Handling the Temptations of Life

Text: James 1:13-16

Three Ways in Which We Are Tested’

  • Trials — dealt with in previous lesson
  • Temptations (external) — someone tried to tempt you to sin
  • Temptations (internal) — you desire to sin

Do Not Say, “I Am Being Tempted by God”

  • Man has a tendency to blame others for his own actions (Genesis 3:11-12) — but God is never to be blamed
  • God cannot be tempted by evil — He is perfect in His nature (1 John 1:5)
  • God does not tempt anyone — sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59:2), God wants us to repent (2 Peter 3:9); tempting us would be counterproductive to His purpose
  • Do not be deceived (James 1:16) — good things come from God without variation (James 1:17)

Danger of Internal Temptations

  • James describes the process of internal temptation (James 1:13-15) — ultimately leads to eternal punishment (Romans 6:23)
  • While we are being tempted, we must fight the urge to sin — but there is more to it than that
  • We should strive not just to resist temptation, but eliminate the lust that is at the root of temptation — change the way we think (Romans 8:6), change our perspective (1 John 2:15-17), our life-long mission is to become more like God/Christ (Matthew 5:48; 1 Peter 2:21-22)

Danger of External Temptation

  • An example of this is in Satan’s tempting of Jesus (Matthew 4:1-11)
  • These temptations happen all the time — but without lust on our part, we’re not going to give in
  • But there is a danger in these temptations — over time they can influence us to sin (1 Corinthians 15:33), we can start to see the “benefits” of sin (Genesis 3:6; Hebrews 11:24-25), as we conform to the world we adopt these sins (Romans 12:2)

Conclusion

  • Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial…” (James 1:12) — we will be tested by trials & temptations and we must remain faithful
  • There is a reward if we do — a crown of life (Revelation 2:10; 2 Timothy 4:8)

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