Temptation to sin is a struggle all of us experience. Sadly, a natural tendency of people is to shift the blame away from themselves. In doing so, they wrongly diagnose the problem and ignore the symptoms and therefore don’t receive the biblical solution. In this brief post, I want to look at temptation from the lens of James 1:13-16.
The Source of Temptation
James makes it clear that God is not the source of our temptation. He can’t be tempted becauseHe has no capacity or vulnerability to temptation (Psalm 5:4; Isaiah 6:3; Habakkuk 1:3) and therefore He does not tempt (James 1:13). So then, where does temptation come from? Verse 14 says, “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire”. He illustrates the source of temptation with fishing metaphors. Like a fish that is enticed by the bait and then lured away, we fall into temptation when our “own desire”drags us to the bait. The problem is within us (Matthew 15:19). Again, notice that the text says, “his own Continue reading
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In reading through Andrew’s recent blogs on identifying sin and replacing it with righteous and pure thoughts and actions, I am reminded of 1 Corinthians 1:3-11 and the critical need to support and encourage one another in our walk with Christ. Thank God we are not to walk this journey alone! This world will often trivialize sin and tempt us to take the easy option, so we must encourage one another to focus on what is pure and honorable and just and lovely as it says in Phil 4:8.
Let me be frank and honest here though. Andrew rightly said we should hate and detest sin as it goes against God’s very character. However, in actual fact, there are times, if we are honest with ourselves, when we “want to sin”… we want to take the so called easy option, to make the choice that we think will bring us more satisfaction. As appealing as it may be for many of us to have lots of chocolate or ice cream, afterwards our actions often lead to guilt and a stomach ache. We feel unhealthy and our bodies don’t feel like they are working at their best. This is what it is like with sin… It’s appealing, but always leads us feeling guilty and broken. We are never fulfilled in the long run. We may have short term satisfaction, but always long term decay and unfulfilment. Given the enticing nature of sin, we need to be honest about our struggles with God and when appropriate with others, followed by how God blesses us as we choose to trust in Him rather than continue to feed our sinful appetites. To keep from others how God impacts and liberates our lives robs them of the hope and comfort that God has given us.
Galatians 5:1 “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
Galatians 5:13 “For you have been called to live in freedom – not freedom to satisfy your sinful nature, but freedom to serve one another in love.”
What does it mean to be free? In having faith in Jesus, what freedom has He promised us? Continue reading