Yield not to temptation
RACE TRACK, Clarendon:
The Bible says, in the book of Romans 3:23, that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, but then that is why there is what Christians refer to as 'saving grace', because Jesus died on the cross so that we may be saved from all our sins (St John 3:16) and have a chance at making it to the land of 'milk and honey' if we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour.
However, ministers of religion have continuously warned against taking for granted the blood of the 'sacrificial lamb of God', which was shed for our atonement. Week after week in church, we are coerced to repent of our sins or hell will not miss us, but it is not as easy to avoid sinning or, at least, minimise it.
Pastor Eric Graham, who ministers at the International Evangelical Mission Church of God in Race Track, encourages everyone who he ministers to to resist the urge to sin. "The Bible says resist the devil, meaning that you should fight against his spirit so you don't sin, and you must pray often so that you can keep the spirit of God within you alive. You can just be passing by and looking at something and you would have committed a sin," said Graham.
He explained to Family and Religion that "when you're tempted to sin, you have not sinned, but yielding to the temptation is when we become sinful. So as long as you don't yield to that temptation, you have not sinned".
Drawing on the biblical example of Jesus in the wilderness, Graham said, "Jesus went through 40 days and 40 nights of fasting, and the devil met Him by the way and said to Him. 'If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones to turn into bread', but if Jesus had made the bread, he would have yielded to him. He then would have sinned. Instead, Jesus said, 'Get thee hence because it is written in the book of life that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that cometh from the mouth of God,'" he declared.
Graham said the temptations that people face every day are numerous. "Some people, instead of studying the word of God, they sit and gossip all day. These things will cause the devil to show himself up to you even more. When you're led by it, you will be tempted to stay in the situation, but I charge you to rebuke it in the name of Jesus," Graham charged. As a result, he advises individuals to know the voice of God for themselves so they can guard against temptations and minimise the likelihood of sinning.
Host Pastor at the Grace Chapel Assemblies of God in Summerfield, Clarendon, Dwayne Edwards said there is no temptation common to man that God will not provide for. "We must be disciplined and seek to grow in our relationship with God. Keep our eyes fixed on Him if we are going to be like Him. We must know what He wants and what He desires. Stop making the same foolish mistakes. Put away things that are not necessarily sinful, but it is not beneficial to us. Some things are just dead weight. There are things in our physical lives that we need to put away in order to maintain our focus and understand where we're at and know our purpose." He encourages Christians to study the word of God and get to know Him personally, adding that if the word of God dwells in our hearts, then we will be less likely to yield to temptation and sin against God.