Temptation

In the life of a Christian there is temptation. As Christians we deal with temptation on a daily basis.
Is is what the Bible calls: "the struggle between the flesh and the spirit". All Christians deal with these things.

We read in Matthew 13, the parable of the sower, that not all Christians will be victorious.

Mat 13:20 And he that was sown upon the rocky places, this is he that heareth the word, and straightway with joy receiveth it;

Mat 13:21 yet hath he not root in himself, but endureth for a while; and when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, straightway he stumbleth.

Mat 13:22 And he that was sown among the thorns, this is he that heareth the word; and the care of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.

Some Christians will fall and will become unfruitful. It can then only be burned. Yes, Christians can fall away from the faith.

A. The nature of temptation?

Temptation come in two different ways:

Good and a bad one:

  • Good: Abraham Gen. 22; Jas. 1: 2
  • Bad: Satan Gen. 3

Jas. 1: 12-15.

G3985 peirazō

From G3984; to test (objectively), that is, endeavor, scrutinize, entice, discipline: - assay, examine, go about, prove, tempt (-er), try.

Closely connected to the word 3988 peismonē
    -From a presumed derivative of G3982; persuadableness, that is, credulity:
persuasion.

This word (3988) is used 1 time in total in the New Test. Gal. 5: 8

Note: From the next point on we will discuss the temptation that come from Satan.

B. It gives pleasure.

Why is temptation so difficult to resist? We understand that it gives us a certain kind of pleasure.

Moses:

  • Hebr. 11: 23-28. Remember the Egyptians and the Israelites at this moment.
  • Job 20: 5
  • Luke 16: 25
  • James. 5: 5

In all the above verses we read that "to some degree" sin means pleasure. If it wasn't good it would not be tempting.

In all the above verses we read that "to some degree" sin means pleasure. If it wasn't good it would not be tempting.

John Piper says that sin (lust for example) "gets its power by persuading me to believe that I will be more happy if I follow it. The power of all temptation is the prospect that it will make me happier."

David -Lust of the flesh.

Judas -Love of money.

Ananias and Saffira -Looking better.

What about you: A recent survey of Discipleship Journal readers ranked areas of greatest spiritual
challenge to them:

1. Materialism.

2. Pride.

3. Self-centeredness.

4. Laziness.

5. (Tie) Anger/Bitterness.

5. (Tie) Sexual lust.

7. Envy.

8. Gluttony.

9. Lying.

Every temptation (from satan) fall under 1 Joh. 2: 15-17
1 Joh 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

1 Joh 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the vain glory of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

1 Joh 2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

Let us not minimize it: Temptations are always lies. (see point D)

C. Where do they come from?

Jas. 1: 13
Temptation comes from Satan. Now let us be clear about the following: Satan may tempt us but he cannot make us sin. If we sin, it is us that do it.
We have been drawn away by our own desires.

The song that little children sing may well be sung by us older Christians:

Oh, be careful little ears, what you hear
For the Father Up above,
Is looking down in love,
So be careful little ears
what you hear.

Oh, be careful little eyes, what you see,
For the Father up above,
is looking down in love,
So be careful little eyes
What you hear.

Oh, be careful little mouth, what you say,
For the Father up above,
Is looking down in love,
So be careful little
mouth what you say.

Oh, be careful little hands, what you do
For the Father up above,
Is looking down in love,
So be careful little hands
What you do

Oh, be careful little feet where you go
For the Father up above,
Is looking down in love,
So be careful little feet,
Where you go.

Oh, be careful little mind what you think
For the Father up above,
Is looking down in love,
So be careful little mind,
What you think.

Oh, be careful little heart what you love
For the Father up above,
Is looking down in love,
So be careful little heart,
What you love.

Who is the tempter?

Satan

  • Matt. 4: 1, 3
  • 1 Cor. 7: 5
  • 1 Tess. 3: 5

In all these verses we read that Satan is the one that brings temptation into this world.

The greater the knowledge of the enemy, the greater potential to victory. (Douglas McArthur)

Men who trap animals in Africa say that one of the hardest animals to catch is the ringtailed monkey. For the Zulus of that continent, however, it's simple. They've been catching this agile little animal with ease for years. The method the Zulus use is based on knowledge of the animal. Their trap is nothing more than a melon growing on a vine. The seeds of this melon are a favorite of the monkey. Knowing this, the Zulus simply cut a hole in the melon, just large enough for the monkey to insert his hand to reach the seeds inside. The monkey will stick his hand in, grab as many seeds as he can, then start to withdraw it. This he cannot do. His fist is now larger than the hole. The monkey will pull and tug, screech and fight the melon for hours. But he can't get free of the trap unless he gives up the seeds, which he refuses to do. Meanwhile, the Zulus sneak up and nab him.

D. Only half of the story.

When we are tempted we are only given half the story.

Adam and Eve.

  • Gen. 3

When they were tempted, would they have considered that they would lose their physical life, loose their spiritual life, that Adam would now be sweating when doing his work, that Eve would now have pain when bringing forth children etc.

Many times people only look at the pleasure part of sin.

David.

  • Psalm 51.

Would David have considered that he would kill someone, that as a result the sword would not depart from his house etc.

Judas.

  • Matt. 26: 6-9

Would Judas have considered that afterward he could not live with the pain and commit suicide etc.

Ananias and Saffira.

  • Acts 5.

Would they have considered that this would bring about their death.

Christians, let us not minimize. Sin cost' us so much more them we can ever imagine!!

Christians, let us not minimize. Sin cost' us so much more them we can ever imagine!!

E. Our great example.

Jesus.

  • Matt. 4
  • Hebr. 4: 15
  • Hebr. 12: 1- 2

The above verses helps us to understand that we need to look at Jesus, Jesus as our example in our battles of temptation. He was able to overcome because he looked to the reward. He was able to overcome, because he looked at the Father who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above what we can ask for or imagine. (Eph. 3: 20, 21)

Moses was also victorious.

Heb 11:26 .........accounting the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt: for he looked unto the recompense of reward".

F. He comes again.

Luke 4: 13 And when the devil had completed every temptation, he departed from him for a season.

Satan tries, when we resist, he will come again at a better time.
Let us watch out.

G. Some illustrations:

Children grow up with teddy bears and often figure that since the toys are cuddly, the real things might also be so. In 1990 two boys scaled
the fence at the Bronx Zoo in New York City and went into the polar
bear compound. The next day they were found dead. Your pet sin can kill!

"Learn to say no. It will be of more use to you than to be able to read Latin." (Charles Spurgeon)

Doc Campbell is confronted by a patient who says he broke his arm in two places. The doc replies, "Well then, stay out of them places!"

He may have something there. We cannot regularly put ourselves in the face of temptation and not be affected. When faced with the problem of temptation, we need to take the good doctor's advice and "stay out of them places."

Ronald Meredith, in his book, Hurryin' Big for Little Reasons, describes one quiet night in early spring: Suddenly out of the night came the sound of wild geese flying. I ran to the house and breathlessly announced the excitement I felt. What is to compare with wild geese across the moon? It might have ended there except for the sight of our tame mallards on the pond. They heard the wild call they had once known. The honking out of the night sent little arrows of prompting deep into their wild yesterdays. Their wings fluttered a feeble response. The urge to fly--to take their place in the sky for which God made them-- was sounding in their feathered breasts, but they never raised from the water. The matter had been settled long ago. The corn of the barnyard was too tempting! Now their desire to fly only made them uncomfortable. Temptation is always enjoyed at the price of losing the capacity for flight.

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