Summary: Faith to Stand (part 6) Unlock the mystery of the incarnation to see how Jesus overcame Satan’s deceptive temptation and discover how you too can be VICTORIOUS!
· Perhaps you have seen them at the mall or at your favorite discount store. None of them will be hard to find; retailers want you to buy these impulsive gift items. With catch phrases like, “One size fits all” or “The perfect gift for everyone Santa’s list” we are led to believe that these gifts will solve our dilemma providing the best solution to our gift buying woes. I wonder how many of these “ideal gifts” end up either just collecting dust, stored in attics or given away at next Christmas’ “white elephant gift exchange.”
Is there really a “One size fits all,” “perfect gift for everyone”? I know of only one. THE PERFECT GOFT IS GOD’S GIFT, THE GIFT OF CHRISTMAS. . . JESUS!
If you have opened God’s gift of love to you and received Jesus as God’s full expression of love to you, then I want to ask you a question. HAVE YOU APPROPRIATED GOD’S GIFT? That is have you applied the righteousness you have receive in Christ to your daily life. Or putting it another way, have you put on God’s gift and discovered that “one size really does fit all?”
Over the past five weeks we have studied Christ’s temptation in the wilderness in a series called “Faith to Stand.” Satan came against Jesus with all of hell’s fury, deadly deception designed to destroy Christ, but Jesus withstood Satan’s evil attack. With every temptation Jesus pushed back the enemy’s attack and overcame in victory!
With Christmas drawing near you may think it strange to think about Jesus overcoming Satan’s temptation in the wilderness. Is it even relevant to the Christmas story? Yes! If Christ had not been born as a baby in Bethlehem’s stable, then His overwhelming victory over Satan in the wilderness would have no application to our lives today.
· Now if by chance you are not familiar with the story of Christ’s birth at Christmas you can read about it in the Bible. It’s found in chapters 1 and 2 of the books of Matthew and Luke. Contrary to popular opinion Christmas is not the story of Santa who travels down from the north pole to deliver gifts each year. Christmas is the story of how God came down to earth in the person of His Son Jesus.
I have one simple goal for the message today: BECAUSE JESUS WAS VICTORIOUS OVER SATAN, YOU TOO CAN WALK IN VICTORY. You can have faith to stand against Satan’s attack and win. You don’t have to be defeated; you can appropriate God’s gift and be victorious!
+ 1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. (NIV)
Take a moment and think about these three truths contained in 1 Corinthians 10:13.
1. Regardless of the temptation you may face, it is common to man– that is each of us face the same kinds of temptation. Now don’t miss this. Through the incarnation, Jesus became both fully God and fully man. Therefore as a man, Jesus faced the same temptations that you and I face–all temptation is common to man.
1 John 2:16 categorizes temptation in three ways: “the cravings of sinful man” is like Jesus’ temptation to turn stones to bread; “the lust of his eyes” parallels His temptation to rule the kingdoms of the world; and “the boasting of what he has and does” corresponds to Christ’s temptation to leap from the highest point of the temple. Temptation is common to man. Jesus has been tempted in every way just like us, but He remained pure and free from sin (see Hebrews 4:15).
2. You will face temptation; Paul said, “when you are tempted.” Don’t be surprised when Satan seeks to entice you–EXPECT IT. Remember Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil; Christ’s temptation was not a surprise (see Luke 4:1, 2).
3. You can overcome temptation. God is faithful to empower you to stand; rather than being defeated we can be victorious. Temptation is used by Satan to entice us to do evil; God however allows the devil’s schemes as a test. God equips us to pass the test! Just as Jesus overcame Satan in the wilderness and did not sin, God seeks to display or prove His righteousness in us as we live holy lives.
Alright if we are to be victorious and overcome the enemy’s advances in our lives, then HOW DO WE DO IT? How is it possible for you and me to be free from the entanglements of sin? Not just to be forgiven of our past sin, but to live a holy life and remain unstained by sin.