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“The Devil made me do it.”

“I’m only human.”

“We are all sinners, right?”

These are excuses we have all heard, or even used.  But, are they really valid excuses? Is there really an excuse to sin?

First, you may have a legitimate excuse. If you are not saved, you cannot help but sin. No matter how hard you may try, there is nothing inside of you which will keep you from doing wrong.  As a child, I watched “Tom an Jerry” and “Bugs Bunny” cartoons.  Often, one of the characters would be in a place to choose right or wrong. And, in that moment of decision, the character would have a little angel appear on one shoulder and a little demon on the other.  The demon encouraging the wrong action and the angel encouraging the right action. In real life, there are no angels and demons encouraging you to do right and wrong.  If you are not saved, it is only your flesh and the devil encouraging you.

However, those of us who are saved have a great wealth of resources at our disposal.

Romans 6:1-2 (KJV)  What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

Pail was asking the church of Rome a rhetorical question: is it right for them to continue in their sin, even after they had been saved.  Paul’s answer was, “God forbid.”  Of course it is not right to continue in sin once we are saved.  Recall the woman taken in adultery. Her accusers brought her before Jesus and accused her, all but demanding he stone her.  He did not. Instead, Jesus stooped and wrote on the ground. Some believe Jesus wrote the names of the hypocrites who had been with the woman. Some believe Jesus listed the sins of the men accusing her. At the end, there were no accuser and Jesus told her to go and, “sin no more.” (John 8:11 KJV)  Im John 5:14, Jesus says, “…sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.”   Jesus knows our weaknesses, He knows we are human. Would it be fair or reasonable for Jesus to set an expectation so high for us? Yes – because those who are saved. Through the Word and Spirit of God,  have the power to overcome the temptation to sin.

1 Corinthians 10:13 (KJV)  There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

First, consider the first way of escape: the Word of God.  In Matthew 4:1, Jesus allowed Himself to be taken away by the devil to be tempted.  On three separate occasions, the devil offered Jesus magnificent things. However, on all three occasions, Jesus defeated the temptation to sin  Of course, Jesus was GOD. Jesus could have spoken and the devil the source of Jesus’ temptation, would have been destroyed.  Jesus didn’t do that.  Jesus could have whispered a command in the air to summon legions of angels to carry the tempter away. Jesus did not do that.  On every one of these three occasions, Jesus did exactly what you and I can do.  Jesus quoted Scripture.  It was the Word of God which repelled the tempter. And we have the very same Word of God at our disposal.

Psalm 119:11 (KJV)  Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

More than defeating the tempter in a moment of temptation, we can use the Word of God to help us avoid sin:

Psalm 119:105 (KJV)  NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

If we meditate in God’s Word, it will become a guide for us. No, the Word may not reveal where one will be in ten years, but God’s Word wil help you find the next step you should take.

Second, we should consider the Holy Spirit. When one is saved, the Holy Spirit of God moves into their heart. The Holy spirit is there as a comforter, to bring conviction when we sin, to help us pray when we don’t even know how to pray.  More importantly, the Holy Spirit, living inside of us, is the third person of God. Let that sink in.  The very one who stepped our on nothing and spoke all of this into existence lives within the ehart of the believer. If you are saved, God is living inside of you and He does not want you to sin.  The creator of the universe is your advocate! Calling on that resource can be as easy as crying out, “God help me!” But, we all fail to use it.

As a believer, we have access to these most powerful tools. But, you may be reading this, and know you do not have access to these tools.  You may know you are not saved. You may know the Spirit of God does not live in your heart.  You may be wondering what you can do.  You, too, can have access to these resources. Start memorizing scripture. More importantly, call out to God in a prayer of salvation.  If you are not saved, it isn’t difficult. You need only ask. God will help you, too!

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