Summary: “We can have victory over temptation as Jesus did by using the Word of God to resist the devil.
VICTORY OVER TEMPTATION--Luke 4:1-13
Proposition: “We can have victory over temptation as Jesus did by using the Word of God to resist the devil."
Objective: My purpose is challenge people to be alert to the truth that God will assist in experiencing victory over temptation.
Illus: A young lady said to a friend, “I can resist everything but temptation.”
Illus: If the Devil were to write his own beatitudes, they would possibly go something like this:
** Blessed are those Christians who are TOO TIRED, TOO BUSY, too distracted to spend time with their fellow Christians in church--they are my best candidates to backslide.
**Blessed are those Christians who WAIT TO BE ASKED and EXPECT TO BE THANKED --I can use them to slow things down.
**Blessed are those Christians who are TOUCHY, with a bit of luck they may STOP GOING TO CHURCH and get others to quit-they are my missionaries.
**Blessed are those Christians who are VERY RELIGIOUS but GET ON EVERYONE’S nerves--they are my most effective stumbling blocks.
**Blessed are those Christians who are TROUBLEMAKERS--they are my best wrecking crew.
**Blessed are those Christians who have NO TIME TO PRAY--they are easy prey for me.
**Blessed are those Christians who dwell on the negative and KEEP SPREADING TALES OF GOSSIP to others—they will spread dissension among my people which pleases me. Blessed are the GOSSIPERS for they are my secret agents.
**Blessed are those Christians who are COMPLAINERS--they are my best discouragers.
**Blessed are YOU when you read or hear this and THINK IT IS ABOUT OTHER people and not yourself---I’ve got you.
Through the one act of disobedience (Adam’s) all have the tendency to sin and become sinners. Through the one act of obedience (Christ’s) all will be made righteous (Rom. 5:18-19). Christ’s victory over the devil through His perfect obedience unto death on the cross brings life and salvation to everyone, but not everyone receives this gift. Because we cannot keep God’s Law perfectly, Christ has done it and shows us how. Christ overcomes temptation with the Word of God. The devil would tempt us to get our eyes off of God’s Word, to get us not to trust in Him that He will provide us our daily bread. He tried to get Jesus to take alternative routes to saving humanity--the way of glory. But the Father’s plan for saving us was for His Son to go the way of the cross, which He did.
I. THE APPEAL TO PROVISIONS FOR PHYSICAL NEEDS (vvs. 1-4) “Command this stone to become bread.” Note that the devil attacks Jesus by appealing to His desires. Satan: “Prove You are the Son of God. Serve Yourself, show divine power. You are hungry and You have the right to eat. Pick up one of the many rocks lying here in the desert and let God turn it to bread so You can eat. Surely, He will supply Your every need.”
1. The culmination (v. 1) “Then, Jesus being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan.” After the high point of His baptism, He was thrust into the wilderness (The desert was a barren place) by the H.S. This wilderness was not a wilderness of sand. It was covered by little bits of limestone exactly like loaves. To be filled with the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:41--Elizabeth, 1:67--Zacharias) means to be completely yielded to Him and to be completely obedient to every word of God. A person who is filled with the Spirit is emptied of known sin and of self and is richly indwelt by the Word of God. Have you ever been in a spiritual wilderness?? This is a place where you can’t seem to feel the presence of God anywhere around you. You pray, you fast, you worship and raise your voice to God. But…nothing.
2. The conflict (v. 2) “being tempted for 40 days by the devil”—Satan indeed tempted Jesus but there is more to the story than that. Satan began with Jesus’ hunger and went on to raise a doubt as to His divine Sonship. The true humanity of Jesus is reflected by the words He was hungry. It was in God’s plan that right at the outset of His ministry Jesus should face up to the question of what kind of Messiah He was to be.
Illus: There was a little boy who really wanted a new bicycle. He saved all his nickels, dimes and quarters in order to buy one. Each night he asked God to help him save his money. Kneeling beside his bed, he prayed, "Dear Lord, please help me save my money for a new bike, and please, Lord, don’t let the ice cream man come again by my house tomorrow." He, even as a little boy, understood the conflict he faced as well as the distractions of temptations.