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Summary: We all struggle with temptations in differing forms. Let’s spend a few moments allowing James to share with us his appraoch to being overcomers.

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PRACTICAL CHRISTIAN LIVING

“The Christian and Temptation”

(James 1:13-18)

Introduction:

 Recall story of Daniel and the Lion’s den…

 One of the greatest challenges of living the Christian life is trying to overcome temptations

 We have it tough – (it is not easy being us!)

1. It is frustrating knowing that your sins are forgiven

2. Only to sin again and be tempted again

 James gives us a couple things to consider in our text this morning

1. A Caution

2. An Understanding

 Ask yourself can these really help me…TRY THEM!

I. THE CAUTION…(vs. 13; 16-18)

A. Let no one say when they are being tempted that it is by God…

1. Our responsibility is not to blame God

a. Can He deliver me? You ask

2. God is HOLY

a. He can not be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone

3. He provides the way of escape

a. 1 Corinthians 10:13

B. Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift comes from God…

1. You see, God is the source of good in our lives, NOT evil

2. He brought us forth out of His own free will (1 Peter 1:22,23)

C. We are the first fruits of all He created

1. God wanted us to be the best…at the top of ALL He created

So you’re telling me I can’t blame God…who then can I blame?

II. THE UNDERSTANDING…(vs. 14, 15)

A. It really comes down to simple math...break it down to its least common denominator

B. How has sin developed then in my life:

1. Step #1 – Temptation (T) – vs. 14

a. This involves two things

• LUST – a strong desire to do something

• ENTICEMENT – an opportunity and encouragement to satisfy the desire

b. Put mathematically –

Desire + Opportunity = Temptation

c. Example –

• A small boy is tempted to eat a cookie he was told not to eat when he wants (desires), and has the chance to get it and not be seen (opportunity)

d. Temptation in and of itself is not sin

• Jesus was tempted – Hebrews 4:15

Sin comes in the next step…

2. Step #2 – The ACT

a. Temptation becomes sin ONLY when you yield and act upon it

• Sin therefore requires action

b. Put mathematically

Desire + Opportunity + Action = Sin

3. Step #3 – The RESULT

a. Death here is in reference to spiritual death – Romans 6:23

b. Ultimately such death involves eternal punishment – Revelation 21:8

c. Put Mathematically

Desire + Opportunity + Action + No Forgiveness = Death/Punishment

Great, so I know how I get into sin...how can I overcome it?

III. THE VICTORY…

A. How to overcome sin:

1. Step #1 – Change your desires

a. Since this is where sin begins it is the best place to start

b. This is a part of our spiritual growth to change our desires

Romans 12:1,2; Galatians 5:24

c. How do I change my desires?

• Look to the word of God as many before us have

(1) Psalm 119:11; Matthew 4:3-10

• Recognize that God will help you as He did Jesus and many others

2. Step #2 – Limit your opportunities

a. Remember that to have sin you MUST have both Desire and Opportunity

b. Ask god for help

Matthew 6:13; 26:41

3. Step #3 – Exercise self-control

a. The holy spirit is instrumental in this step – Ephesians 3:16

b. Through the strength of the Holy Spirit we can put to death the deeds of the flesh – Romans 8:12-13


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