Summary: Ephesians 2 reminds us that temptation comes from three sources – a cursed world, a corrupt heart and a cunning devil. Accounts of both failure and victory are illustrated in the biblical stories of David and Joseph. In James 1:14,15 the enticement of tem
VICTORY OVER TEMPTATION
“Blessed, or happy is the man who does not give in and do wrong when he is tempted. Because when he has stood the test he will receive as his reward, the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12).
Is there anyone here today who can honestly say that they have never been tempted
to do anything wrong or questionable? If so, I would like to meet them, because they
must have been created like a robot or a puppet on strings,with no freedom of choice.
This freedom God gave us is a very precious gift. Because free will, although it makes
sin possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any true love, goodness or
But before going further perhaps we should try to clarify the meaning of temptation. My Bible dictionary defines it as “a seducement to participate in some wrong doing or sinful behavior which is contrary to Gods will for our lives.” It always starts out looking very innocent. Temptation always minimizes the real danger and maximizes the imagined benefits. Temptations however can be resisted and the Bible has a lot to say about how we can win a victory over this threat to our physical and spiritual health.
I want you to know that I applied this message to myself before bringing it to you. And the only basis on which I stand before you this morning is that I am a sinner saved by grace and Christ died for me. And God is still working on me, to make me the man I ought to be..
The question is often asked, is it a sin to be tempted? And I believe the answer is NO! The sin comes from yielding, giving in to the temptation and not the temptation itself. Temptation is like the devil looking in through the key-hole, even knocking gently on your door. Sin is opening the door and inviting him to come in.
One reason we know that temptation in itself is not sin is because the Bible tells us in Heb.4:15,16 that Christ was tempted in all points such as we are, yet without sin. As the God-man, Christ became the chief target of Satan’s hatred and wrath. If He had compromised with the devil and taken an easier path even once, He would not have qualified to be our Saviour. As Ian Thomas put it, “For the first time since Adam fell into sin, there was on earth a man as God intended man to be.” Then, as we seek to become more like Christ we discover our true selves, the persons we were meant to be. And I believe that Christ understands the struggles you and I are facing, because during his earthly life He faced a full range of temptations and He immersed victorious every time.
The next question we face is, where do temptations come from? James 1;13 tells us not to blame God. He is too holy to be tempted and too loving to tempt us. Perhaps the clearest teaching on this subject is found in Eph. 2:1-3 Here we see temptations coming from 3 sources: v.2-the external world around us, including the lust of the eyes.
v.3-the flesh or the sinful,self-centered nature within us.
v.2-the prince of the power of the air, which is another name for Satan, who is behind it all.