The Blaine County Journal News-Opinion - We've Got The County Covered

My Answer

 

June 12, 2019



Q: Is belief in God the same as the belief the devil has in God?

A: The devil and his demons know God exists; certainly Satan stands before the throne of God accusing mankind, as seen in the book of Job. The demon world also believes in the facts of Jesus’ birth, life, death and resurrection. But their belief is not a saving belief because it does not lead them to turn to God in repentance.

A saving belief in God is what happens when sinners turn from sin to Christ and put their trust and faith in Him, the Savior of sinners. This is a saving faith. It involves not only an intellectual acceptance of certain facts about God and about Jesus. It involves complete surrender of living a sinful life and committing to living an obedient life according to God’s word, without reserve. This means to turn away from the former life and walk in new life with Him. Jesus Christ gives us this ability, but we must follow.

The Bible tells us over and over again of God’s love and warns us constantly of the devil who wants to come between us and God. Satan is ever waiting to ensnare our souls. But when our minds are on the things of God, Satan has little room to maneuver. “Take the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one” (Ephesians 6:16).

Satan does not care how much we theorize about Christianity or how much we profess to know about Christ. What he opposes vigorously is the way we live for Christ, by faith, before an unbelieving world. We must not give Satan a foothold (Ephesians 4:27), but discipline ourselves to stay close to God. He alone is our security.

Q: I struggle with peer pressure and often make decisions and do things that I know are not the best, but I succumb to influences by others, I suppose, to be liked and accepted. Is this temptation?

A: An important lesson can be learned by experimenting with magnets. Children often do this, placing two magnets a distance apart and then moving just one toward the other. One magnet will draw the other closer until they adhere, making it difficult to pull them apart.

Temptation is something like that, and it often begins with giving into peer pressure. The more we dwell on what we are being tempted to do, the more likely it is that we will succumb. Giving into temptation brings about sin. The Bible says, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

This is what God promises. Now what is our responsibility? We must not toy with such things in our minds. The Bible says to flee—get as far away from it as possible.

Joseph is an example. When he was tempted by his master’s wife, he said, “How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9). This is the key. Joseph recognized the temptation and fled. When we sin we not only hurt ourselves and others, but most importantly we sin against God. But what gave Joseph the strength to flee? The Bible says, “The Lord was with him” (Genesis 39:3). If we are praying not to enter into temptation (Luke 22:40), the Lord will enable us to recognize it and flee.

 
 

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