Summary: This message look at the process of temptation from the onset of desire to the culmination as sin, as well as motivation for not sinning.
TEMPTED BY WHOM?
James 1:13-17 When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. 16 Don't be deceived, my dear brothers. 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
PROPOSITION: WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND TEMPTATION IN ORDER TO AVOID TEMPTATION
INTRODUCTION: AS WE CONTINUE ON IN OUR STUDY OF THE BOOK OF JAMES, WE MOVE FROM TACKLING THE ISSUE OF TRIAL WHICH ARE MEANT TO MATURE OUR WALK WITH THE LORD TO TEMPTATIONS, WHICH TAKE US IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION WE SHOULD BE GOING AS A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST.
ONE OF THE DEADLY CONSEQUENCES OF NOT EFFECTIVELY DEALING WITH THE TEMPTATION TO SIN IS THAT WE BEGIN TO START THE BLAME GAME. HERE ARE SOME OF THE EXCUSES:
"It's the other person's fault."
"I couldn't help it."
"Everybody's doing it."
"It was just a mistake."
"I didn't know it was wrong."
"The devil made me do it."
"I was pressured into it."
AND THEN THE CHURCH OR THE FELLOW BELIEVER WHO HAS SOUGHT TO LOVINGLY CONFRONT YOU WITH THE GOAL OF SEEING YOU RESTORED AND WALKING AWAY FROM WHAT HAD TEMPTED AND DRAWN YOU AWAY FROM GOD.
JAMES GIVES US FOUR TRUTHS ABOUT THE “DOCTRINE” OF TEMPTATION AND MOTIVATIONS TO RESIST TEMPTATION.
I. THE CAPACITY OF GOD
a. WHEN WE THINK ABOUT IT, TEMPTATION IS COMMON TO ALL
i. WE WILL ALL FACE IT
ii. JESUS IN HIS HUMANITY IN THE GARDEN FACED TEMPTATION BIG TIME, AND AGAIN IN THE GARDEN
b. THE NATURE OF GOD AS GOD IS THAT GOD IS NOT TEMPTED
i. “CANNOT BE” – SPEAKS ABOUT THE UNTEMPTABLENESS OF GOD
1. GOD DOES NOT HAVE THE CAPACITY TO BE TEMPTED
2. GOD IS AWARE OF EVIL, BUT UNTOUCHED BY IT
ii. “BY” – IT CARRIES WITH IT THE MEANING OF REMOTE OR DISTANT
1. GOD IS NOT DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE FOR EVIL
2. GOD IS NOT INDIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE FOR EVIL
c. THE SCRIPTURE TELLS US THAT GOD CANNOT LOOK ON SIN
d. Habakkuk 1:13 Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong. Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves?
THE FIRST TRUTH WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND IS THAT EVIL DOES NOT HAVE ITS SOURCE IN GOD. THE NATURE OF GOD IS INCAPABLE OF EMBRACING EVIL
II. THE CAPACITY OF MAN
a. MAN DOES HAVE THE CAPACITY FOR EVIL
b. WHEN JAMES WRITES, “EACH ONE”,
i. IT REFERS TO THE UNIVERSALITY OF TEMPTATION
ii. IT REFERS TO THE FACT THAT IT IS CONTINUAL
iii. IT REFERS TO THE FACT THAT IT IS REPEATED
iv. IT REFERS TO THE FACT THAT IT IS INESCAPABLE
c. WE LIVE IN A FALLEN WORLD THAT ALIGNS WITH OUR OLD NATURE – OUR SIN NATURE
d. WE LIVE IN A WORLD WHERE SIN HAS THE “MOMENTARY APPEARANCE” OF ATTRACTIVENESS
i. IF IT DIDN’T WE WOULD NOT BE ATTRACTED TO IT
ii. REMEMBER THAT SIN ALWAYS TAKES US FARTHER THAN WE WANT TO GO, KEEPS US LONGER THAN WE WANT TO STAY, AND COSTS US MORE THAN WE ARE WILLING TO PAY!
e. THE “BY” OF MAN
i. DIFFERENT WORD THAN THE “BY” WITH REGARD TO GOD
ii. IT MEANS THAT MAN IS DIRECTLY TEMPTED BY WHAT HE KNOWS HE SHOULD NOT HAVE
THE SECOND TRUTH WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND IS THAT MAN HAS THE CAPACITY FOR EVIL. AND THAT SAME MAN IS GOOD AT PASSING THE BUCK. ADAM BLAMED EVE. EVE BLAMED THE SERPENT. MAN CANNOT BLAME GOD, ONLY HIMSELF
III. THE NATURE OF LUST
a. LUST SHOWS US THAT SIN IS THE RESULT OF A SPECIFIC PROCESS
b. THERE IS THE DESIRE
i. SOMETHING THAT WE SEE OR HEAR DRAWS OUT A STRONG DESIRE IN US.
ii. LUST IS A CRAVING OR A LONGING
iii. THE GREEK WORD IS A COMPOUND WORD THAT MEANS TO BURN WITH HEAT
1. KIND OF LIKE WHEN YOU WERE YOUNG AND YOU HAD SOME “POCKET” CHANGE AS A KID. YOU WOULD BE LOOKING TO SPEND IT AND YOUR PARENTS WOULD ASK YOU “IS THAT MONEY BURNING A HOLE IN YOUR POCKET?”
iv. WHEN YOU PUT “DRAGGED AWAY” AND “ENTICED” TOGETHER,, WHAT YOU GET IS:
1. THE BAITING OF A TRAP IN ORDER TO LURE AN UNSUSPECTING ANIMAL IN
2. THE LURING OF A FISH FROM A POSITION OF SAFETY AND OUT INTO A PLACE WHERE THEY CAN GET CAUGHT.