Summary: Temptation on its own is not the same as sin. Sometimes being tempted makes us feel dirty, but temptation is not sin. Jesus was severely tempted, but that does not mean he was contaminated with the sin.
VICTORY OVER TEMPTATION
Study Text: James 1:12 – 16
- We are living in a day of relentless temptations by Satan. Never before has our adversary had such powerful technology with which to glamorize sin.
- Temptation on its own is not the same as sin. Sometimes being tempted makes us feel dirty, but temptation is not sin. Jesus was severely tempted, but that does not mean he was contaminated with the sin.
- While living a life well pleasing to God is the right way for everyone to live, we also need to understand that this makes you a prime target for satanic attack.
- The devil likes nothing better than to defeat, destroy and devastate real men and women of God, 1 Pet. 5:8.
- He isn’t too concerned about those who are merely nominal Christians, and who don’t live the life. He isn’t concerned about those who talk about Jesus but who don’t live like Him.
- He is after those who run hard after God. He wants those who want to live holy lives. He wants those who are in the fight! He wants you! A life lived for Jesus is a life that will be attacked, 2 Tim. 3:12.
- The remedy for this satanic attack through temptation is found in Romans 13:14, "But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof."
- Before you give in to that temptation and do that thing that looks so enticing, take a moment to think about the consequences.
- What will happen to your testimony in the eyes of others when they find out? What will happen to your walk with the Lord? What will happen within yourself after discovering you have fallen into sin?
- We shall discuss the study under three sub-headings:
1. The Strategies of the Serpent
2. The Strength of the Saints
3. The Support of the Saviour
1. The Strategies of the Serpent
- Satan and his kingdom is a well-organized entity that make use of various strategies and approaches in tempting the believers. One or more of these strategies may be use at a given time.
i. The Enticement Strategy
- Satan will package the common and usual thing for you and present it as special. For instance, he makes married men and women to see another man or woman as special, leading to the sin of sexual immoralities.
- An example is that of Eve, the fruit she has been seeing in the garden, that she recognize so well as the one God said they should not eat, the Devil was able to make it look special and enticing to her.
ii. The Persistency Strategy
- The Devil sometimes persist in bringing multiple temptations at the same time, like the case of Jesus, or single temptation at several times, like the case of Joseph.
- Most believers that are able to resist one will eventually fall into the other, or those that are able to resist at one or two times, will eventually yield to the persistency.
- We should know that the Devil cannot be tired and does not give up on his business of looking for who to devour. As Christians, we have to be on guard at all times by watching and praying.
iii. The Deceiving Strategy
- The Devil, most of the time will hide his identity. As an angel of darkness, he will transform to look like the angel of light in order to deceive God’s people.
- The man of God from Judah was deceived by the old prophet that an angel of God had spoken to him to alter the initial instruction given to the man by God.
iv. The Despising Strategy
- This is when the Devil makes the people of God to feel that it does not really matter doing it, or to feel that other Christians are doing it. For instance, certain worldly dressing, singing and speaking.
- Some may even feel, it’s just this once, just for me to have my way at this time, and the Devil make them to despise their healthy relationship with God and their faithfulness to their parents or spouses.
- Esau felt it does not really matter if he loses the birthright, as long as he can be satisfied of an immediate hunger.
v. The Majority Strategy
- People are likely to judge something right by the acceptance of the majority, so the Devil makes use of this approach and make you feel that you can be the odd one out.
- When Michel was contacted by Ahab to bring a word from the Lord, some people told him that four hundred prophets have spoken similar thing, and his own should not be different.