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In the Mountain of Temptation

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Breaking Bread with Barnabas  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  51:30
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Jesus did what I never could so that now I can do all things through His strength.

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Pre-Introduction:
At this time, we invite any children who desire to join my dear wife for a children’s service to follow her where you can hear a wonderful bible lesson and sing some uplifting songs about Jesus.
For those joining us online, you’re listening to the Services of the Broomfield Baptist Church. This is the Pastor bringing the Sunday Morning message entitled "In the Mountain of Temptation.” We invite you to follow along with us in your Bible in the Book of Matthew, chapter 4, and verses 1-11.

Introduction:

Matthew 4:10 KJV 1900
Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
[Start Low]
A. Get Attention-
Mark says that the Spirit drove Jesus into the wilderness, and Matthew adds, to be tempted by the devil. The temptation was not therefore an accident, but was a conscious grappling of the two leaders in the struggle for man. The devil had overcome Adam and Eve and was keenly alive to the importance of defeating the Second Adam. The Hope of the race was on trial now. Satan knew who Jesus was and accepts him as the Son of God, but dares to tempt even him. He tries him by the doors of hunger, nervous recklessness and ambition. Jesus meets the devil with the Word of God and routs him for the time being. He will make no compromise with Satan by recognizing his rule of ruin. If one wonders how the Son of God could be tempted, he may reflect that he would not have been a real man otherwise. The victory of Jesus offers hope to every tempted man who has the example, sympathy and power of Christ to help him. The devil disputes the path with every man who endeavors to work for God. He claims the world as his realm and fights for every inch of ground. [A. T. Robertson, Studies in the New Testament (A. T. Robertson) (Nashville, TN: Sunday School Board Southern Baptist Convention, 1915), 81.]
     Striking Statement-
It may be needful for us to be tempted—
For test. Sincerity, faith, love, patience, are thus put to proof.
For growth. Temptation develops and increases our graces.
For usefulness. We become able to comfort and warn others.
For victory. How glorious to overcome the arch-enemy!
For God’s glory. He vanquishes Satan by feeble men. [C. H. Spurgeon, My Sermon Notes & 4: Matthew to Revelation, vol. 3 (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2009), 9.]
B. Raise Need-
We need to see Jesus the way the Bible presents Him, as the only one who could ever please the Father fully.
C. State Purpose-
By looking to Jesus’ suffering in this temptation experience, it should make a difference in how we approach our own trials.
D. Orient Theme- 
This passage points us to God’s Anointed One in our weakened state of depravity to be the One who can make us who we ought to be in God by His grace and righteous life.
Main Thought:
Jesus did what I could never do, so that I can now do all things through Him that strengthens me.
Sub-introduction:
Describe how that Jesus is everything that both Adam and Israel failed to be.
“Just as God led Israel out of Egypt and through the waters and into the desert (Num 20.5; 1 Bas 12.6; Ps 80.1 LXX; etc., all using anagein [‘to lead up’]), so does the Spirit of God lead Jesus into the desert after he is baptized.”178 [178 178. W. D. Davies and D. C. Allison, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel according to Saint Matthew, 1:354.] [Tom Constable, Tom Constable’s Expository Notes on the Bible (Galaxie Software, 2003), Mt 4:1.]
Body:

I. Through the Spirit’s Power, You Can Rely on God for Your Every Need (Matt. 4:1-4)

[Go Slow]

   A. Following the Leading of the Spirit (Matt. 4:1-2)

Matthew 4:1–2 KJV 1900
Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
James 1:12–15 KJV 1900
Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
There are two things that we may notice before our Lord is tempted of the devil. The first is, that He is most emphatically recognized as the Son of God by His Father; secondly, that He is anointed as man by the Holy Ghost. [William Kelly, Lectures on the Gospel of Matthew (London; Glasgow: G. Morrish; R. L. Allan, 1868), 44.]

   B. Facing Temptations in Weakness (Matt. 4:3-4)

Matthew 4:3–4 KJV 1900
And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Deuteronomy 8:3 KJV 1900
And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.
John 6:63 KJV 1900
It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
John 6:68 KJV 1900
Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
Romans 15:4 KJV 1900
For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Ephesians 6:17 KJV 1900
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
From the point of view of the devil and his purpose, the temptation was evil, for it was an attempt to get Jesus to question God’s word, misuse God’s promises in Scripture, and try to win the world for himself by linking up with Satan rather than by going to the cross. [James Montgomery Boice, The Gospel of Matthew (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2001), 54.]
If you are full of grace, then you may expect the arch-adversary to come and attack you. When old Farmer Jones went home on Friday evening, nobody went to watch for him on the road. But it was on a market night, when he had been selling wheat, and some fellow had seen him on the Exchange taking money, it was then that the robber stopped him and robbed him of his gold. The devil knows when you are getting rich and full of the Holy Spirit. Now he thinks there is something worth his time and trouble, and so he speeds with dragon wings to the place where this rich child of God is, and he waylays him so that he may attack him and cast him down.286 [286 C. H. Spurgeon, “ ‘Tempted of the Devil,’ ” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. 52 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1906), 354.] [ Charles Spurgeon, 300 Sermon Illustrations from Charles Spurgeon, ed. Elliot Ritzema and Lynnea Smoyer (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2017).]
He adapted the temptation to the circumstances: he tempted a hungry man with bread. He put it very cunningly. Only one single word, and the hard stone of the desert would be biscuit: let him undertake to be his own provider, and use his miraculous power as “Son of God” to spread a table for himself. The tempter begins his suggestion with an “if”, an “if” about his Sonship: this is his usual fashion. [C. H. Spurgeon, The Gospel of the Kingdom: A Commentary on the Book of Matthew (London: Passmore and Alabaster, 1893), 14–15.]
What force there is often in a single monosyllable! What force, for instance, in the monosyllable “If,” with which this artful address begins! It was employed by Satan, for the purpose of insinuating into the Saviour’s mind a doubt of his being in reality the special object of his Father’s care, and it was pronounced by him, as we may well suppose, with a cunning and malignant emphasis. How different is the use which Jesus makes of this word “if” in those lessons of Divine instruction and heavenly consolation, which he so frequently delivered to his disciples when he was on earth! He always employed it to inspire confidence; never to excite distrust. Take a single instance of this:—“If God so clothe the grass of the field, which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?” What a contrast between this divine remonstrance and the malicious insinuation of the great enemy of God and man! --Daniel Bagot. [C. H. Spurgeon, My Sermon Notes & 4: Matthew to Revelation, vol. 3 (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2009), 11.]
Out flashed the sword of the Spirit: our Lord will fight with no other weapon. He could have spoken new revelations, but he chose to say, “It is written.” There is a power in the Word of God which even the devil cannot deny. [C. H. Spurgeon, The Gospel of the Kingdom: A Commentary on the Book of Matthew (London: Passmore and Alabaster, 1893), 15.]
but. That is, as Dr. Campbell renders, ‘by every thing which God is pleased to appoint;’ for ρημα, which generally signifies a word, is, by a Hebraism, here taken for a thing, like davar, in Hebrew. [B. Blayney, Thomas Scott, and R.A. Torrey with John Canne, Browne, The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, vol. 2 (London: Samuel Bagster and Sons, n.d.), 2.]
Application: Jesus has overcome the lust of the flesh (the Flesh/”good for food”) that caused both Adam, Israel and me to fall from God’s favor.
A Real and Powerful Enemy
First, let us learn what a real and powerful enemy we have in the devil. He is not afraid to assault even the Lord Jesus himself. Three times he attacks God’s own Son: our Saviour was “tempted by the devil” (verse 1).
It was the devil who brought sin into the world at the beginning. He vexed Job, deceived David, and caused Peter to fall heavily; the Bible calls him a “murderer” and a “liar” (John 8:44) and a “roaring lion” (1 Peter 5:8). His enmity to our souls neither slumbers nor sleeps. For nearly 6,000 years he has been doing the same work, ruining men and women and drawing them to hell. His cunning and subtlety pass human understanding, and he often “masquerades as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14).
Let us keep alert and pray daily against his schemes. There is no enemy worse than an enemy who is never seen and never dies, who is near us wherever we live, and goes with us wherever we go. Not least, we must beware of that habit of foolish talking and jesting about the devil which is unhappily so common. Let us remember that if we want to be saved we must not only crucify the flesh and overcome the world, but also “resist the devil” (James 4:7). [J. C. Ryle, Matthew, Crossway Classic Commentaries (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1993), 18.]
Transition: We’ve taken note how by the Spirit’s Power, Jesus didn’t do it His own way, but always did the Father’s will, now notice...

II. Like the Faithful Son, You Can Walk By Faith and Not by Sight (Matt. 4:5-7)

[Climb Higher]

   A. Handling the Word of God with Care (Matt. 4:5-6)

Matthew 4:5–6 KJV 1900
Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Psalm 91:11–13 KJV 1900
For he shall give his angels charge over thee, To keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, Lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: The young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
The Devil is opposed to the truth in many ways. He has sometimes even attempted to destroy it by defending it. -Tertullian [Craig Brian Larson and Brian Lowery, 1001 Quotations That Connect: Timeless Wisdom for Preaching, Teaching, and Writing (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 2009), 91.]
‘Of all the arts sagacious dupes invent
To cheat themselves and gain the world’s assent,
The worst is—Scripture warped from its intent.” —Cowper. [F. N. Peloubet, Suggestive Illustrations on the Gospel according to Matthew (New York: E. R. Herrick & Company, 1897), 54.]
Our lives are more than physical. The issues of life are fundamentally spiritual. What we need even more than physical food is the Word of God in our lives. It is noteworthy that Jesus did not say, ‘but by the Word of God.’ What He did say was ‘by every word of God.’ Jesus referred to the very words of Scripture. Moreover, the word translated as it is written (gegraptai gegraptai) as noted in Matthew 2:5 is conjugated in the perfect tense and passive voice. The thought therefore is that ‘it has been written and continues to be written.’ Clearly implied is that every word of God has not only been inspired (verbal inspiration) but also that every word of God has been preserved (verbal preservation.) Some have questioned whether there is the doctrine of preservation. Others flatly deny that preservation extends to the very words of God. Yet, Jesus here clearly implied that the very words of God have been preserved. The phrase “it is written” as described above appears sixty-three times in the New Testament. [David H. Sorenson, Understanding the Bible, An Independent Baptist Commentary - Matthew through Luke, vol. 8, Understanding the Bible, An Independent Baptist Commentary (Northstar Ministries, 2007), 34.]

   B. Trusting God in the Wilderness (Matt. 4:7)

Matthew 4:7 KJV 1900
Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
Deuteronomy 6:16 KJV 1900
Ye shall not tempt the Lord your God, as ye tempted him in Massah.
Exodus 17:2 KJV 1900
Wherefore the people did chide with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said unto them, Why chide ye with me? wherefore do ye tempt the Lord?
Exodus 17:7 KJV 1900
And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the Lord, saying, Is the Lord among us, or not?
Psalm 78:41 KJV 1900
Yea, they turned back and tempted God, And limited the Holy One of Israel.
Jesus does not respond to Satan’s use of the psalm but instead uses another quote (“again” [πάλιν] refers to a further use of Scripture) from Deut 6:16. In Deuteronomy the test refers to Massah (meaning “testing,” Exod 17:1–7). At Massah Israel “put the Lord your God to the test” (Deut 6:16 = Exod 17:2) by failing to trust him and demanding water, saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?” Massah and Meribah became symbols of putting God to the test and thereby bringing judgment down on the nation (Ps 95:7–9; cf. Heb 3:7–4:13). Jesus recognizes Satan’s ruse for what it is; testing the Son of God is testing God.23 Israel failed the test at Massah; Jesus relives that experience but emerges triumphant. [23 Gerhardsson, The Testing of God’s Son, 60, defines “tempting God” in this instance as “demand[ing] from God a token that he is going to keep his covenantal promises”; therefore, for Jesus it means “to endanger himself by his own act, so as to challenge God to save his life in accordance with the covenant promises.”] [Grant R. Osborne, Matthew, vol. 1, Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010), 134.]
Nothing is more perilous than to be weary of the Word of God. Thinking he knows enough, a person begins little by little to despise the Word until he has lost Christ and the gospel altogether. —Martin Luther, Galatians Commentary (on 2:14–16) [Craig Brian Larson and Phyllis Ten Elshof, 1001 Illustrations That Connect (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 2008), 24.]
It is wrong to demand that God prove Himself faithful to His promises by giving us what He has promised on our terms. The proper procedure is simply to trust and obey God (Deut. 6:16–17). “Testing is not trusting.”190 [190 190. J. W. Shepard, The Christ of the Gospels, p. 78.] [Constable, Mt 4:5.]
Application: Jesus has overcome the pride of life that destroyed mankind (the Devil/”desired to make one wise”)
Jesus was led into the wilderness to reveal who He is. First Corinthians 15:45 declares that Jesus is the last Adam. I am reminded of the first Adam in the Garden of Eden who was also tempted directly by Satan.
The first Adam was in a beautiful garden. The last Adam was in a barren, forsaken desert. The first Adam ate freely of things except one forbidden fruit. The last Adam ate nothing for forty days. The first Adam was physically strong. The last Adam was on the verge of death. The first Adam blew it. He was the ultimate “Adam Bomb.” He gave in to the temptation of Satan and thereby plunged all of humanity into a lost and hopeless situation. The last Adam, Jesus Christ, did not bomb out. He came through, and in so doing, He reveals to us who He is, the One who conquered sin. [Jon Courson, Jon Courson’s Application Commentary (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2003), 21.]
Transition: You need the Spirit’s Power to walk by faith and not by sight, and when that occurs, then...

III. In the Father’s Love, You Can Worship and Serve Your Creator (Matt. 4:8-11)

[Take Fire]

   A. Climbing Your Own Mountain (Matt. 4:8-9)

Matthew 4:8–9 KJV 1900
Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
Esther 5:11 KJV 1900
And Haman told them of the glory of his riches, and the multitude of his children, and all the things wherein the king had promoted him, and how he had advanced him above the princes and servants of the king.
Psalm 49:16–17 KJV 1900
Be not thou afraid when one is made rich, When the glory of his house is increased; For when he dieth he shall carry nothing away: His glory shall not descend after him.
Daniel 4:30 KJV 1900
The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?
Revelation 11:15 KJV 1900
And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.
If you &c.] The tenses imply ‘if you will but do me one single act of homage.’ [Richard Francis Weymouth, The New Testament in Modern Speech: An Idiomatic Translation into Everyday English from the Text of “The Resultant Greek Testament”: Commentary, ed. Ernest Hampden-Cook (London: James Clarke and Co., 1903), 8.]
Notice also the self-directed focus of the devil. He asked Jesus to worship me. Insight is gained into the me generation. It is nothing new. It has been promoted by Satan down through the ages. He is the author of such ego-centric thinking. [Sorenson, 36.]
If you analyze the temptations that come your way, I think you will find every one will fall into one of these three categories: you will be tempted to deny the Father’s provision, to doubt the Father’s protection, or to despair of the Father’s promise. [Courson, 23.]
There are no shortcuts to the will of God. If we want to share in the glory, we must also share in the suffering (1 Peter 5:10). [Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 19.]

   B. Worshipping on God’s Mountain (Matt. 4:10-11)

Matthew 4:10–11 KJV 1900
Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
Deuteronomy 6:13 KJV 1900
Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name.
Deuteronomy 10:20 KJV 1900
Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name.
Thus the anointed King utterly routs the enemy, and perfectly holds the citadel against this his last attack, and how great the victory is, and upon what infinite wisdom His choice of the Father’s pathway was based! [George Campbell Morgan, The Crises of the Christ (New York; London: Fleming H. Revell Company, 1936), 195.]
Jesus is faithful to God in spite of temptations
History: Mount Everest stands twenty-nine thousand feet above sea level. It is whipped by winds surging up to 120 miles per hour. Since it climbs high into the troposphere, no one presumed that it could be conquered—until, that is, two people climbed and conquered it. On May 29, 1953, Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay did what had seemed impossible. Amazingly, since that time more than three thousand individuals have made the ascent. Hillary and Norgay had blazed the trail, allowing others to imagine that they might succeed and so to walk in their footsteps.
Jesus has paved the way of victory over temptation by living as the one true human being in covenant loyalty to God empowered by the Spirit. He invites us to follow him. The challenge is still great, but the way has been charted by the Messiah, who not only walked that path but also walks with us. [Jeannine K. Brown, Matthew, ed. Mark L. Strauss and John H. Walton, Teach the Text Commentary Series (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2015), 38–39.]
Application: Jesus has overcome the lust of the eyes (the world/”pleasant to the eyes”) that seeks to take my eyes off of God (Matt. 6:33)
1 Peter 5:8–9 KJV 1900
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
James 4:7 KJV 1900
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
But the three temptations Matt 4:1–11 presents encompass a remarkable amount of human experience. We are tempted to gauge life by human comforts and consumerism, to misuse spiritual gifts and power for our own glory and benefit rather than serving others, and to seize power by shortcuts, such as equating a particular political agenda with God’s will. [Craig Blomberg, Matthew, vol. 22, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1992), 87.]

Conclusion:

   A. Call to Act/Summary of Message/Application:
     Call/Summarize/Apply-
Hebrews 2:18 KJV 1900
For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.
Are you trusting in Jesus to do what you cannot? Fully trusting? Then why are you fretting over provisions? You can’t really trust that God is going to protect you because you aren’t walking by faith. You’re climbing your own Everest in your own strength, and friend, you’re doomed for failure. It’s time to come to the mountain of the Lord, and worship Him in the beauty of His holiness. Stop working in your own strength, and start trusting Jesus to do what you can’t do, that’s the only way you will be able to do all things… “Through Him...”
   B. Gospel Invitation:
   Friend, are you trusting in your own strength, or are you believing in Jesus’ power to carry you where you could not otherwise go? if God’s Word has shown you something about yourself, an area where you might be weak in faith, or something that He is wanting you to obey Him in, or just simply if the Lord is working in your life right now, your greatest need is to be right with Him. While the piano plays, don’t wait another moment. Now is the time to acknowledge that God is moving toward you, and you are moving toward Him. Step out, and come and kneel at the front somewhere, pray to God, and tell Him what’s on your heart. If you need to be saved, come and we’ll have someone, men with men and ladies with ladies, show you from the Bible how you can be saved today. If you would step out and decide to follow Jesus today, then why not come and tell Him so?
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