Temptation: Don’t Blame God

Temptation: Don’t Blame God

The second section of James takes a closer look at temptation and will hammer out some vital Biblical principles which will help us face the reality of evil in our own lives.

James has been discussing how to handle the trials and troubles which come into our lives.  Now he discusses the problem of temptation.

There is a great difference between the trials we encounter and the temptations which beset us.  Temptations are sent by Satan in order to make Christians stumble.  Trials are sent by God in order to discipline Christians to stand.

The author and object of temptations and trials are not at all the same.  In testing us God is aiming at our maturity.  In tempting us Satan is aiming at our misery.

And remember, when someone wants to do wrong it is never God who is tempting him, for God never wants to do wrong and never tempts anyone else to do it. Temptation is the pull of man’s own evil thoughts and wishes. These evil thoughts lead to evil actions and afterwards to the death penalty from God.  “So don’t be misled, dear brothers. But whatever is good and perfect comes to us from God, the Creator of all light, and he shines forever without change or shadow. And it was a happy day for him when[a] he gave us our new lives through the truth of his Word, and we became, as it were, the first children in his new family.”

 Dear brothers, don’t ever forget that it is best to listen much, speak little, and not become angry; James 1:13-19 LB

The second section in James teaches us to take a closer look at temptation and to hammer out some vital Biblical principles which will help us face the reality of evil in our own lives.

James has been discussing how to handle the trials and troubles which come into our lives. Now he discusses the problem of temptation.

There is a great difference between the trials we encounter and the temptations which beset us.  Temptations are sent by Satan in order to make Christians stumble.  Trials are sent by God in order to discipline Christians to stand.

The author and object of temptations and trials are not at all the same.  In testing us God is aiming at our maturity.  In tempting us Satan is aiming at our misery.

JAMES REVEALS THAT TEMPTATION IS A DEFINITE REALITY (JAMES 1:13).

  1. Notice that James doesn’t say “If” you are tempted! It’s “when” you are tempted.
  2. The truth is that Christians are subject to sharper and subtler temptations than unbelievers.  When a person becomes a friend of God, he or she becomes the enemy of Satan.
  3. Although we have been taken forever out of Satan’s grip and possession, we have not yet been removed from his interest and attention.
  4. As we study some of the greatest heroes in Scripture, we discover that their temptations, and sadly, their greatest falls came not at the beginning of their walk with God, but far along the road of discipleship.
  5. Temptation is neither removed at our conversion or reduced by our consecration as we become more like Jesus.
  6. Determine on the authority of God’s word that you will never again fall for Satan’s lie that temptation is a sin. READ HEBREWS 4:l5

JAMES REVEALS THE DEFECTIVE REASONING IN THE HEARTS OF MANY CHRISTIANS

  1. Man is the proven master of evading personal responsibility.  Look at Adam and Eve and Aaron and  the golden calf.
  2. How many of us fall into sin and then blame God.
  3. James reveals that God tempts no one to sin.

JAMES DISCUSSES THE DETRIMENTAL SOURCE OF OUR TEMPTATIONS (JAMES 1:14-15).

  1. Where does temptation come from? James replies that it comes from within our own hearts.
  2. Many passages tell us that temptations come from Satan!  But not all of it is from Satan!  There is plenty of wickedness in our own human heart.
  3. Now notice the progression of sin.

JAMES CLOSES HIS DISSERTATION ON TEMPTATION BY ENCOURAGING US NOT TO BE DECEIVED (JAMES 1:16-19).

  1. Many Christians are living in deception about what is going on in life – and about how God works and operates in our world!
  2. All Christians will be deceived at one time or another! The most perfect human ever created was! 
  3. READ GENESIS 3:l-6;  I TIMOTHY 2:ll-l5; JOB l-2.
  4. “Well, I’m a Christian. Satan can’t touch me.”  I want to say, “Be warned of your arrogance – and ignorance!
  5. A person is deceived when he doesn’t know that he has a problem.  If he knew that he had a problem then he wouldn’t be deceived.
  6. Utilize Ephesians 6:l0-l7; James 4:7 and I Peter 5:8-9.
  7. We have a divine responsibility to resist the Devil’s forays.

HOW CAN I KEEP FROM ERRING AND RESIST TEMPTATION WHEN IT COMES?

  1. Recognize that the Devil is a ferocious adversary.
  2. Avoid enticing situations.
  3. Be on the alert for Satan’s attacks. They come at  any time.
  4. Fill our hearts with Jesus.
  5. Take the offensive against sin.
  6. Remember that God is standing by to help us.

READ HEBREWS 2:18 AND 4:15.

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