When Jesus faced off with the Devil His weapons were simple—three carefully chosen verses from God’s Holy Word. As we open to Revelation 2, we find that same Jesus writing to a church that had learned the same lesson—how to use God’s Word to overcome and resist the devil, his demons, and their own flesh.
Jesus was sinless and never sinned, we are not.
Jesus was tempted and resisted sin; we do not.
We are tempted and sin because we have sin dwelling within us.
Sin Still Dwells in Us
Paul testified to that in his greatest doctrinal epistle, Romans 7:20. Paul affirms, that after his glorious conversion on the road to Damascus, after his personal tutelage by Christ in the wilderness, after his years of ministry as an apostle and after writing under the inspiration of God for almost 20 years, “…sin [still] dwells in me.”
Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. (NJKV)
Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. (NIV)
But if I am doing the very thing I do not wish, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. (NAS)
Today sin is still in all of us who are saved, and that is why we still sin. We are not sinners because we sin; we sin because we are sinners.
We are thieves at heart though we may not steal;
we are liars at heart even when we do not lie;
we are murderers at heart even when we do not kill;
we are adulterers at heart though we may not commit adultery.
But just as bleak as that truth may be, the glorious truth is that salvation united us to Jesus Christ—and He defeated sin not only once and for all as our substitute on the cross, but also he triumphed in the wilderness, facing Satan.
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