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Is Temptation a Sin?

Ask an officer anything. An officer in The Salvation Army is an ordained minister of Christian faith. By Captain Amanda Krueger
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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.

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