Summary: We need understand the truth concerning temptation.



• SLIDE #1

• Dan Evans has made it all the way to the small town of Contention where he is being paid $200 to deliver outlaw Ben Wade to the 3:10 train.

• Wade’s outlaw gang has been trailing them and Dan’s son William has snuck along and is now caught up in the deadly adventure.

• Dan desperately needs the $200 to save his ranch, and he wants the respect of his son who thinks he is a weak, boring, religious nobody. As they wait for the local sheriff and his deputies to show up Ben took another opportunity to try to tempt Dan into letting him go. (

• Temptation can hit us from all directions; there are plenty of opportunities throughout a day to face temptation.

• Can you think of a time when you were told not to do something, but for some reason you just had to do it?

• Don’t touch the hot stove, you will get burned! You just had to touch it. Here is one many people can relate to. WET PAINT! DO NOT TOUCH! How many times do you seem to be compelled to touch the “supposed” wet area?

• How about the dreaded warning about tearing the tags off the mattress? Ever wondered how long it would take for the police to haul you away for that one?

• On a more serious note, even as a Christian, you seem to be drawn to things you know you should not be doing.

• As we are walking on God’s path to heaven, there are many things that happen in life that can sidetrack us. Sometimes unexpected tragedies happen and we get the opportunity to put our faith to the test.

• The difficult times are obstacles on the path to heaven that we overcome and become stronger as a result.

• The word Temp means, “to cause desire or craving to arise in somebody, to persuade or attempt to persuade somebody to do something considered wrong.”

• Today we are going to examine the nature of temptation so that we can better understand what we are dealing with on a daily basis.

• Turn to James 1:12-18

• SLIDE #2

• James 1:12–13 (NET)1:12 Happy is the one who endures testing, because when he has proven to be genuine, he will receive the crown of life that God promised to those who love him. 1:13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted by evil, and he himself tempts no one.

• SLIDE #3


I. What is the source of temptation?

• This is an important question because if we do not know the source of our temptations, we will never get a grip on them.

• Also when we succumb to them, we will not have to take any responsibility for the failure.

• It is interesting that the word in verse 12 that we translate “TESTING” or “TRIALS” is the same word we translate “TEMPTED” throughout our text today.

• The context clearly implies temptation, not just any test. James counters the charge that it is God who tempts.

• Why would anyone make such a charge? Perhaps it stems from a misunderstanding of the sovereignty of God; if this is truly God’s world, then evil as well as good must come from him. Perhaps blaming God is just the human way to escape blame.

• How many times have you gotten caught for something and then tried to blame someone else for your act?

• Look in Genesis 3:12-13. Adam and Eve were caught red handed. What was the first thing they did? Adam blamed God, he said that the woman you gave me, she gave me the fruit. Eve when questioned said, it was the serpents fault.

• So who is to blame?

• SLIDE #4

A. Is it God?

• James tells us the answer to that question is a resounding NO!

• Blaming God for sin was something that some of the Jews of Jesus’ day would do. They felt that since God created all things, He also created the evil in man.

• We are told that God is not tempted by evil and He does not tempt people w ith evil.

• It is true that God does test people at times. God tested Abraham in Genesis 22:1, Israel in Judges 2:22 are just a few examples.

• God does not tempt people to commit evil. Because James says that God cannot be tempted with evil.

• Some would say, what about Jesus? The bible says that Jesus was tempted in all ways but was without sin (Hebrews 4:15).

• We have to remember something about temptation when we think about our answer to that one.

• Temptation in itself is not a sin as we will see in a few minutes, yielding is the problem.

• Satan tried to tempt Jesus in the wilderness, but Jesus made it through without sin.

• This leads to the next logical suspect.

• SLIDE #5

B. Is it the Devil?

• The devil made me do it. I could not help it. Nobody’s perfect. Everyone is doing it.

• Well, the Devil may put the bait in the water, but he does not have the power to make us take it.

• SLIDE #6

• 1 Thessalonians 3:5 (NET) 3:5 So when I could bear it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith, for fear that the tempter somehow tempted you and our toil had proven useless.

• Satan is called the tempter in many places; he did attempt to tempt Jesus.

• The only power that Satan has in the life of the immersed believer is what we GIVE him. Jesus defeated Him. Hebrews 2:14-15.

• We are no longer slaves to sin, Jesus broke that bondage we used to have. WE do not have to take the bait, we are dead to sin and alive to God. (ROMANS 6)

• Well, if it is not God or Satan, then who?

• SLIDE #7

C. Is it something within me?

• Look at verse 14

• SLIDE #8

• James 1:14 (NET) 1:14 But each one is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desires.

• It tells us that we are tempted when we are carried away and enticed by our DESIRES or LUST as translated in some versions.

• The word “desire” denotes an overmastering need for something, an intense longing for something.

• It is an over aggressive wanting of something that when put in its proper context could be all right.

• As an example, gluttony is a sin because it is an insatiable greed for food. Wanting food is all right, it is natural, but gluttony carries it out to the point that we put food ahead of God. We are selfish with food.

• The passage says that we are tempted when we are carried away and enticed by our own desire.

• The picture here is this. The word translated “LURED” is a fishing term. It is used to describe bait that is used to attract fish. It also was used as a hunting term that spoke of a snare that would catch the unsuspecting animal.

• Enticed denoted being carried away or taken in tow by something.

• Let’s look at verses 14-15

• SLIDE #9

• James 1:14–15 (NET) 1:14 But each one is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desires. 1:15 Then when desire conceives, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is full grown, it gives birth to death.

• SLIDE #10

II. Where can temptation lead me?

• There is a progression that verses 14-15 spell out for us. James uses the analogy of physical birth and life.

• SLIDE #11

A. The beginning of the path is desire.

• Notice that temptation springs from something that is put before us that we desire.

• As stated the desire in itself is not the sin, but when the bait is put before us we have to decide what to do.

• Jesus decided not to give in to temptation, and if it stops there, we will be ok, but if we let it continue we are at the next step in the path.

• SLIDE #12

B. The next step is a conception of something called sin.

• When we give in to the desire for the temptation we get to the conception stage.

• When there is conception, there is a birth and the bouncing baby that results from the conception is called SIN.

• Now when you have a baby, you feed it so it grows up to be an adult. Sin is no different, when you let it be conceived it will sit there and drain your energy, the sin will constantly want to be fed and paid attention to.

• Then!

• SLIDE #13

C. When sin matures it leads to the end of the path, death!

• When our desire allows us to be reeled in, there is a conception. Sin is the fruit of the surrendering of the will to the trappings of temptation.

• Once the sin is born, if it is allowed to go unchecked it will result in death.

• When we decide to give in to temptation, the resulting sin sets forth deadly events into motion. There is more to stopping sin than just stop sinning.

• SLIDE #14

• Romans 6:23 (NET) For the payoff of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

• Deciding to stop sinning may help the future, but it will not fix the damage done. That can only be taken care of through the blood of Jesus. For the Christian, it is a matter of confession and repentance. (1 John 1:9)

• For the lost, it is a matter of becoming a Christian and having your sins washed away.

• SLIDE #15

• James 1:16–18 (NET)1:16 Do not be led astray, my dear brothers and sisters. 1:17 All generous giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or the slightest hint of change. 1:18 By his sovereign plan he gave us birth through the message of truth, that we would be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.

• SLIDE #16

III. What is the better option?

• Do we have to give in? Is there a better option?

• Yes there is!

• We can resist!

• SLIDE #19

• James 4:7 (NET) 4:7 So submit to God. But resist the devil and he will flee from you.

• We can decide to put our trust in God and His way.

• Verse 16 speaks of not being led astray. We MUST trust that God ALWAYS has out best interests at heart!

• Everything from God is good for us. We need to trust that fact.

• God wants the best for you He wants you to succeed!


• Each day we have to decide if we are going to resist or give in when temptation comes knocking at the door.

• God always gives us a way of escape when temptation comes!

• When we do stumble, we have to take responsibility for it, or we will never get over it. If we blame God, the devil or other people, we will not overcome because it is not our fault; we are just another victim.

• We also need to remember God’s grace, God’s grace is available to us when we fall short. Run to God, not from Him. God’s grace is bigger than sin.