Summary: This sermon deals with the temptation. What is it? How we are being tempted? and What will be the results if we let in temptation in our life.
TOPIC: BE CAREFUL WITH THE BAIT OF SATAN
(3rd of a Series in the Book of James – A Life That Makes a Difference Series)
Text: James 1: 12-18
v. 12, “Blessed (happy, to be envied) is the man who is patient under trials and stands up under temptation, for when he has stood the test and been approved, he will receive (the victor’s) crown of life which God has promised to those who love Him.” – Amplified Version
(ILL. There was once a poor country pastor was furious when he confronted his wife with the receipt for a $250 dress she had bought. "How could you do this!" he exclaimed. "I don’t know," she wailed, "I was standing in the store looking at the dress. Then I found myself trying it on. It was like the Devil was whispering to me, "Gee, you look great in that dress. You should buy it." "Well," the pastor persisted, "You know how to deal with him! Just tell him, "Get behind me, Satan!" "I did," replied his wife, "but then he said "It looks great from back here, too.")
From this part of James 1:12-18 we will discover truth about temptation?
1. The REASON of Temptation (Meaning)
It’s meaning – (Webster TEMPTA’TION, n. The act of tempting; enticement to evil by arguments, by flattery, or by the offer of some real or apparent good.) A temptation is also called an enticement or a lure or bait. Temptation is not sin. Temptation is the opportunity to sin. How do we know that temptation is not sin? Because the Bible says that Jesus Himself was tempted, and the Bible is equally clear that Jesus did not sin. So it’s very important that we learn what temptation really is and how it operates. Since we can force no one to do be anything, I contend temptation is the seduction of the will. In the resolve of the mind resides the seeds and plans to do wrong or right. Although we may feel guilty thoughts when we are tempted, the thoughts themselves are not sinful just as receiving an invitation to a party does not equal attending the party itself. An invitation can be refused or go unanswered. Temptation invites us to entertain wrong desires. It cannot force us to attend. These desires when entertained germinate the seeds of wrongdoing. The mind plans what the body carries out, so it is before the action happens that the sin is truly fashioned. As the mind is permitted to desire what is wrong, sin is conceived.
On the other side, the positive meaning or purpose of it. v. 12, “Blessed (happy, to be envied) is the man who is patient under trials and stands up under temptation, for when he has stood the test and been approved, he will receive (the victor’s) crown of life which God has promised to those who love Him.” – Amplified Version. God not only send us to trials and testing but He also allows for us to be tempted and the reason in v. 12 of Amplified Version is clear, so that we may stands up under temptation and then we have been approved. Even Christ experienced it and was able to stand up under different temptation and was approved. I believe that God allows temptation to come upon us not so He can discover something about us. The testing that comes from temptation comes so we can see and know who we are for ourselves. We can know where we stand and we can know to whom we should cling.
2. The RESOURCE of Temptation (Source)
James 1:13-14, “When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil; nor does He tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.” The truths here that we see is that, God are not the source of temptation. God is holy, pure, and perfect. Sin is anything but. God allows temptation, but He is not the source. It just doesn’t get any plainer than that. The source of temptation is clearhere, your own evil desires!
Actually there are three main sources of temptation: The Devil, The World and Our self. Sa tagalog tatlong “S”: Satanas, Sanlibutan at Sarili. Being aware of the lure that the devil used is significant to overcome temptation.
There is a lot of bait that the Devil uses to tempt us. In Gen. 3:6 he used the lure of forbidden fruit. In Gen. 13:10-13 regarding Abraham and Lot, he used the lure of fertile fields. In Gen. 25:29-33 he used the lure of appetite. In Jos. 7:21 he used the lure of silver and gold. In I Kings 11:1, 4 about Solomon’s liking for woman, he used the lure of women. In Mk. 10:35-37 about James & John son of Zebedee who wants a place with Jesus in His kingdom, he used the lure of ambitions & popularity, and other more different lures such as lure of bribe, lure of compromise, etc., you know even lure of good accomplishments, lure of promise of good life, lure of luck (ex. deal or no deal), etc. The devil is very good in making set up – example when you go home from hard work, the devil will set it at home to the point that he lure you into his bait.