Temptation in itself is not the sin. Jesus was tempted (Mark 1:13; Luke 4:1-13) but He did not sin (Hebrews 4:15). Sin happens when a person yields to temptation. Yielding to temptation usually starts in the mind. Lust, covetousness, pride, greed, cursing and envy are all sins of the heart (Romans 1:29; Mark 7:21-22; Matthew 5:28).
When we yield to temptation, the fruits of the flesh are manifested instead of fruits of the spirit (Ephesians 5:9; Galatians 5:19-23). The evil thoughts give birth to evil actions ( James 1:15).
The most important step is guarding the mind “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8); “Flee the evil desires of youth” (2 Timothy 2:22).
The second step is to avoid places of sin and temptation “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 13:13-14 -ESV);
God promised to provide a “way of escape” when we are tempted with sin, but often that way is to avoid the situation altogether “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.” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
And finally, Jesus taught us to pray, “Lead us not into temptation” (Luke 11:4), but we have a responsibility to protect the avenues of the soul and to avoid temptation all together.
In His service,
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