Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Temptation, James 1:13, 14

Two weeks ago my Pastor spoke on temptation as the theme for his morning sermon using this passage -- James 1:13-14, “Let 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. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.”

And since then my friend and I have been tossing back and forth ideas about how it could be that Satan was able to tempt Jesus because He doesn’t have lusts. Well, my reasoning may not be completely correct, but this is what I’ve come up with so far . . . .

We are all of us tempted by our lusts, but being tempted is not the problem, for the Bible clearly says our Lord Jesus was indeed tempted in the wilderness (Luke 4:2 and Matthew 4:1). But it is when we give in to that temptation that we sin. Satan tempted Jesus with human lusts – the exact same ones he uses to tempt us. But Jesus has no lustfulness in Him; therefore He did not give in to that temptation and did not sin.

As we grow in our walk with the Lord, becoming more sanctified, more mature, more Christ-like – our lustfulness begins to fade and temptations bother us less and less. However, even as I am writing this, I realize that our lusts are very much still there. The old sins may bother us less, but new sins have crept in – ever so subtly – to take their place; for example, the PRIDE that I’m not doing that “old” sin anymore.

But GLORY be to God that when tempted, Jesus, having ALL power and authority and being fully God, did not just “ZAP” the devil and make him stop bothering Him. No, instead He used the Bible to thwart Satan; the same Sword of the Spirit that every believer has to fight off Satan. Jesus gave us His example, using memory verses from the book of Deuteronomy, to rise above temptations.

And now, I have to stop writing in this blog and go memorize some more Scripture verses!

Ephesians 6:11, 17
Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil” -- including “the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

Journal Suggestions:

What sword-like verses has the Lord given to you for fighting Satan in your life?

Describe a time you were able to overcome a particular temptation by using Scripture.

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