The “Trail Guide” devotional is used by our adult leaders of grade school groups in Quest as a way to prepare their hearts and minds for the topics we will be covering with the children on the weekend. We have made them available here to help our parents of grade-schoolers engage with their children around the topics we are discussing and also for anyone else that might be blessed by following along.
FREE CLIMBING, LESSON 1: Victory Over Sin
“The temptations in our high-tech culture are so much worse than our parents had to deal with.” This is in a sense true, but in another very important sense, it is not. While the Internet, a permissive culture, and a lot of other factors certainly facilitate sinful behavior, they have not created “new” temptations. “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). The temptations or enticements themselves are the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. The selfish desire for riches, power, physical pleasure, and fame are still the “sticky” places in our flesh that Satan uses to hook us into sin just as he has for millennia. The good news is that, just as the temptations are the same, the Bible’s answer to them continues to be effective.
Before we were saved and found “in” Christ, we were “dead in our sins.” We were essentially slaves to our sinful or fallen nature. We operated within a closed system where sin had dominion. The Bible teaches us that something changed the day the light of Christ shined on us. We were freed from the rule of sin over our lives. “For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin” (Romans 6:6). If we are freed from sin are we sin free or temptation free? Clearly not, but it does mean that we are no longer trapped in the closed circuit. We are free to choose the right path. Free to resist temptation. Free to pursue holiness in Christ. For the believer this makes life more complicated. Before Christ we sinned because that was our nature through and through. Once we were “rescued from the kingdom of darkness and brought into the kingdom of the Son” we became a “new creation” called to be holy as God is holy. That can be a scary thought given that we are still living in mortal flesh, but God has given us his word that we will not be tempted beyond what we can bear, according to the grace given to us, and that when we are tempted He will always provide an escape route for us to take.
In the coming weeks we will be walking our young people through God’s promise to give us victory over sin in our lives because Christ defeated its power over us. There is great hope to be found in this truth. Christ, our great High Priest, does not command us to do that which He hasn’t already done and equipped us to do. Unencumbered by the sin that entangles us we are free to climb the peaks God has called us to in Christ.
Jesus was “tempted in every way, just as we are – yet, He did not sin.” -Hebrews 4:15b
MEDITATING ON THE WORD:
1 Corinthians 10:13