To say that "not I but Christ" is living in and as me, revolutionizes every understanding we have of God and His eternal purpose for us. This issue of The Intercessor explores two interrelated foundational themes: 1) the purpose of temptation and trials in the Christian life, and, 2) the underlying sin of unbelief and how to spring back to faith, if we have sinned.
In the lead article "What about Temptation and Sin?", Norman Grubb draws from the letters of Paul, James, and John to thoroughly examine the purpose of temptation in the Christian life–particularly for those of us who know union with Christ. "Temptation and Its Beneficial Effects" traces God’s use of temptations in Jesus’ life, including a deeper perspective on the necessity of Satan in fulfilling God’s ultimate purposes. "It Remains Tough" reminds us that the trials of our faith in the demands of daily living bring us to maturity as we "become experienced letting Him through in the enemy’s territory." "Every Man is Tempted," taken from Norman’s classic, The Liberating Secret, provides a deeper look at sanctification and the way of faith by which alone we can be stimulated to refuse the evil and choose the good. It is especially insightful on temptation as attraction/love, and that temptations are our spiritual battle-ground: no warfare–no victory. "Adversity? Or Adventure?" is not the usual answer to the universal cry, "Why me?" This encouraging article reveals how to handle trials, the difference between temptation and trials, and God’s purpose in them. (It’s not just about me.)
Much of Satan’s success in tempting Christians to sin can be traced to a basic misunderstanding rampant in the Church today. This issue’s Bible Study, "Real Deliverance from Sin: Is it Possible?," addresses the false idea (often also used as an excuse to sin) that Christians are flawed, unable to live up to God’s standard of a sinless life, and that God understands and forgives– basically, the lie that sin is inevitable and full deliverance not possible in this life. This penetrating article takes us back to biblical facts: that in Christ we are truly dead to sin, but very much alive to temptation, and can walk in victory now. Further probing the issue of sin in the Christian life, "Free At Last" explores how Satan tricks us into believing that feeling the pulls of temptation is sin, rather than that sin occurs when we believe we are independent selves who should not have those pulls. "False Condemnation" describes in detail how all sin is ultimately a result of believing we are independent selves, which immediately traps us in the powerlessness and condemnation of Romans 7. This is often compounded with the lie that we have returned to a permanent "old condition" just because we are caught out by the flesh on occasion. "Quick Down, Quick Up" provides the remedy when we have crossed the line into sin and the good news that once sin is recognized and repented of, our emphasis is on the walk of faith: living in the present and praising God that Jesus Christ lives out His righteousness in and as us.
Two personal accounts demonstrate walking by faith through temptation– without sinning. "To Believe is to Have," taken from Norman Grubb’s After C.T. Studd, describes Norman’s temptation to let fear and doubt move him from his word of faith–and then God’s faithfulness. A letter of encouragement, "Temptation and Sin–at home," is the timely, personal advice by a mature believer to a young Christian wife and mother on facing the temptations and trials of everyday modern life.
We believe this issue dedicated to temptation and sin will shed light not only on the scriptural facts about this topic so crucial to the believer, but the practical application of how to handle both areas in our daily lives.
More Articles from The Intercessor, Vol 23 No 4
- What About Temptation and Sin?
- Editor’s Note
- Every Man is Tempted
- Victory in the Every Day
- Adversity or Adventure?
- Quick Down, Quick Up
- Dealing With Temptation–In the Home
- Bible Study: Real Deliverance From Sin: Is It Possible?
- Temptation and It’s Beneficial Effects
- Free At Last!
- False Condemnation
- It Remains Tough
- Words to Live By
- No temptation too great…