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The Spiral of Sin + Temptation – part 1



Thoughts that go unchecked long enough in our minds cause us to stumble and sin against God. It’s the enemy’s plan to let these thoughts fester and grow. However, we must remember that the work of Jesus is FINISHED. Not only has Jesus established a beachhead for us to launch into victory—he has provided us with blueprints of the enemy’s plans. In the power of the Holy Spirit and the knowledge of how the enemy operates, we defend our thoughts and break the cycle of sin and temptation.

Key Takeaway

There is a very specific pattern that keeps us in the spiral of sin. If we don't know where we are at in it, we are helpless to get out of it. God has given us everything we need for life and to walk in righteousness, but first we have to be honest with ourselves and willing to make the hard changes that the Holy Spirit reveals to us.

A simple snapshot of how we end up sinning: a thought comes into our mind, temptation comes into our life, but we let it sit there and give it time, and eventually, we do what we were thinking about. Next, you become frustrated that you did it, so you promise never to do it again, but you return to it again and again.

The spiral of sin goes round and round, leaving us thinking there's either something wrong with us or something wrong with the Gospel. People either bail out at this point or keep showing up, but they are living in defeat.

Remember 2 Corinthians 10:4-5. You're in hand-to-hand combat, but you're meant to live in victory. We've been given the power to demolish strongholds and take every thought captive.

Do you really want to live a different life? Do you want to live free?

Steps of the Spiral of Sin

1.The temptation from the enemy enters our minds. It's contrary to God's best for you. James 1:13-15 says that we are pulled away, dragged, and enticed- lured away. It's specific to us, just like a lure is specific to the type of fish you're trying to catch.

  • We are not free agents on earth. We are on a battlefield, and we are targeted by the enemy. The enemy's plan is to bury you and anything God focused on in your life.

2.You can't think the enemy is behind every bad thing that happens, but you also can't walk around with blinders on. You need to know about him.

  • The enemy is crafty. Genesis 3:1
  • Daniel describes him as full of wisdom and light. He was a high-ranking, brilliant angel.
  • He is a created being that fell from Heaven.
  • He often masquerades as an angel of light.
  • He sneaks in through the side door.
  • He challenges God's truth. Genesis 3:1
  • Asks you, "Did God really say?"
  • He attacks God's character and intentions. Genesis 3:4-5
  • Tells you God is holding out on you, you can't trust Him.
  • He promises something he can't deliver. Genesis 3:5
  • He appeals to basic human needs. Genesis 3:6
  • Eve saw that the fruit was good for eating.
  • Our most common basic needs are acceptance, worth, satisfaction, fulfillment, and happiness.
  • He uses others to encourage you in your hasty choices. Genesis 3:6
  • Adam was with her and also participated.
  • You may have to change your circle if your circle is right there with you rolling out the red carpet for you to do dumb things. They don't care about you; they just want company in their dysfunction. They want you to be doing what they are doing.

3.We act on the temptation and sin.

  • We let that thought pitch a tent and start a fire in our minds.
  • YOU sin. No one made you do it; it's no one else's fault.

4.There is usually momentary pleasure.

  • It is fun for a moment. There's a reason you desire it.
  • Proverbs 14:12-13, the way seems right, but it leads to death. The end of a good time often leads to sorrow.

5.We discover sin's hook. Genesis 3:7

  • Adam and Eve both realized that they were naked. Instant shame.

6.We are met by feelings of frustration, guilt, and shame.

  • Adam and Eve knew it all on their own. They didn't have to be told. You can't blame the effects of sin on the culture. God created your heart, and you innately know when you missed the mark.

7.The enemy shifts to a new tactic-accusation and condemnation.

  • The enemy took you from enticing you, promising everything that you desire to accusing you, telling you that you are the worst Christian on the planet; you are so far gone from God's grace. This plays on repeat in your head. And we let him! We agree instead of telling him to shut up.
  • Condemnation is the ultimate blow. It says there is no more value, purpose, future, or worth in you. And then he tears you down.
  • God doesn't condemn you, He convicts you. Conviction is from the Holy Spirit and makes you recognize the need for a change.
  • Next, people want to rededicate themselves to God. The problem with rededicating is it's all about our promising God what we're going to do. Victory only comes when we surrender and trust God, allowing the Holy Spirit to search our hearts and make the changes needed to take our life out of the spiral. Jesus's finished work is enough.
  • The enemy wants you to rededicate your rededication so many times that you become hopeless.

8.We find ourselves vulnerable, weak, isolated, and longing.

  • Whatever the longing was that got you into this place is exposed again...acceptance, worth, fulfillment, satisfaction, and happiness.
  • This is where the enemy comes right back with the very same temptation...and the spiral starts all over again.

Jesus has already established victory for you and invites you to stand with Him. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says he helps us endure.


We are not free agents on earth. We are on a battlefield, and we are targeted by the enemy. His plan is to bury you...Jesus has established the victory and invites you to stand with Him.

Louie Giglio

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Scripture References

  • 2 Corinthians 10:5 1 Corinthians 10:13, Genesis 3:1-10
  • James 1:13-15
  • Proverbs 14:12-13
  • 1 Corinthians 10:13
  • Genesis 3:1-10
Louie Giglio

Global Pastor

Louie Giglio Louie Giglio is the Visionary Architect and Director of the Passion Movement, comprised of Passion Conferences, Passion City Church, Passion Publishing and sixstepsrecords, and the founder of Passion Institute.