set your mind on the Spirit, and thus walk by the Spirit. May God bless everyone reading this and struggling with an addictive sin to allow the Word of God to overcome this sin from within the heart. [**If you are going to detox your body from a substance go to an Emergency Room or a rehabilitation clinic. Detoxification can be very dangerous.**]