Summary: We are all tempted, but how do we overcome.
A. It doesn’t matter how much your pray.
B. It doesn’t matter how “good” you think you are.
C. Your family history doesn’t matter, your family present doesn’t matter.
D. It doesn’t even matter how committed to God and to living for Christ you are.
E. Nothing can keep you and I from being tempted.
II. We may not all be tempted by the same things.
A. In fact, that is one reason that I seriously make every attempt to not pass to harsh a judgement on what people might fall prey to.
B. The simple fact is that although I may not be tempted by the same thing as you, I am certainly have my own temptations to deal with.
C. For instance.
III. I had a doctors appointment this past Tuesday.
A. I have to see a cardiologist every 6 months, since my stroke.
B. One of the things that Dr. Grenna has really tried to impress on me is that I must lose somewhere between 50 and 100 pounds, and even at that, I would still be over weight.
1. On my previous visit, I had actually lost about 15 pounds.
2. I thought I had been doing fairly well at not over eating, but
3. On this visit, I discovered that I had found every pound I had lost, plus a couple more for good measure.
IV. I knew I wasn’t perfect, but I seriously did not realize that I had done so poorly.
V. Somewhere over the past year, I have obviously succumbed to temptation, and I didn’t even recognize it.
A. I hope I pay close attention to this message this morning.
B. Temptation is all around us
1. Temptation is not sin
2. Giving in to temptation, now that is another matter.
3. Giving in to temptation IS sin.
4. Just because we are tempted, is no excuse to give in.
VI. So what can we do?
A. Our desire it to move closer to the perfection of God.
B. Moving closer to that perfection means I need to recognize and deal with the sin in my life.
C. Dealing with sin, means recognizing and dealing with temptation.
D. In James, chapter 1, verses 13-18, we are going to find some practical advice for recognizing and overcoming temptation.
What Temptation Is Not
13 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.
I. Is there anything that God cannot do?
A. The quick answer is
1. “NO; of course not.
2. God is God.
3. God is omnipotent, that is all-powerful.
4. God can do anything.
B. The more reasoned answer, and the one James gives here is
1. There are some things that God is not able to do, for instance
2. God is not able to be tempted to sin.
II. This is important, especially based on the next couple of verses.
A. God is not able to do anything that is outside of his nature to do.
B. God is not able to sin, therefore God is not able to tempt man to sin.
III. But I thought scripture states that Christ was tempted, like us.
A. If Christ is God, and
B. If Christ was tempted,
C. Then what does this it mean that God cannot be tempted by evil?
IV. The answer comes to motivation
A. Temptation could potentially be laid before God, just as it was laid before Christ.
B. The difference is that there is no desire to sin, therefore no potential to complete the action.
V. God’s desire is for us to move towards Him in faith.
A. Our standing firmly committed to God in the fact of temptation and trials is one methodology of that movement.
B. But, God does not use temptation as a means of our growth.
C. Testing yes, but not temptation
VI. In fact James states that there is really only one source of temptation,
A. Temptation does not come from God.
B. In a one sense, temptation does not even come from the enemy of God, Satan.
C. The source of temptation lies completely with us.
VII. Satan may well know our personal areas of weakness.
A. In the case of Job, God allowed Satan to test Job.
B. You remember that story.
1. Job 1:1 states of Job, “...that man was blameless, upright, fearing God, AND TURNING FROM EVIL.”
2. Again in verse 8, God said of Job, “...there is no one like him on earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and TURNING FROM EVIL.”
3. God then gave Satan permission to attack Job, and Satan set about
a. Taking his wealth,
b. Taking his family,