Times of Temptation

1 Corinthians 10:6-13 These things show us something. They teach us not to want things that are bad for us like those people did. We must not worship false gods as some of them did. The scriptures tell us, “The people sat down to eat and drink. Then they got up to play.” We must not do sex sins as some of them did. In one day 23,000 died. We must not test the Lord as some of them did. They were destroyed by snakes. 10 We must not complain against God as some of them did. That is why they were destroyed.

 

11 All these things happened to show us something. They were written to teach us that the end of the world is near. 12 So watch yourself! The person who thinks he can stand against sin had better watch that he does not fall into sin. 13 You have never been tempted to sin in any different way than other people. God is faithful. He will not allow you to be tempted more than you can take. But when you are tempted, He will make a way for you to keep from falling into sin.

We all struggle with temptation. In fact, even Jesus was tempted, but He resisted and never sinned. From this, it’s clear that experiencing temptation is not in itself a transgression. However, if we let the enticement take root in our thoughts, we are heading toward sin. Obviously, taking action on a wrong yearning is sinful, but Scripture tells us that entertaining the evil desire is as well (Destroy the desires to sin that are in you. These desires are: sex sins, anything that is not clean, a desire for sex sins, and wanting something someone else has. This is worshiping a god. Col. 3:5).

So where does the urge to sin come from? The source is threefold: Temptation comes from our own lusts (But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. James 1:14), the devil (Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit to a desert. There He was tempted by the devil. Matt. 4:1), and the world system organized under Satan’s authority (We know that we belong to God, but the whole world is under the power of the devil. 1 John 5:19). Until Christ returns, mankind will live in its current fallen condition—and we will be tempted by self-indulgent pursuits and Satan’s ploys to turn us from the Lord.

The tempting circumstances we encounter are not unique to us; others have faced similar situations. Although God doesn’t promise to rescue us from all temptations, He limits them and provides a way of escape so we can endure without yielding to sin.

Whenever something is tempting you, draw near in submission to God and resist the devil (So give yourselves to God. Stand against the devil and he will run away from you. Come close to God and He will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners. Clean up your hearts, you who want to follow the sinful ways of the world and God at the same time. James 4:7-8). Then ask the Lord for the grace and strength to stand firm against sin.

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