Summary: Temptations will come to us but the power of Christ through the cross enables us to say no.
Temptation: An enticement or invitation to sin with the implied promise of greater good to be derived from following the way of disobedience.
Think how many temptations you and I face in an ordinary day. Staying in bed late - the temptation to laziness. Growling at the breakfast table - the temptation to unkindness. Arguing over who should change the baby this time - the temptation to selfishness. Starting work 10 minutes late - the temptation to slothfulness. Losing your temper when a co-worker crashes your computer - the temptation to impatience. Flirting with that good-looking woman, taking a second look at the good-looking man - the temptation to lust. Refusing to speak to a person who has hurt you - the temptation to malice. Repeating a juicy story of your neighbor’s misfortune - the temptation to gossip. Lying awake at night thinking sensual thoughts - the temptation to impurity. Taking your anger out on the children after a hard day - the temptation to cruelty. Going out the eat when you can’t afford it - the temptation to self-indulgence. Having a second helping and then a third - the temptation to gluttony. Firing off a hasty letter to a friend who hurt you - the temptation to revenge.(Moody Monthly
Let’s understand some facts about temptation:
1). Temptation itself is not a sin
It’s the giving in to the temptation is what makes it wrong. “but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then after desire has conceive, it gives birth to to sin; and sin, when it is full grown, gives birth to death.”
2). No one is beyond temptation
1Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man.” It’s no different from what everyone else has faced. AS a matter of fact there aren’t too many temptations that you have faced that Jesus didn’t first face. It happens to the best of us. There is not a one of us in this place that is immune to it. IF Jesus faced it so will we. The difference is, Jesus not one time gave into sin. You and I are in the same company tonight. We are fellow strugglers in this world. We are in good company. Everyone person mightily used by God struggled in their lives. The question was not a matter of whether they would struggle but what they would do about it.
3). God doesn’t tempt us into sin
James 1:13 “When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;” Now the word “tempt” actually means to try or to prove. God does tempt in the sense that he tests us to prove our progress towards him. But he will never tempt us in the sense to lead us to do something that is sinful. We can’t blame God for our temptation to sin. It comes from other sources; namely: Satan and our own desires.
4). God provides a way of escape!
‘But when you are tempted, he (God) will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” 1Corinthians 10:13b The NASB version says “God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it.”
In other words, God does not leave us here powerless to defend ourselves against those unhealthy, evil desires.
Unfortunately we see the daily effects of people giving into temptation. STATISTICS
I originally titled this message “Handling Temptation” but after thinking about it for awhile I realized that God does not want us to just handle it like we are coping with something we cannot do anything about. He wants us to be victorious over temptation. Those of you who are in the military realize that before you go into war you have to be pretty confident that you are going to be victorious. You have sized up the enemy, you have counted the cost. You have looked at your own arsenal to see if your weapons will be able to outdo the enemy. It is the same rationale with dealing with temptation. You don’t just run into a battle without checking with what you have. Unfortunately we all too often face temptation and so easily give in because we don’t realize what is at our disposal.
You see, you and I cannot fight sin (temptation) successfully until we know our sin is forgiven!
Let’s read Romans 6:5-6, 8-14
“If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin.” Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore, do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are no under law, but under grace.”