Summary: This message deals with helping the believer understand temptation and how to live in victory over temptation.
EXTREME MAKEOVER – PART THREE
“THE LOOK, THE LURE, & THE LIE”
JAMES 1:13-18 - ©DR. LARRY L. THOMPSON (2004)
“When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;  but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.  Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.  Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers.  Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.  He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.” James 1:13-18
Historians tell us that Mark Anthony was one of the most eloquent leaders in all of the Roman Empire. He was a great orator who could sway millions with his tongue; he was a tremendous philosopher, a scholar, a fierce warrior and great opponent of Christianity. He was among the greatest and yet he had one major flaw…he had a problem with morality. Historians tell us that it is recorded during a debate among Mark Anthony’s generals that one military leader stood and said, “O’ Marcus, greatest of leaders yet you remain a colossal child; able to conquer the world but destroyed by temptation.”
TODAY’S EXTREME MAKEOVER EXAMPLE: As we explore today’s topic in extreme makeover let’s examine one of America’s most famous stars to discover how temptation has impacted her life… (Go to video vignette of Martheve Stewart)
Often when we think of temptation we immediately think of sensual or sexual temptation, however, temptation can be pleasure, possessions, positions, pride, popularity…the truth is simple, TEMPTATION HAS NO BOUNDARIES. This attack of temptation can hit a President, as we have tragically witnessed in our generation, a prisoner, or sadly, even a pastor. A George Barna Survey reports: “only one of every four men that begin ministry will actually retire from ministry.” The number one destroyer of the minister is his inability to defeat temptation.
For this reason the counsel of James is absolutely imperative for us in this generation. Many of you listening to this message are struggling with temptation today; some have already yielded to the temptation and you are just waiting for the day of discovery. Some have just been introduced to the seed of temptation and you have entertained the “possibility of playing with the bait.” Today, what every person that hears or reads this message must understand is this: “There is no person who can say, “It would NEVER happen to me; I’ll never yield to temptation.” The moment you say NEVER, the enemy begins to bait his hook…listen carefully to this message from James entitled, “The Lure, the Look and the Lie.”
In today’s practical study we will discover five biblical truths regarding temptation:
I. TEMPTATION IS ALWAYS PRESENT IN OUR LIFE (v.13)
“When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone.”
“When” in verse 13 is the same as in verse 2 of chapter one. In other words, we can and should expect to face temptation in our life. Temptation is inevitable. “Tempted” in the Greek is the word, “peirazo” (pay-rod’-zo) meaning “the solicitation to receive or embrace evil.”
No person, including the most spiritual Christian, can escape temptation. Even the Lord in His humanity, and who was without sin, was “tempted by the devil” (Matt. 4:1).
Just as it is common to man to be tempted, it is also common for him to blame someone or something else, not only for his being tempted but also for his succumbing to the temptation. From the beginning of time, one of the chief characteristics of sin has been the propensity to pass the blame to someone else.
• God confronts Adam with his sin in the Garden of Eden, Adam’s reply was, “The man said, "The woman you put here with me--she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Genesis 3:12
• The Lord confronts Eve, “What is this you have done?” she replied, “…The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” Genesis 3:13
Eve blamed Satan; and Adam blamed Eve and even worse, he blamed God.
James has no patience with a foolish fatalism by which a man blames anyone or anything for his own sin of yielding to temptation. Even more vehemently, James opposes the intolerable idea of blaming God.
II. TEMPTATION IS NEVER PROMPTED BY THE LORD (v.13)
“When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone.”