Temptations aren’t our problem

“This may come as a surprise to you, but temptation has more to do with belief than it does behavior.”

“This is why when Jesus was asked in John 6:28, “What must we do to be doing the works of God?” he answered, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him who he sent.” Jesus was making the indisputable point that unbelief is the force that gives birth to all of our bad behavior and every moral failure. It is the root. While the disciples located godliness in something they must do, Jesus pointed them back to himself–the One who came to do for them what they could never do for themselves. “Believe in me.””

“Believing that “it is finished”, that everything we need in Christ is already ours and therefore we need nothing more, is the hardest thing (so much harder than modifying our behavior) because we are all seasoned “do-it-yourselfers.” Self-salvation engineers (that’s all of us) find it much easier to make a moral “to-do” and “not-to-do” list and try to live by it, then they do trusting, believing, and resting wholly in the work and provision of Another.  “To be convinced in our hearts”, said Luther, “that we have forgiveness of sins and peace with God by grace alone is the hardest thing” because “the sin underneath all sins is the lie that we cannot trust the love and grace of Jesus and that we must take matters into our own hands.””

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