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Summary: God’s strength is available in our times of temptation.

How To Cope with Life’s Struggles (Part 8)

HOW TO HANDLE TEMPTATION

Luke 4:1-13

Introduction: An EXAMPLE of Temptation; How JESUS handled it.

I. THE FACT OF TEMPTATION.

A. Its Nature: Two ways the word "tempt" is used in the Bible.

·"God did tempt Abraham" (Genesis 22:1)

·"God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone" to sin. Each one is tempted, when by his own evil desires he is drawn away and enticed." (James 1:13-14)

B. Its Universality: It happens to us all. (James 1:14)

·"No temptation has seized you except what is common to man..." (1 Corinthians 10:13)

C. Its Explanation: Why are we so easily tempted?

·Satan, " has blinded" our minds. (2 Corinthians 4:4)

·"The whole world is under the control of the evil one." (1 John 5:19)

·"I am... sold as a slave to sin...what I hate I do...it is sin living in me...that is, in my sinful nature...the evil I do not want to do this I keep on doing… it is no longer I who does it, but it is sin living in me that does it." (Romans 7 :14-20; James 1:14)

D. Its Danger; What’s the big deal, if it happens to everybody?

·"Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation." (Mark 14:38)

·"After desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full grown, gives birth to death. (James 1:15)

·"I was afraid that in some way the tempter might have tempted you and our efforts might have been useless." (1 Thessalonians 3:5)

II. THE NATURE OF TEMPTATION.

A. Temptation appeals in three areas: (1 John 2:16; Genesis 3;6; I Samuel 11:1-27; Luke 4:1-13)

·"The lust of the flesh" - an appeal to fleshly needs and desires;

·"The lust of the eyes" - an appreciation of & desire for beauty;

·"The pride of life" - an attitude of arrogance and inflated self-worth.

B. The Method of approach by which temptation comes is different for each person and circumstance.

III. HELP IN TIMES OF TEMPTATION.

A. Resolve to be pure.

·Settle the matter of your allegiance. Who is your Master?

Matthew 6:24 - "No one can serve two masters."

Romans 6:16 - "You are slaves to the one whom you obey..."

·"Daniel resolved not to defile himself... (Daniel 1:8)

·"My son, if sinners entice, do not give in to them." (Proverbs 1:10)

B. Resist the temptation.

·Fight the first impulse.

·Reject the evil thought before it becomes an evil deed.

·James 4:7 - "Submit yourself to God..." "Resist the devil, and he will flee..."

·1 Peter 5:8-9 - "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith..."

·Ephesians 6:11 - "Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes."

C. Rely on God’s strength.

·Ephesians 6:12 - "Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against.. the spiritual forces of evil"

·2 Peter 2:9- "The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation."

·1 Corinthians 10:13 - "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"

·Hebrews 2:18 - "He is able to help those who are being tempted."

·1 John 4:4 - "Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world."

D. Run from the source of your temptation.

·Sometimes running is an act of valor.

·Sometimes flight is the only sure deliverance from temptation.

·Temptation is often associated with a particular person or place.

·2 Timothy 2:22 - "Flee the evil desires of youth..."

·Proverbs 5:8 - "Keep to a path far from her, do not go near the door of their house."

IV. ESCAPE FROM TEMPTATION. (I Corinthians 10:13)

A. God no where promises escape from temptation for the one who is careless, prayerless, or self-sufficient.

·Some enter temptation presumptuously - to show their power to resist.

·Others enter curiously - to taste the allurements of prohibited practices.

·Many are involved carelessly - taking no heed until the deed is done and guilt is involved.

·Some are involved imitatively - following the example of others.

·Yet others are involved pharisaically - pretending to show God grace through their sin.

REMEMBER - He who tampers with sin is certain to fall

sooner or later. (Samson).

B. God nowhere promises escape from temptation for the one who cultivates it.

·Romans 13:14 - "...do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature."

·Proverbs 4:25 - "Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you."

C. God does promise escape from temptation to the person who recognizes his danger, helplessness, and need.

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