Summary: This is the first part of two sermons on overcomig temptation. This messages deals with the nature of temptation.
“Through the Power of the Holy Spirit”
by Pastor Donny Granberry
Little 4 year old Johnny was caught by his mother with his hand in the cookie jar when she asked him, “Johnny, why can’t you just be good?”
He replied, “Oh, Mom, it makes me tired to be good.”
If there is one area where all people struggle it is in the area of temptation.
Let’s face it, sometimes it just makes us tired to be good.
Tonight we will take a look at temptation in general, and how the Holy Spirit gives us victory over temptation and sin.
What does the Bible say about temptation?
To overcome temptation we must learn what the Bible teaches about the nature of temptation.
We are going to look at five truths that will help us to understand temptation.
1. We Must all Cope with Temptation.
Temptation cannot be avoided.
You can run, but you cannot hide, temptation does not follow you, it is already there when you arrive.
It matters not if you are a sinner or a saint, it matters not what your age is, it matters not if you have served the Lord for 50 years or 50 minutes, everyone faces temptation.
Look at what James said,
James 1:14 NIV
… but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.
The Bible clearly states that every man is tempted. Even Jesus.
Hebrews 4:15 NIV
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are-yet was without sin.
Jesus was tempted with food – after fasting for 40 days.
Jesus was tempted to do a miracle, just for showing off – throw yourself down from this pinnacle.
Jesus was tempted with power – all of the earth would be his.
The enemy knows what to tempt you with.
The enemy will attempt to lure you into his snare by the things you desire.
I wish that I could tell you that once you pass a test, or temptation, you will never be tempted again.
“You cannot keep birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from nesting in your hair.”
Not only must we keep from yielding to sin, we must realize that …
2. Victory is Possible
It is possible to be victorious over sin.
Sin cannot trip you unless you help put a hurdle up.
The bible states that God will ALWAYS provide a way out of the temptation.
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
In other words, temptation is not allowed to crush you, but to strengthen you.
Too many people are ventriloquist dummies to the enemy.
He turns the head, pulls the string, and we do what he says.
They do not call them dummies for no reason.
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
By that same power we can win the battle against temptation and sin.
Not only must we keep from yielding to sin, we must realize that Victory is possible, and …
3. The sources of Temptation
The bible teaches us that there are three sources of temptation.
One source is from within an individual, the other 2 are from without.
a. From with we are tempted from our own carnal nature.
Every person has a carnal nature; we all inherited it from the sinful nature of our forefather, Adam.
Romans 5:12 NIV
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned.
The carnal nature of temptation comes from within, again James 1:14, “each one is tempted, when by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.”
Be careful little eyes what you see,
Be careful little hands what you touch,
Be careful little mouth what you say.
Mark 7:21-23 NIV
For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and make a man `unclean.’"
It is unnatural for the nature of man to do what is right.
b. The 2nd source of temptation is “The World”
This temptation comes from the outside.
You must be careful who you associate with.