Summary: Sermon examines Jesus’ first response to the temptation of Satan
Man Shall Not Live By Bread Alone Matt. 4:4
INTRO.: Almost immediately after His baptism, the integrity of Jesus was put to the test. The Scripture says God initiated this testing. "The Spirit drove Him into the wilderness." after He had been there 40 days without food, Satan came to Him with this temptation. ""If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread."
This must have been a powerful temptation to Jesus, but He responds with a quotation from Dt. 8:3 that supplies the text for this message.
He recognizes two very important principles here: the supreme importance of the spirit of man and the supreme importance of God’s Word.
I. There is a real need for the spirit of man to be nourished:
A. We are all aware we need this occasionally:
1. There are times of deep depression when we seem to be living in a "black hole" and can’t see any light.
2. We know we should find strength in God, but can’t go to Him in prayer
3. Many say, "I know I should get back to Church, but something always comes up."
4. Of course something comes up. Satan doesn’t want you in the assembly of God’s people.
5. If your spirit is weak and undernourished, you are easy prey for the devil.
B. There are many ways men attempt to nourish the spirit:
1. Poetry, art, education, travel are just a few examples.
2. These are all good, but they are spiritual "junk food" compared to the Word of God.
3. Those who find satisfaction in them may never know the real joy they could have in Christ.
C. Even Christians sometimes fail to nourish their spirit by feeding their faith: Heb. 5:11-14
1. The readers were immature in the faith and unable to even handle solid teaching.
2. They were content to dwell forever on the very basic teachings and never became able to teach the Word.
3. In chapter 6, the Holy Spirit goes on to warn of the danger of eternal lose for those who don’t feed the spirit.
4. Like the body, without nourishment, the spirit will become very frail.
II. The Word of God provides that nourishment:
A. God’s Word is never presented as a mere source of information. It is life. It is light.
1. Sometimes we want clear and easy answers. Want to open the Book to get information.
2. It contains information but is much more than just a source of information.
3. It is a book of guidelines and principles by which we make decisions. It pulses with the heartbeat of God.
B. How does God’s Word help us in life’s crises?
1. Like money in the bank. We store it until we need it.
2. Usually, when we need guidance in a crisis, we don’t have time to go to the Bible for answers. Often a decision must be made quickly.
3. That’s why we must store the Word in our heart. Ps. 119:11
C. So, we need to feed our spirit on the Word regularly
1. We feed the body three times a day. Why not at least one good meal for the spirit?
2. Of course, we don’t neglect God’s Word intentionally.
3. There is a reason for our neglect.
III. The reason we neglect God’s Word: let me explain with a story.
A. The story is in Luke 10:38-42 - it takes place in Bethany.
1. Mary was sitting at the Lord’s feet, listening to His words while Martha tended to household chores.
2. There is a mild rebuke in Jesus’ reply to Martha’s objections. V. 41, 42
3. Martha had the same problem we have when we fail to read the Word - distraction. V. 40
B. It’s not enough just to know the Word.
1. We must do what it says. James 1:22
2. Otherwise we are like a man looking into a mirror and just forgetting what he looks like. It does no good to look.
3. That’s the point of Jesus’ parable in Matthew 7:24ff.
CONC.: On a flight to a large city, I was able to tune in the tower on the radio as we were landing and overheard a flight controller telling a pilot to remain in a holding pattern because there was a plane coming in that needed to land immediately. The pilot replied that he thought he could land and clear the runway in plenty of time. The flight controller replied in the sharpest terms, "This is not a matter for discussion."
Just as an airline pilot must accept the authority of the air traffic controller, we must accept the authority of God’s Word if we are to survive in the Christian life.
We endanger our eternal life if we don’t know and obey God’s Word.