Dealing With Temptation

May 17, 2015

Dealing With Temptation

Luke 4:1-13

Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River. He was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where he was tempted by the devil for forty days. Jesus ate nothing all that time and became very hungry. Then the devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become a loaf of bread.”But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone.’”

Then the devil took him up and revealed to him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. “I will give you the glory of these kingdoms and authority over them,” the devil said, “because they are mine to give to anyone I please. I will give it all to you if you will worship me.” Jesus replied, “The Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’”

Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! 10 For the Scriptures say, ‘He will order his angels to protect and guard you. 11 And they will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.’” 12 Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘You must not test the Lord your God.’”

13 When the devil had finished tempting Jesus, he left him until the next opportunity came.

Introduction

Joe David will get the opportunity to speak to you tonight, so I want to speak to you this morning. This message is directed toward our seniors and young people but it is a message for all ages. I want to talk to you this morning about something that is very real and I will preface my thought by pointing out several related realities.

  1. The “World” is real and when I say world, I mean the world system which is in rebellion against Christ, God’s anointed. Our world is hostile toward Jesus. They despise our Savior. If you want to fit in to this world system, you must not talk about Jesus unless you are uttering curses.
  2. The power and presence of “Evil” is real. In 2013 there were 1.2 million abortions [certainly a violent crime], 13,160 homicides, over 75,000 rapes and 316,000 robberies. The same liberals who say that evil does not exist have three locks on their doors: latch, chain and deadbolt. Every child in our house had a 12:00 pm curfew because my mother said, “Nothing good happens after mid-night.”
  3. The “Flesh” is real. By flesh, I mean the selfish and sinful nature that indwells each of us. This nature says… “I want what I want when I want it and I will act ugly if necessary to get it.” We see this nature come out in little children. It is in all of us. Isaiah said…All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him [Jesus].
  4. The “Devil” [adversary] is real: he goes by many names—Lucifer [Light bearer, shinning one], Satan [accuser]. He is not a cartoon character dressed in blue and red with long tail and pitch fork in hand. He is a fallen angel; angel gone bad. He is a spiritual being and you and I have never seen him with our eyes but he is real, just as real as the air you breath which you cannot see either.
  5. Last but not least, there is “Temptation” which is what I want to talk about today. Temptation is real, very real, among other things. Let’s talk for a minute about the other things.

Facts About Temptation

  1. Temptation comes from the devil. James says in chapter one of his epistle…12 God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. 13 And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong,  and he never tempts anyone else. 14 Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. 15 These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death. [Four stages to sin: Desire, Deception, Disobedience and Death] God will test us to bring out the best in us but Satan tempts us to bring out the worse. {W.W. Wiersbe}
  2. Temptations follow a basic pattern: Genesis 3:6… When the woman saw that the tree was good for food [Physical appetite], and that it was a delight to the eyes [pleasure principle], and that the tree was desirable to make one wise [Power/control], she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. Think about it: Jesus was tempted to turn rock into bread [physical appetite]. He was tempted to do something sensational [Pleasure Principle] and He was tempted to set up an earthy kingdom [Power/Control]. John said, For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh [Appetite] and the lust of the eyes [Pleasure] and the boastful pride of life [Power/Control], is not from the Father, but is from the world. Jesus was tempted with the same things as Eve but there is one difference: Jesus was tempted to rely on His divine nature, you and I are tempted to rely on our human nature. We’ve never been tempted to turn rocks into bread because we lack to power to do so.
  3. Temptation is common to all men and all believers. No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. My pastor challenged me to memorize this verse which I did and I do not know how many times this verse came into play, it was more than once. Every time I claimed this verse and prayed, God gave me a way of escape.
  4. Temptation is a powerful force or pull. We cannot take it lightly. [1] First of all, we cannot deny the pleasure of sin. Listen to what the scriptures say about MosesIt was by faith that Moses, when he grew up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to share the oppression of God’s people instead of enjoying the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He thought it was better to suffer for the sake of Christ than to own the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to his great reward. Did you note: there is pleasure in sin, if there was not, temptation would have no power but alas the pleasure of sin is fleeting. Jesus offers us suffering first but it is consummated in glory. The devil offers us glory first but it ends in agonizing suffering. [2] Satan always using attractive bait. He allures us. Just as a fisherman lures the fish. Satan’s lures look good to the eye but they all have a hook. Your goal is to not get hooked. [3] No one is above temptation. Jesus the Son of God was tempted and you and I will be tempted also. Don’t get proud; pride makes us setting ducks. Paul warned in Galatians 6…Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.

Remember

  1. Satan always attacked our weakness
  2. He always using alluring bait: something that will draw you out.
  3. He always uses deceit: he is a liar and the father of all lies…you cannot trust him, ever.
  4. He always cast doubt on the goodness, the benevolence of God.
  5. He always cast doubt on the motive of God…God doesn’t love you, why would He love you…do you deserve being  loved by the Creator?
  6. He always cast doubt of God’s word.

CONCLUSION

  1. Today, I challenge you to believe with all your heart that God loves you more than you love youself. Jesus loves you this I know, He gave up heaven’s glory to take on the garb of our human flesh. He lived a perfect life in our behalf because we could never meet the laws perfect demands. He died on a cross to pay for our sins which we could never pay for. Jesus paid a debt He did not owe because we owed a debt we could not pay. Jesus loves you, don’t doubt it. If you are a doubter, watch the PASSION OF CHRIST.
  2. The Bible is God’s word, believe it:  If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. If you will put your faith in the righteousness of Jesus, God will give you credit for His perfect life.
  3. It all boiled down to who you trust: the world, the flesh {self}, the devil or Jesus.
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