Sermons

Summary: THIS IS THE SECOND OF A TWP PART SERMON, ON THE TEMPTATIONS OF JESUS WHILE IN THE WILDERNESS. IT IS PART OF A SERIES ON THE LIFE OF CHRIST

NO SATAN, I WILL NOT SERVE YOU: PART TWO

MATTHEW 4:1-11

LAST WEEK WE STARTED TO LOOK AT THE TEMPTATIONS OF CHRIST, BUT OUR TIME RAN OUT BEFORE WE COULD FINISH. WE STARTED BY IDENTIFYING THE ORIGEN OF TEMPTATION, TALKING ABOUT THE SPIRITUAL BATTLE WAGED IN HEAVEN BETWEEN SATAN AND HIS ANGELS WHO WERE OPPOSING MICHAEL AND THE OTHER ANGELS. SATAN LOST THIS BATTLE AND HE AND THE ANGELS WITH HIM WERE CAST OUT OF HEAVEN TO THE EARTH.

NOW IT IS IMPORTANT FOR US TO REALIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF THE FALLEN ANGELS WITH SATAN WHEN IT COMES TO TEMPTATION. SATAN IS NOT OMNIPOTENT, OMNISCIENT, NOR OMNIPRESENT AS THESE ARE QUALITITES OF GOD. UNDERESTIMATING SATAN’S POWER IS AN OPEN DOOR TO FALLING TO TEMPTATION.

SATAN IS AN EXPERT MANIPULATOR OF CIRCUMSTANCE, AND HAS A GREAT POOL OF INFORMATION ON EACH OF US, GAINED BY THE REPORTS OF THE OTHER FALLEN ANGELS. SATAN DEVISES HIS TEMPTATION BASED ON THEIR REPORTS AND DETERMINES JUST THE RIGHT TIME TO STRIKE.

SATAN STRIKES WHEN WE ARE MOST VULNERABLE. IT WILL COME AT A VERY DIFFICULT TIME IN OUR LIVES, A CRISIS TIME OF SOME KIND. HE WILL STRIKE WHEN WE FEEL WE ARE ALONE, NOT WHEN WE HAVE CHRISTIAN FRIENDS WE CAN TURN TO FOR PRAYER SUPPORT. HE WILL GREATLY MAGNIFY OUR DOUBTS SPECIFICALLY TO THE WORD OF GOD. THIS IS ONE OF THE WAYS HE WAS SUCCESSFUL WITH EVE.

GENESIS 3:1-5:

NOW THE SERPENT WAS MORE CRAFTY THAN ANY OF THE WILD ANIMALS THE LORD GOD HAD MADE. HE SAID TO THE WOMAN, “DID GOD REALLY SAY, ‘YOU MUST NOT EAT FROM ANY TREE IN THE GARDEN’?” 2 THE WOMAN SAID TO THE SERPENT, “WE MAY EAT FRUIT FROM THE TREES IN THE GARDEN, 3 BUT GOD DID SAY, ‘YOU MUST NOT EAT FRUIT FROM THE TREE THAT IS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE GARDEN, AND YOU MUST NOT TOUCH IT, OR YOU WILL DIE.’ ” 4 “YOU WILL NOT CERTAINLY DIE,” THE SERPENT SAID TO THE WOMAN. 5 “FOR GOD KNOWS THAT WHEN YOU EAT FROM IT YOUR EYES WILL BE OPENED, AND YOU WILL BE LIKE GOD, KNOWING GOOD AND EVIL.”

SATAN PLANTS A DOUBT IN EVE’S MIND WITH THE QUESTION, “DID GOD REALLY SAY THAT?” IT’S A GOOD TACTIC. HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU BEEN SURE OF SOMETHING ONLY TO START DOUBTING WHEN SOMEONE ASKS “ARE YOU SURE OF THAT?” REMEMBER IF SATAN CAN GET YOU DOUBTING ONE PART OF GOD’S WORD, THE FOUNDATION IS THERE TO DOUBT ANY PART OF HIS WORD.

THEN HE EXPERTLY MANIPULATES THE TRUTH. HE WITHHOLDS THE CHANGE THAT DISOBEYING GOD WILL HAVE IN THEIR RELATIONSHIP. HE IS RIGHT WHEN HE SAYS THEY WILL KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL, FOR UNTIL THE TIME OF THE FALL EVE AND ADAM ONLY KNEW GOOD. THEY HAD NOT EXPERIENCED EVIL AND THEIR ONLY CONTACT HAD BEEN WITH PURITY.

THEY WOULD KNOW GOOD AND EVIL. THEY WOULD KNOW DISAPPOINTMENT AND DISPLEASURE AND SHAME FOR THE FIRST TIME. IT WAS KNOWLEDGE THAT WOULD NEVER LEAVE THEM.

FROM THE TIME THAT ADAM AND EVE DISOBEYED GOD, SIN HAS BEEN IN THE WORLD, AS HAS BEEN THE CONSEQUENCES OF SIN. ONE OF THOSE CONSEQUENCES IS THE CONSTANT PRESENCE OF TEMPTATION.

WE KNOW THAT TEMPTATION WILL COME IN ONE, OR A COMBINATION OF THREE FORMS:

1. LUST OF THE FLESH

2. PRIDE OF LIFE

3. LUST OF THE EYES

THE GENERAL CONTEXT FOR THESE TEMPTATIONS IS THAT THEY HAPPEN IN THE WILDERNESS, IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE BAPTISM. JESUS IS LED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT INTO THE WILDERNESS, WHERE HE FASTS 40 DAYS IN PREPARATION FOR THIS SPIRITUAL BATTLE.

AS WE CONSIDERED THE FIRST TEMPTATION WE REALIZED THAT THE “IF” IN VERSE THREE WAS A CHALLENGE, RATHER THAN AN EXPRESSION OF DOUBT. IF YOU ARE THE SON OF GOD, THEN USE THAT STATUS TO TURN THESE ROCKS INTO BREAD. THIS WAS A GREAT TEMPTATION FOR A PERSON WHO HAS BEEN FASTING FOR 40 DAYS.

SATAN TRIED TO GET JESUS TO FOLLOW HIM INSTEAD OF GOD AND TAKE AN EASIER ROAD. HE WAS TRYING TO MAKE JESUS SIN BY LUSTING AFTER HIS OWN PHYSICAL LIFE AS BEING MORE IMPORTANT THAN OBEYING GOD.

WARREN WIERSBE WRITES:

“WHEN WE PUT OUR PHYSICAL NEEDS (THINGS THAT OUR FLESH DESIRES) AHEAD OF OUR SPIRITUAL NEEDS, WE SIN. WHEN WE ALLOW CIRCUMSTANCES TO DICTATE OUR ACTIONS, INSTEAD OF FOLLOWING GOD’S WILL, WE SIN. JESUS COULD HAVE TURNED THE STONES INTO BREAD, BUT HE WOULD HAVE BEEN EXERCISING HIS POWERS INDEPENDANTLY OF THE FATHER, AND HE CAME TO OBEY THE FATHER.”.

THIS TEMPTATION TEACHES US THAT A CHOICE FOR SATAN IS A CHOICE AGAINST GOD.

POINT TWO: OVERCOMING THE PRIDE OF LIFE

SATAN THEN TOOK JESUS TO THE HIGHEST POINT OF THE TEMPLE OF JERUSALEM. THE TEMPLE WAS LOCATED NEXT TO THE VALLEY OF KIDRON WHICH ACTUALLY MADE IT MUCH HIGHER. THE TOTAL HEIGHT WHERE JESUS WAS AT THIS POINT WOULD BE OVER 15 STORIES OR MORE THAN 180 FEET. JOSEPHUS, AN EARLY CHURCH HISTORIAN STATED, “LOOKING DOWN INTO THE VALLEY BELOW MADE ONE DIZZY.” HOW MUCH DIZZIER WOULD JESUS BE AFTER FASTING FOR 40 DAYS?

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