Grace and faith are the characteristic features of the present dispensation. Not only is salvation now declared to be by grace, through faith, but the Spirit also operates in the believer by grace, through faith. He does not take possession of us and cause us to do what is right, but dwells within each believer (I Cor. 6:19) to provide needed guidance and the strength to withstand temptation, and we may avail ourselves of this provision by faith.
The Spirit, Who first imparted life to us will also impart strength to withstand temptation and overcome sin. In our inability to even pray as we ought, “the Spirit… helpeth our infirmities” and “maketh intercession for us” (Rom. 8:26). In our weakness we are “strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man” (Eph. 3:16) and God even stoops to “quicken [our] mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in us” (Rom. 8:11).
“Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh” (Ver. 12).
The implication from the above passage is that though sorely tempted we are debtors to the Spirit who dwells within and provides overcoming power.
The question, in times of temptation, is generally whether we truly desire to overcome, for we may overcome in any given case by grace, through faith. In the present dispensation it is not true that it is not possible for the believer to sin, but it is blessedly true that in any situation it is possible for him not to sin, for the Spirit is always there to help.
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.