Monday, February 20, 2012


Note: All Scripture quotations found in this article are from the text of the Authorized King James Version of the Bible.

Every Christians deals with temptation throughout their life. No one can escape being tempted in life. Adam was tempted, Lucifer was tempted and even Jesus Christ was tempted, yet he withstood the test.

Temptation is defined by the Bible by being tested or being tried in Genesis 22 where Abraham was tempted by God. Although, the test that God gave Abraham was not an evil temptation to sin (James 1:14-15), rather just a trial of faith.

Hebrews 11:17 "By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, "

We are told to pray against temptation and evil things. The Bible also tells us that if we endure temptation we will be rewarded at the Judgment Seat of Christ with the Crown of Life.

Matthew 6:13 "..lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.."

James 1:12 "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him."

When one falls into a situation where his faith is tested and withstands, he comes out a better person with strengthened faith in the Lord. Temptations often test your love, sincerity and obedience to God.

James 1:2 "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience."

The above verse does not mean we should look for situations to be tempted with sin. We are to resist the Devil and temptation, not flirt with sin.

Matthew 4:7 "..Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God."

James 4:7 "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

Temptation is not sin, but yelling to temptation is sin. We cannot keep evil thoughts from coming in our head sometimes, but we can choose not to dwell on them or put them in action.

In the Doctrine of Peccability, it is said that sin starts long before a man actually commits the act of sin. The Bible says that if a man looks upon a woman with lust he is an adulterer at heart and if a man hates someone he is a murderer at heart.

Proverbs 23:7 "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.."

Matthew 5:28 "..whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart."

1 John 3:15 "Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer.."

There are four steps in the Doctrine of Peccability. The four steps are presentation, illumination, debate and decision. All of these steps take place inside a man before he acts.

1. Presentation: The man is presented with the object of temptation.

2. Illumination: The man looks at the cause and consequences of the situation and whether it be good or bad.

3. Debate: The man debates in his mind whether he should do it or not.

4. Decision: This is the final decision on whether he will commit the act or not.

Then the question arises on when the sin enters and when the temptation ceases? Temptation enters at Presentation and Illumination. When a man begins to debate is when the sin starts. When temptation starts we should treat it as the Devil knocking on our door and us letting Jesus Christ answer it.

James 1:12 told us to endure temptation, which means to resist temptation when it comes. We can resist temptation by the word of God, prayer and the Blood of Jesus Christ. There is no temptation that we cannot escape with God's help. The problem with carnal Christians is the fact that they do not even try to fight off the temptation. The below verse is a great verse to have in one's memory when faced with temptation. God knows how much we can take and how much pressure we can withstand.

1 Corinthians 10:13 "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."

The sources of temptation are positive and negative. Negative temptations do not come from God. God will never tempt a man to do evil.

James 1:13 "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:"

With Job, God gave the Devil permission to tempt Job within certain boundaries. It is comforting knowing that the Devil is bound by God on what he can and cannot do. During Job's temptation, he lost everything he had including his family and property (Job 1:12). Satan could not take his soul from him though because of the boundaries that God had set (Job 2:6). Satan has the power to take a person's physical life, but he has no power over a saved person's soul. The lost person can lose his body and soul to the Devil (Mark 8:36).

Hebrews 2:14 "..him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;"

The sources of evil temptation come from the world, the flesh and the Devil. There is the lust of the flesh; the lust of the eyes, which is the world we look at; and the pride of life, which is Satanic because pride was Lucifer's sin when he fell from heaven (Isaiah 14, Ezekiel 28).

1 John 2:16 "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."

One of the greatest enemies to the Christian is the world. Today's Christians are so carnal, ignorant of the scriptures and caught up in the world that the Devil does not have to do much at all because the flesh almost does all the work in destroying the Christians walk with God.

1 John 2:15 "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him."

Evil communications can be used to tempt the Christian. Even Christian friends can guide us the wrong way. Remember that a Christian still has a flesh even though they are saved.

1 Corinthians 15:33 "Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners."

Proverbs 1:10 "My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not."

Peter loved Jesus Christ greatly, yet Jesus had to rebuke Peter for his errors. Even though Peter was a disciple, the Devil still used him, so do not think that the Devil cannot use your close friends.

Matthew 16:23 "But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men."

Some people are tempted through poverty. Poverty sometimes tempts people to steal or take the name of God in vain. Being rich can also tempt a person. Rich people are tempted to not trust in God or look toward God, instead they trust their money.

Proverbs 30:9 "Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain."

We can be tempted with worldly honor like Balaam in Numbers 22:17. One can be tempted with unbelief like Job was when his wife told him to curse God and die. Discouragement can be a temptation also. Elijah desired to kill himself under the juniper tree. Moses and Jonah also asked God to take their lives because of discouragement. As Christians we should never quit. We should cling to God and His word when we are discouraged and trust in Him always.

Some are tempted to worship the Devil though Satanism, Astrology and other pagan religions. Most people fall into this temptation because they are trying to find happiness, but the Devil cannot give true happiness that lasts forever.

Matthew 4:9 "And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me."

People are tempted to be proud like Daniel in Daniel 4:30. We can be tempted to be covetous like Achan in Joshua 7 who coveted things like gold with it costing his life in the end. Christians can be tempted to commit fornication like Solomon, David and Samson did in the Old Testament. We can covet money like Judas did, who sold his soul for thirty pieces of silver.

Temptation that is yielded to becomes sin, but temptation that is resisted glorifies the Lord and makes the believer grow in Christ by strengthening his maturity, obedience and faith.

Now that we have identified temptation and went over different ways that a person can be tempted, we move to the most important part of this subject, which is how to get victory over temptation.

We can receive victory over temptation by the faithfulness of God. Realize that without God we would all be sunk and without hope. The Bible tells us that God will confirm and preserve us unto the end.

1 Corinthians 1:8 "Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ."

Some people will say they are not tempted to do certain sins like drink or smoke, but they fail to pay attention to the other sins in their life. A person can be so proud that they can see the sin in other people's lives, but they overlook the sins in their own life, whether they be big or small. Sin is sin and God hates all sin. Beware of the two root sins, pride and envy (Isaiah 14).

Christians can get victory over temptation by using the word of God. When Jesus was tempted by Satan three times, He quoted scripture over and over. The best way to defeat temptation is to quote scripture on the subject you are being tempted with.

The child of God also overcomes temptation by the intercession of Jesus Christ. According to John 17, the Lord Jesus is praying for us. As Christians we can avoid temptation and be delivered out of temptation by prayer. There is power in prayer.

Matthew 26:41 "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."

Another way to avoid temptation is simply to get up and run from it before it destroys us.

Proverbs 4:15 "Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away."

2 Timothy 2:22 "Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart."

James 4:7 "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

Finally, the last way to avoid temptation is by accepting the way of escape given to us in the verse we mentioned earlier, 1 Corinthians 10:13.

1 Corinthians 10:13 "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."

Temptations will happen all throughout life, so the Christian should be on guard at all times. Temptations can be avoided by the word of God, prayer, fleeing, resisting the Devil, looking for a way of escape and taking it when the Lord opens the way. If the child of God applies those things then he will have victory over the three adversaries, which are the world, the flesh and the Devil.