Summary: Jesus is the answer to temptation.
Turn please to the book of James. You will remember that we’re preaching through the book of James—a very practical book—we call it religion in shoe leather, that is the book of James, very practical religion. Hmm, or religion in street clothes.
And, today we want to talk about “The Anatomy of a Sin,” or “Look for the Hook.” And, I want to read, please, James chapter 1, beginning in verse 13. That’s where we left off with our preaching last. Verse 13: “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:”— with evil, that’s implied, but certainly there—“But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death” (James 1:13–15).
Now, you will remember that the book of James uses the word temptation in two senses, with two meanings. Some temptations are tests. They’re trials, they’re not an inducement to do evil, but simply the tests, and the trials, and the hardships of life that come to us. These are sent by God in order to make a stand, but there are other temptations that are inducements to do evil—solicitation to sin—which is sent by Satan to make us stumble, not to make us stand. They’re not sent to strengthen us, but to weaken us and to destroy us. And, it is that kind of a temptation that we’re dealing with this morning. The temptation to sin, the inducement to evil.
And, you’d better listen because the devil has already made plans to sabotage your life. The devil has already dug his pit that he wants you to fall in today. And, you’re going to be bombarded the rest of your life with unbelievable temptations in every area, and it is so important that you learn not to succumb, not to be taken by the devil. Three things I want us to notice this morning, point number one: a definite possibility. Point number two: a divine impossibility. And, point number three: a direct responsibility.
I. A Definite Possibility
All right, are you ready? First of all, let’s look at the definite possibility. Verse 13: “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God…” (James 1:13)—just underscore the phrase “when he is tempted.” It doesn’t say if he is tempted. It says when he is tempted.
Dear friend, you’re going to be tempted. You say, “Not me, I’m a Christian.” Jesus was tempted in all points like as you are. And, you’re not immune to temptation because you’re a Christian. To the contrary, the temptations will increase, they will not diminish. Did you know that? Many people don’t know that. Many people think that if you are a Christian, and especially if you’re a good Christian, you’re not going to have any temptations. Jesus had temptations and so will you.