Are You Working for the Devil?
Sin is a transgression of God’s law. (1 John 3:4) A Christian bears the responsibility of abiding by the words of Christ. A Christian must avoid those thoughts and actions that would violate the teachings of Jesus Christ and His apostles. A Christian must also obey the commands found within the new covenant of Jesus Christ. When a Christian chooses not to obey what is written within the New Testament, he becomes guilty of sin.
In Paul’s letter to the church in Rome, he encouraged the brethren to “cast off the works of darkness” and to “put on the armor of light.” Once this change of heart, mind, and action occurs, the child of God can walk properly. Consider carefully the following words of Paul: “The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” (Romans 13:12-14, ESV) All Christians must strive to walk in the path that is right. A Christian must not make provisions to engage in sin, to fulfill the desires of the flesh.
Every Christian will face temptations to sin. Jesus said, “It is impossible that no offenses should come, . . .” (Luke 17:1) Facing temptations is a reality for which all Christians must prepare. The apostle Paul wrote, “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, that you may be able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
In addition to avoiding sin, a Christian must make certain that he does not cause another person to sin. Jesus issued a strong warning to the person who would bring temptation upon another person. Taking another look at Luke 17, we see, “It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.” (Luke 17:1-2) Jesus warned that it would be better for a person to be drowned in the sea, than to cause a brother to sin.
The reason for Jesus’ strong warning is simple. The value of a person’s soul is greater than one’s own physical life. The Bible teaches that walking in sin separates a person from the fellowship of God (1 John 1:5-10). Therefore, if a person walks in sin, in darkness, and does not make the repentant change, then he will be eternally lost. (cf. Galatians 5:19-21) When a Christian tempts another Christian with sin, he is leading that person away from God into eternal condemnation. By his actions, he devalues the soul of his brother and plays the part of the tempter. It is because of the terribleness of the sin of tempting one’s brother that Jesus said it would be better for you to lose your life than to cause your brother to sin.
Christians must consider carefully how they might tempt a brother in Christ to sin against the Lord. An easy way to see how one may tempt another person is to study the various sins found in the New Testament and ask one’s self, “In what ways could I be tempting someone to engage in these sinful deeds?” For instance, let us consider a few of the “works of the flesh” found in Galatians 5:19-21. The first three sins are: sexual immorality (fornication and adultery), impurity, and sensuality. Take note that these sins are connected with sexual desires and attraction. With an honest heart, ask yourself if your apparel, your personal presentation, your language, or even your mannerisms could be tempting those of the opposite sex. While your intentions may be innocent, a tolerated ignorance may be allowing you to dress and act in ways that present a sinful attraction to the opposite sex.
Consider another example of tempting others to sin. In Colossians 3:8, we see the following sins: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talking. Consider your actions and your words. Have you done or said things knowing your words or actions would make a person angry, tempting them to respond in a sinful way? Have you encouraged others to develop feelings of malice because of your sinful behavior? Have you set a poor example, using obscene talk with others, thereby urging them to also speak in an obscene way? While there may be times when our righteous actions may result in feelings of malice from other people, Christians must never be guilty of tempting others to anger with actions that are ungodly and sinful.
Christians must do their best never to willingly provoke another person to anger that would result in sinful actions. Christians must avoid provoking lustful thoughts in the mind of others, unless it be their spouse. Christians must never flaunt their materialistic possessions in such a way that would intentionally solicit feelings of jealousy from other people. Children of God must never lead other people into sinful actions.
When a Christian leads another person into sin or tempts another person with sin, that child of God ceases to walk in fellowship with God. Instead of working for the Lord, watching out for the souls of the saints, the Christian becomes a servant of the devil. Consider the words of the apostle Paul who wrote, “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.” (Romans 6:12-13, ESV) If you have allowed yourself to become an instrument of unrighteousness, then turn back to the leadership of the Lord, asking the Lord to forgive you of your sins while you turn away from your sins.