Summary: We know from our study of God’s Word that the promised result of persevering through trials is the reception of blessings from God. But what is the outcome when we blow it, when we fail?
How To Recognize The Source Of Temptation
Preached by Pastor Tony Miano
Pico Canyon Community Church
December 10, 2000
Introduction: Let’s pray.
Turn in your Bibles, if you will, to James 1. We’re going to be studying verses 13-18 this morning.
Our study of James to this point has led us, at least I hope it has led us, to a clearer understanding of the reason for the trials we face and the promised outcome if we persevere through our trials. But what happens when we don’t endure the trials we encounter? What happens on those occasions when we fall short of God’s glory? After all, all of us sin and fall short of the glory of God. I know I do.
We know from our study of God’s Word that the promised result of persevering through trials is the reception of blessings from God. But what is the outcome when we blow it, when we fail? What is the outcome when we fail to live by the faith we have in Christ? James is about to tell us. Let’s read 13-18.
This morning we’re going to talk about how we can recognize the opportunity for failure before the situation gets to the point that we’re left disappointed, looking back at our mistakes. That opportunity for failure begins with temptation. So, let’s look closely at what James has to say in this passage. In the process, we’re going to learn how to recognize the source of temptation. I think whom or what the source is may surprise you.
In the first twelve verses of his letter, James’ tone or attitude was intended to encourage and instruct his readers. Beginning in verse thirteen, we see the tone change. The tone becomes that of a stern warning. James is not being harsh, here, but he is becoming more serious.
Maybe you’ve noticed that the commands James has given to his readers up to this point are affirmative commands—meaning he was instructing his readers to do something. In our passage for this morning, we see James give negative commands—meaning he was instructing his readers not to do something.
Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; (1:13a)
James begins this passage with one of these negative commands—“Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God.’”
Interestingly, James uses the verb form of the Greek word, peirazo, translated as trial or testing in verses 2-4. But in our verses for today, specifically verses 13 and 14, the word means, “to tempt.” The context helps us to see how the meaning of the word changes from verse to verse.
We’ve established in our study of the first twelve verses of James’ letter that God allows trials to occur in our lives in order to test our faith. God allows and intends this testing for our good.
But the context of verses 13-18 clearly shows the same Greek word to be something negative, something to be avoided, and something not to be attributed to God. Our understanding of the word can be helped by identifying who James is referring to in verse thirteen. He is not talking about the person who is blessed because they successfully endure the trials of life.