Growing in Our Response to Temptation

Dustin Folden August 25, 2019 James 1:13-18
Outline

3 Keys to overcoming temptation

I. Know What Temptation Is

A. The difference between temptation and trial

James 1:2-4 - Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

James 1:12 - Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

B. The definition of temptation

Temptation is an event or a response to an event brought on by self, or others, or by Satan, soliciting you to evil.

Hebrews 4:15 - For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.

James 1:13-14 - Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.

C. The responsibility for temptation

James 1:14 - But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.

1 Corinthians 10:13-14 - No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.

II. Know the Process of Temptation

James 1:14-16 - But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.

A. Step 1 – Sin starts with your desires or lusts

B. Step 2 – Sinful desires will produce (bear fruit) a sinful act

C. Step 3 – The end result of sin is death

III. Know the Alternative to Temptation

A. Compare the goodness and consistency of God to your changing deceitful lusts

2 Peter 1:2-4 - Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.

Psalm 16:11 - You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

B. Compare how His will and the truth of His word guide you wisely in trials and temptations

C. Compare the results that are produced from sin to the first fruits made possible through Jesus Christ

Ephesians 1:3 - Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ…

Romans 8:28-29 - And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren…

I can’t stand fishing….don’t get me wrong…I love catching fish…It just is that is rarely what happens when you go fishing…

  • It’s hard because you can’t see what’s going on
  • You have to develop feel with rod, gotta cast…gotta set the hook, need to not pull too hard, or too soft
  • Gotta find where the fish are…
  • Lastly you have to find the right bait.

Have you ever notice how excited fisherman get about bait and lures…

  • ”what are you using”…oh I got the pink headed ones with the white bodies, with a silver spinner…works every time
  • You gotta use leaches, put those on the hooks, fish can’t resist.
  • What are you using….”I’m not telling”…..people don’t want to tell you what they use, because then everyone will use it and then it won’t work…

Fisherman are all about changing lures and trying to find what’s working, because they want to catch fish, and to catch fish, you need to trick fish…to temp them to believe that this piece of metal is going to taste better than a minnow.

  • Lures, are all about deceiving the fish….making the fish believe they are going to get a good meal…so you can get a good meal
  • You are temping the Fish, to make a choice that leads to their death….
    • James now lays out a pathway that is the opposite, and one of the best things you can do is compare the temptation to what God says and provides that is much better.

Well, the word of God talks a lot about a very similar process, and that is the Process of temptation and understanding temptation is a key part of the Christian life…

In continuing our annual theme of Growing what God Has Given. We started a new series last Sunday, and we are walking through the book of James, and focusing on Growth Essentials for the Christian Life…now last week we focused on Trials…Part of the essential aspect of growing in the Christian life is how you view trials, and how you respond to trials with a Christ centered response.

So as we talked about last week…God will meet you where you are…but he has no intention of leaving you there…in other words after Salvation we are to grow…

Well, we want to continue in that same direction but this morning we want to think about Growing in Our Response to Temptation…so we need to all think about what it is like being a hungry fish this morning.

With that in mind please turn in your bibles to James 1:13-18, which is on Page 178 in the bible under the chair in front of you.

READ - James 1:13–18 — 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. 15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. 18 In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.

3 Keys to overcoming Temptation

I. Know what Temptation Is (v. 13-14).

The first thing we want to focus on is understanding what Temptation is, so we can seek to grow even in the midst of temptation, and grow in responding to temptation….we want to swim right on by….and to do that we need to know what we are seeking to avoid.

A. The difference between temptation and trial (v.2-4, 12)

  1. So a trial is a good thing, and a temptation is not a good thing.
  2. It is a bit challenging because the word for trial and temptation is the same word…but in the context and the usage we see they are very different.
    1. Sort of when I refer to my wife as honey…and then I say can you pass the honey…please don’t pick up my wife and bring her to me…same word, very different meaning. But there is overlap…they are both sweet.
    2. We will see there is overlap with trials and temptations as well.
    3. Notice though how trials are difficult but they are for our good and growth….
  3. James 1:2–4 — 2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
  4. James 1:12 — 12 Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
  5. Temptations are also difficult, but they are not for our good or our growth…our growth is about responding to temptation and not giving in to temptation.
  6. Temptations are not seeking to help you grow…they are seeking to entice you to sin, to go away from God…not grow in trusting God.

B. The definition of temptation

  1. A Trial or a test is given to you by God to help you grow…where a…
  2. Temptation is an event or a response to an event brought on by self, or others, or by Satan, soliciting you to evil.
  3. One of the ways to see this clearly is the temptation of Jesus…He was tempted, and he did not sin….so we see that temptation is to try to get us to go away from God, to sin against God.
  4. Hebrews 4:15 — 15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.
  5. Now Jesus was tempted by Satan, and what we are going to see is that there are external temptations and even internal temptations…you can tempt yourself to sin against God, and someone else can tempt you…but God does not tempt you.
  6. James 1:13–14 — 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.
    1. James wants to make it crystal clear that we will be tempted, and that God does not tempt us to find comfort and strength somewhere else besides Him.
    2. The Challenge here is you can often be going through a trial and a temptation at the same time.
    3. God can be sovereignly giving you something to refine your trust in Him to help you grow, and you can be tempted in that difficulty to then give relief or satisfaction apart from God…from somewhere else.
    4. Some biblical examples…
    5. Adam and Eve God put them in Garden of Eden to care for it and keep it with command not to eat of forbidden fruit. So they would grow in trusting God as the source of what is good… Serpent (Devil) tempts Adam and Eve to eat forbidden fruit. To doubt what God sys is good and true… Their response to the trial and to the temptation was to Desire forbidden fruit and eat fruit….bring about Shame and Suffering and Death into the world.
    6. Joseph is a good example….God puts Joseph in Potiphar’s house and allows him to be sold into slavery. Potiphar’s wife tempts Joseph with sexual immorality (adultery). Joseph desires to please God and runs away.
    7. Job - God brings to Satan’s attention the character of Job and permits Satan to test Job’s character. Satan (Devil) tempts Job to curse God to his face by making him suffer. Job worshipped God and did not sin or charge God with wrong.
    8. David God gives King David peace and rest from enemies. David desires to build a temple for God.
    9. David God gives King David peace and rest from enemies. David desires sexual immorality (adultery) with Bathsheba. David commits adultery with Bathsheba.
    10. Jesus - The Holy Spirit of God leads Jesus to the wilderness (desert) to be tempted by the Devil to show he is the Son of God. The Devil tempts Jesus as the Son of God to not depend on God, to put the Lord to the test, and to worship the Devil. Jesus desires to obey the Lord and depends on God and shows he is the Son of God, and resists the devil and temptation with the truth of the Word of God.
    11. We see all these examples in Scripture so that we would have a right view of God who is working out His plan of redemption even in a world marked by trials and temptations…but the big take away when you think about temptation…is who is responsible.

C. The responsibility for temptation

  1. James 1:14 —14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.
  2. The Author James wants to make it crystal clear that in this context…even if there is external temptation, we are responsible for our response to temptation.
    1. Each one is tempted and carried away by HIS OWN lusts.
    2. We must understand that giving in to temptation is an issue we all struggle with in the Christian life…and so we need to own it.
  3. 1 Corinthians 10:13–14 — 13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. 14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.
  4. Temptation is common to man. We all face temptation, we all struggle with temptation. Maybe not the exact same temptation, but we all are enticed to doubt the good ness of God, to not trust him but to trust ourselves, and to seek comfort apart from him.
    1. What does this look like…it looks like someone at home leaving a mess that you have to clean up…and you are tempted to lash out at them and get some comfort letting them know how you feel.
    2. It looks like not getting attention and appreciation, and so you seek to draw attention to yourself, through being a fool, through immodesty, or through unwise relationships.
    3. It look like wanting ease and comfort, so you don’t address anything difficult and just let issues pile up and get worse.
  5. God is faithful…He is at work allowing you to have trials to grow, not tempting you to sin, but allowing the sinful nature of Man, the spiritual forces of the world, other people to tempt you…but he will always provide you a way of escape if you are a believer…but the escape is from idolatry, from giving into sin…not escape from never having to endure temptation.
  6. You might say, well if no one tempted me then I wouldn’t sin….that is shifting the blame.
  7. Satan may be involved, other people may be giving you bad theology or poor counsel, but there is never a circumstance as a follower of Christ where your only solution to a temptation is to give in and sin against God…
  8. We are called to flee from idolatry…from finding refuge in a false god, a god of our own making.

Now once we own it, take responsibility for it, we can engage in understanding temptation so we can grow and not just blame our sinful choices on others. The next step is to…

II. Know the Process of Temptation (v.14-16).

James 1:14–16 — 14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. 15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.

A. Step 1 – Sin starts with your desires or lusts.

  1. Growth Essentials in the Christian life…in order to grow, it is essential to seek to understand your desires and how our actions flow out of our hearts, out of our desires…our lusts.
  2. We must understand the source…taking responsibility means when I sin...it started with me wanting something.
  3. Now desires are not intrinsically evil…God blesses us with desires for food, for purpose and work, for relationships, for community, for intimacy…desires are good.
  4. But like everything else God has entrusted to us and blessed us with, we often twist, pervert, and misuse God’s good gifts for sinful purposes.
  5. You may have a desire for food, and it can turn into gluttony, you may have a desire for closeness, intimacy, and it can turn into sex outside of marriage or adultery, you could desire rest and that turns into laziness and entitlement.
  6. So desires are not bad, but when we want something so intensely, when you are really hungry for something you are going to be tempted to seek that satisfaction apart from God…and when you give into that temptation…you sin.
    1. I really want that person to listen to me…so I am going to yell and curse at them
    2. I really want someone to do their job better, so I am going to threaten and manipulate them
    3. I really want people to see what I am good at something so I am going to embellish and lie.
  7. These desires are deceptive…Eph 4:22 talks about our deceitful lusts…you see our desires get so intense we then think nothing is as important as getting what I want…and we are deceived.
  8. What happens when you are deceived is you get carried away, you get captured by the importance of your own desires.

B. Step 2 – Sinful desires will produce (bear fruit) a sinful act.

  1. Now when that lust, that desire has become so important…so pregnant with value in your mind…you have let it grow, you have nurtured it’s importance in your mind…then it produces something…it give birth to sin…
  2. You let that desire grow so big, you then sin. You turn away from God, you disobey what he commands, you miss the mark of what your purpose is as his image bearer, as his ambassador, as His follower, and you seek to go your own way, toward what you want and away from Him.
  3. I want pleasure, and intimacy so much…I am going to open the web browser, search for something, and turn to pornography to give me what I have been nurturing in my mind…now I am going to use the images of other people, I am going to use other people whose purpose is to be for the glory of god for my purpose, my glory, my pleasure

C. Step 3 – The end result of sin is death.

  1. Just like a fish… I looking for a meal and become a meal
  2. Our desires are for good things…for joy, peace, safety, community, pleasure….
  3. But they overpromise and don’t just under deliver, they destroy.
  4. If your desires are allowed to grow in importance more than God…there is going to be a death.
  5. Death is a separation…and when you love something so much…it pulls you away from other things.
  6. You want intimacy and pleasure on your own terms so you turn to pornography and adultery, and it destroys your relationships.
  7. You want your kids to perform well, so you chastise them, shame them and drive them relentlessly, and then they don’t want to spend time with you.
  8. You want your spouse to think well of you, so you lie to them to always make yourself look good, and then they find out of the years of lying and trust is broken.
  9. The lure has a hook, but it always disguised…there is a worm, bright colors, something shiny…but there is always a hook.
  10. Like a hook, Sin will always take you further than you want to go and take you to an end you don’t want to be at…but it started with what you wanted.
  11. Sin is enjoyable for a season…but its end is death.
  12. It is essential for believers to understand the process of temptation…where it starts, how it grows, and where it leads.
  13. James says, Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren…
  14. We need each other to warn each other…don’t be deceived by your own desires…

One of the ways I want to challenge you, is to recognize temptations to sin in your life… …what are somethings you really wanted this week…what are somethings you have really been wanting for a while…are you aware of the temptations around you that offer to satisfy those desires you have been cultivating, but will lead to death.

By God’s grace there is a better way….the bible doesn’t say, don’t desire anything…the bible says desire better things, a better source that produce life and not death…true lasting joy, pleasure and security…feasts with no hooks.

III. Know the Alternative to Temptation (v.17-18).

James 1:17–18 — 17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. 18 In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.

A. Compare the goodness and consistency of God to your changing deceitful lusts.

  1. Note that every good thing comes down from above, from the Father of Lights.
    1. We look to people, and we look to earthy things to get what we want…but even those people, and those aspects of creation that are good…come from God…so we must start by looking up…seeking to pursue our hearts desires with a heavenly, God centered focus.
    2. Good things come from above….
    3. With God there is no variation or shifting shadow…he is not trying to trick you, do a bait and switch on you…he doesn’t change…he doesn’t change what he is offering and what He is going to deliver…he is not going to try to entice you and then change who He is and what He is doing….He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow….
    4. In contrast, what we want constantly changes, and what we believe will make us happy constantly changes…
    5. But God can satisfy us for all eternity and he is not trying to trick us, and use us and lead us to death.
    6. What is the goodness…
  2. 2 Peter 1:2–4 — 2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; 3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.
    1. Notice what is truly good…First he has given us what we need for a fulling god centered life through a relationship with Christ.
    2. Even more…He has promised us wonderful promises…by his promises we can become partakers of His divine nature.
    3. What That means is we get to be with Him, and we get to become more like Him.
    4. God is giving us Himself….His very presence…and He is the Source of Joy, Peace, security…there is nothing better He can give us than Himself…and all the good thing we want, only come from Him.
  3. Psalm 16:11 — 11 You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.
    1. Pornography can’t provide you with pleasure forevermore.
    2. Being able to buy anything you want, can’t give you Joy
    3. Having everyone think highly of you can’t give you peace…It must come from Him.
    4. But what comes from Him is full and forever….no variation or shifting of shadow.
    5. So instead of getting sinfully angry at your spouse, kids, coworker for something they did…you can recognize the temptation for sinful anger promises some comfort, but it will just make things worse and bring death….and so you recognize God is using this opportunity to draw you closer to himself…so that you can partake of His divine nature…you can live a life marked by Godliness, which leads to joy, peace and lasting comfort.
    6. So even though you want them to not have done what they did…you want to draw near to the Lord more…and you trust that is better and will lead you down a better path….
    7. Now that path, it is not hidden, and you can’t find it by following your heart, your desires, your feeling…you need a better guide.

B. Compare how His will and the truth of His word guide you wisely in trials and temptations

  1. In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth
  2. Notice the comparison, to how your will, your desires grow and bring forth death.
  3. By God’s will, He rescued you because of His will, His character….He cause you to be reborn, He brought us forth from the domain of darkness into the kingdom of His beloved son…we were adopted into His forever family…we were born again, born from above…
  4. SO the question is does His will, and the word of God direct you better than your will, and what you think will make you happy.
  5. The answer should be a resounding yes…there are so many people here who could attest that when they do things their way, things fall apart…but when they care more about the will of God than their own will…and they are guided by what He says, not what we feel….he is able to restore relationships, He is able to lead us to repent and grow…He is able to bless in ways that delight us, that we didn’t even know what that delight was like.
  6. Now if you are here and you say, I have never been reborn, I have never been adopted into God’s family….His will is for you to admit your sin…admit that your desire is to live for yourself, not for Him…and cast yourself upon His mercy….place your trust in His goodness…that came down from heaven….who resisted every temptation, so that He could be the perfect sacrifice to die in you place.
  7. You need to trust God’s goodness, and God’s gift of eternal life available in Christ.
  8. If His will and His word did that in your life…and you see that as good…then continue to seek His will and His word as you navigate the desires and temptations in you and in the world.
  9. He simply knows better than us what is best for us….will we trust Him…or will we trust our view of a tasty hook.
  10. When you think about the results…it helps you make much better decisions.
  11. What is worse for a fish than being hungry…being dead

C. Compare the results that are produced from sin to the first fruits made possible through Jesus Christ.

  1. God rescued us, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.
    1. When you think about First Fruits…you see that this is something being produced that is marked by life…new life…
    2. In addition it is to be marked by growth…so that as we grow we are to produce more fruit.
    3. And the Fruit of God’s creations is so that the whole Earth is full of His glory.
    4. That all creation brings Him honor
    5. And we have prime positon to be His image bearers, his ambassadors, new creations in Christ Jesus.
  2. Ephesians 1:3 — 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,
  3. Romans 8:28–29 — 28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;

So it is essential as a part of the Christina life for us to grow in how we overcome temptation.

  • We must Take responsibility for our temptation…and understand the process that hurts so many of us.
  • We must be wise and see that our desires will not ultimately satisfy us
  • But Gods desire for us is so much better and it revolves around the Person and Work of Jesus Christ.
  • His desire is to draw us to Himself and then growing us to become more like Christ.
  • Though a relationship with Christ is where fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore reside…let us trust him, and avoid the deception that anything less than the Lord will satisfy.

Dustin Folden

Roles

Pastor of Discipleship & Extension Ministries - Faith Church

Bio

B.S - Electrical Engineering, Purdue University
M.Div. - Faith Bible Seminary

Pastor Dustin Folden and his wife Trisha joined the Pastoral Staff in 2010. They have two children, Mackenna & Sawyer. They enjoy playing board games, cooking together and going on hiking adventures. Pastor Folden shepherds the 9:30 worship service, oversees the Adult Bible Fellowship ministry, the Wednesday evening Faith Community Institute as well as serves in Faith Biblical Counseling Ministries.

Read Dustin Folden's Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Folden to Faith Church.