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Is Temptation a Sin?

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“Do all paths lead to one God?”

Though all religions are not the same, each religion does have an uncompromising commitment to a particular way of defining who God is or is not. However, all religions do not point to God. While many religions claim to lead people to the truth, Jesus uniquely claims to be the Truth. The Bible is very clear that Jesus is the only path that leads to God. Jesus said to Thomas, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).1 Timothy 2:5 (NIV) says, “…there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus…” It could not be any clearer than this.

Major Vicki Gilden
Edinburgh, Scotland

“Is temptation a sin?”

That is a really good question. Instead of taking popular opinions into consideration, we need to go right where we can get the best answers—the Bible. Matthew, Mark and Luke all tell us that Jesus Himself was tempted. Wait, what? Yep! Not just once, but three times and by the devil himself. It’s a crazy good vs. evil showdown, but Jesus puts the devil in his place every time. Yet, Hebrews 4:14-15 tells us that Jesus never sinned once. So if Jesus was tempted but never sinned, temptation is not a sin. If Jesus was tempted but never sinned, then temptation is not actually sin. In fact, Jesus’ temptation in the book of Luke is my favorite because right after He is tempted (Luke 4:1-13), He returned in the power of the Spirit. Jesus was able to be tempted, not sin AND walk away filled with the power of the Spirit. How is that possible? God always provides a way out (1 Corinthians 10:13). Remember: while temptation is not a sin, it can very easily lead to sin if we do not cling to Jesus in those situations and look for the way out that we are promised. If we remember that we have a way out, then temptation never has an opportunity to become sin.

Captain Amanda Krueger
Rome, New York

“Is it really important to memorize the Bible? If so, have you got any good tips?”

Absolutely. Do you want to be like Jesus? Do you want to win the battle over the devil, over sin, over self-will, over those doubts and fears, over distractions and over all the contrary winds blowing all around us? Then Scripture memorization is absolutely a must. It will help us in moments of crisis: identity crisis, peer pressure, times of loneliness and balancing our highs and lows. It will also help us with living a vibrant Christlike life (1 Corinthians 11:1, Ephesians 5:1, Psalm 119: 9-11, Matthew 4:4, 1 Peter 3:15, Psalm 56:3, Joshua 1:8). Here are some tips: try thinking about these questions: Have you been hit hard by a message recently? What was the last biblical message you heard? What area of the bible intrigues you?

1. Get your favorite Bible translation, look for the Scriptures you want to memorize. You will begin to see some lines (verses) that resonates with you. Those verses can be committed to memory with practice, repetition, meditation and review. You’ll be amazed how quickly and easily you can memorize the Scripture (verses) like a sponge in water.

2. Write down the verse, then practice reciting it. Recite the verse by closing your eyes, recite it reading along, recite it on your bed at night before you go to sleep. Read it out loud. Try doing it silently, then do it audibly, what do you notice?

3. Repeat it to yourself and to your friends. Use it at every opportunity, pray it and use it in conversation. In quiet moments, meditate on it. What does this verse mean? What does it mean to me? How can I use this verse in my daily life? Can I share it with my friends? With whom? Roll these and other questions on your mind as you play the verse in your mind (Psalm 19:14, Colossians 3:16, Ephesians 5:19).

4. Review with yourself and others. Is there a friend that you can bounce it off of? Ask them for a little help. Tell them to be hard on you. You don’t want to fool yourself, you want to do it just right.

Finally, in John 6:63, Jesus says the Word of God is spirit and life. Memorization is a spiritual exercise. You have to pray for God’s help if you are going to be good at this. I hope to hear about some of your newly acquired Scriptures. God bless you.

Captain Bayode Agbaje
Hartford, Connecticut

“…while temptation is not a sin, it can very easily lead to sin if we do not cling to Jesus in those situations and look for the way out that we are promised.”

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