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How to Handle Temptation

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13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. 18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

Prayer

Intro

There are two aspects of hardships that come to every person’s life. Last week we spent a lot of time on trials that come from God to grow us, but this week we’re going to be talking about temptations-and those are from satan.
Trials can turn into temptations:
-Abraham living in a famine and going into egypt instead of trusting God
Israel in the wilderness without water for 3 days. It turned their testing into temptation and they failed…miserably…over and over
We are not God’s sheltered people, we are God’s scattered people. We need to be ready and willing to receive temptation and to beat it. Because it is coming.
What must we do to beat temptation?

Consider God’s Judgment (13-16)

It’s never good to start a sermon off negative, but that’s where James starts, so if it’s good enough for him it’s good enough for me!
James said, “Look ahead and see where sin ends—death!”
I don’t think any of us would want death
God is telling us what happens if we sin, so don’t blame God when you are sin.
Don’t blame God when something isn’t going your way
Don’t blame God when something bad happens to you
He tries us to build our faith in Him, but He never causes us to sin—that’s on us
What is temptation?
Temptation is an opportunity to accomplish something good in a bad way.
Is it wrong to want to pass an exam? No but don’t cheat
Is it wrong to want to eat? No, but don’t steal
We think of sin as a single act, but James (and ultimately God) tells us that it’s a process
Desire-- The normal desires of life were given to us by God and, of themselves, are not sinful. Without these desires, we could not function. Unless we felt hunger and thirst, we would never eat and drink, and we would die.
The Bible Exposition Commentary Chapter Three: How to Handle Temptation (James 1:13–18)

It is when we want to satisfy these desires in ways outside God’s will that we get into trouble. Eating is normal; gluttony is sin. Sleep is normal; laziness is sin.

It is when try to satisfy these desires outside of God’s will that it becomes sin
The normal desires of life were given to us by God and, of themselves, are not sinful. Without these desires, we could not function. Unless we felt hunger and thirst, we would never eat and drink, and we would die.
Eating is normal gluttony is sin
Sleep is normal laziness is sin
These good desires help us to function—we just need to satisfy them in God’s way
Deception—Deception affects our desire
No temptation or sin appears as that thing. It appears good, fun, and appealing.
Illustration of a hunter and fisherman using lures or traps
Illustration of Lot choosing well-watered plains of Jordan
How do we see through this deception? With the word of God! When you know the Bible you can detect bait and deal with it decisively (that’s how Jesus did it in ).
Disobedience- First, temptation affects our emotions (Desire), our intellect (deception), and now our will (disobedience)
Disobedience is when our will approves and acts!
Living as adults is a matter of will not of feeling. You may say “i don’t feel like doing this” that is what a child does.
Christian adults act because it is right regardless of how they feel
There were a lot of times in college i didn’t feel like doing something (artist series)…i did it anyway because that’s what mature adults do
Immature Christians fall into sin because they don’t feel like fighting sin…fight sin!
The will is something that can be strengthened over time—Exercise it
Through Reading
Prayer
Fellowshipping with other believers
Living your whole life as worship
Coming to church
This is a fight for your will and if you lose it, there are conseuqneces…and that’s the next step of the process
Death-Disobedience gives way to death, not life
These four stages are perfectly seen in the fall in the garden
Satan used desire to interest eve “Your eyes shall be open”
Satan deceived eve . “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”
Satan showed eve the bait, but she forgot to heed the warning of God’s word
. “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”
Satan is the deceiver, he is seeking to take control of your mind and to deceive you
Eve disobeyed God by eating it and then sharing it with her husband
Because of that the entire human race was plunged into sin and experienced spiritual death
God is not trying to withhold pleasure from you. Sin looks pleasurable, but in the end it leads to death.
When you are faced with temptation, look ahead to the consequences of sin “The wages of sin is death”
God only has good things in mind for you, remember that whenever you are tempted by sin

Consider God’s goodness (v.17)

We need to Consider God’s judgment, but now we get to Consider God’s goodness!
Goodness of God is a barrier against yielding to temptation. We need no one else apart from God to be satisfied or to meet our needs
It’s hard to remember God when we’re in the good times, but those are time times we must remember Him the most, so we don’t fall into sin. Moses talks about this in Deut 6:10-15

10 “And when the LORD your God brings you into the land that he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you—with great and good cities that you did not build, 11 and houses full of all good things that you did not fill, and cisterns that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive trees that you did not plant—and when you eat and are full, 12 then take care lest you forget the LORD, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 13 It is the LORD your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear. 14 You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are around you— 15 for the LORD your God in your midst is a jealous God—lest the anger of the LORD your God be kindled against you, and he destroy you from off the face of the earth.

we need to be remembering the goodness of God, James gives us 4 facts about the goodness of God
God gives us only good gifts
Obviously good gifts and tribulations are both gifts to us (Pauls thorn in the flesh )
The Way God gives is good— a better translation to “every perfect gift” is “and every act of giving”. Sometimes people give us gifts without loving, but God never does that! What he gives and how he gives it to us is perfect!
He gives constantly—cometh down is a present participle “it keeps coming down”. Even when we don’t see His gifts He is constantly sending them
God does not change--
There are no shadows with the Father of Lights. It is impossible for God to change. He cannot change for the worse because He is holy; He cannot change for the better because He is already perfect. The light of the sun varies as the earth changes, but the sun itself is still shining. If shadows come between us and the Father, He did not cause them. He is the unchanging God. This means that we should never question His love or doubt His goodness when difficulties come or temptations appear.
Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 344). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
David didn’t remember God’s goodness when He sinned with Bathsheeba…don’t be like david (in that way)
The first barrier against temptation is the judgment of God—negative
The second is the goodness of GOd—positive
Joseph remembered God’s goodness and didn’t sin against God “How can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?”
The Bible Exposition Commentary Chapter Three: How to Handle Temptation (James 1:13–18)

In the first barrier, God says, “Look ahead and beware of judgment.” In the second barrier, He says, “Look around and see how good I have been to you.” But with this third barrier, God says, “Look within and realize that you have been born from above and possess the divine nature.”

The Bible Exposition Commentary Chapter Three: How to Handle Temptation (James 1:13–18)

In the first barrier, God says, “Look ahead and beware of judgment.” In the second barrier, He says, “Look around and see how good I have been to you.” But with this third barrier, God says, “Look within and realize that you have been born from above and possess the divine nature.”

In the first barrier, God says, “Look ahead and beware of judgment.” In the second barrier, He says “look around and see all these things I have done for you.” But with this third barrier, God says, “Look within and realize that you have been born from above and possess a divine nature!”

Consider God’s divine nature within (v.18)

We are God’s, why would we want anything different? It’s a trick an allusion! Don’t fall for it! It doesn’t last
God gives us the strength to overcome sin and temptation
Eph 2
Two choices on the shelf, pleasing God or self
Two men live in my heart adam and Jesus—When sin tempts on my door, Jesus must answer or I wont win.

Conclusion

What is keeping you from overcoming temptation and sin?
Are you not considering God’s justice?
Do you have a future view of what happens if you continue to sin?
Are you not considering God’s goodness?
Do you have the outward view of all your blessings?
Are you not considering God’s divine nature within?
You are God’s!
Fight temptation
Have a future view
See all the wonderful things God has given you
know that you are God’s and because you are, He’s not going to leave you alone!

Pray

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