Living in a society so full of temptation, this question could sound foolish, so why bother? You could say this is impossible! Temptation hides in every corner of our world: television, internet, movies, video games, school, people at work, magazines, sending us constant messages that temptation is something fun to play with; even a “smart” choice. But temptation is destructive and leads us into sin. It causes us to take bad decisions and when we are defeated by it; it’s a sure passage to a life of mediocre Christianity.
So we are to conquest, and our victory will be to overcome temptation as many times as possible. For this to happen we need to know how temptation works. I’ll let the expert explain to you the steps that Satan has designed to tempt you and make you sin against your God.
Dr. Jack Hyles in his book “Jack Hyles Speaks on Biblical Separation” put it this way:
“Sin is basically that which causes bad consequences to me or to someone else. The ultimate consequence of sin is death. Because of this, the wise person will find what leads to death and avoid it.
The answer to this is in James 1:14, 15 ‘But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin, when it is finished, brings forth death’ The Bible teaches us that sin brings death. We are reminded in the Word of God that the soul that sins shall surely die. We are reminded that the wages of sin is death. If we could just find what brings death and avoid it, we could avoid death – death of dreams, death of homes, death of hopes, etc. Since we don’t want to die, then we should avoid sin, for sin brings death.
What brings sin? Temptation brings sin. Therefore, the wise person will stay away from death by staying away from sin and will stay away from sin by staying away from temptation, for temptation leads to sin and sin leads to death. To be two steps from death is better than to be one step from death.
We could be safer if we could find what brings temptation. Our text verses tell us that enticement causes temptation. Enticement is someone or something trying to get us to consider wrong. Since enticement leads to temptation and temptation leads to sin and sin leads to death, then a person is farther from death if he stays away from enticement. If this can be done, we are another step farther from death.
If we could find what causes enticement, we could take another step away from death. The answer once again is in our text. Lust brings enticement. Lust simply means “desire”. We lust, then we are enticed, then we are tempted, then we sin, then we die.
We could take a step farther from death if we could find what leads to lust or desire. Again we find in our text that being drawn away leads to lust. God has a plan for each of our lives. (His plan is for us to bring glory to Him) Each of us is to be busily engaged in fulfilling that plan. When we are drawn away from that plan and the work that God has called us to do, we then notice what the world has to offer and we desire it. Once we desire it, there is always someone who can entice us. Then we are led to temptation which leads to sin which leads to death!
Everyone that falls into sin follows the same pathway. He is drawn away from doing the things he is supposed to do. His eyes see something after which he lusts. Then someone entice him to take, whereupon he is tempted. The temptation leads to sin, and sin leads to death”
If you understand this biblical principle of temptation, you may wonder: is it that simple?
Understanding the steps that first lead us to temptation and finally to sin and death is the foundation for defeating temptation and sin, but this is not all you will need to know to win your battles.
The Bible teaches that Jesus was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15). So, let’s take a look at Jesus’s response to Satan’s temptation in order to learn from the Master how to defeat temptation once and for all.
(see the part II of this post tomorrow)
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