Overcoming Temptation

1 Cor 10:13

Remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can't stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it. NLT

This message was preached August 17, 2003 at FBC Toulon, by Albert Harmon. See it at ToulonBaptist.com

 Understanding the difference between temptation and sin

  1. Temptation defined. Temptation is a solicitation to do something outside the will of God.
  2. Anything that is out side the will of God is sin.
  3. Solicitations can be faint & fleeting or they can be strong & persistent.
  4. Being tempted is not a sin but to follow through on the temptation is sin.
    1. James 1: 14 Temptation comes from the lure of our own evil desires. 15 These evil desires lead to evil actions, and evil actions lead to death. NLT
  2. Where does temptation come from
    1. James says it comes from our own desires.
    2. Desires are not necessarily wrong but they can be.
      1. We have a desire for food but it can become a sin.
      2. We have a desire for intimacy but when not properly channeled that too can becomes sin.
    3. Some desires are always wrong.
      1. The desire to have what belongs to another is covetousness, one of the big 10.
      2. The desire of children may lead to the dishonor of parents.
      3. Even desiring something good can be a sin.
        1. If you desire an education and a good career, that can be a sin if God's will for your life is service to Him.
        2. As Vance Havner would say, "We often sacrifice the best by settling for the good."
      4. This is one of the things that set apart the life of Jesus, He always did only the Father's will.
  3. What works to our disadvantage
    1. We have a fallen nature.
      1. When Adam chose to not follow God's will, he died spiritually, just as God had said he would. Gen 2:16-17 "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat;17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." NKJV
      2. As a descendent of Adam we too have a fallen nature.
        1. Eph 2:3 All of us used to live that way, following the passions and desires of our evil nature. We were born with an evil nature, and we were under God's anger just like everyone else. NKJV
        2. Col 2:13 And you, being dead in your trespasses NKJV
      3. Paul refers to this as:
        1. Eph 4:22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, NKJV
        2. 1 Cor 2:14 the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, NKJV
        3. Rom 7:5 When we were controlled by our old nature, sinful desires were at work within us, and the law aroused these evil desires that produced sinful deeds, resulting in death. NLT
        4. Eph 4:22 throw off your old evil nature and your former way of life, which is rotten through and through, full of lust and deception. NLT
    2. We live in a fallen world.
      1. When we want to do what is right the world influences us to not.
      2. We have legitimate businesses that temp us to sin.
        1. Porn
        2. Alcohol
        3. Gambling
        4. Abortion
      3. The media has a continual counter God message.
        1. In the themes they develop for their programing.
        2. In their slant against morality.
          1. I was watching ABC 20/20 the other night and they were going on and on how the gay lifestyle has taken over prime time TV.
        3. Even our education system from Pre-K through college is at best Godless.
          1. there can be no reference to God as creator for we all know we came from bugs.
          2. there can be no mention of God's influence in our early history, that would be tantamount to treason.
    3. We have an ally in our sin
      1. Satan persuaded our first parents.
      2. He is still working today.
      3. Peter said we should be careful of him. 1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. NKJV
      4. Paul cautioned his readers to be careful of his devices. 2 Cor 2:11 lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices. NKJV
  4. What works to our advantage
    1. We have the written guide the Bible.
      1. Ps 119:11 I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. NLT
      2. John17:17. "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.
    2. We have the Holy Spirit
      1. Jesus said He was the other Comforter, One called along side to help.
      2. He leads
      3. He teaches
      4. He strengthens
      5. His power is greater than that of Satan.
        1. 1 John 4:4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. NKJV


to be tempted is not a sin.

Jesus was tempted in every area we are without ever sinning.

We have some great disadvantages in this effort.

Consider the high jump WORLD RECORDS 2, 45 m Javier Sotomayor, CUB, 27 Jul 1993, Salamanca

Our weight is against us.

Our height might affect us

gravity is the greatest disadvantage.

But God has given us the Holy Spirit edge.

We just need to claim our dependence on Him and give our lives over to His control.