- “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately corrupt; who can understand it? “I the Lord search the mind and try the heart, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.” (Jeremiah 17:7–10)
In the book of Hebrews, we learn that Lord Jesus Christ searches the heart to discern between thoughts and intent—whether we truly want to enter God’s rest.
- Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, that no one fall by the same sort of disobedience. For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And before him no creature is hidden, but all are open and laid bare to the eyes of him with whom we have to do. (Hebrews 4:11–13)
- No one born of God commits sin; for God’s nature abides in him, and he cannot sin because he is born of God. (1 John 3:9)
If we are truly born of God, we have no desire to sin. Anyone who has a desire to sin, has not truly entered God’s rest and secured his or her salvation. People hate hearing this, but we really need to strive to enter God’s rest. This does not mean we are working for our salvation; instead, we are seeking to establish our relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ in such a way that He is no longer looked upon as our hope of salvation, but becomes the love of our lives because He is now the Lord of our lives.
Once Jesus Christ has become Lord of our lives, we may find ourselves being tempted to do things. We may even get caught off guard and trip up. But our hearts are not in violation of our relationship with God, if we unwittingly find ourselves sinning. This distinct difference is why whoever is born of God does not commit sin, because the person’s inner nature has changed. Instead of possessing a nature that seeks out sin and revels in inordinate desire, we find ourselves preferring the peace of holiness; the joy of being in control of our lives; the love of being free from frustration and unfulfilled unruly desire.
When we continue in Jesus’ word, we are set free from ignorance, but when Jesus Himself sets us free, we are free from sin.
- Jesus then said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” … Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, every one who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not continue in the house for ever; the son continues for ever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:31–32, 34–36)
Temptation is not sin. Nevertheless, temptation is not something that originates with God. James says that we are tempted only when we are lured by our own desires (James 1:13–15). However, this does not occur if our sin nature has been cut away and God’s nature has been placed in situ. Once our nature has been changed within, we may recognize the lust in other people, we may even feel it, but we will not be consumed by it, for we will have no desire.
Understanding Truth Is Not A Matter Of Man’s Doctrines Rather What God Wrote