Summary: In this sermon for the First Sunday of Lent we examine the temptations we all face to transcend ourselves above all else in life. But we often forget we are children of God's. This sermon will help your congregation understand that like Adam and Eve, we
Grace and Peace to you from our Lord and Savior Jesus, the tempted Christ. Amen
I was raising my older neighbor Tony home from school one day after school. I had just gotten my school permit at 15 and thought it was pretty neat to be able to drive myself from home to school and back again. I’m sure you can remember the first time you got behind the wheel, what a thrill! No more school bus for me! And as you might imagine I thought I was an amazing driver already at 15. In that 1986 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme I was king of the world! So when my neighbor challenged me to a race home after school one afternoon I couldn’t say no.
We sped out of the school parking lot heading east down the highway. I was fortunate to pull out of the school parking lot first, so I thought as long as he didn’t get around me I could stay in front of him the whole way home! But a couple miles down the highway and Tony pulled off early, down a gravel road and I was so worried he would find a shortcut and beat me home. I sped up a little and pulled off the highway a mile further down the road.
Man I was tearing up that gravel road! And just as I was coming up on a curve in the road I slowed down just a bit, but all of a sudden I lost control of the car. My Cutlass slipped on the gravel curve and a teetered for a few yards trying to regain control, but I was quickly in the ditch.
Thank God I wasn’t hurt, my foolishness could have seriously hurt me. But I was embarrassed. Didn’t know what to do. So I sat there for a few minutes with my head on the steering wheel.
Our first lesson for this morning is one we all know. The fall of humanity in the first humans…Adam and Eve. The first sin. The first disobedience of God. What was it that caused this first sin? Was it stealing, lust, cursing, or worst yet murder? Interestingly it isn’t any of those temptations.
There was one thing Adam Eve were told not to do. Eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This one tree was what separated God from humans. God was and remains in control of all creation. God has full knowledge of this world. And God’s full knowledge includes the knowledge of the evil that exists in this world He created.
God wanted to protect Adam and Eve. God wanted to protect them from the knowledge of evil that led to their choosing evil over God. The choosing of evil over God that we continue to wrestle with today. You see once Adam and Even knew what evil was, they were able to make chooses, choosing God or choosing sin and evil. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
God wanted to keep them away from the knowledge of evil because God knew humans would not be able to handle that knowledge and the choices that come with that knowledge. God knew humans would not be able to resist evil when they knew, saw, experiences the allure and seduction sin plays in this world.
Adam and Eve were banished from the garden of Eden and were forced to start a new way of life. A tough life. We started out on our Lent pilgrimage just a few days ago. Many of us received the ashes on our foreheads reminding us we are dependent on God because we live a mortal and frail life here on earth. Just like Adam and Eve we are completely dependent on God to save us.
Along with Adam and Eve we read today the temptations Satan placed before Jesus this morning. Jesus went through the exact same challenges and temptations Adam and Eve went through, and the same temptations we go through today. Jesus knew and experienced evil and the allure it can have too.
How exactly did Jesus resist the temptation? Where every single human being since the beginning of time has failed, what allowed Jesus to overcome the devils temptations? Now listen carefully because this is the key to everything in life! Jesus knew not only who he was…but Jesus knew Who’s He Was. Jesus was able to overcome Satan’s temptation because Jesus knew who he was. Jesus did not take his powers and rule in this world to isolate ore prop himself up in this world. Jesus remained humble and in control because He never forgot who He belonged to, God the Father.
Look closely with me every time Jesus is tempted in this world Jesus responds with…this is what God says…every word comes from the mouth of God…don’t test God…worship alone God! Jesus was able to overcome those temptations because he never forgot where He received his power, his goodness, his authority, and ultimately His glory. It came from God!