Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Introduction of series on Temptation


Part 1-How Temptation Works

Theme Passage—Genesis 3:1-6

October 7, 2007

Pastor Brian Matherlee

“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals…”—Genesis 3:1

Set up clip from “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”,

“Turkish Delight”.


1. Temptation is not sin

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.” Hebrews 4:15

2. Temptation is not from God

“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.” James 1:13-14

3. Temptation is not irresistible

“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. 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 stand up under it.” I Corinthians 10:13

Temptation follows a predictable pattern:

1. Dabbling in Small Talk

a. V. 1, “Did God really say?”

b. Approaches innocently

c. Appears harmless

2. Denial of God’s Truth

a. V.4, “You will not surely die.”

3. Doubt of God’s Motivation

a. V. 5, “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

4. Demonstration of Pleasing Results

a. V. 6, “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.”

If temptation is so predictable, why do we give in?

We have pet sins. They become trouble for us because of what they appeal to.

They appeal to our:

1. Passions

2. Egos

3. Thirsts

4. Sorrows

How shall we deal with it?

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105

Jesus dealt with the temptations he faced by recalling Scripture and proclaiming it to the devil’s face.

The Apostle Paul declared in Romans 7 that he did the things he didn’t want to do and he didn’t do the things he hated. He declares finally, “Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

We need God’s help to resist temptation. Are you facing an overwhelming temptation? Don’t face it alone. Cry out to God.

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