Dealing With Temptation

We all deal with temptation.  Even Jesus was tempted.  We can look to Jesus for an example of how we should deal with temptation.

Matthew 4:1-11

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”

But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”

Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written:

‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’

and,

‘In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’

Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’”

Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”

10 Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”

11 Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.

I.  Led By The Spirit

It is important to recognize that facing temptation does not mean that we are out of the will of God.  Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness.  The temptation that Jesus would face was an important part of his mission on earth.  He was to face temptation and show us how to defeat it.  The three temptations that are recorded here may represent the temptations that we all face.  They may represent temptations to the body, soul and spirit; thus representing the temptations to our whole being.

II.  1st Temptation: Body

The first temptation begins with the phrase ” If you are..” .  Jesus knew that He was the Son of God.  He did not need to prove it to Satan, nor to Himself.  The temptation to turn the stones into bread to satisfy His hunger may represent the various temptations that we face to fulfill the desires of the flesh.  Eating bread is obviously not a sin, but placing the flesh over the spirit, that is wrong.  Jesus responds to the temptation with the phrase “It is written…”.  Jesus uses the Word of God to resist temptation.  So should we.  The acknowledgement that we do not “live by bread alone..” helps us to remember that true life is found in God and His Word, to place spiritual needs over physical needs.

III.  2nd Temptation:  Soul

The 2nd temptation recognizes the temptations that we face to the soul, or mind.  We are tempted to be proud of our abilities, or to be envious, or jealous, or to covet, or any of the other sins of the heart, mind or soul.  Jesus did not need to show off.  In this temptation, Satan uses scripture.  It is important for us to have a good understanding of scripture so that we can accurately respond to people who try to twist it or misapply it.  We will need the help of the Spirit to rightly divide the Word of Truth.

 

This temptation is a challenge to both an understanding of scripture and of appropriate faith.  God will take care of us, but we do not need to jump off a tower to prove it.  On a related note, we need to be careful that when we are proclaiming our faith in something that God is going to do for us, that it is indeed according to the will of God.  God is not required to fulfill our whims, but His will be done.

IV.  3rd Temptation:  Spirit

Our allegiance should be only to God.  Even if Satan could fulfill our wildest dreams of this life, we should not sell our spiritual allegiance.  We should only worship and serve God.

V.  The Power of the Word:  Psalms 119:11

Your word I have hidden in my heart,
That I might not sin against You.

In each of the temptations that Jesus faced, He responded with the Word of God.  Jesus used the scriptures to deal with temptation as an example for us.  We should read the Word and memorize the Word. so that we can use the Word, when we are faced with temptation.

Temptation in all kinds of forms is something that we all regularly face.  We can successfully overcome temptation by using the Word of God.

These are the sermon notes from 10/18/15,  Any advertisement that might appear is placed by WordPress.  I do not have any control over them, nor do I receive any money from them.   

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