Temptation is not a sin.

Acts 20:19

 

King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews.

Yes, even Paul was tempted.

That’s right. What can you imagine could possibly tempt a man in that day and age? The answer is everything that we are tempted by today. Nothing has changed brothers and sisters. Same enemy, same temptations, and the same sin.

Paul said that ” He served the Lord with all humility of mind and with many tears AND TEMPATIONS.

Paul was tempted by the same demons we are tempted with today. I love Paul and wish that I could be more like him. Read what happens in 2 Corinthians 11:26.

2 Corinthians 11:26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers.

Always on the move, always fleeing danger. Let us learn from the life of this wonderful man.

What are the purpose Satan has to tempt us?

  • To undermine God’s plan and will and get us away from God (Gen 3:4-5) (John 10:10)
  • Temptation at its core, is to deny the authority of God and to seek our independence from God.

What are the ways of Temptation?

  • 1 John 2:16 talks about three most fundamental means of temptation.

“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.”

    • Lust of the flesh
    • Lust of the eyes
    • Pride of Life

 

  • These three fundamental principles summarize any temptations we may face in our daily lives. Come on brothers, you know what I mean.
  • Satan used this devices to tempt Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden.
    • Lust of the Eyes – “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye..” (Gen 3:6)
    • Lust of the Flesh – “…tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye..”
    • Pride of Life – “…and also desirable for gaining wisdom (like God)…” (Gen 3:5-6)
    • Satan use the same devices to tempt Jesus in the wilderness. (Mat 4:1-11)
    • Lust of the Flesh – “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” (Mat 4:3)
    • Lust of the Eyes – “the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.” (Mat 4:8)
    • Pride of Life – “All this I will give you, if you will bow down and worship me.” (Mat 4:9)

Temptation is NOT sin, but fight it!

  • No, Jesus was also tempted. (Mat 4:1-11)
  • Hebrews 4:15 – “but we have one (Jesus) who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.”
  • Every Christian is faced with some kind of temptation.

Why is it so ‘easy’ to fall or give in to temptation?

Because there is a temporary pleasure in it that’s why. The stock broker or banker who sees a fling on the side. The wife who flirts with her “friend” at work using text. You know what I mean. Its sin when we give into our fleshly desires and follow our flesh.

When we fight our flesh the saints cry out in Heaven! Each time we do the right thing. Each time we turn away, say “no thanks”, or keep walking we fight sin.

Keep up the attitude and fight for what is right and eventually the enemy will flee from you.

  • Hebrews 11:25 – “He (Moses) chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time.”
  • We are susceptible to sin because of our frailty due to sinful nature. (Gen 6:5)

What are the steps to overcome or resist temptation?

  • Ready for the battle. (Eph 6:11, 13-17)
  • Watch and pray. (Mk 14:38)
  • Remember Jesus used word of God to attack and overcome all three temptations in the wilderness. We are no better, so spend time in the word of God. Immerse yourself into word of God, study it, memorize it. Remember, you may not have your bible with you when Satan confronts you with some kind of temptation!
  • Be alert and self-controlled (1 Pet 5:8). (For every Christian, temptation can come in different form.)
  • Strong in faith. (1 Pet 5:8-9)

Brothers and sisters, don’t give up the good fight. Don’t be easy to anger. Don’t fall into lust and fleshly desires. Fight the good fight!

 

Your brother in Christ,

 

Phil