Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.  – Phil 2:12-13

Do you remember what it was to have fear & trembling when faced with temptation?

Your flesh almost hurt because you wanted something so bad, but…you knew it was wrong.  You tried to rationalize, to find a loophole.  Maybe you even went back to the Word to see if God really said…

Doing the right thing isn’t what saves you.  But if you are consistently living in sin, you should feel the conviction that asks the question, Are you really saved?

Brothers, sin wounds you.  It brings death.  Look at what Proverbs has to say about the young man that listens to temptation:

[Verses 10-15]

And behold, the woman meets him,
dressed as a prostitute, wily of heart.
She is loud and wayward;
her feet do not stay at home;
now in the street, now in the market,
and at every corner she lies in wait.
She seizes him and kisses him,
and with bold face she says to him,
“I had to offer sacrifices,
and today I have paid my vows;
so now I have come out to meet you,
to seek you eagerly
, and I have found you.

The temptress is appealing to him, pleading with him.  She wants him.  And it feels good to be wanted!  Doesn’t it?

[Verses 18-19]

Come, let us take our fill of love till morning;
let us delight ourselves with love
.
For my husband is not at home;
he has gone on a long journey;

This is bold!  Just in case you were wondering, she drops all pretense.  She wants to have sex.  And not just sex – a night of passionate sexual intimacy.  There is no risk!  No one will ever know!!

With much seductive speech she persuades him;
with her smooth talk she compels him  [Verse 21]

I get the impression that he was hesitant.  He didn’t just jump up and say, “Yeah, baby!”  He knew that he shouldn’t.  But her words were like music in his ears.

[Verses 22-23]

All at once he follows her,
as an ox goes to the slaughter,
or as a stag is caught fast
till an arrow pierces its liver;
as a bird rushes into a snare;
he does not know that it will cost him his life.

He gives in.  And he is lost.

Brothers, meditate on these words.  When you are faced with temptation, fear death!  She may be a beautiful woman, but God wants something better for you – life!

Flee temptations!  Work out your salvation in fear and trembling!

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