Saturday, July 28, 2012

Christian Victory over Temptation

2 Peter 2:9a "then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials...."

In today's blog we want to consider what the Bible has to say on the subject of temptation.  I thought we would do this by noting some observations we learn about temptation from God's Word.

1. Temptation by itself is not sin
James 1:12-13 "Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. 13Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.

2. When I give in to temptation, it is sin   
James 1:14-16 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. 15Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. 16Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.

3. God is faithful.
1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.

4. Three sources of temptation.
a. Devil (temptation’s adversary) 1 John 2:14
b. World (temptation’s arena) 1 John 2:15
c. Flesh (temptations active target). 1 John 2:16

1 John 2:14-16 I have written to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one. 15Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.

5. Why do people give into temptation?
 James 4:1-3 What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members? 2You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. 3You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.

6. Can Christians have victory over temptation? Yes.
Hebrews 2:18 For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.
Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.