Summary: Jesus is the answer to temptation.
II. A Divine Impossibility
Now, the second thing I want you to notice is a divine impossibility. 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:” (James 1:13) with evil. Now the word “with evil” is supplied, but that of course is inferred. God does not tempt us with evil, because God cannot be tempted with evil. It is absolutely impossible to be—for God to do any tempting.
You see, man by nature wants to blame his sin on God. You didn’t know that did you? But, a lot of what we call the alibiing and the excuses for sin are really just blaming our sin on God. Now, most people don’t just come out and say, “God made me sin.” No, they’re more clever than that. They have sort of a disguised way of saying that, “God tempted me.”
Do you remember in the Garden of Eden? Well, of course you don’t remember, you weren’t there, not most of you. But, when Adam sinned and God came walking in the midst of the Garden—and God remonstrated with Adam about his sin. Do you remember Adam’s little neat alibi? Adam said, “The woman thou gavest me. She gave me to eat and I did sin” (Genesis 3:12). Now, really God, it wasn’t my fault. It was either her fault, or your fault. “The woman thou gavest me.” Now, that sounded pretty good. It really is not my fault. I’m not really guilty God. You did it to me, you placed me in this situation.
Someone said that God blamed Adam. Adam blamed Eve. Eve blamed the serpent and the serpent didn’t have a leg to stand on. Well, let me tell you something, friend, Adam was the one who didn’t have a leg to stand on. Adam wanted to blame God. He just wanted to make it look like, well, it’s just circumstances, it’s just my environment.
Now, James is just going to pull the rug out from underneath you if you’re trying to blame God. He says, “Now, there are two things that are impossible. Number one: it’s impossible for God to be tempted with evil.” You can’t tempt God with evil. The devil can’t dangle any bait in front of God that God is going to go after. Why? Because God has it all. There’s nothing God needs, there’s nothing God wants. He is sufficient in Himself and God has no itch the devil can scratch, and God is completely whole.
But, not only is God completely whole, God is completely holy. He is the complete other of sin. He is the antithesis of sin. It is absolutely impossible that God could be tempted. Someone says, “Well, now wait a minute, wasn’t Jesus tempted, and wasn’t Jesus God?” Yes, Jesus was tempted, and Jesus was God, but Jesus was more than God. Jesus was also man. Jesus shared our humanity, and in his humanity Jesus was tempted, but in his deity, Jesus was without sin. Praise His holy name.
But, God in His essence, in His nature, in His divine nature as God, God cannot be tempted with evil. And, also God cannot tempt with evil. There’s something about sin that makes a person want to share it. Have you ever noticed how those who drink will try to get others to drink? Those who smoke try to get others to smoke. Those who commit immorality, they try to get others to do it. That is why Satan tried to induce Eve to sin, because he was a sinner. He has a product that he wants to export. Well, the product that God exports is godliness, and God does not tempt people to sin. And, so no one can say, “God tempted me.”