Young children do not realize the temptations that a teenager faces. Teenagers cannot comprehend the temptations that adults must address. As Christians grow older, temptations that were never a threat become threats. Hearts become strong in opposing old temptations while oblivious and hardened to give into others (cf. Titus 2:1–8).
When a believer first becomes a Christian, they are often unprepared to confront temptations. Each person faces temptations by their own lusts and desires (Jas 1:14–15). The world has no hope of self-control as Paul revealed, “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate” (Rom 7:15 ESV). However, no one can claim that their temptations are greater than any other. “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man” (1 Cor 10:13).
Jesus was tempted in every way like man and yet His is without sin (Heb 4:15). He is able to help those who are tempted. God promised always to make a way of escape so that the Christian can endure (1 Cor 10:12–13).
Paul declared, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh” (Gal 5:16). In Romans, Paul revealed that one must set the mind on the Spirit and not the flesh for the indwelling of the Spirit (Rom 8:5–11). By the Spirit of God, Paul directed Christians to put off the old self that is corrupt through deceitful desires and be renewed in the spirit of the mind to put on the new self (Eph 4:22–23). The new self is one that is created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness (Eph 4:24).
Peter emphasized that Christians are to be holy in all conduct as God is holy (1 Pet 1:15–16). God’s holiness as seen in Jesus Christ is the standard for Christians to live holy lives. To live a holy life, Peter instructed Christians to prepare their minds by setting one’s hope fully on the grace revealed at Christ’s coming (1 Pet 1:13). God’s grace is apparent in that He ransomed the faithful from futile ways by the blood of Jesus Christ who is without spot or blemish (1:17–20). The mind must have hope in God’s grace standing on faith in Jesus’s resurrection. For each person to have faith and hope in God, God resurrected Jesus from the dead (1:21). That means that people must prepare their minds by knowing their God who came in the flesh, resurrected from an atoning death, and realize God’s holy nature as the standard of morality and virtue.
God has provided further instructions for escaping and enduring temptations. Jesus told His apostles to pray not to enter temptation (Matt 6:13; 26:41; Mark 14:38). Prayer is just as essential now. Furthermore, to help avoid sin, Paul taught to put on Christ by making no provision for the flesh (Rom 13:13–14). Evidently, one who surrounds themselves with temptations will struggle to keep their mind and spirit committed to holy living (1 Cor 15:33; 2 Cor 6:14). The Scriptures teach the faithful to flee temptations (1 Cor 6:18; 1 Tim 6:11; 2 Tim 2:22).
When Christians are ready to face temptations, their training is complete in having put on and using the armor of God (Eph 6:10–20). The Christian’s strength to endure temptations comes from God (Eph 6:10–11). God has given the faithful an armor of truth, righteousness, gospel, faith, salvation, word, and prayer to withstand evil. God has prepared a way of escape to endure temptations.