Our Continual Battle with Temptation

Steve Petroelje

Read: Romans 7:21-25

So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. (v. 21)

We all know a perfectionist or two. They may try to do everything perfectly, but no one is truly perfect. Paul knew this. After addressing the first part of the gospel (admitting our sinfulness and need for a Savior), the apostle Paul makes an important point before calling us to believe in Jesus Christ. He speaks from his own experience when he reminds us that repentant sinners do not become sinless on this side of heaven. We will be tempted, and we must stay in the fight against sin.

In this life, Christ followers will be tempted in three primary ways. First, the Devil tempts us to disobey God. Ever since his temptation of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, the wicked one seeks to move people away from obedience. The Devil is not stronger than God, but this prince of lies will try to deceive or distract us. Second, the world tempts us to please ourselves. We cannot count on the many voices in our culture to speak the truth of God’s Word. Third, our evil desires tempt us to pursue self-gratification. This is often referred to as the battle of the flesh. We will struggle with sin. But “thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (v. 25), we have help in fighting the battle with temptation. —Steve Petroelje

Prayer: Father, as Jesus taught us to pray: lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.