This post will concentrate on some happier news. To be tempted is not the same as to sin. Temptation itself is not sin, though it can certainly lead to sin. Jesus was tempted like us in every respect, save he did not sin, and was not a sinner (Heb.4.15). Jesus could empathize with our weaknesses, without giving in to his own weaknesses when he was on this earth. He still understands what human nature and mortal flesh is capable of.
Some pastors, in the rush to identify with their parishoners, sometimes makes the mistake of saying glib things like ‘we’ll were all sinners, and I’m no better than any of ya’ll’. Really? You don’t think its important that a preacher or teacher should set a moral example and be above reproach? Don’t you think ministers should model Christ-likeness, not sinner-likeness? I ask this question quite specifically because Paul reminds all Christians “no temptation has overcome you that is not common to humanity. God is faithful and will not allow you to be tested beyond your power to endure, but rather with the temptation God can provide an adequate means of escape” (1 Cor. 10.13). This verse needs to be preached a lot more.
Christians, real Christians who have the Spirit of God in their life, while not bullet proof, nonetheless have adequate divine resources in their life to resist temptation, to flee sin, to avoid committing willful acts of sin. Christians are absolutely not in the bondage to sin, not because human nature is better than previously advertised but because ‘greater is he who is in you’ than any of the sources of one’s temptations.