Summary: Life is full of temptations and we can be guided through them by the example of Christ at his temptation by the devil. This sermon unites Luke 4: 1 – 13 and Deuteronomy 26: 1 - 11 to gain a Biblical perspective on temptation.
Intro: It’s a small two letter word. --- Often it carries with a great burden. --- If --- If I had known, If I had gone, If I were rich, If … If. Our lives can be full of ifs. Jesus was no different.
I. Verse 1-3 – Jesus is at his weakest – he is hungry --- Satan attacks --- “IF you are the Son of God . . .”
A. To exploit his own sonship for his own benefit – serve his own needs rather than depending on God.
B. Israelites in the wilderness with Moses --- EX. 16:14 God provides manna because they do not trust.
C. Temptation to take care of self first while denying the need of others. (Man does not live by bread alone.) Deuteronomy 8:3
II. Verse 5 – 7 IF you will just worship me.
A. The gaining of power by compromise. --- This isn’t just dealing in the gray areas of life. --- this is going over to the other side. (EX 17: 1 -7)
B. The temptation to do this other than in God’s time and following God’s plan – to take a “short-cut”—don’t work for it, let me give it to you. Jesus’ answer is Deut 6:13 – Verse 8.
C. Story of Faust who sold his soul to Satan to get all he wanted on earth. – What would you be willing to give to have the riches of the world?
III. Verse 9 – Devil uses Psalm 91: 11-12 to challenge Jesus to put God’s promises to the test.
A. Devil uses God’s words to place the temptation to doubt before Jesus.
B. The Israelites doubted God while Moses was on Mountain – Golden calf.
C. “If you love me God, you will . . . “ If you really loved me God, you wouldn’t . . .”
Conclu: Temptation is a universal human experience. --- The call of Christ Jesus is not to adherence to a list of rules and regulations but to faithfulness to the call and purposes of God. -- The same is true for us.