05 The Reality and Challenge of Temptation

James 1:13-18

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. Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures. (ESV)

Consider the following:

  1. The Deception of sin (v13-15)
    Temptation is the deception of sin
    a) Man is the culprit of temptation:
    It is part of our fallen nature and it is not of God. Ingratitude and discontent lead to temptation where temptation is common to man (1 Cor. 10v13). Adam and Eve were tempted by the prospect of becoming gods!
    b) The causes and unfolding of temptation:
    Our desires (having lost our virtue and righteousness), luring and enticement.
    Temptation starts with the wrong desire and entertaining it (being lured) then leads to enticement, provoking someone or yourself to do something with exaggerated, false promises.
    c) It conceives sin, which starts to grow in you like an embryo does in a pregnant woman.
    d) It then gives birth to sin, which kindles God’s wrath and hurts us and those around us. God knows better what is wrong with the world!
    e) The consequence is that sin brings forth death!

  2. The Deliverance from sin (v16-18)
    Look at God’s gifts!
    a) Every good gift is from above is undeserved and from God the Father. 
    Don’t miss what God is giving you!
    b) God is unchanging – there is no variation in Him.
    c) Christ is the perfect gift from God (2 Cor. 9:10-15).
    Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift!

We need to resist temptation because Christ has given us the only things we need.