Faithlife Sermons

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"HOW TO OVERCOME TEMPTATION"
JAMES 1:12-18
 
 
F.B.
Meyer said, "The bitterest experience with most believers is the presence and power of sin.
They long to walk through this grimy world with pure hearts and stainless garments, but when they would do "HOW TO OVERCOME TEMPTATION"
JAMES 1:12-18
 
 
F.B.
Meyer said, "The bitterest experience with most believers is the presence and power of sin.
They long to walk through this grimy world with pure hearts and stainless garments, but when they would do good, evil is present with them..
They consent to God's law that it is good; they approve it; they even delight in it after the inward man; they endeavor to keep it, but notwithsanding all, they seem as helpless to perform it as a man whose brain has been smitten with paralysis."
How can a Believer overcome temptation?  James is one of the most practical books in the whole Bible, so it should not surprise us to find that early on, he addresses the subject of temptation.
There are several things I want you to note about overcoming temptation, and they all start with an "F" so maybe you can remember them better.
I.
FACE THE REALITY
 
EXP: You will be tempted.
When you become a Christian, it doesn't mean that there will be no more temptations.
In some way, it will seem that your temptations have just started.
Many of us want to live in a dream world that when we become Believers that we will no longer, or should no longer be tempted.
And as long as you are living in that kind of a delusion you will continue to be disillusioned!
For the fact of the matter is, "You will be tempted."
You are no greater than your master, and Your master, Jesus, himself, was tempted by Satan.
And you know, Jesus didn't call time-out and complain, and say, "Father, you never said I'd have to be tempted!"
No the scripture says that in "all points he was tempted as we are, yet without sin."
Notice it doesn't say, Blessed is the one who "escapes" temptation...because you cannot escape it.
Americans seem consumed today with living a "Risk-free" life.
We want no risk on our purchases...No risk for our children...No risk with our investments...No risk with our relationships...so we have "Fault-free" divorces, and on and on...Listen, you cannot eliminate risk from this life.
and you cannot eliminate temptation from this life.
You will be tempted...And I want to say to you...the time to decide what your going to do is right now.
Not in the heat of the battle.
That's too late.
Decide right now...What's it going to be when temptation comes?
Because I want you to know, you will be tempted.
Kids...You are going to be tempted to drink...Decide now, "Are you going to do it?"
You are going to be tempted to be sexually immoral?
Face that reality.
What will you do about it?
Christian.
You are going to be tempted to backslide.
Tempted to sleep in instead of pray.
Tempted to get mad...Tempted to hold a grudge...It is inevitable that they come...and the sooner you accept that reality and decide to deal with it, the better chance you will have of winning the fight.
You will be tempted and we are told to endure...There is constantly coming down the pike some new teaching on how the Christian life can be lived easily, effortlessly, in three easy steps...which to the chagrin of the Church over the last 2000 years, no one ever figured out before...More often than not, the new "secret" includes knowing the magical words to get Satan to stop bothering you.
If you can just bind him up, cast him out, and make him say his name, then you, too, can live without temptation, goes the thesis...but nowhere in the Bible does it tell us we can escape temptation...It is here to stay...Nowhere are we told that we can cast out the territorial spirits and make our region safe for Christianity...Instead, we are told to endure.
"Endure" means to "bear up courageously" to bear bravely and calmly.
To patiently and triumphantly endure, to show constancy under.
It is not the patience which can sit down and bow its head and let things descend upon it and passively endure until the storm is passed.
It is the spirit which can bear things, not simply with resignation, but with blazing hope.
Some people say, "Oh, well I would endure...but you just don't know how bad I am tempted."
"If Satan tempted you, like he does me, then you'd give in, also."
\\ \\ *John 16:33*
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble.
But take heart!
I have overcome the world."
II.
FATHOM THE DYNAMICS
 
EXP:  In the New Testament, there are two words for "temptation."
One word is used to refer mainly to tests that God allows into our lives.
It's the word dokimon.
Sometimes dokimon can be used to refer to Satan's enticement to sin, depending on the context.
The other word, pyrasmon.
Pyrasmon is used only to refer to Satan's enticement toward evil.
ILL: Alexander MacLaren distinguished the two words this way, "Pyrasmon conveys the idea of appealling to the worst part of man, with the wish that he may yield and do the wrong.
Dokimon means a n appeal to the better part of man, with the desire that he should stand.
Pyrasmon says, 'Do this pleasant thing; do not be hindered by the fact that it is wrong.'
Dokimon says, 'Do this right and noble thing; do not be hindered by the fact that it is painful.'
The one is a sweet, beguiling melody, breathing soft indulgence and relaxation over the soul; The other is a trumpet call to high achievements."
The word used in verse 12 translated "temptation" is the word pyrasmon.
It speaks about Satan's enticement to sin...and verse 13 tells us that we need to understand that, "God never entices a person to sin..."
 
Deut 8:2 says God will test us to see what's in our heart, but he never entices us to sin.
So what are the dynamics?
When you feel tempted to sin, that is Satan enticing you to do evil...to sin against God, and he does it to attempt to destroy your life.
Now he will tell you that he just wants to give you what is rightfully yours.
He will tell you that he wants to add to your life.
He will tell you that this is a way to have what God has unfairly withheld, but you need to know that the devil never talks without lying.
He may tell part of the truth, but he will never tell the whole truth.
So his purpose in temptation is to destroy.
But guess what...Even though God does not "entice a person to sin,"  when Satan tempts a person,  he can do it only because God has allowed it.
And God allows it because He, also, has a purpose.
Satan's purpose is to destroy...God has a purpose.
and God's purpose doesn't change whether the word is dokimon or pyrasmon.
What is that purpose?
God's purpose...is to test what is in your heart, so that you can receive His stamp of approval.
He allows you to be tempted toward evil because His purpose is for you to endure it, and he never lets it be too hard for you, so that He can place his stamp of approval on you.
Well, it isn't hard to see Satan's purpose...But what about God's?
Why does He do that anyway?
ILL: Oranges...
But take another look at verse 12...What does God say about the one who endures? \\ \\ "Blessed..."  When you are tempted, you need to know, there is a blessing coming when I've endured it..."
 
Calls it a "crown"  It is the reward of accomplishment...It doesn't say how or when except that after you've endured...You will be recognized and rewarded by God for having done it.
God says "There will be a blessing..."
 
But also, notice that He equates resisting temptation with love for Him...He says "When you resist temptation, I know you love me."
What does God promise to those who love him?
Ex 20:6 says God shows mercy to those who love Him
Deut 7:9 says God keeps covenant with those who love Him
Rom 8:28 says God causes all things to work for good for the person who loves Him
John14:21 says God reveals himself to those who love Him
Gal 5:6 says that what God really cares about is whether or not we love Him
 
So, when you're facing a temptation to sin, tell yourself, "PTL!
This is a chance to show God that I love Him by not giving in, and when He sees how much I love Him...He's going to shed more love on my life than ever!"
So what are the dynamics?
1.
Satan is trying to destroy your life...2.
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