Summary: An obedient life is pleasing to God.
CHRIST’S WILDERNESS TEMPTATIONS
Text: Mark 1:12-13
And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness.
And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan;
and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him.
Intro: The temptation of Christ: —
Where our Captain bids us go,
’Tis not ours to murmur no;
He that gives the sword and shield
Chooses too the battlefield
Where we are to fight the foe.
An awful and mysterious passage in the life of
One whose tastes and habits were the very opposite
of those of the prophet of the desert —
One who loved men and cities, social dialogue, and
scenes of active usefulness.
No sooner does Jesus undergo the high consecration
of baptism than, instead of stepping forth into public life,
He flees to solitude.
We cannot uncover the deep mystery of this season of
thought and trial.
The Spirit descended on Christ driving Him to solitude
and meditatation on the great work which lay before him.
There, in a wilderness setting, Jesus could consider the
need to obtain inward mastery of His own stupendous
He could there wrestle with and conquer the fearful
temptations that would rise up, urging Him to desecrate
those powers to selfish purposes.
Theme: An obedient life is pleasing to God.
I. CHRIST WAS TEMPTED.
A. He was tested to be our example.
B. by the more searching ordeal of a direct persuasion to evil
1. In all there is a lower as well as a higher nature.
a. a self-interest
b. as well as a conscience of duty
2. If Christ was tempted, it follows that
a. No innocence and no strength can make a soul
never to be tempted.
b. to feel the force of temptation is no proof of
II. Christ was tempted BY SATAN.
A. Temptation arises from without as well
as from our own hearts.
B. This is why the purest mind is liable to it.
C. Man is tempted when he is drawn away of his
own lusts and enticed.
D. James 1:12 "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation:
for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life,
which the Lord hath promised to them that love him."
III. Christ was tempted AT THE BEGINNING OF HIS MISSION.
A . The greatest obstacles often beset the first steps
of a new course —
1. in attempting a new work
2. in first attacking a bad habit
3. in entering on the Christian life
4.This tests genuineness and teaches humility,
self-constraint, and reliance on God.
B. It is a great thing to begin the Christian campaign
with a victory in the first battle ( i.e., making that
first sale ).
IV. Christ was tempted WHEN UNDER HIGH SPIRITUAL
INFLUENCES. “The Spirit driveth Him.”
A. God permits, nay, requires, us to pass through
the fire of temptation.
Illustration: Instant obedience is the only kind of obedience there is;
delayed obedience is disobedience. Whoever strives to withdraw from
obedience, withdraws from Grace.
_____Thomas a Kampis
B. Great spiritual happiness is often followed by deep
depression, i.e., Elijah. C. New endowments bring new dangers. Those who
stand highest are in danger of falling lowest. D. Illustration on despair: It is often in our darkest times that God makes
His presence known most clearly. He uses our sufferings and troubles to show
us that He is our only source of strength. And when we see this truth we receive
new hope. Are you facing a great trial? Take heart. Put yourself in God’s hands.
Wait for His timing. He will give you a "song in the night." ________Our Daily Bread, May 7, 1992. V. Christ was tempted IN THE WILDERNESS. A. John Baptist found the desert the best scene for his life and work, Christ found it a region of evil influences. B. As one man’s paradise may be the purgatory of another, so the haven of refuge of one may be his brother’s most dangerous snare. C. Christ was tempted in a solitary place. 1. We cannot escape temptation by fleeing from the world. 2. We carry the world with us to our retreats. _______Adapted from the works of W. F. Adeney, M. A. Conclusion: Complete obedience to the Lord brings about the presence, power, and peace which only the Trinity can give. Can we, as Jesus, follow the Holy Spirit’s leading. Where our Captain bids us go, ’Tis not ours to murmur no;He that gives the sword and shield Chooses too the battlefieldWhere we are to fight the foe. Source Unknown. Addendum: paraphrased from William MacDonald’sbook THE GOSPEL OF MARK, p. 3, 1970, Emmaus Bible College, ISBN #0-940293-18-8.Christ’s wilderness experience was designed--not tosee if he would sin, but to prove that He could notsin. MacDonald says, "If Jesus could have sinnedas a Man on earth, what assurance do we have that He cannot now sin as a Man in heaven?"The believer will be tested, tried, and trained. Thecloser one follows the Lord, the greater the testings. Satan wastes not his energy on nominal Christians. His heavy artillery is aimed at thewinners of territory in spiritual warfare.