Temptation is a false promise–a promise that doesn’t deliver. When we give into temptation, we are believing a lie. In the moment that we’re being tempted to do something, say something, or believe something, there is a deeper temptation happening under the surface. This may come as a surprise to you, but temptation has more to do with belief than it does behavior. Every temptation to sin (going all the way back to the Garden of Eden) is, at it’s root, a temptation to disbelieve the gospel.
When we are being tempted, we are being enticed to purchase something we think we need in order to escape the judgement of emptiness. On the surface, the bait might be lust, anger, greed, self-pity, defensiveness, entitlement, revenge, having to win, and so on. But the only reason we take the bait is because we think it will satisfy our deeper hunger for meaning, freedom, validation, respect, empowerment, affection, a sense of identity, worth, and so on.Much more at the link. I could spend many hours thinking through the meaning and implications of this brief quote ..... and probably should!
So, here’s the connection between sinning (the fruit of the problem) and unbelief (the root of the problem): our failure to lay aside the sin that so easily entangles is the direct result of our refusal to believe in the rich provisional resources that are already ours in Christ–we’re not believing that, by virtue of our Spirit-wrought union with Christ, everything we need and long for, we already possess. John Calvin rightly said that, “Christians are in perpetual conflict with their own unbelief.”