How seriously do you take temptation?

Sin is a serious matter.  Sin is what causes man to be alienated from God.  Sin is what causes a man to be under God’s divine wrath.  Sin is a disease to which no man has the remedy.

No one, that is, except Jesus Christ.  By His grace, anyone who has faith in Him escapes the wrath that he deserves and enters into eternal life and bliss with the Savior. 

But even for the believer, the one redeemed by God, chosen unconditionally, kept by Christ, sin is still a serious matter.  It is not that sin can cause us to lose our salvation, but sin nonetheless is an offense to our almighty  and lovely God.  We look at sin not as a threat to our security, but rather as a disgusting remnant of our old self who hated God.  Christians should despise sin, since they love God. 

So, how seriously do you take it?  Specifically, how seriously do you take temptations that lead you to sin?  Listen to how seriously Jesus addresses temptations:

7 “Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes!

8 And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire.

9 And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire. – Matthew 18:7-9

Now, may no one reading this bleat feel compelled to literally dismember themselves.  But the Savior’s use of hyperbole drives home an inescapable point.  As His people, we are to take sin and temptation so seriously that we would be willing to go to lengths to escape temptation and sin.  We are to love Him in such a way that we forever strive to keep His commandments.  For He says,

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. – John 14:15

Think about the sin in your life.  And think about the temptations that lead you to those sins.  What are you going to do about it?  Do not sit idly by while Satan gets a foothold.  Do not fail to catch the cancer of temptation early.  And act.  Act as one who cuts of his hand or gouges his eye, by God’s grace and for His glory. 

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