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Summary: PENTECOST 10 - Temptations will seize you. We learn this truth from examples in Scripture. We lean on this truth that Jesus delivers us.


August 21, 2011 -

Pentecost 10 -


INTRO: Our world grows darker with sin with every passing moment. Believers are not exempt from the consequences of sin on this side of heaven. Sin affects us every day. Sin infects us from the moment of our conception. The world may not admit to such a word as sin. But sin is still sin. The temptation to sin is an ever present enemy that we must constantly battle. "We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all" (ISAIAH 53:6). God’s law shows us our sin. God’s gospel shows us our Savior.


I. We learn from examples. II. We lean on Jesus’ escape.


A. Verse 6. Paul presents ungodly examples rather than the usual good examples.

B. These ungodly examples of the children of Israel were to serve as warnings for God’s people.

1. Verse 7. Aaron led Israel to worship the golden calf (Exodus 32:1-6). Don’t do this!

2. Verse 8. Israel men married pagan women of Moab. They worshiped their pagan idols.

a. God’s judgment came as an example and warning. b. Numbers 25:1-9. c. Don’t do this!

C. Verse 9. Israel grumbled against God’s goodness as he daily provided for them. Numbers 21:4-7.

1. Verse 10. Three priests rebelled against God’s directions for worship. Others followed them.

a. God’s judgment swallowed them up. b. But God’s people grumbled. c. Numbers 16:1-50.

2. In these two examples the people sinned with their words. They grumbled. God judged sins.

3. Verse 11a. God’s judgment serves as warnings for future generations of believers.

D. These are only a few Old Testament examples to open our eyes to the danger of temptations. We hear of God’s judgment upon the disobedient. We pay attention to these shortcomings of God’s people. We are reminded of our own shortcomings. Yet, we do not always see the warning signs in our own lives. We do not always notice how dangerous our society is in which we work and live. At times our hearts are hardened by the permissiveness of today’s modern world. We live in a dark world. This dark world of sin creeps into our very lives. As times sins darken our understanding. "But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!" (MATTHEW 6:23). All around us we see the consequences of sin. These are warnings for us.

E. Why is it that we do not always live as God’s children, children of light? Not too many like darkness. Darkness is often scary and frightening. Scripture equates darkness with everything evil. Still, we wander on the path of darkness all too often. Temptations seize us. Sin gets us in its grasp with a powerful grip. The examples of evil, sinful disobedience are to be warnings for us to avoid all evil. But we do not. John the Baptist gives us God’s answer. "This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil" (JOHN 3:19). We are conceived in sin. We are born as the very enemies of God. From the very beginning our souls are intertwined with sin.

F. We do not and cannot exclude any type of sins from our lives. Sin is sin in actions and words and thoughts. Our own sinful thoughts give birth to wicked words and evil actions that oppose God. Our sin-ful thoughts are just as sinful as anything we may say or do. "But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him" (1 JOHN 2:11). We often struggle with hatred. How easy it is to hate someone. Pray to overcome such feelings. Remember that God will help. You can and will overcome hatred of your brother. But also remember that hatred for someone else may also enter your mind. Temptations come.

TEMPTATIONS SEIZE YOU. We learn from examples that warn us. They do not always save.


A. Verse 11. These Old Testament examples would warn the believers are Corinth about sin.

1. The fulfillment of the ages had arrived. What does this statement mean?

2. God had promised a Savior to Adam and Eve. Christ, the Savior, lived, died, and rose again.

B. Verse 12. Corinth was the wickedest city in the whole known world. Everyone knew this fact.

C. The small group of believers lived in this wickedest city in the world. Temptations were all around.

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