Tuesday, April 25, 2006

James 1:13-18 Resisting Temptation (Part 2)

James 1:13-15 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. [14] But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. [15] Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

Yesterday, we began a discussion about resisting temptation. James gives us three keys to resisting temptation. The first key is to recognize temptation’s source.

In verse 13, James unequivocally states that God cannot be the source of temptation. James says, “God cannot be tempted by evil and He Himself does not tempt anyone.” God is not temptable because there is nothing in God which temptation can appeal to. In 1 John 1:5 the Bible says “God is light and there is absolutely no darkness in Him. God is absolutely holy which means He is completely separate from sin. Therefore it follows that He would never induce anyone else to sin.

So who is responsible for temptation? You’re probably thinking it’s the devil, right? No, we are! “Each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.” James uses an illustration taken from the sport of fishing. A fish sees the lure and is tempted to strike. When the fish takes hold of the bait, it is suddenly dragged away and pays with its life for its innocence and ignorance. But we cannot claim innocence and ignorance. James takes away all excuses and the ability to place the blame on someone or something else. He says, in effect, that the cause lies within us. Our desires lead us into temptation, and if we are not controlled by the Spirit of God they lead us into sin. The heart of man is deceitful, as Jeremiah prophesied (17:9). Jesus repeats the same thought when he describes the human heart in these words: “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander” (Matt. 15:19).

The next time your tempted take note of the fact that temptation simply reveals the true condition of your heart. If a desire for evil did not reside within, you could not be tempted.

So what is the source of temptation? Your own evil desires!

No comments: