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” (Romans 7:19)? Christ helps the faithful to overcome temptations and sins, “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” (Hebrews 2:18). He is “one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15).
God always provides a way of escape from temptation (1 Corinthians 10:12–13). The apostle Paul revealed, “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 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 (Galatians 5:22–24). Furthermore, the Scriptures teach that one must set the mind on the Spirit rather than on the flesh to overcome sin (Romans 8:5–6; cf. 7:13–25). Each Christian is to give oneself as a living sacrifice not conforming to the world but being transformed by the renewing of the mind (Romans 12:1–2).
Being changed by the Spirit of God follows the gospel of Jesus’s death, burial, and resurrection (Romans 6:1–13; 1 Corinthians 15:1–4). To walk in the Spirit, one must trust in God and believe that Jesus resurrected from the dead to become obedient to the gospel (Romans 6:17; 10:9–10; 2 Thessalonians 1:7–9). 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 (Romans 6:3–4; Colossians 2:11–13). This is when God raises the believer with Christ and saves the believer by His grace (Ephesians 2:4–6). Many believers reason that they do not need to repent or be baptized, and that is at the root of their struggle with sexual sins.
- Have you begin living by faith in Jesus’s resurrection by being baptized to life a new life (Romans 6:3–5; Colossians 2:12–13)?
- Do you believe that Jesus bodily resurrected from dead (Romans 10:9–10)?
The following are 4 sets of interview questions matched with scriptures. Each set addresses motivation, awareness, change, and freedom.
(1) Realize the consequences of doing nothing about sinful and irresponsible behavior.
Answer these questions:
- Will giving into temptations help you stop sinning?
- Are you responsible if you give up finding the way to overcome temptations (Romans 6:12)?
- “What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed?” (Romans 6:20–23)
- Will you continue to feel shame, guilt, resentment, anxiety, stress, and self-centered when you give into temptation (2 Corinthians 7:9–11)?
- Do your actions separate you from God (Ephesians 4:17–19)?
- Do you realize that all people face similar temptations (1 Corinthians 10:12–13)?
- Will you most likely be tempted again (James 1:12, 14)?
- What will eternally happen to you if you continue giving into sinful behavior (Romans 6:23; Galatians 5:19–21; James 1:14–15)?
- Do you trust God to help you change and live a holy life (1 Thessalonians 4:3)?
- “What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death” (Romans 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” (Isaiah 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” (Romans 6:1–4; cf. Hebrews 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” (Galatians 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) Be aware of how you allow sinful and irresponsible behavior to continue.
Answer these questions:
- Do you perceive that something harmful is ruling over you and controlling you (Romans 6:5–20)?
- What are urges, thoughts, behaviors, and situations that expose you to this temptation?
- Will surrounding yourself with temptations help you escape them (Romans 13:13–14; 1 Corinthians 15:33)?
- Do you believe that God will not let you be tempted beyond what you are able to escape and endure (1 Corinthians 10:12–13)?
- Is it better to live with the tension of temptations or give into them (James 1:12)?
- What thoughts and behaviors allow your to give into temptation (James 1:13–15)? Why?
- Are there any feelings or thoughts about your sinful behavior that you do not regret?
- How can praying to God help you when your flesh is weak (Matthew 26:41; Mark 14:38)?
- “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” (Romans 13:14).
- “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 Corinthians 10:12–13).
- “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts” (Romans 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” (James 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” (James 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) Change by following God’s way to escape.
Answer these questions:
- Do you believe that God will not allow temptations beyond what you are able (1 Corinthians 10:13)?
- Will enduring and escaping temptations help you overcome sin (1 Corinthians 10:13)?
- How can you change your thoughts about the desires of the flesh by setting your mind on the Spirit (Romans 8:5–6; Philippians 4:8–9)?
- What good works can replace your sinful actions (cf. Ephesians 4:17–32)?
- How can you start avoiding temptations to prevent from giving into them (Romans 13:13–14)?
- Will you have to end some friendships, remove influences, and disconnect negative media (1 Corinthians 15:33; 2 Corinthians 6:14)?
- Do you find that praying to God with others can help you avoid temptations (Matthew 26:41; Mark 14:38)?
- “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16).
- “And they that are of Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with the passions and the lusts thereof” (Galatians 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 Corinthians 10:13).
- “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals.'” (1 Corinthians 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” (Romans 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) Freedom and fulfillment is in a new life with God in Christ.
Answer these questions:
- What are some ways that life will improve when you endure temptations?
- What good things will come from walking the Spirit (Galatians 5:22–23)?
- How will overcoming sin change the way that you view your life (Romans 6:22–23)?
- How would you describe the purity and peace of conscience when you endure and escape temptation (1 John 3:19–22)?
- How would you describe how great God’s love is for you (Luke 12:6–7, 22–31; Romans 5:8; 8:35–39)?
- “And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled” (Col 1:21; cf. Ephesians 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 Corinthians 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” (Galatians 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?” (Romans 8:31–32).
- “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 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.**]