We often use words like sin and temptation as if they are synonymous. But is there a difference between the two? Let’s find out.
Temptation is not the equivalent of sin. Where sin is the act of disobeying God in thought, word, or deed, temptation is different. In one sense, temptation is what happens when we feel the pull toward violating God’s commands. But in another sense, it refers to good desires that are twisted and directed toward pleasing ourselves rather than giving glory to God.
Jesus illustrates the difference between the two when He was tempted like we are (Matt. 4), and yet He never sinned. He faithfully resisted temptation and followed the will of His Father.
Temptation is a real thing, and none of us are so pure and holy that we could not allow our temptation to give way to sin. This means we need to know our weaknesses, and be guard against any temptation that may lead us to sin (Matt. 26:41), praying as Jesus taught, for God to deliver us from evil (Matt. 6:13).