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Summary: Being victorious rather than a victim to temptation.

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How To Be A Victor Rather Than A Victim

Matt. 4:1-11, 1 Peter 5:9-9

Oscar Wilde once said........."I can resist everything except temptation."

Don’t worry about avoiding temptation. As you grow older, it will avoid you.

Is there anyone here this morning that has not fallen victim to temptation ? If so I’d like for you to raise your hand ?

There are times when I suppose that preachers including myself preach messages which might not be applicable to everyone in attendance...however, this morning I believe that this particular message is one that hopefully will be helpful to everyone.

My subject is "How To Be A Victor Rather Than A Victim"

Let me first of all begin by asking you a couple of questions..........feel free to respond if you’d like.

Will we ever on this earth not face temptation ?

Illust. The Ascetics were people who would often go off by themselves for long periods of time...away from every thing in hope of avoiding temptation, and gaining virtue..........Monks, Nuns....etc.........No matter who we are, where we go............we will always face some kind of temptation !

Will we ever on this earth get to the point where we do not yield to any temptations ?

The answer to both is "NO"

Temptation is something that we will always experience in this life !

A recent survey of Discipleship Journal readers ranked areas of greatest spiritual challenge to them:

1. Materialism.

2. Pride.

3. Self-centeredness.

4. Laziness.

5. (Tie) Anger/Bitterness.

5. (Tie) Sexual lust.

7. Envy.

8. Gluttony.

9. Lying.

Giving in to temptation is something that we will always have to fight !

Remember the words in 1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

John is saying.......show me a man who says that he is perfect, and I’ll show you a liar !

From our text in Matthew 4............

I. The Savior Is The Tempted.

Being fully man, it was imperative that he suffer temptation.

Being fully God, it was imperative that he prove that he had power over temptation.

Illust.

As the Union Pacific Railroad was being constructed, an elaborate trestle bridge was built across a large canyon in the West. Wanting to test the bridge, the builder loaded a train with enough extra cars and equipment to double its normal payload. The train was then driven to the middle of the bridge, where it stayed an entire day. One worker asked, "Are you trying to break this bridge?" "No," the builder replied, "I’m trying to prove that the bridge won’t break." In the same way, the temptations Jesus faced weren’t designed to see if He would sin, but to prove that He couldn’t.

As our Savior, and our intercessor, it was imperative that he face temptation, so that he might be able to help us when we are tempted.

Heb 2:18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to help them that are tempted.

*Note....first, and only time in scripture where the spirit ever led anyone to be tempted.

The character of Christ was so holy that he had to be driven into the wilderness by the Spirit of God to face temptation.

II. The Source Of The Temptation.

One of my favorite jokes........been married to your brother for 25 years !

In warfare, it is important that you know your enemy, and understand his strengths, and skills.

Let there be no doubt about it.....our enemy is strong, and smart.

a. He is a liar.

Jesus speaking of Satan in John 8:44 had this to say about him......."abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."

*Remember the garden.......he tempted Adam & Eve by creating questions in their heart concerning the word of God, and what was right.

b. He is a murderer.

c. He is a thief.

John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.

d. He is a lion.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devi, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.

III. The Strategy Of The Temptor.

Much can be learned from Satan’s approach in the garden........

Remember his words to Adam & Eve...........

He tried to create in their mind the idea that God was holding out on them........didn’t want them to have any fun, and that they would actually be th

e better off by yielding to temptation.

John Piper says that sin (lust for example) "gets its power by persuading me to believe that I will be more happy if I follow it. The power of all temptation is the prospect that it will make me happier."

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