Temptation — where death is born.

Posted: November 18, 2013 in Faces of Death
Tags: , , , , ,

“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked.  Who really knows how bad it is?” (Jeremiah 17:9)

Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation.  For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!” (Matthew 26: 41)

“God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation.  Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.  And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, ‘ God is tempting me.’  God is never tempted to do wrong and he never tempts anyone else.  Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.  These desires give birth to sinful actions.  And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.”  (James 1: 12-15)

If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall.  The temptations in our life are no different from what others experience.  And God is faithful.  He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand.  When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.”  (1 Corinthians 10: 12-13)

To Test:  the means by which the presence, quality, or genuineness of anything is determined; a means of trial.

To Tempt:  to entice or allure to do something regarded as unwise, wrong or immoral.

The Holy Scriptures are clear that while the Most High God may test us (to develop our spiritual integrity), He never tempts us. He does not entice anyone to do wrong.

In fact, He is our answer to temptation.  We are to pray at all times, asking Him to lead us away from temptation (Matthew 6:13) and to help us not to give in to temptation (Luke 22:40).  We’re even sternly warned to be careful not to tempt others (Luke 17:1).

Temptation comes from our own wicked hearts; our own desires from the fallen flesh we inhabit, which our enemy Satan leverages to try to destroy us.  It begins as a thought and leads to death.

The path of temptation looks like this:  thought → pictoral fantasy in our imagination → strong meditative thoughts → our free will engages in the thought pattern (would/could I?) → moment of choice presents itself → moment of consent or yielding → sin (act upon it).

Christians have the armor of God (Ephesians 6:13-17) to shield us against temptation and God’s promise that He will show us a way out of our temptation; that He will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can endure.   We must stand on this truth and ‘keep watch’ as the Scriptures say.  God has also given us the Sword of the Spirit to fight with, which is His Holy Word (Ephesians 6:17)

When temptation presents that enticing ill-gotten thing that our flesh and hearts crave, we are able to counter the temptation with the Word of God, like Jesus did (Luke 4: 2-13), capturing our rebellious thoughts and obeying Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).  Because we are made new in Christ, our flesh and evil desires are no longer the master of us.  We have been empowered to overcome every temptation of our flesh and of our enemy Satan.

“Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires.  Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin.  Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life.  So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God.  Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law.  Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.”  (Romans 6: 12-14)

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