Summary: Don’t give in to sin; take authority over it in Jesus name


Text: Gen. 4:1-7; James 1:13-18


A. Read Gen. 4:1-7

1. Have you ever said to God, "Forgive me, but I just couldn’t help myself!"

2. God’s response to that is "Fooey!"

3. If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it."

a. Imagery: "sin is crouching at your door" like a wild animal.

b. If it were not possible to master sin, why would God tell him to?

B. Read Rom. 6:14

1. Paul affirms that sin shall not rule over us.

2. Therefore, we can rule over it. Victory over sin is not only possible, but expected.

3. You can help it!

C. Read James 1:13-18

1. The problem is that we want to blame somebody else.

2. Just like in the Garden.

a. Adam: "It was the woman’s fault!"

b. Eve: "It was the serpent’s fault!"

Transition: Solomon was right, there is nothing new under the sun.

I. Some People Say It’s God’s Fault (13)

A. Let No Man Say

1. First let us notice what James is talking about, "Let no man say when he is tempted..."

a. James then passes from the outward trial to the inward trial or temptation, ‘from our holy trials to our unholy ones’ (W. Kelly). The former must be endured, the latter resisted. New International Bible Commentary, Pradis CD-ROM

b. Again notice that he says not "if," but "when."

c. Illustration: Historian Shelby Foote tells of a soldier who was wounded at the battle of Shiloh during the American Civil War and was ordered to go to the rear. The fighting was fierce and within minutes he returned to his commanding officer. "Captain, give me a gun!" he shouted. "This fight ain’t got any rear!"

2. Then he says that when we are tempted we shouldn’t say "I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:"

3. He gives two reasons why we cannot blame God. First, God cannot be tempted with evil.

a. Sin does not appeal to God.

b. God hates sin.

c. Prov. 8:13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverse mouth I hate.

4. The second reason that James gives why we cannot blame God is he doesn’t tempt anyone.

a. "Tempting others to evil would require a delight in evil, of which he himself is incapable" (Adamson, NICNT, 70).

b. For God to tempt us to sin would be totally contrary to his nature.

c. God tests people, but he does not tempt them by trying to seduce them into sin. —Life Application Bible Notes

B. Placing the Blame on God

1. We don’t want to admit that it is our fault so we place the blame on God.

a. "God if she wasn’t so beautiful I wouldn’t lust after her."

b. "God if he had his act together I wouldn’t gossip about him."

c. "God if it wasn’t for the fact that I was going to be late for church I wouldn’t have been stopped for speeding."

d. "God if I had more money I would be faithful in my tithes."

2. A person who makes excuses is trying to shift the blame from himself or herself to something or someone else. —Life Application Bible Notes

3. You can blame your father, mother, brother, sister, cousin or neighbor if you want to, but you cannot blame God because he didn’t do it!

4. We don’t want to own up to it so be blame God, but...

Transition: However, in reality...

II. It’s Our Own Fault (14-15)

A. Every Man is Tempted

1. James makes it clear that when we sin it is no one’s fault but our own.

2. He says, "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed."

3. He uses two words that are actually hunting and fishing terms.

a. Drawn Away: ’to draw away, to lead away, to lure away to.—Louw & Nida: NT Greek-English Lexicon

b. This inner craving draws a person out (exelkomenos) like a fish drawn from its hiding place—Bible Knowledge Commentary

c. Entice: ’to lead astray, to lure into sin.’ —Louw & Nida: NT Greek-English Lexicon

d. “to bait, to catch a fish with bait—Bible Knowledge Commentary

4. James pictures man’s "evil desire," first, as attracting his attention and persuading him to approach the forbidden thing and, second, as luring him by means of bait to yield to the temptation - Expositor’s Bible Commentary, The, Pradis CD-ROM:

5. The source of the temptation doesn’t come from Aunt Bertha or Uncle Frank, no, it comes from inside you.

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