One of the incredible benefits of the spiritual rebirth that takes place when a person puts his or her faith in what Jesus accomplish on the cross with the forgiveness of sins is that the old nature that used to reign in us no long has the same power of dominion. That means we don’t have to continue giving into the old nature’s demands on our lives, and we have the freedom, empowered by the Holy Spirit, to say “no” to temptation and “no” to the former way of living. The whole idea in the book of James is that a changed life must be accompanied by a different standard of living. In those moments when temptation comes, we need to pause and step back to examine what’s really going on and what’s at stake. Rather than being like one of those punching clowns that pops back up for more and more, we can say to sin and to temptation, “you don’t own me.” When that new birth takes place, the Holy Spirit is implanted in our lives, and by His power, we can be strong. If you’re facing temptation (and let’s be honest, who isn’t?), then remember that it doesn’t have to own you any longer and that you can find strength by the Spirit to not be defeated!
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Seth is a pastor, author, and speaker who lives in Batesville, Indiana. He is married to Kari, and they have two daughters, Madelyn and Noelle.