Did you know you can live without sinning? Oh, yes. It's true. Jesus did, and He lived on earth not as God but rather as Spirit-filled man. But, in order to do that, you have to pray over your character–and you have to pray the way that Jesus prayed.
Do you know what Jesus' secret was (other than choosing to obey the Father and hiding His Word in His heart)? His secret to powerful, pure living was prayer.
Let me show you this in Scripture. Talking about Jesus, Hebrews 5:7 says this:
“who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear” (Hebrews 5:7).
In this passage, we read that Jesus–yes, JESUS, the spotless Son of God–offered up “prayers and supplications,” with “VEHEMENT” cries and tears! Before we move any further into this passage, picture that. Can you imagine what it must have been like to see Jesus praying with vehement cries and tears to the Father?
I bet it was absolutely heartrending; don't you think so?
But take the thought further. What was Jesus praying for?
Well, since the passage tells us that Jesus prayed with cries and tears “to Him who was able to save Him from death,” it seems reasonable to infer that Jesus was praying to be saved from death.
Why on earth would Jesus have needed to pray like this?
Because Jesus was susceptible to death and needed to be saved from it. So, He asked the only One who could help Him–our Heavenly Father–to do so, and to save Him from death.
But Jesus wasn't praying about being saved from death on the cross. It goes much deeper than that.
Think about this: Hebrews 5:7 says these prayers were offered “to Him who was able to save Him from death,” and that Jesus was heard.
Jesus prayed to the One who was able to save Him from death–God the Father. Ok, we get that part. But HE WAS HEARD … and yet, He physically died.
So what was all this about? Simple: Jesus was not praying to be spared from death on the cross, for “He was heard” and yet He still died. In fact, we read in Isaiah 53:10 that it actually PLEASED the Father to crush Jesus. Jesus' godly fear did NOT get Him out of dying on the cross.
But you know what? Jesus' prayers to be saved from death DID work, for the only way Jesus could have died permanently was to sin.
Did you get that? It's incredibly important:
The only way Jesus could have died permanently was to sin.
If Jesus had sinned while walking this earth as Spirit-filled man, it would have been over for Him. He would have been condemned to die just like a man, and His death would have been an eternal death. If Jesus had sinned, He would have died physically and then would have burned in hell forever–just like every human will die unless they have received God's plan of salvation.
Yes; if Jesus had sinned, there would have been no hope of salvation for Him; for Jesus Himself WAS the ONLY Hope of salvation.
Jesus was God's ONLY plan for the salvation of mankind. And when Jesus chose to become a man, there was no plan B that could have rescued Him if He had sinned.
Think of the enormity of that. Think of the RISK that Jesus took coming to earth to live as a man, knowing full well that He would have to live a sinless life in order to both save us AND be saved Himself.
Can you imagine?
When we realize the truth that was operating behind the scenes of this Scripture, we can suddenly see why Jesus “offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death” (as it says in Hebrews 5:7). With the fires of hell looming hot before Him, we can see very well why He would have vehemently cried out to God to save Him from death …
… Not from the death of the cross, which was only a temporary death and was the entire reason Jesus came to earth in the first place …
… But He cried out to be saved from SIN, which was the only thing that had the power to cast Him into PERMANENT death.
Think about that a little while, and it will astound you.
Jesus could have sinned, but He didn't. How did He avoid sin? By offering up “prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears” … prayers asking the Father to keep Him from sin. THAT is how Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life. He asked the Father to help Him do so.
Um … If Jesus had to pray and ask Father God to keep Him from sinning, don't you think we should do the same?
When I first studied this passage, I freaked out. The very idea of JESUS–Son of God, Son of Man, Savior of the world, Lion of Judah, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world–the very idea of Jesus at risk for sin and then using the simple tool of PRAYER to keep from sinning for His entire life was overwhelming to me … because if that's how Jesus lived perfectly, that's how you and I can live perfectly too.
Simple, isn't it? Don't want to sin? Okay; you don't have to. Pray to the Father, and He will help you and keep you from sinning against Him.
So simple, yet so rich. A simple truth–yet the Gospel is stunning in its simplicity.
But the truth remains, simple though it may be:
If you want to live like Jesus lived, you have to do what Jesus did. You have to pray over your character and over your flesh's desire to sin. If you want to live without sinning, abide in the Father and ask Him to keep you from sinning against Him.
Is that the only thing we need to do to avoid sinning? No; we also have to hide God's Word in our heart, that we might not sin against Him (Psalm 119:11). We have to choose to obey Him. But it all starts with this simple prayer:
“Lord, keep me from sinning against You.”
So are you ready to pray? Pray over your character today with this simple prayer:
“Abba Father, I come to You in Jesus' name.
Father God, thank You for Your mercies, which are new every day. Lord, I need You today. I can't make it through this day without You, but I know that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me and that You will never leave me nor forsake me. Thank You, Abba Father.
Lord God, I ask in Jesus' name today that You would keep me from sinning against you.
Father, help me to hear what You're saying today–and help me to only say the things that You're saying. Help me to see what You're doing–and to only do the things that You're doing. Please keep me on a short leash, Lord. If I am even tempted to say or do anything that is not from You, show me right away that the thought or temptation IS a temptation to sin–and help me to reject the sin, submit to You, and flee from the devil.
Abba Father, I need Your help. Please keep me as the apple of Your eye today. Hide me under the shadow of Your wings. Help me to abide in Jesus; to dwell in the secret place and overshadowing of Your Spirit and Your presence.
Be Lord, Boss, and Master of my life in word and in deed today, Lord Jesus–in reality, and not just in theory.
Keep me from sinning against You. Keep me from grieving Your Holy Spirit. Fill me with Your Spirit anew and afresh, and fill me with Your Spirit of the fear of the Lord so that I might tremble before You, stand in awe of You, and never offend you with sin again.
Father, please forgive me for all my sins. Cover me with the blood of Jesus, and help me to walk worthy of the divine calling with which I have been called. It's not by might, nor by power that I can do these things; but by Your Spirit. Do in me today what can only be done by Your Own Spirit.
Thank You, Abba Father. In Jesus' precious name I pray, amen.”
Beloved friend, is the Lord gripping your heart with this truth today as you pray over your character? If so, leave a comment below–and check back for the next blog post in this series later this week!