Summary: How does Satan tempt? 1) He distorts the moral instruction of God. 2) He misrepresents the consequences of sin. 3) He appeals to our point of weakness.
SATAN’S STRATEGY FOR TEMPTATION
GENESIS 3: 1-6
1. Illus. of pastor on “weighdown” diet
• Came to church office one day with dozen donuts.
• When coworkers got onto him, he said it was all right. God wanted him to have donuts.
• “Was detoured by old donut shop. Asked God to leave him a park right by the door, if it was His will that he have donuts this morning.”
• “Sure enough, on my eighth trip around, there it was, right by the door!”
2. Temptation is a powerful force, isn’t it? Unfortunately, most temptation is more serious than wanting a dozen donuts. Satan’s desire is to destroy us. He wants to destroy our marriage, destroy our testimony, destroy our personal well being. Temptation is the tool he uses to accomplish these things
3. “I don’t want that to happen to me. I don’t want:
• Family to suffer because I gave into temptation.
• Lost man to turn from Christ because I gave into temptation.
• Lose the respect of my children, peers, and community because I gave into temptation
4. “Isn’t there some way I can prepare for that moment of temptation?
5. Text: In our text, Moses records the strategy that Satan used in his temptation of Eve. Guess what? Satan has been so successful with this strategy that he hasn’t changed it in all these years!
6. Today: Christians can be better prepared for temptation by understanding the strategy Satan will use when he tempts them.
7. What is this strategy of temptation? Three aspects to this strategy.
I. BLUR THE BOUNDARIES
1. See vs 1. Notice how Satan changes around God’s moral instruction. Compare 2: 16-17 with 3:1. His goal was to add confusion and distortion to God’s very clear moral instruction.
2. Apparently it worked. Listen to Eve’s version of what God had said in vss 2-3. She added, “touch” and changed “shall surely die” to “lest you die.”
3. Part of Satan’s strategy is to confuse and distort the clear moral instruction of God in His Word.
4. Illus. of my friends road race
• Didn’t have the participation to place people on every corner to direct runners, so had signs printed with arrow on them.
• Had to put them up late night before race. Later that night (or earlier in the morning) mischievous teenagers wanted to mess up the race. They hit on idea of turning them so they pointed down wrong road!
• Next day was total chaos, race had to be restarted.
5. God has placed moral road-markers in the Bible. Satan tries to twist and distort those moral road-markers into a new direction that looks all right but is really all wrong!
Sex outside marriage wrong, but its ok if you really love each other.
Murdering people is wrong, but abortion isn’t wrong because that unborn baby is not really a person yet.
Lying is wrong, but this lie is ok because it’s just a little white lie.
6. God has place His clear moral instruction in His Word. These instructions apply to every person in every situation. Don’t let Satan convince you otherwise.
II. HIDE THE CONSEQUENCES
1. See vss 4-5. “I know you think something bad will happen (you will experience spiritual death), but it won’t. Actually something good will happen (you will be like God because you will know the difference between good and evil).
2. When you read chapter three, you find that Satan lied to Eve. She did die spiritually, and all sorts of tragic consequences did follow this act of sin!
3. Satan never tempts us by telling us the truth, “Now by the way, this is going to ruin you and hurt others.” He tempts us by lying, “Nobody will ever know. Nothing bad will happen. This will be good for you.”
4. Illus. of watching beer commercial with redeemed alcoholic
• Commercial showed handsome man, beautiful woman. It was apparent that, thanks to the beer they held in their hand, that they were having the time of their life. The message was clear: if you want to be like us, all you have to do is drink this brand of beer.
• My friend got upset. “They don’t show you the broken homes, they don’t show you the inside of a DUI cell, they don’t show you heaving your guts out into a toilet, they don’t show you losing your job and ruining your health. All that’s a lie!”
• That’s Satan SOP. He doesn’t show you the truth about the consequences of sin!
5. See Galatians 6:7. Satan will do his best to convince us that we can sow sin without reaping the bitter harvest that God says always accompanies sin.
6. If you are facing temptation, Satan will do his best to convince you that nobody will find out and nobody will get hurt. Remember: that’s a lie!