The Source of Temptation
I have good news for all of us! After much time, effort and research, the culprit for our sins has been revealed. The guilty person responsible is someone we know quite well. As a matter of fact, we feed and clothe this person, care for their daily needs and pay their bills. This person even brushed their teeth with us this morning.
If you have not figured out who is causing you to sin, go and look in the mirror. There you will see the biggest obstacle to your own Christian maturity. The person willing to take their sin seriously will not blame others, their environment or even the devil for their sins. Anytime a believer sins, it is because they made the conscious decision to do so.
God does not tempt anyone to sin. (13)
Do not let the differences in a trial and a temptation confuse you. Look at the result of each and see what the effects could be. If it is a temptation, the result could end in sin, and you know God is not the source. If it is a test or trial, the result should be a deeper trust in God — the display of the fruit of the Spirit will be obvious, and you will become more mature in your faith.
God in His holiness is unable to tempt anyone to sin. The prophet Isaiah wrote that sin separates us from the Heavenly Father and stalls our prayer life with Him.
Temptation begins with our own sin nature. (14–15)
In theological circles, there is the perpetual debate surrounding the extent of the original sin nature. Have you ever considered this question, “Am I a sinner because I sin, or do I sin because I am a sinner?” These two verses give us a revealing glimpse into the sin cycle of us all.
When we allow the lust of the flesh or the world to entice us, we have begun the downward dive of disobedience.
Verse 15 makes clear the death that awaits each person who dies with their sins unforgiven. We are always the willing and guilty party in our own sins, and the consequences rest solely on each of us.
Everything good comes from God, including the word of truth. (16–18)
What can we do with our tendency to waiver? For starters, realize temptations are set by the enemy, promoted by the world and bent toward our flesh. Pray that you will not be deceived by counterfeit pleasures.
Next, arm yourself with the truth of the Scripture. Meditate on it, crave it, study it, pray it and live it out. Knowing God’s Word will not keep you from all temptation, but it will be a ready help in resisting it. The Bible is not a magic wand that scares the devil away.
What will assist you more than anything in the fight against temptation is daily, intentional obedience and faith in the Lord. One author said, “Discipleship is a long obedience in the same direction.” Don’t give up and don’t give in to the temptations laid before you.
Recognize the areas in your life where you are most vulnerable to temptation, and ask God to minister to you through His Word to strengthen your resistance to sin. He is a good God and will always help you in times of temptation. Seek Him!
By Bobby McKay
Pastor of New Liberty Baptist Church in Morton, Mississippi