Temptation - James 1:12
Life Lessons from the Book of James
Welcome back to Life Lessons from the Book of James. In our last study we examined only one verse, James 1:12. "God blesses those who patiently endure testings."
Today let's examine James 1:13-15. There is a strong link between temptation and sin. Where does temptation come from? Where does temptation lead us?
Flip back, if you need to catch up, to begin at the beginning of this study: Life Lessons from the Book of James. The 7 Steps created and utilized in this study can be found on the first hub.
When You are Tempted
Temptation left Unchecked Leads to Sin.
"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."
God Does Not Tempt You
IN MY OWN WORDS:
JAMES 1:13 "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."
KEY WORD: TEMPTATION
Never forget that when tempted ... God is not in it. God is never tempted to do wrong and He never tempts you to do wrong either.
Commentary - (my thoughts): When hit by temptation I think our tendency is to forget there the temptation comes from. I need to pay attention and remember that temptation is not from God. If I 'remember' I will be prepared to call myself out and bring myself to the cross submitting to God's best for me.
Though the pull, into the clutches of sin is strong and a very real happening - it is vital to 'remember' and understand God does not tempt me.
Think about this ... when we blame God for tempting us it is blasphemy. It is basically saying that God, who is Holy and Pure, is not only capable of evil but that he inflicts it on you. Evil is the direct antithesis of who He is.
God is Holy .. Holiness is the fabric of who God is. Holiness is the direct opposite of evil therefore He is NEVER tempted with evil. It is ludicrous to think that the who has NO sin or evil in Him would tempt his children with evil.
Temptation Comes from Within
JAMES 1:14 "Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.
When I get a temptation - it has nothing to do with God .. it has everything to do with my own selfish, evil desire for sin. Ouch ... I know that's a hard word ... but honestly ... it's best to call sin .. sin - The opposite of holiness is evil. God is never tempted to do evil and He never tempts me to do evil.
- Selfishness = Evil
- Lust = Evil
- Me first = Evil
- Complaining = Evil and on and on it goes.
Though the child of God has accepted God's gift of salvation and is forgiven for his sins, he still has an old nature that is vulnerable to temptations.
Remember this: You are redeemed
1. to buy back
- to get or win back
2. to free
- from what distresses or harms: as
- to free from captivity by payment of ransom
- to extricate from or help to overcome something detrimental
- to release from blame or debt : clear
- to free from the consequences of sin
For those who DIG deeply .. read even more on the definition of Redeemed on merriam-webster.com
I am redeemed by Jesus from the penalty of sin - yet as long as I live on this earth-place I will carry the 'old man' on my back. Someone once wrote about this quandary:
Two Natures beat within my breast,
The one is foul, the other blessed,
The one I love, the other I hate;
The one I feed will dominate.
Matthew 16:41 says, "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."
When the nature I hate entices me to follow a temptation into its folly I must be prepared (Watch and Pray) to recognize it and choose to say NO. We each have a choice - we are not slaves to sin - "You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness." Romans 6:18 I once was lost, but now I am free twas blind but now I see; Amazing Grace.
When the temptation is strong - I can either cave in and be conquered by sins power OR I can grab hold of myself and drag the temptation to the cross in complete surrender. When releasing a temptation it is important that I fill up that foul spot with truth ... God's Word IS truth.
The truth is God's word. Choose a scripture that counteracts the temptation you encounter. "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." Phil. 4:8
Wrong Desires Lead to Sin - Sin Leads to Death
JAMES 1:15 "These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death."
To allow our desires to indulge in temptations (thinking, meditating, wishing, longing etc.) leads to sinful actions which ends in death."
The process looks something like this: Temptation hits (you can count on it) and when it does you have a choice .. we ALL: have a choice. We can choose to sin - choose to suffer (a powerful phrase picked up from our church. :)) OR we can choose to lay it down at the feet of Jesus. When the focus is not shifted from sin to submission we are weakened by the desire for the pleasures of sin and so begins the downward progression which will be observed in the next two verses.
Hillsong - I Will Run to You
God Is Faithful
RUN TO HIM
"No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it." I Corinthians 10:13
When temptation comes to the child of God (and it surely will) run to God. We read that God doesn't allow us to be tempted above what we can handle ... He provides a way to escape the temptation. Look for that escape as you run to Him .. or cave and suffer the consequences.
Psalm 46:1 "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."
Hearts that have been neglected and undernourished by the Word of God become weakened. In our weakened state we are vulnerable to temptation.
How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
The Bible says it BEST: "We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all." Isa 53:6 The sinful, selfish state of our heart drags us away from God and into destruction.
The progression of allowing these desires to live in our thoughts leads to sinful actions which ultimately leads to death.
So then sin begins with a temptation which leads to an awakening of desire for the thing tempting you. When we cave into the temptation we embrace the sinful actions. When the sinful actions are given free reign the end result is death both spiritually and physically.
Walk the Talk
My Paraphrase of James 1:13-15 "Never forget that when tempted ... God is not in it. God is never tempted to do wrong and He never tempts you to do wrong either. When we get tempted it has nothing to do with God .. it has everything to do with our own evil desires for sin. To allow our desires to indulge in temptations leads to sinful actions which ends in death."
As God's kid we have been given everything we need to walk in victory. Jesus died to give us life - Abundantly and Eternally.
I don't know about you but I want my days to be filled with abundance and peace. I desire to walk with Jesus and find His grace in all I do and say. His word is His love letter to you and to me. Spend time in it to find the strength and the power to overcome evil.
God Does Not Change
Join me for a study on James 1:16-18
Do you feel the effects of living in a very unstable and changing world? There is one who never changes; He is your creator. Learn of the God who never changes. Find rest in His unchanging love.
James One 16-18 "So don't be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. Whatever is good and perfect comes to us from God above, who created all heaven's lights. Unlike them, he never changes or casts shifting shadows. In his goodness he chose to make us his own children by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his choice possession."
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