Temptation: 1) to try, to try the strength of, to test what we have; 2) the devil tempts people to do evil, to induce, to entice, to allure, and to attract to sin.
The word of God teaches us that our temptations are common to man. So when we have a temptation, someone else has had the same temptation. God won’t give us a trial that we can’t handle, but will make a way to bear it.
I 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.
If we sin, it is because we chose not to bear the temptation. God tempted Abraham to test whether he loved God more than he loved his son Isaac. God said to go sacrifice his only son Isaac. Abraham didn’t grumble or complain or ask why, he just got up the next morning and went where God directed. He went up the mountain, put Isaac on the altar of sacrifice, and when he had his knife in his hand – ready to sacrifice Isaac, an angel of the Lord told him to stop. He said, “now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me” (Genesis 22:1-13). God proved the Israelites through the wilderness for forty years to see what was in their hearts.
Deuteronomy 8:2-3 And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.
God tests our endurance. Our trials are not going to be according to our liking, but God tests us to see what we’re made of and for a discipline to work in us. We need to learn patience through trials. God wants us to have patience in our life.
James 1:13-15 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.
God does not tempt us with evil, the devil does. Every man is tempted and drawn away by his own lusts and enticed.
James 1:13-15 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: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
The devil brings thoughts to our mind that we need to cast down or we’ll be enticed and bring forth sin. You can’t abort sin after it’s been conceived. If we don’t hate sin like God does, we’ll be attracted to sin. That’s why we don’t put any evil thing before our eyes (Psalm 101:3). We don’t want to watch television and are careful about places we go on the internet. The word of God says to avoid the appearance of evil (I Thessalonians 5:12). It’s our choice to avoid evil, or it will be in our face and be attractive (drawn away by our lust and enticed). To be truly saved, we have to recognize we’re a sinner, to be sorry for our sin, and want to turn away from sin. When we’re saved we become a new creature and old things are passed away, our old lusts (II Corinthians 5:17). After we’re saved we need to be sanctified, to be completely given to God. If you’re not sanctified, you’ll be attracted to sin.
Zechariah 13:8-9 And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God.
The two parts the Lord said were going to be cut off, were cut off because they wouldn’t forsake sin and the lusts of the flesh. God is going to refine his people. The dross needs to be out of our life. The fire of trial will bring the dross to the top so it can be removed from our life. The ropes that bound Shadrach, Meshach, and Abedego were the only thing that burned when they were thrown into the fiery furnace. The Son of God was with them and they didn’t even have the smell of smoke on their clothes when they came out (Daniel 3:21-25). Our faith in God is what will help us overcome in the hard trial, just like the Hebrews boys.
I John 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
We’re not saved or kept by our feelings but by faith and by the word of God. There will be times when you don’t feel like reading your Bible or praying, but God wants us to keep reading and praying. The devil has access to our feelings, but don’t give him your faith. We overcome by faith. God gives everyone a measure of faith to come to him and to listen to what he tells our conscience. A lot of people hear the word but they’re not willing to do what they hear. They will take what someone else says instead of what the word says, but they will be deceived to believe a lie if they don’t do what the word teaches.
James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
You choose who you obey. You choose whether you obey God or whether you sin. You can’t be a Christian and still be sinning. You’re free from righteousness if you commit sin. When we’re saved, our fruit is righteousness. There’s no sin in righteousness.
Romans 6:20-22 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
God tried and proved David and he purposed to not transgress (sin).
Psalm 17:3 Thou hast proved mine heart; thou hast visited me in the night; thou hast tried me, and shalt find nothing; I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.
When Jesus was tempted by the devil, he used the word of God. When the devil tempts us to sin, we can boldly go to the Lord who was tempted and understands our temptations. We don’t have to sin. God will give us grace to help in all our temptations.
Hebrews 4:15-16 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
(Notes from the Mature Class Bible Study, teacher Edith Tolbert)