Free at Last

Search the Word | Vol. 26 No. 2
The Bible reveals how we may receive power to overcome any sinful habit.

I started smoking at 15 years of age. It was the thing to do. It started small, but by the time I reached 20, I smoked four packs of cigarettes a day. Little did I know that I would be a slave to nicotine for 25 years. Smoking became my problem, the sin that was holding me captive.

What broke the chain? After many years of running from God, He became a real person to me, and I decided to become a Christian. Cigarettes did not fit into the kind of lifestyle that God wanted me to lead, so they had to go.

I tried many times to quit alone. But it wasn’t until I tried with God’s help that I made it. When the urge to smoke came, I faced it with prayer, and God brought me through. To help myself, I got rid of matches and threw out all my cigarettes. Now I am no longer a nicotine addict. I’m free at last!

Many people are ensnared by sin and are suffering its devastating consequences. They put forth effort to resist temptation and overcome sin in their lives, but it seems that their efforts are in vain, and they give up the battle in discouragement. But there is hope. The secret to overcoming is laying hold of a power outside ourselves, and uniting that power with our efforts. God can give us the power to overcome any sinful habit. But how do we lay hold of that divine power?

This study will show from Scripture how to make God’s power an active influence in your life and thereby experience victory over sin.

I. TEMPTATION

1. Why must the children of God be “sober and vigilant?” 1 Peter 5:8
2. What provision has God made to assist us in resisting temptation? Matthew 26:41; 1 Thessalonians 5:22
3. What does our faithful God do when we face Satan’s fierce temptations? 1 Corinthians 10:13

II. CHRIST OUR EXAMPLE

1. When Christ was living on Earth, how was He tempted? Hebrews 4:15
2. How are we changed into Christ’s image? 2 Corinthians 3:18

A beautiful statue of a Greek slave girl once stood in the market place of an Italian city. It represented the slave as neat and well dressed. A ragged, unkempt street child found the statue in her play one day and, captivated by it, gazed long and lovingly. Moved by a sudden impulse, she went to wash her face and comb her hair. On another day, she stopped to admire the statue, and a new idea flashed into her mind. The next day her tattered clothes were washed and mended. Each time she looked at the statue, she found something in its beauties to admire and copy, until she was a transformed child. In our natural state, we are slaves to sin. Jesus came to this world to suffer and die so that we might have a supernatural experience. As we behold Him in His Word through prayer and meditation and serve Him by serving others, we may be changed more and more into the glory of His likeness. Then, if faithful, we shall some day see Him face to face.

Verse 14:

Verse 15:

Verse 16:

Verse 17:

Verse 18:

4. What special benefit comes to us when our minds are made like Christ’s? Romans 12:2

The work of transformation is accomplished when man cooperates fully with Christ. When the Holy Spirit dwells in the heart of man, a coalition is constructed which cannot be defeated. Philippians 2:12, 13.

5. Who can we be like in this present world? 1 John 4:17
6. What will be the reward of the overcomer? Revelation 3:21; Revelation 22:12

PROMISES FOR VICTORIOUS LIVING

1. What has God given to help us become partakers of the divine nature? 2 Peter 1:4
2. How is Jesus able to present us faultless before the glory of His Father? Jude 24
3. What does God promise to do for us through the merits of Christ’s blood? Hebrews 13:20, 21
4. Why is the Lord long-suffering toward us? 2 Peter 3:9
5. What does the Lord promise to deliver us from? 2 Timothy 4:18; Galatians 1:4; John 17:15
6. Is Jesus’ power sufficient for victory over sin? Ephesians 3:20; 2 Corinthians 2:14; Philippians 4:13
3. Under what condition are we made partakers of Christ? Hebrews 3:14; Mark 13:13
4. What does God always cause us to do in Christ? 2 Corinthians 2:14; Psalm 92:4

OVERCOMING THROUGH FAITH

1. What experience are we promised through faith? 1 John 5:4

The term world is used 249 times in the Bible. In the Scriptures, the term the world is used in two different ways: the literal world (or planet) and the world of spiritual darkness. Those who do not follow the teachings of Jesus live in the world of spiritual darkness. 1 John 2:15; John 18:36.

2. What is God’s recipe for overcoming temptation? Ephesians 6:11
3. What are the different characteristics of God’s armor? Ephesians 6:12–18

SUMMARY

Our senses are bombarded daily by temptations. With all his wiles, Satan attempts to defeat God’s children by luring them into sin. Jesus knows from firsthand experience what it is like to be tempted. Yet He never yielded to sin, not even in thought. Nonetheless, He understands our dilemma and is able to help us avoid the misery of a sinful course. We are forgiven of our past sins by having faith in Christ, and He attributes His righteousness to us. Then, day by day, He enables us to develop a spotless character like His perfect character. He gives us many promises in Scripture which we can claim in order to become heirs of the Kingdom. James 2:5. Through victorious living, we give glory to Him.

COMMITMENT

Today and every day, I determine to make a covenant with Christ to develop a Christ-like character through His power.

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