Summary: Being a disciple of Christ is one of the most important aspects of a Christian. However, temptation is Satan’s way of keeping us from being a "true" disciple of Christ.
Pay the Price
Sept 8, 2002
James 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
What is temptation?
Why are we tested?
Can I avoid temptation and testing?
Are these things always bad?
What will happen if I endure?
These are intriguing questions aren’t they?
Within these questions, we can learn what price we have to pay when we decide to follow Jesus.
Let me ask you another very serious question this morning…
Is the price of being a Christian too high?
1. Some of you are saying “no, not for me!”
2. Others of you are saying, “Well, I didn’t think it cost anything to become a Christian.”
a. You are right! It doesn’t cost anything to become a Christian because salvation is a free gift.
b. It is only by God’s grace that we can have eternal life.
c. In the same way, a decision has been made to be saved, then the Christian life begins.
3. However, there is a price to pay when living the Christian life.
a. Jesus says “Daily, take up your cross and follow me.”
Have you ever wondered how many blessings you missed out on because you weren’t obeying God?
Deuteronomy 11:26-28 Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; A blessing, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you today: And a curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you today, to go after other gods, which you have not known.
To really enjoy life, and to find real joy, you can’t live a half hearted, slip shod life.
a. The world has the Burger King philosophy “have it your way”or says as Frank Senatra wrote “I did it my way”
b. But Jesus says, Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
c. Blessed is the man that serves the Lord.
d. Blessed is the man that does it “God’s way.”
I. Good Discipline Helps to Overcome Temptation
1. Discipline seems to be a bad word today
a. But if we are going to live a life that is pleasing to God, we need to be disciplined.
Ex: ** A horse is not any good until it is broken and harnessed. The horse learns discipline – the greater the discipline, the greater the value to it’s owner.
** Steam is just a vapor, unless it has been confined. But if it is confined, it has power.
** Niagara Falls is a beautiful waterfall. But if the water is confined through a turbine, it gives light and power to entire cities and states.
** In the same way, Faith and life grows very little until there is focus and discipline in our lives.
b. God cannot use us if we succumb to the temptations of the world.
c. The world says “Don’t worry about temptation. If it feels good, do it. Whatever is natural must be right."
c. Do you want God’s power in your life? Let God discipline you.
d. Do you want victory in your life? Let God transform you into a vessel that He can use.
2. After all, Christ is where our Power comes from.
a. Christ is the one who gives victory, joy,
b. Christ is the one, who thru His blood gives us freedom from sin.
a. You’ve heard the song “Would you be free from the burden of sin, There’s POWER in the blood.”
2. Most of the problem of our discipline is a result of problems with our heart.
a. The problem of the heart is the heart of the problem.
b. Until our hearts are right with God, we will not have power and true victory.
c. Satan will deceive us and our emotions will control us.
D. I’ve heard the questions, “"If God really loves us, why doesn’t He annihilate Satan and stop temptation? Why not remove the allurement of sin?" But if God did that, you and I would lose the ability to be overcomers in Jesus Christ.
* Is there any victory in crossing the goal line before the other team has taken the field?
* Is there any victory in stealing home when the other team hasn’t shown up?
e. Without opposition, there is no victory.
f. God hasn’t called us to a life of ease, but to a life of victory in Jesus Christ.
That’s why we can sing “Oh Victory in Jesus, My Saviour forever!”