“It scarcely seems necessary to emphasize the great importance in overcoming, if we would be of those who will ultimately teach the whole human family how to overcome. It will be readily seen that we must learn how to overcome ourselves, before we would be qualified to teach others the art of overcoming. In His last message to the seven churches of Asia Minor the Lord Jesus made very plain that the receiving of the great blessings which the Father would give through the Son, would be contingent upon overcoming on our part.”
“To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” (Rev.3:21)
“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield you your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God” (Rom. 6:12, 13).
This “let not” implies that we are now in a position to make a decision as to whom we shall obey. In times past we did not submit ourselves to God. We were not even concerned with such submission. Previous to our reconciliation we were under the law or rule of sin, “fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others” (Eph. 2:3).
Formerly, even though we strove against sin and uncleanness, we were aware that because of our weak will we were unable to lift ourselves out of the degrading tendencies we had because of our adamic nature. The habits acquired over years broke any resistance we had to our failures. We had yielded ourselves “…servants to uncleanness and to iniquity” (Rom. 6:19) which always resulted in more iniquity. We were prey to all kinds of wickedness because of our fallen nature, accentuated by our willful ways. We were “like a city that is broken down, and without walls” (Prov. 25:28).
Now a strong wall has to be erected — a tendency to resist temptation and to obey the will of God when an issue involving that will is placed before us. What we have in Christ is the new spirit of life, a spirit that helps our infirmities (Rom. 8:26), for: “…if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwells in you” (Rom. 8:11). Here is adequate power to give victory over each temptation.
It is no sin to be tempted. The old man (human nature), though counted as dead (Rom. 6:11, 12), does not submit to the new mind (or will) of the spirit without resistance. Each temptation is an opportunity to exercise godliness and to gain victory over the old man.
Yield not to temptation, for yielding is sin. Each victory will help you some other to win.
So then it is up to you to allow the Lord to build up a wall of resistance against yielding, and thus you shall grow in grace and in the knowledge of God. Fortify the new mind in the will of God. One may not realize it at first, but “it is God that works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13). “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly” (1 Thess. 5:23).”
The Herald of Christ’s Kingdom Jan/Feb 1992, Page 17
“After our Lord had humbled himself by taking the body prepared for him, his first act (when the body was mature) was to formally deliver it up to death; and this he signified by making a living picture (his baptism) of his submission to death and consequent sufferings preceding it, and of his resurrection. Here is an important element that the faithful servant will be giving to the members of the household, though some may think that they can live without it.
His next act was to submit to be led (but of the spirit) into the wilderness to be tempted, to be brought directly in contact with the powers of darkness, to stand as a man alone in the presence of the ruler of the darkness of this world to be tempted. But why was he tempted? It would not make him any purer nor better surely; he was without sin already.
He came down to the condition of the perfect man; he was the second Adam. The first Adam with no preference for evil, but having no knowledge of its terrible nature, was tempted and fell, the second Adam, likewise with no preference for evil, but with a knowledge of its awful results, and of the power of God (By his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many. Isaiah 53:11), was as really tempted, and triumphed. He evidently was free and could have yielded; in fact, he was tempted TO yield, but gloriously resisted and vanquished his foe.
Now again we ask, why did he pass through this ordeal?
TO SHOW US HOW TO OVERCOME.
Being the Captain of our salvation, the Leader of a little band of conquerors, his example was necessary, for through them “all the families of the earth” are to be blessed. “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made“…and that seed “is Christ” Gal. 3:16. Now, if we “be Christ’s (if we feed on him and partake of his life), then are we Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Gal. 3:29.
Then here is a choice principle for the household to feed upon; the knowledge of Christ, or Christ’s knowledge.
But, says one, his knowledge was divine, and though he was tempted, he knew he would not be overcome.
That is just the point we wish to make prominent right here. He has opened for us the way to the same source of knowledge, divine word and spirit, and Christ’s example to feed on.
But, says one, if I could know, as he did, that I would come out of the conflict all right I could endure it too.
But you would know that just as surely as he, if you would feed on his knowledge.
Here is a bit of it, take it and let it strengthen thine heart when trial comes, as it did his: “God is faithful who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able, but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” 1 Cor. 10:13.
This is divine knowledge, and just the knowledge that he had. If you believe it AND (most importantly) APPROPRIATE IT, (feed upon it) you will triumph just as he did.”
Many of us say we believe this and that we believe that, but where we generally fail is in believing that the promise applies to us personally, that the LORD is speaking directly to us. We tend to imagine the Lord is speaking to others those more faithful than ourselves, but is it not those who are especially troubled who need the Lord’s help the most? If we truly wish to receive the Lord’s help and blessings we must by faith appropriate them to ourselves.
(R 326 par. 11-15)