Even if officially authorized, if something is contrary to God’s revealed principles it is still wrong.

We should at all times endeavour to have a good conscience both with God (the higher authority and to whom we are accountable) and man, living with integrity and uprightness as we do what is legitimate and what is the most loving – this consistent lifestyle receives God’s approval (Mk 12:30,31; Act 5:29, 23:1; Rom 12:17; 1 Tim 1:5).

Neither God nor Satan can legally force us to do anything. They will not violate our free will. The Holy Spirit brings conviction, prompting us to do something that will result in liberty and victory. Satan uses temptation to draw us away from the close connection, and guilt when we do. We are continually offered two choices, God’s way of life and blessing or Satan’s way of death and curse (Deut 30:15-20; Jn 10:10). The choice is always ours, yet after giving in to sin a pattern is established with the choice becoming routine and little consideration given to its outcome – whether sinful or obedient.

In this life we will be subject to temptation, as even Jesus was, yet when we don’t yield Satan has no hold or power over us (Mt 4:1-11; Jn 14:30). Yet he has a legitimate right to attack Christians when we sin, which is stepping out from under the covering or alignment of Christ by giving our allegiance to something or someone other than God.

Know your position in Christ, and endeavour always to remain there

The Bible says, “Do not give the devil a foothold” for he is always on the prowl looking for an opportune time to attack, yet when walking in victory under the cleansing blood of Jesus, Satan can only persuade or deceive us into stepping out of close relationship with Christ (Eph 4:27; 1 Pet 5:8). The Bible asks the question, "Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies" (Rom 8:33). When we accepted salvation we were justified with our past sins wiped away with the record of our legal sin debts cancelled (Col 2:13-15). However for subsequent sin, from that point on the enemy has easy access to harass and attack until the matter is addressed and repented of, and we come back into the place of security under His protection, with a change of heart and response removing Satan’s right of access (Ps 91:1,15; Isa 59:2; Ezek 39:24; Mic 3:4; 1 Jn 1:9). What a good reason to settle issues quickly, besides freeing ourselves of the inner torment as David described (Ps 32:3-5).

When we choose to ‘eat the forbidden fruit’, we make Satan our master, ‘yielding our members’ to sin (Gen 3:1-6; Rom 6:11-14). “You are servant to whom you obey…A man is a slave to whatever has mastered him” (Rom 6:6,16-22; 2 Pet 2:19). If we don’t forgive someone, Satan is legally entitled to get and hold the advantage over us and we exclude ourselves from God’s forgiveness (Mt 6:14,15; 2 Cor 2:11).

Praise the Lord, God considers us cleansed by the blood of Christ; the legal requirement of death for our sin was paid by Christ “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 6:23).

See also: advantage, choice, conscience, covering, illegal, legalism, legitimate, position in Christ, trials/legal.