Be Watchful over Temptations That Cause Sinning
In our lives as believers temptations will come. The good thing about temptations is that they do bring us closer to God.
The Bible gives many warnings and precautions both in the Old and New Testament. These warnings are to protect us and help us prosper. There are two sins in the New testament with grave warnings. In Luke 12:10 Jesus warns us about blaspheming the Holy Spirit. The Bible tells us that all other sins will be forgiven but not blaspheming the Holy Spirit. Blaspheming the Holy Spirit is when someone violates the direction of the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit that directs us to the cross so resistance to Jesus' saving grace cannot be forgiven. Luke 12 talks about the non-believers who refuse to accept Jesus as their savior.
In Luke 17, Jesus talks about our part in receiving and giving temptation. Anyone can receive temptation from outside sources, but we can also become temptations to other. In other words, we can become a carrier of temptation making other people fall into temptation and sin.
When Jesus talks about temptation in Luke 17, He means scandalous or a trap for in a scandalous event. This kind of temptation is like a trap that is triggered by an unaware prey. The temptation is purposely set to catch someone in sin.
Believers need to be aware of temptations so as to avoid falling into these traps, but believers do not have the ability to avoid all temptations. If anything, Christians are more likely to be tempted. The good news is that we are not alone, but rather that we have the Holy Spirit.
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever,
John 14:16 ESV
We understand Jesus warns us that we do not become carriers of temptation. In fact, Jesus says that it is better if the person were never born. Jesus is showing the value of His members. Jesus values each one of His believers, and expects us to also value each other as He does.
Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”
Luke 17:3-4 ESV
Unforgiveness is the biggest temptation in the congregation. Some members are insensitive about causing offences and unaware of the pain that they have caused. The burden on your heart blocks your blessings from God and the blessings meant for the person who has offended.
If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”
John 20:23 ESV
and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
Matthew 6:12 ESV
So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
Matthew 5:23-24 ESV
Forgiveness is the only time in our lives when we can affect the blessings for others and ourselves.
Sometimes it is hard to forgive because we feel that we are better than them. At the same time, we should also not play a pacifist role. We need to be direct and not ignore what has happened and actively seek to forgive. Finally we have be careful not to fall back into unforgiveness when we are in post meditation. It is easy to reflect on how someone had offended us and bring up all those negative feelings and justifications why they should be punished and punished severely.
May the Lord Jesus give us heart of flesh, so we may forgive others like He has forgiven us.