Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Source, The Areas and the Answer to Temptation


THE SOURCE OF TEMPTATION

Noah Webster (tempt) — "To incite or solicit to an evil act; to entice to something wrong by presenting arguments that are plausible or convincing, or by the offer of some pleasure or apparent advantage as the inducement."
Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God," for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. (James 1:13-15 ESV)
Desire turns to lust when a person takes that desire (often moral or amoral, in and of itself) and twists/depraves it into a selfish/illegitimate expression.

THE AREAS OF TEMPTATION
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world--the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions--is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:15-17 ESV)
The Desire of the Flesh. This means that your appetites, feelings or desires from within that can beckon you to sin.

...a food desire can tempt you to be a glutton
...a sexual desire can tempt you to be a fornicator or adulterer
...an emotion of anger can tempt you to toward physical or verbal abuse
...a feeling of loneliness can tempt you to lash out at others

The Desire of the Eyes. This implies a self-centered, selfish temptation to have what you see, without consideration to God and others.

The Pride in Possessions. (lit. “pride of life”) You are enticed to pat yourself on the back. It is a temptation to think you have done something all by yourself, a lure to be an arrogant soul who doesn't thank God for your blessings.

THE ANSWER TO TEMPTATION
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:15-16 ESV)

Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. 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. Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. (1 Corinthians 10:12-14 ESV)