Stand and Resist

“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.

For we do not have a High Priest Who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a shared feeling with our weaknesses and infirmities and liability to the assaults of temptation, but one Who has been tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning.  Hebrews 4:15 AMP

Jesus, in His earthly walk, was tempted with everything that any one of us has ever been tempted with. The difference between Him and us is that He did not yield to temptation and He did not sin. Because He was born a man and because He was subject to the same temptations as us, He had a right to take our place at the cross representing Man. Because He was God in the flesh, He had a right to take His place at the cross representing God. Because Jesus never succumbed to temptation and because He never sinned, God had a right to raise Him up on the third day, with us in Him. An everlasting covenant was cut on that cross, between God and man, which can never be rescinded. Sin has no more dominion over you and me!

For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 But then what benefit (return) did you get from the things of which you are now ashamed? [None] for the end of those things is death. 22 But now since you have been set free from sin and have become the slaves of God, you have your present reward in holiness and its end is eternal life. 23 For the wages which sin pays is death, but the [bountiful] free gift of God is eternal life through (in union with) Jesus Christ our Lord.  Romans 6:20-23 AMP

God has provided you and me with an opportunity and a means to deal with sin in our lives and to get rid of it.  Before Jesus died and rose from the dead, we had no way to overcome sin at all, but now we do.

If you yield to sin as a way of life, you may think that you are in control, but what you don’t realize is that sin is controlling you. You might think that you are becoming fulfilled by fulfilling your fleshly desires and yielding to sin and temptations, but in reality you become emptier and emptier. You don’t realize the more you yield to sin, the more you are being taken over by the devil and destroyed by him. Sin is deceptive and destructive. Sin hardens your heart and moves you further and further away from the presence of God. Ultimately, sin will destroy you completely. God’s desire for you is that you experience His eternal life rather than the death of sin and He has given you the ability to overcome sin by the blood of Jesus and with the help of the Holy Spirit.

In the days of His flesh [Jesus] offered up definite, special petitions [for that which He not only wanted but needed] and supplications with strong crying and tears to Him Who was [always] able to save Him [out] from death, and He was heard because of His reverence toward God [His godly fear, His piety, in that He shrank from the horrors of separation from the bright presence of the Father]. 8 Although He was a Son, He learned [active, special] obedience through what He suffered 9 And, [His completed experience] making Him perfectly [equipped], He became the Author and Source of eternal salvation to all those who give heed and obey Him. Hebrews 5:7-9 AMP

Even though Jesus is God’s Son, He learned special obedience through the things that He suffered – facing temptations, persecutions, and outright attacks. He could have been respected just for Who He is – Almighty God – but He has also earned our respect, not only for Who He is, but for what He has done. When He walked on the earth He prayed and asked God for certain things and all His prayers were answered because of His respect for the Father and the fact that He shrank from the horrors of separation from the bright presence of the Father. If we reverence God and His presence, if our primary desire in life is to please Him, then we will have all the motivation in the world to turn and RUN away from sin!

Just think of Him Who endured from sinners such grievous opposition and bitter hostility against Himself [reckon up and consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you may not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing and fainting in your minds. 4 You have not yet struggled and fought agonizingly against sin, nor have you yet resisted and withstood to the point of pouring out your [own] blood.  Hebrews 12:3-4

Jesus struggled and fought agonizingly against sin. He withstood sin and temptation to the point that He sweated blood. Most people just let sin have its way in them. They don’t even try to resist it. We have an obligation to God and ourselves to resist sin. We have an obligation to God because Jesus went to and through such extremes to bring us to this place, to give us the privilege and the opportunity to be able to say NO to sin. We have an obligation to ourselves to stop doing the things that bring death and destruction to our lives and to start to do those things that result in both life and peace.