Summary: How can we resist temptation?
David Durey tells the story of small boy’s father who would occasionally sneak into a neighbor’s orchard and take some of the best fruit. He was always careful, however, to make sure that “the coast was clear.”
One day while the son was tagging along, after carefully looking in every direction, the father crept through the neighbor’s fence. Just as he was reaching for a choice piece of fruit the young son cried out, “Dad! Dad! You forgot to look UP! You forgot to see if God was watching!”
Temptation. It’s everywhere! At home, over at the neighbors, in the workplace, it even shows up at church. We cannot get away from temptation.
Today is our second Sunday in our series Bible Jeopardy: We know the answer, But what is the question: Important things to remember about Christianity. The purpose of this series is designed to help you be better established in your faith and confident of your relationship with God.
Last week we looked at assurance of salvation. We examined several passages of scripture and were given three ways of assurance that included the three of witnesses of confirmation: the witness of God’s word, the witness of the Holy Spirit, and the witness of a changed life. And our primary Bible passage was Ephesians 2:8-9, the Biblical basis of salvation, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast.”
Today our topic is closely related to assurance of salvation. It is, well, you tell me, okay? It’s time for Bible jeopardy! Ready! Here we go!
It leads us to sin. What is the answer? What is temptation?
Giving into temptation leads to this. What is the answer? What is sin?
I Corinthians 10:13 says, “When you are tempted, he will show you a way out.”
What is the answer? What is victory over sin and temptation?
Our study today is about victory over sin and temptation. God wants to help us, and can help us resist temptation and overcome sin.
Now there are three important questions that we need to ask, and answer, today in order to understand why and how we can have victory over sin and temptation.
Question number 1: What is temptation?
Question number 2: What is sin?
Question number 3: How can we have victory over both?
What is temptation?
Barb and her husband Chuck were youth leaders who had just arrived at a campground for a weekend retreat with a youth group. While Chuck unloaded the van, Barb handed out room assignments. On the bulletin board of the lobby in the main lodge was a poster declaring, “There are no problems, only opportunities.”
One boy came over to her and said, “Uh, Barb, I’ve got a problem.”
Barb pointed to the sign, “Jeff, there are not problems, just opportunities.”
“Well, if that’s the way you want it,” said Jeff, “but there’s a girl in my room.”
Someone has said, “The trouble with opportunity is that it only knocks. Temptation kicks the door in.”
What is temptation? Temptation is the surest way to sin. It is the doorway, the pathway, the opening to sin.
In the James passage we read “temptation comes from the lure of our own evil desires which lead to evil actions which leads to death.” What is James saying in this segment?
Now ultimately temptation comes from Satan, However, our own selfish, warped desires also create the desire to do something selfishly wrong and that causes death. What kind of death? Well I think he is speaking of two kinds of death: 1. The ultimate death – spiritual death that will lead to eternal separation in the afterlife. 2. An immediate death. An isolation that is right now!
When we give into temptation and sin, if affects our relationship with ourselves right now, if affects our relationship with others right now, if affects our relationship with God right now. Think about the opening story that I told about the father and the boy. How do you think the father felt when he heard his little boy’s question? How did it affect him? How did it affect his relationship with his son? How did it affect his relationship with God?
Last week I read the story of the prodigal son and I would have us think about the fact that the youngest son’s choice to strike out on his own and give into the temptation to live “the good life” affected his relationships – with himself, his father, and his brother. Giving into temptation has its consequences.