Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: FAITH TO STAND (part 3) Satan offered Jesus the world for "a song." The devil still offers us the world if we are willing to just bow to his idols. You can have faith to stand when others freely bow their knee.

· On October 22, 1962, President John F. Kennedy disclosed to the American people that U.S. spy planes had discovered the placement of Soviet offensive missiles in Cuba. In light of this crisis President Kennedy said, “Our unswerving objective, therefore, must be to prevent the use of these missiles against this or any other country, and to secure their withdrawal, or elimination, from the Western Hemisphere.”

The president announced the order of a naval blockade to prevent Soviet ships from transporting any more missiles or warheads to Cuba. Furthermore, Kennedy explained that the United States would not tolerate the existence of the missile sites currently in place.

Over the next six days, the crisis escalated and tensions were high as the world tottered on the brink of full-scale war between the two nuclear superpowers. On October 28th, the Cuban Missile Crisis ended as suddenly as it began. Thanks to secret negotiations, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev announced his country’s willingness to remove the weapons from Cuba. Kennedy called off the blockade of Cuba, and by year’s end all of the offensive missiles had left Cuba. The world breathed a sigh of relief. (www.TheHistoryChanel.com.)

Satan will not negotiate a disarmament. Hell’s missiles are armed and ready for deployment–condemnation, depression, oppression, temptation; we are engaged in an all out war.

None of us need to be a casualty or this cosmic struggle. Jesus was Himself “tempted in every way, just as we are,” but He withstood the test and overcame Satan’s attacks. We too can follow Christ’s example and have “Faith to Stand.”

+ 1 Corinthians 10:13 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. (NIV)

Look with me now at Christ’s temptation as found in Luke 4:5-8. Jesus overcame the first temptation, but Satan is like a boomerang–you can throw it away, but it keeps coming back! We can never think that once we have overcome a temptation that it’s the end of it. Satan is relentless in his attack.

As you turn there, it is worth noting that Luke’s order of the three temptations is different from the account found in Matthew 4. It seems that Matthew gives what we could consider a chronological sequence as indicated by his use of words like “then” and “after.” However, we need to keep in mind that even Matthew says that Jesus was led into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. I believe that Jesus faced the attack of the enemy throughout the forty days in the wilderness and that the three temptations are representative of all Satan’s attacks against Christ.

Luke does not make such chronological transitions; the temptations seem to be ordered theologically. Luke’s gospel follows the outline of temptations as found in 1 John 2:16; “the cravings of sinful man” is like the temptation to turn stones to bread; “the lust of his eyes” parallels the temptation to rule the kingdoms of the world; and “the boasting of what he has and does” corresponds to the temptation for Christ to leap from the highest point of the temple.

+ Luke 4:5-8 5The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6And he said to him, "I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7So if you worship me, it will all be yours." 8Jesus answered, "It is written: ’Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’" (NIV)

In the Old Testament, Daniel tells how Nebuchadnezzar ordered Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to bow down in worship to the image of gold which he had set up. The penalty for disobeying the kings command was certain death–to be burned alive in the fiery furnace. The threat of death didn’t cause Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to bow their knees, and as you probably know God saw to it that the flames of Nebuchadnezzar’s furnace couldn’t harm them.

Satan turns the tables on Jesus. Instead of trying to strong-arm Jesus to bow his knee with the fear of a death sentence, the devil offers Jesus the world on a silver platter without the sting of death at the cross. Satan is telling Jesus, “You don’t have to die to try to win back the world; I’ll give it all to You–all You have to do is worship me.”

REMEMBER WITHIN EVERY TEMPTATION YOU WILL FIND THE DEVIL’S DEADLY DECEPTION. Satan conceals his lethal lies. Temptation is the bait used to lure us to bite the hidden hook of sin. The lethal lie, the devil’s hook, always leads to death.

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