Summary: It’s important to know the fact about temptation, because the more you know the easier it is for you to be prepared to deal with it.

“Taming Temptation”

1 Corinthians 10: 13

May 16, 2004

Intro: I love to watch baseball and one of the best baseball books is George F. Will’s book, Men at Work. In the book Will takes a close look at four baseball players. One of the players he wrote about was Orel Hershiser, who pitched the Dodgers to a World Series victory in 1988. In his chapter Hershiser discussed his philosophy of pitching.

-He said, “There are two theories of pitching. One is that you try to convince the batter that a particular pitch is coming and you throw something different. The other theory, that you don’t hear as much, but that I use, is that if the batter expects a particular pitch, you throw it, but you throw it in a place where he can’t hit it.” That is: Know what a batter wants or expects and throw the ball almost there.

-If he’s a highball hitter, throw it a bit too high. His eagerness will prevent him from laying off the pitch, but b/c of it’s location it’ll be hard to hit well. Doesn’t that sound like the way the Devil uses temptations against us? Think @ it.

-He knows just what kind of pitch that we’re a sucker for and then throws it our way. But, it’s just a little higher or just a little bit more outside than where we like it, and most likely we’ll bite on it every time b/c it looks so good and it feels so right. But what’s the result? A big swing and a miss. A strike out that ends w/us skulking back to the dugout wondering what went wrong.

Sermon Idea: Today in our passage of Scripture we’re going to see Paul dispelling some myths @ temptation and letting us know it’s possible not to give in to temptation. And what he’s going to do for us is share 3 facts @ temptation. I believe the more we know @ temptation then the better prepared we’ll be to have victory over it.


Bckgrd: The Corinthian church had a lot of really gifted people in it. Paul wrote to them in 1 Cor. 1: 4-7-“I always thank God for you b/c of His grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in Him you have been enriched in every way—in all your speaking and in all your knowledge—b/c our testimony @ Christ was confirmed in you. Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.”

-Paul said they weren’t lacking in any gift. But b/c they were so gifted they started getting arrogant. And they got to a point where they were tempted to flirt w/sin b/c they thought they could overcome it. But the result is they ended up giving into temptation.

-So Paul addressed the issue of temptation to help them learn how to deal w/it; how to tame it so they it wouldn’t reek havoc on their lives.

-The 1st fact @ temptation is:


Exp: The word “temptation” means “trials of varied character.” And in this instance, the temptation is referred to as tests which Satan puts before us in order to bring out evil in our lives. Have any of you ever been tempted to do bad things before? How many of y’all have been on the Atkins diet? I guarantee you when you were on that diet you were tempted to eat bread and sugar all the time! Now what would happen if you gave in to that temptation?

A. You’d screw up your diet! You’d end up eating too many calories and once you give in to something it’s a lot easier to give in to it a 2nd time. And when that happens then you can kiss good-bye any thoughts of losing some serious weight. Now there are a lot of things that tempt us to do things that are wrong.

1. Some of you have been tempted to lie to your wife @ where you spent your afternoon b/c you didn’t want her to know you played golf. Some you have been tempted to watch things on your computer that you know are morally reprehensible. Others of you have been tempted to cuss a guy out at work b/c he’s been a jerk to you.

a. If you’ve been tempted to do any of these things, let me share something w/you. It’s not sinful to be tempted. Jesus Himself was tempted and yet He did not sin. You might say, “Well, He didn’t go thru the kinds of temptations I went thru!” That’s not what the Bible says. Heb. 4: 15 says of Jesus, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize w/our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was w/o sin.”

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