Summary: Message 10 from James exploring James' admonition not to blame God for temptation but look within ourselves.
Chico Alliance Church
April 22, 2018
Pastor David Welch
“Don’t Blame God for Temptation”
James provided instruction to his reader that would serve as a test of their faith. True faith manifests in specific ways. James tells us how a person who claims to live by faith should be living. One of the main things that tests our faith is trials. James called them “various trials that we encounter in life”. A trial can be anything that might cause pain or pressure in such a way that we act contrary to the revealed ways of God.
These trials come from circumstances of life.
These trials come from internal struggles.
These trials come for difficult relationships.
James recorded numerous instructions and insight regarding how we should respond to such trials.
I. Faith’s response to trials 1:2-18
A. Consider it all Joy knowing trials produce endurance.
B. Continue enduring knowing endurance produces maturity
C. Confidently ask God for wisdom knowing He will give it.
D. Focus on your spiritual riches. (Instruction #4)
E. God rewards endurance 1:12
Today we will explore verses 13-18 for further instruction and insight regarding faith and trials. In this section James illustrates how failure to endure temptation leads to death. He issues another pointed instruction regarding faith and trials.
F. Don’t blame God for temptations 1:13-18
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. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.
1. Instruction: Don’t blame God for temptation
Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God.”
Continually resist or stop saying “I am being tempted by God” when tempted.
James used same word he used earlier concerning various trials. Greeks used the word to indicate a circumstantial trial or test. They also used it regarding a solicitation to do evil. Translators differentiate the two ideas by using the word trial and temptation. A solicitation to do evil appears to be the focus here. For some, a circumstantial trial quickly becomes an opportunity for Satan to turn it into an actual solicitation to evil.
How many times has an encounter with difficult life circumstances turned into a rant against God or others or cause us to do something not in accord with God’s will? What began as an event precipitated by a fallen world turns into an occasion for sin by our faithless response. Sometimes a general life trial exposes an internal issue. Rather than count it all joy, we grumble and complain or rant and rave or retaliate. What might have been an opportunity for growth through endurance became a stumbling block to growth through a fleshly response. It appears that some searched for some excuse for their failure to endure. Rather than take personal responsibility for their lack of godly endurance, they sought somebody to blame; even God.
Adam tried that i.e. “the woman YOU gave me”.
It seems no one wants to take responsibility for their own sin anymore. It is always someone else’s fault i.e. my parents, the government, the schools, the church, my spouse, my kids drive me crazy, the devil made me do it. James plainly instructed them to stop accusing God and included insights as to why blaming God is never an option and clearly identified who is ultimately responsible.
2. Insights into why we can’t blame God
Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. James 1:13
God is untemptable, unable to be tempted. God cannot be tempted by evil because He is Holy and righteous. His holiness absolutely separates Him from anything contrary to His moral law. His righteousness absolutely conforms to His own moral law. In other words, God is absolutely sinless, and Jesus is absolutely sinless. These essential characteristics set Him far above and beyond all others. God’s holiness is an attribute usually associated with frightening manifestations. Usually encounters with God’s holiness dropped people to the ground. Isaiah – Ussah – Moses - Joshua
a. God does not tempt anyone with evil
While God allows our faith to be tested by life circumstances, it is NEVER an attempt to derail us but to deliver us and expose our own deficiencies. “Lead us not to temptation but deliver us from evil.” This prayer pleads for deliverance from anything that might derail us. Don’t lead us into temptation like Satan and his sorry soldiers do but, unlike them, deliver us from evil. The emphasis points to a contrast. It is like pleading with someone not to reject you like everyone else rejects you.