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Summary: This is a Bible Study dealing with ways of coping with temptation when it happens, using the life situation of Joseph and Potiphar's wife as our illustration.

CONQUERING TEMPTATION

GENESIS 39:1-23

TEMPTATION IS ALWAYS A GREAT SURPRISE TO CHRISTIANS. THERE ARE SOME GENERAL THINGS THAT WE CAN DO TO PREPARE OURSELVES FOR WHEN TEMPTATIONS OCCUR, THERE ARE SOME THAT WE CAN EVEN EXPECT, BUT WHEN THEY HAPPEN, WHERE THEY HAPPEN, AND HOW THEY HAPPEN, CAN CATCH US BY SURPRISE.

YIELDING TO TEMPTATION CAN OCCUR IN THE MOTIVE THAT WE DO SOMETHING. WAKE UP SUNDAY MORNING FEELING TIRED, WARM BED FEELS GOOD, GOOD BIBLE PREACHERS ON TELEVISION, I’M TEMPTED TO JUST STAY UNDER THE COVERS AND LISTEN TO CHARLES STANLEY. WOULD YOU EVER THINK THAT LISTENING TO CHARLES STANLY WAS SINFUL, NOT IN A MILLION YEARS, BUT HE IS THE INSTRUMENT IN THIS CASE THAT SATAN USES TO TEMPT A PERSON NOT TO GO TO CHURCH.

DO YOU EVER WONDER WHY THEY PUT SINGLE CHOCOLATE BAR STANDS AND TABLOID MAGAZINES NEXT TO CHECK-OUTS. TEMPTATION IS THE ANSWER. YOU WOULD NEVER GO LOOKING FOR THEM, BUT YOU SEE A PICTURE, OR READ A HEADLINE, AND YOU’RE HOOKED.

RICH OR POOR, YOUNG OR OLD, MALE OR FEMALE, TEMPTATION IS PART OF THE LIFE OF THE CHRISTIAN, AND THE CALLING OF A NON-CHRISTIAN. JUST AS THE HOLY SPIRIT LEADS US THROUGH CONVICTION, SO TOO DOES SATAN LEAD NON-CHRISTIANS TO PERFORM ACTIONS THROUGH HIS CALLING WHICH IS TEMPTATION. TEMPTATION IS THE CONVICTING POWER OF SATAN, AND THE NATURAL HUMAN IS NO MATCH FOR IT.

1 CORINTHIANS 10:1-13:

FOR I DO NOT WANT YOU TO BE IGNORANT OF THE FACT, BROTHERS AND SISTERS, THAT OUR ANCESTORS WERE ALL UNDER THE CLOUD AND THAT THEY ALL PASSED THROUGH THE SEA. 2 THEY WERE ALL BAPTIZED INTO MOSES IN THE CLOUD AND IN THE SEA. 3 THEY ALL ATE THE SAME SPIRITUAL FOOD 4 AND DRANK THE SAME SPIRITUAL DRINK; FOR THEY DRANK FROM THE SPIRITUAL ROCK THAT ACCOMPANIED THEM, AND THAT ROCK WAS CHRIST. 5 NEVERTHELESS, GOD WAS NOT PLEASED WITH MOST OF THEM; THEIR BODIES WERE SCATTERED IN THE WILDERNESS. 6 NOW THESE THINGS OCCURRED AS EXAMPLES TO KEEP US FROM SETTING OUR HEARTS ON EVIL THINGS AS THEY DID. 7 DO NOT BE IDOLATERS, AS SOME OF THEM WERE; AS IT IS WRITTEN: “THE PEOPLE SAT DOWN TO EAT AND DRINK AND GOT UP TO INDULGE IN REVELRY.” B 8 WE SHOULD NOT COMMIT SEXUAL IMMORALITY, AS SOME OF THEM DID—AND IN ONE DAY TWENTY-THREE THOUSAND OF THEM DIED. 9 WE SHOULD NOT TEST CHRIST, D AS SOME OF THEM DID—AND WERE KILLED BY SNAKES. 10 AND DO NOT GRUMBLE, AS SOME OF THEM DID—AND WERE KILLED BY THE DESTROYING ANGEL. 11 THESE THINGS HAPPENED TO THEM AS EXAMPLES AND WERE WRITTEN DOWN AS WARNINGS FOR US, ON WHOM THE CULMINATION OF THE AGES HAS COME. 12 SO, IF YOU THINK YOU ARE STANDING FIRM, BE CAREFUL THAT YOU DON’T FALL! 13 NO TEMPTATION HAS OVERTAKEN YOU EXCEPT WHAT IS COMMON TO MANKIND. AND GOD IS FAITHFUL; HE WILL NOT LET YOU BE TEMPTED BEYOND WHAT YOU CAN BEAR. BUT WHEN YOU ARE TEMPTED, HE WILL ALSO PROVIDE A WAY OUT SO THAT YOU CAN ENDURE IT.

YOU CAN SEE BY THE CONTEXT OF THIS PASSAGE THAT THE ISRAELITE NATION STARTED OUT WELL WITH THEIR WALK WITH THE LORD BUT EVENTUALLY SOME FELL TO THE TEMPTATION PRESENTED TO THEM.

THE PASSAGE IS GIVEN TO US AS A WARNING. WE ARE ALL GOING TO BE TEMPTED, IN VARIOUS WAYS AND AT VAROIUS TIMES. SATAN CANNOT INVENT NEW TEMPTATIONS, HE MUST WORK WITHIN THE CONFINES OF THE EXISTING ORDER (PHYSICAL MENTAL AND SPIRITUAL), AND WHILE HE CAN MANIPULATE A CIRCUMSTANCE AND ADD TO A CIRCUMSTANCE, HE CANNOT CREATE A TEMPTATION THAT HUMANITY HAS NOT CONSIDERED.

TEMPTATION WHEN IT IS PRESENTED IS GOING TO BE SOMETHING THAT PEOPLE HAVE DEALT WITH BEFORE, OR SOMETHING THAT YOU HAVE DEALT WITH BEFORE. THE SCRIPTURE SAYS “IT IS COMMON TO MANKIND.”

IT ALSO TELLS US THAT THERE IS A WAY TO ESCAPE THE TEMPTATION. THERE MAY BE MORE THAN ONE, BUT THERE WILL BE AT LEAST ONE. WE CAN OVERCOME IT, NOT IN OUR OWN STRENGTH, BUT IN THE ESCAPE ROUTE THAT GOD HAS GIVEN TO US.

TEMPTATION IS DIFFICULT TO SAY NO TO BECAUSE IT WILL ALWAYS BE SOMETHING THAT WE LIKE, AND MOST OFTEN, SOMETHING THAT WE KNOW IS WRONG, EVEN BEFORE WE DO IT. THIS IS WHY YIELDING TO TEMPTATION IS SO SERIOUS. IT IS KNOWINGLY SAYING YES TO SIN.

SATAN CAN BE VERY DECEPTIVE WHEN IT COMES TO TEMPTATION. HE CAN MAKE A DECISION LOOK LIKE IT’S THE RIGHT WAY GO, ESPECIALLY WHERE GROUPS ARE CONCERNED, BUT ONLY SO THAT HE CAN REAK HAVOC WITH THE ENTIRE GROUP. THIS IS ESPECIALLY TRUE IN CHURCH SITUATIONS.

NOTE ALSO FROM THIS PASSAGE THAT DEALING WITH TEMPTATION WILL NOT ALWAYS BE AN EASY THING TO TO. THE LAST VERSE OF THIS PASSAGE PROMISES US A WAY TO ENDURE THE TEMPTATION. WHEN I THINK OF THE WORD ENDURE, IT REMINDS ME OF HAVING TO GO THROUGH SOMETHING UNPLEASANT THAT WE CANNOT GET OUT OF. THERE ARE SOME HEALTH TESTS THAT PATIENTS ENDURE FOR THEIR OWN HEALTH’S SAKE BUT DON’T LOOK FORWARD TO, A COLONOSCOPY IS A GOOD EXAMPLE.

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