Summary: There is at least one thing that is common to every human being who has lived regardless of race, age, or culture: temptation.
A Way of Escape
There is at least one thing that is common to every human being who has lived regardless of race, age, or culture: temptation.
Unfortunately, victory over temptation is far less universal. There is a key to unlocking the secret of victory—a key called the “way of escape.”
A way of escape because : Oscar Wilde the 19th century Irish wit confessed what many have thought over the years: “I can resist anything but temptation.”
No one can resist smiling knowingly not only at the irony in that statement—but also at the reality of it.
I. Temptation is certain our forebears Adam and Eve down to the present day, the failure to resist temptation has been the source of countless tears of regret.
The giant of temptation has captured the lives of many people. We must learn to defeat temptation if we are to walk victoriously in the spiritual life.
Fortunately, God has provided a way of escape from the giant of temptation. The apostle Paul wrote about that way in the passage of Scripture
12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
II. Temptation is a powerful tool (Eph. 6:11, 16).
Basically temptation is an enticement or invitation to sin, with the implied promise of greater good to be derived from following the way of disobedience.
1. We would like to think that after becoming a Christian temptations will cease.
2. However many scriptures teach us that the Christian life will be full of warfare.
3. Actually, temptations seem to increase in strength when we seek a deeper Christian life.
a) Temptations may be bold, or subtle
b) Temptations may be good things to stand in the way of Devotion
c) Temptations are for one purpose to destroy us
“In a survey on temptation among readers of the “Discipleship Journal”, the respondents noted temptations were more potent when they had neglected their time with God (81 percent) and when they were physically tired (57 percent). Resisting temptation was accomplished by prayer (84 percent), avoiding compromising situations (76 percent), Bible study (66 percent), and being accountable to someone (52 percent.)”
[Discipleship Journal, November / December, 1992.]
How then do we resist the temptations?
1st First of all, remember the words of Christ to his disciples that evening in the Garden on the night of His betrayal.
“Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak’ (Matthew 26:41).
Most Christians would not openly want to jump into sin, yet we cannot resist falling into it because our flesh is not strong enough to resist.
We place ourselves in situations or fill our minds with lustful passions, and that lead us into sin.
2nd Colossians 3:2 says, “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.”
We need to renew our thinking as we are told in Romans 12:1-2. We need to no longer think as the world thinks, or walk in the same way that the world walks.
Proverbs 4:14-15 tells us, “Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not proceed in the way of evil men. Avoid it, do not pass by; Turn away from it and pass on.”
We need to avoid the path of the world that leads us into temptation because “our flesh is weak.” We are easily carried away by our own lusts.
3rd Matthew 5:29 has some excellent advice. “If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw if from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.”
That sounds pretty severe! Sin is severe! Jesus is not saying that we literally need to be removing body parts.
Cutting out the eye is a drastic measure, and Jesus is teaching us that if necessary, a drastic measure should be taken to avoid sin.
4th The Bible is our offensive weapon against Satan, the sword of the Spirit.
Jesus was in all ways was tempted just like us, though without sin.
He responded to Satan three times, saying: It is written, It is written, It is written.
He had committed God’s Word to memory, and in the face of temptation He responded with Scripture.
We need to be filled with the Scripture and with the Spirit day by day, moment by moment.