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Summary: It is not a sin to be tempted. Many Bible characters were tempted to sin, but did not succumb to it. You do not have to sin, though a part of living is being tempted.

THE THIRD SUNDAY IN THE SEASON OF LENT,

THE MESSAGE FOR SUNDAY THE 18th OF MARCH, 2001

THE TEXT ARE:

The LESSON:.....1 Corinthians 10:1-13

PRAYER...MAY THE WORDS OF GOD AND HIS MESSAGE SPOKEN THIS HOUR BE BOTH A WORD OF COMFORT AND CHALLENGE

WE PRAY THAT IT WILL CHALLENGE THOSE WHO ARE COMFORTABLE

AND COMFORT ALL THOSE WHO ARE BEING CHALLENGED THIS DAY.

INTRODUCTION:

1 Cor 10:12-13, "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."

One of the perils that a Christian faces from day to day is temptation.

The word "temptation" can have two main directions of thought. Temptation can be a testing, but it also can refer to an enticement to sin. Any enticement to sin does not come from God, rather it originates either from the world, the flesh or the devil.

The Bible says in James 1:14, "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed." It is absolutely wrong to blame God for an enticement to sin. The holy and righteous God will not entice you to sin. Since He is absolutely and infinitely holy, that is an impossibility.

It is not a sin to be tempted. Many Bible characters were tempted to sin, but did not succumb to it. You do not have to sin, though a part of living is being tempted. Through the power and help of God we can say, "No" to every enticement to sin that comes your way.

Enticement to sin actually comes from three main areas:

1. It comes from Satan. He is referred to as "the Tempter" in Matt. 4:3 and in I Thess. 3:5. He can even masquerade himself as an angel of light (2 Cor.11:4).

2. It comes from a love of the world. That is what the Apostle John referred to in 1 Jn. 2:16 as, "the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life." Three of the main sins that come from the world system is the desire for sensuality, covetousness, and egotism or pride.

3. It comes from man himself. When a person is saved, they possess two natures. One is a holy or new nature that comes from God and the other is a sinful nature that is separated from God and enslaved to moral evil.

James 1:14,15 says, "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

It speaks of the conception of lust or desire. Wrong desire is often receive, dallied with and played with, hidden in the heart, and pondered how it can come about. It then leads to sin. That is the "conception of lust."

Lust conceived in the heart brings forth sin, and sin in turn brings forth death. Death has the basic idea of separation. The practice of sin leads to eternal death or separation from God. The Bible says that, "He that is born of God cannot commit (or practice) sin (1 Jn. 3:9). Why? The holy seed of God, the new nature, through which the Holy Spirit operates, is inside of the believer.

God may send trying circumstances to prove our loyalty or to woo and draw a person back to Himself who has strayed. Israel in the wilderness is an example of that truth. The Bible says in Ex. 15 that the Lord proved them or tested them.

God often orders our circumstances to reveal our love for Him, to make us stronger to resist sin, and to do us good in the end.

If you recall, Adam and Eve were tested in the Garden of Eden and prohibited from eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Satan tricked them into disobedience and unbelief.

God allowed Satan to test Job, to reveal the true integrity of Job. Job would not listen to the devil or do his bidding.

Jesus Himself was tempted in the wilderness testing. He was tempted to misuse His supernatural powers and to worship Satan. Did He fall to the temptations? No, instead Jesus proved that He could not sin in the wilderness temptation. The devil could not deceive and trick Jesus into sinning.

We are told to pray, "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil" (Matt. 6:13). That is a prayer that asks the Lord to not order circumstances in which the Devil would find them as easy prey. There is also a request there for God to enable the tempted to resist temptation when it comes man’s way.

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