Temptation is Not Sin

Michael Beck

“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15)

The disciple is not above His master. Jesus suffered being tempted. His sufferings were not confined to the last day of His life. Each day of His life had a measure of suffering.

We suffer being tempted. We suffer when we are afraid. We suffer when we become angry. We suffer when desires and emotions arise in us that would lead us astray from the will and way of our Lord. Are we any different from Him in this regard?

He knows what it is like to suffer being tempted. He was tempted in all points like as we are, yet He did not succumb to sin. We can become weary and faint in our minds as we resist sin.

We can want the whole experience of suffering to end. We can want to get to a place where we are no longer tempted. But this is impossible in this life. Therefore, because Christ armed Himself with the mind to suffer in the flesh, we must arm ourselves with the same mind. (1 Peter 4:1)

There is a vast difference between resigning ourselves to the inevitability of temptation vs. resigning ourselves to the inevitability of sin. We can cease from sin, but we cannot cease from temptation. Some erroneously believe that the temptation they experience is an indication of indwelling sin. They then teach that we cannot be without sin, and throw in the towel because they believe resistance is futile. This is a fatal error rooted in bad theology.

What is the better position? To not become weary with temptation. To realize it is no mark of sinfulness. To accept that it will be a part of our lives until the day we die. To know that with Jesus as our Savior we can walk even as He walked. We cannot be above Him, in having no temptation; but we can be as He is by enduring the experience of temptation without the experience of sin. Let Jesus make this your daily and lifelong experience.

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.