saw on the previous page how Satan uses deception as one of his
main strategies, getting people to believe a lie. We now
move on to his second strategy, that of tempting people to do
wrong. Temptation is Satan's strategy of enticing or inciting people
to do wrong.
The First Temptation
we consider that first attack of Satan in the Garden of Eden. What are
the components of the situation:
God sets clear boundaries, i.e. we know right and wrong
was a clear indication of the one tree from which they shouldn't eat
was a clear indication of the fatal consequences that would follow
Gen 3:1-6 to have the study passage before you
Satan seeks to deny those boundaries
sought to raise questions about what was actually said.
Satan seeks to deny the consequences of crossing those boundaries
sought to deny the consequences
Satan seeks to get us to think wrongly and then act wrongly
was obviously seeking to get Eve to be disobedient to God and do what
had been forbidden
saw that it “looked good” but forgot the restriction and consequence
Very often Satan seeks to get us to involve others Gen
getting others involved means we can justify it (everybody does it!)
SUMMARY : What are the stages
to the enemy
seeks to incite & excite
wrongly about the wrong
it in your own mind
on the wrong
a desire to do wrong
or doing wrong
involving others in it
share the guilt or justify it
Is Temptation Sin?
Mt 4:1-11, Heb 2:18 & Heb 4:15
is actually doing wrong
is seeking to get you to do wrong
Results of Succumbing to Temptation
up Gen 3:7-12 to have the study passage before you.
Sense of guilt and need to cover up Gen 3:7
God has given everyone a conscience, and in particular has given every
Christian His own Holy Spirit, we become instantly aware that we've
we realise we've done wrong, we try to cover it up, i.e. we either
try to hide it or justify it
Sense of guilt and fear and hiding from God Gen 3:8,10
as Christians our eternal destiny is not changed by a single failure
(sin), our relationship or communion with God is changed
want to run away and hide, or not be up front with God.
Self-Justification or blaming others Gen 3:12
try to off load the guilt by sharing it around, or justifying it by
of these techniques actually change the situation; we are still guilty!
Destructive Consequences Gal 6:7,8
way to temptation produces sin
may appear “little” (e.g. lying) or “big” (e.g. killing someone)
they all have further consequences
the liar has seared their conscience, justifies their lies, is
estranged from God, and may well have to tell further lies to
the murderer does all the same things but is also answerable to
the laws of the country and may end up in prison
SUMMARY: Succumbing to temptation
results in a breakdown in relationship with God
include a breakdown in relationship with others
cause destructive things to happen in your own life.
The Difference between “Temptation” and “Testing”
Hebrew and Greek words that are used for these three words are all the
same in overall meaning.
Hebrew “nasah” = to try or to prove but is often translated “tempt”.
main Greek word “peirazo” = to try, test or prove and similarly is often
translated as “tempt”
on the version you use you find some interchange on the English word
used in the translation.
we look at WHO brings these things we see WHY there is a different emphasis.
we look at the Scriptures we find:
TEMPTS i.e. seeks to bring downfall (N.B. God doesn't
tempt anyone - Jas 1:13 )
TESTS i.e. allows temptation to check the state of
the heart because He wants you to overcome/pass the test! - Jas 1:2,3,12
TRIAL is simply something that tests the state of our
What are the Areas of Attack?
To give up on our faith (& deny the truth)
Thess 3:5 / 2 Cor 11:3
has given us the truth in the Scriptures
truth is how things work, how God has made things to work
will try to make us deny these truths and live contrary to them
has communicated the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus to us
tries to get us to add to the Gospel or vary it.
To give way to sensual desires contrary to God's Law (self
has given us our senses for our pleasure
use of those senses is to be limited, to achieve greatest pleasure
use of those senses produces pain and upset
eating is gluttony and results in obesity and breakdown in heath
of drinking is drunkenness and leads to a wide range of upsets &
of sex becomes illicit sex and results in a variety of social &
seeks to stir us on into each of these areas
To have wrong self-centred ambitions (selfish godless goals)
desire to succeed or achieve is not wrong in itself
has made us with the need for self-fulfilment
that need goes to excess it creates over ambition which is then only
fulfilled at the expense of integrity and of others
SUMMARY : Temptation may be:
TO DENY THE TRUTH
challenge the truth of what God has said
e.g. Mt 4:3,6 "IF you are the Son"
(this challenged Mt 3:17 "This is my Son")
challenge a declaration of truth by God
challenge the meaning of a prohibition and deny it
challenge the consequences of rejecting it
TO PLACE SELF AT THE FOREFRONT
self, e.g. Mt 4:3 "tell these stones to become
use of drugs (abuse)
sexual activity (outside marriage)
sleep patterns (too much or too little)
of self, e.g. Mt 4:6 "throw yourself down"
trusting in God
quiet when challenged as a Christian
isolationist or critical of others
of self, e.g. Mt 4:9 "All this I will give you if…"
into wrong relationships
or false asceticism
to the word of God
How do we Overcome Temptation
up 1 Cor 10:13 for the following:
Realise it's not as difficult as it might seem
you have to resist is not different from what others have to resist
1 Cor 10:13a
will only allow what you CAN cope with 1 Cor 10:13b
Look to God for means of deliverance.
will provide the means for you to overcome 1 Cor 10:13c
he'll give you right thinking to overcome it e.g. Gen 39:7-9
or Jas 1:5
it will be simply to flee it e.g. Gen 39:11,12
Be alert & prayerful
the potential for attack means we need to remain alert
to God about all these issues takes the steam out of them
to God means He can warn us when a particular thing is coming
Simply say “No” to wrong Tit 2:11,12
the end of the day the responsibility is ours to say no
is an act of self-discipline (fruit of Spirit) to say no.
Submit your Life to God, THEN resist the enemy Jas 4:7
is the divine order of wisdom
give yourself over to God so He is ruling in your circumstance
you will be in a fit state to resist the enemy
the outcome is guaranteed
Hold onto the basics of your faith
sure you are well grounded in basic doctrine
truth holds everything in your life together
you are righteous in all your relationships with others
Jesus death (the Gospel) is the cause of your peace with God
to operate in faith as you respond to His word
your mind with the truth that you are saved
His word to cut through untruth
you pray, let the Spirit lead you
you hold onto all of these, you will overcome all the wiles of the enemy.
What if we do fall?
are likely to be times when we do fail (hopefully not often), but what
happens then? Do we give up? No, there are clear things to do:
Be honest & up front with God and repent!
is NO progression without confession! 1 Jn 1:9
Remember Jesus is working on our behalf
is always seeking and working to restore you
1 Jn 2:1,2
Remember, the Father is for us
Father is ALWAYS totally for us, Calvary is the proof of that!
Rom 8:31 …God is for us…….
Remember Father is more concerned with restoration that condemnation
wants his ‘sons' to grow up; He's not wanting to hold us back
/ Rom 8:1
Take Steps to Avoid Falling again
don't want to keep on doing the same thing over and over
work at avoiding that same sin by God's strength & grace
Summary: To put it right when we give
way and sin:
say sorry & seek forgiveness & cleansing
that Jesus is speaking up for you, and be thankful
that the Father is for you and wants to restore you, and be thankful
to avoiding that situation of temptation.