Summary: Using sort of the Sherlock Holmes theme, message tries to explain why we fall despite having Christ, and to a different extent, why there is the tendency to blame God for our misgivings.
AN APPLE A DAY:
THE MESSAGE IS AFOOT
James Series 5: Temptation
INTRO: For years, people have been saying, and say it with me “an apple a day keeps (the doctor a way). Though I honestly do not know if that’s true. But I can tell you one thing that is for certain, and that is I sure wish Eve hadn’t eaten that apple!
TRANISTION: Let’s take a brief look at Eve’s temptation, by beginning with a look at the author of temptation.
BIBLE VERSE: James 1:13
13When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
SHERLOCK HOLMES: It’s official… Robert Downey Jr. is more than Iron Man. He’s actor man and mega kudos to him for bringing back one of the coolest characters in all of literary history: Sherlock Holmes.
If you didn’t know, the tales of this incredible detective’s adventures have been around for over 120 years. Way, waaaay before your grandparents were born, super sleuth Sherlock Holmes was on the case, mystifying folks with his incredible intellectual prowess and bringing the bad guys down to Chinatown.
Now in 2009, he hits the big screen with not only brains, but also mad, Chuck-Norris skills that he uses to bring an extra slice of beat-down on his adversaries.
ONE OF THE GREAT MYSTERIES OF ALL TIME: Why did Eve eat the apple (yeah, I know Adam too)? And why do we succumb to temptations?
In a sense: 1) Why do we fall? 2) Why did Adam & Eve fall?
1. OUR FALL:
A. Falling to Temptation is on YOU AND ME!
Information from an article: “9 Reasons Why People Cheat.”
The Answers: Bored, Dependence, Confused, Because They Let You (They Can), Nurturing, Revenge, Confirmation of Attractiveness (Said Nice Things About Looks), The Thrill, & It’s Not Cheating!
Now, I could use any example, any article, on reasons for why people do things. I chose cheating because it is so awful. But how many of the 9 are from an outside source?
None, it’s all on the cheater right? Is any one of us going to excuse the behavior, no way. The first aspect of temptation we need to learn is that it’s all about us (by the way, this lesson is not about how temptation happens but instead on where the blame lies, which I feel is true to the verse in James).
B. Refusing to Stop Sinning is like BLAMING GOD for Sin!
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary
1:12-18 It is not every man who suffers, that is blessed; but he who with patience and constancy goes through all difficulties in the way of duty. Afflictions cannot make us miserable, if it be not our own fault. The tried Christian shall be a crowned one. The crown of life is promised to all who have the love of God reigning in their hearts. Every soul that truly loves God, shall have its trials in this world fully recompensed in that world above, where love is made perfect. The commands of God, and the dealings of his providence, try men’s hearts, and show the dispositions which prevail in them. But nothing sinful in the heart or conduct can be ascribed to God. He is not the author of the dross, though his fiery trial exposes it. Those who lay the blame of sin, either upon their constitution, or upon their condition in the world, or pretend they cannot keep from sinning, wrong God as if he were the author of sin.
Dog Example: I have a dog named Lombardi, he is a loving family dog. And if you ever yell at him (for whining, barking, etc), he may stop, squat, and pee right there in the family room. Now, I am sure, he would love to speak back to us and say “it’s your fault that I pee’d on the carpet.” “If you as my owner wouldn’t yell at me for whining, I wouldn’t get scared and pee.”
But, is it the owner’s fault? No way! The pee comes from the dog.
Friends, Christ is not just our friend, he is our King! And our pee is NOT His fault.
C. Tempting God to Keep You From Sinning is STUPID.
Have you ever thought:
“Lord, if you would stop me (from going to the party/or something else really idiotic), I would follow you.”
NEW AMERICAN STANDARD TRANSLATION: BIBLE: James 1:13
Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.