Summary: We often fall into despair when we think of Jesus as only a model to learn from. When temptation comes, it is Jesus who is victorious and to overcome temptation we must defer to Him.
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Title: Overcoming the devils temptation!
Text: Matthew 4:1-11
Date: February 17, 2002
OUTLINE: You can breakdown this sermon by looking at the three various ways Satan seeks to tempt Jesus and us and then conclude with the joy that Jesus overcame for us and still does when we are tempted.
1. First Satan tries to tempt Jesus into depending not on God but on Himself. "TELL THESE STONES TO BECOME BREAD" Jesus reminds us to live upon every Word of God.
2. The second temptation “Did God really say…?” this was meant to challenge the authority or clarity of God’s Word. Jesus shows us the importance of understanding the correct Scripture for the correct moment.
3. The third and final temptation upon Jesus, sought to have Jesus trust in what the devil could give instead of what God could give. “All this I will give you if you will bow down and worship me.”
4. Conclusion: As we learned from Jesus’ response to the three temptations, it is Jesus who won the war and it is still Jesus who wins the battles. Although we seek to apply all that Jesus gives to us at best we hang on to his coattails and enjoy his victory, remembering not to trust in our strength and what we do, but in the strength of Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit
Title: Overcoming the devils temptation!
The American dream and the desire to be all you can be, tell us that if you want something bad enough, and you are willing to work hard enough for it, you will be able accomplish it. If you can dream it, you can achieve it! And that is true for most everything in this world. You can be a quadriplegic and yet still win the Nobel prize. You can be the underdog in sports and yet come out on top. In the United States people who start out with nothing can become millionaires, at least that is what the infomercials say.
And so with the American dream fully entrenched in our thinking, we assume that the same applies to our walk with Christ. If you try hard enough, if you practice enough, if you surround yourself with the right things, you will be an awesome Christian. And maybe you will be, after all we know that the more time you spend in the Word of God, the stronger your faith will be, and the more certain the Word of God will be upon your thoughts and actions.
But what do you say when you have tried hard enough and spent every waking hour in the Word of God, and yet you are still plagued with sinful thoughts and actions; how then can you overcome the devils temptation?
St. Paul had it right when he said, “The things I want to do I don’t do, and the things I don’t want to do, I keep on doing!” He never stopped trying to overcome but he resolved himself to seeing that when He tried on His own, there was no stopping failure to a screeching halt! But the American dream inside us all, keeps pushing us to do better anyway, despite what we find in Scripture that is contrary to that belief. “Maybe”, we think, “when I get better at applying the Word, then I will overcome!” And again that is possible but as the truth of the matter is, even if we were made perfect for a day, we still could fall to the temptations of the devil.
What we forget is that Adam and Eve were perfect at one time. They had God surrounding them. They had perfect communion with Almighty God. This is what Christ has won for us now. They had no sin to deal with until Satan came along. And as soon as Satan tempted our first parents to doubt God’s Holy Word, they forever changed life as we would know it. Even in perfection, we failed to honor the Word of God and keep it. So why do we think that we can do it now?
All things are possible! If we have faith as small as a mustard seed we can even move mountains. But I think the key to all this is to take “US” out of the picture and lean solely on our Savior. So far everything you have heard in this message has been based upon what we do, and how we fail. Being the season of lent, this is as good a time as any to offer such a heavy law. But it is now time for Gospel.