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1 Cor. 10:12-14 HOW TO TAME TEMPTATION
Intro: Ill. How an Eskimo kills a wolf. (He will repeatedly coat the blade in blood,
allowing it to freeze, until the blade is covered. Then, he will placethe knife in the
snow and as the wolf licks the blood, his tongue is numbed, and his hunger is fueled.
The wolf will lick the knife, cut his own tongue and eventaully bleed himself to death out
of his own lusts.) Satan uses the same tactic to defeat God’s children. He knows that he can
never have your soul, but he also knows if he can cause us to succumb to temptation, then we
will become powerless and useless as Christians.
Salvation is not a barrier to temptation! On the contrary, Satan is more
likely to attack the Christian that the unbeliever. After all, he already has the lost
person! He loves nothing better than causing one of God’s children to fall into sin.
However, temptation, while it cannot be avoided, can be overcome! While it is
hard to endure temptation can be used to help us grow in Jesus. I believer every
believer needs and wants to know how to turn temptation into triumph.
When temptation arises, men usually respond in one of three ways. The
primary method for dealing with temptation in to simply give in to it. Many
people live by an “If it feels good, do it,” mentality. They live like animals, doing
everything they can to gratify the flesh. Nearly all lost people live like this, but
sadly, so do many Christians!
Others struggle against temptation daily. They spend all their time fighting
temptation in their own strength. They fight and fail over and over, because no one
can overcome his evil nature alone. If we could defeat the power of sin on our
own strength, then it would have been pointless for Jesus to die for us. This type
of person hates what he does, but he goes on doing it because they do not have the
power to stop.
Finally, there are those who overcome temptation through the power of
Jesus Christ. They turn their temptations into triumphs. That may sound like
wishful thinking to many of you, but I want you to know that you can win over
temptation. It is possible to live in victory. There are a few things that you need to
know to be able to do this. Let’s think together this morning on this thought,
“How To Tame Temptation.”
I. THE SUBJECT OF TEMPTATION (Who is affected?)
A. All humans are subject to temptation. (Ill. Best to the least) (Ill. Jesus,
Peter, David, etc!)
B. We are daily assaulted with a wide range of temptations. (List some!) (Ill.
We all have one area where we are particularly susceptible.
C. It is not a sin to be tempted. (Ill. Jesus - Heb. 4:15) Sin enters the picture
when temptation is surrendered to.
D. Our greatest danger is to think we have arrived at a place where we are
above sinning, v. 12; Pro. 16:18. When our pride tells us that us that we
cannot fall, then we are headed for a huge one! Pride in this area just tempts
E. Why doesn’t God just kill the devil and remove the attraction for sin? If that
were to happen, then you and I would lose the ability to be overcomers in
Jesus. Without opposition, there is no victory! God has not called us to a
life of ease, but to one of victory. A victory that we cannot enjoy until we
have faced evil and overcome it.
II. THE SOURCE OF TEMPTATION (Where)
A. Ill. V. 13 - “Common” - Do not think your temptations are so great, they are
just like the ones we all face. They are just common, run of the mill, garden-
variety temptations. We all get the same ones from the same sources. (Ill. 1
John 2:16; Ill. Eve - Gen. 3) There are three primary sources of temptation:
The world, the flesh and the devil. Let’s look at these three sources and how
they attack us.
B. The World - In the Bible, the word for world means “system or order.” The
Bible speaks of this system called the world and says that it is evil. (Ill. 1
John 2:15; James 4:4) It is possible for believers to become so worldly that
they fail to stand out for the Lord. We are to be different and distinct. We
are not to allow the world to force us into its mold, Rom. 12:1-2; Ill. Matt.
5:13-16 (Ill. Thermostat and thermometer) Ill. The world’s idea of beauty -
1 Pet. 3:3. God’s Idea is inward beauty of the soul untouched and unspoiled
by the taint of the world.
C. The Flesh - Born into everyone of us, from the most innocent child to the
most godly adult, is a bent in our nature. There is a leaning toward sin. We
inherited this from our first father, Adam. It is called the “old Nature.” (Ill.
There is a civil war in the heart of every saved person here today - Gal.
5:17! ) When we fail, we try to blame our sin on the devil. Yes, he tempts
us and points us toward sin, but we are responsible for the final decision, Ill.
V.13. (Ill. Even if Satan were gone, we would still sin - Ill. Millenium -
D. The Devil - His main objective, as far as you are concerned, is to cause you
to fall so that God is dishonored and your become useless to the Kingdom
work of God. He knows every weakness you have and he exploits them
trying to get you to sin. He tells you how great sin will be, that you will get
by with it, that you even deserve it, but he hates you and he is plotting your
defeat. He loves to point at fallen saints and laugh before God as he stands
accusing us of evil. Don’t give him the satisfaction!
III. THE SEAT OF TEMPTATION (How)
A. Ill. Man is made in the image of the triune God. Man is a triune being, he
possesses body, soul and spirit. When you are tempted, it will always be in
one of these three areas. We need to understand this principle and
understand the areas that will come under attack if we are going to overcome
B. The Soul - This is the word used to describe the you that lives inside your
body. It speaks of your mind, your will and you emotions. The world is the
primary tempter of the soul. The world says to the soul, “You need more,
you can have more!” The world always appeals to the ego, or pride. A
worldly person is one who is given over to the pleasures of the world. (Ill.
Lot - Gen. 13:10-12 - Lot looked, leaned, lived and lost in the world.)
C. The Body - The flesh, referring to the “old nature” always attacks the body.
We are tempted to laziness, lust, overindulgence, sexual sin, etc. These are
temptations of the flesh! (Ill. David with Bathsheba - 2 Sam. 11)
D. The Spirit - The spirit is the primary arena for satanic attack. If the soul is
our self-consciousness, then the spirit is our God-consciousness. Our spirit
is what sets us apart from the animals. Man alone can know God! It is in the
spirit that we can know God. The spirit is the realm of worship, John 4:24,
and it is our spirit that worships and communicates with God. Satan hates
this communion and he wars against the spirit in an effort to cut off our
fellowship with God. He places doubts in our minds to distract us. He
places false doctrine there to turn us away from the truth. Satan attacks the
spirit. (Ill. In Peter’s denial of Jesus, the temptation was directed at the
spirit. He wasn’t under an ego attack, or under sexual assault, he was caused
to doubt the truth.)
IV. THE SUBDUING OF TEMPTATION (What)
A. There are three words to remember when facing temptation: Flight, Faith,
B. To Overcome The Flesh We Need Flight - The key to defeating fleshly
temptations is to flee from them. (Ill. 1 Cor. 6:18 - “flee fornication”; 1 Cor.
10:14 - “flee idolatry”; 2 Tim. 2:22 - “flee youthful lusts”) (Ill. You cannot
expose yourself to fleshly temptation and expect to walk away untouched -
Pro. 6:27 - Ill. Situations to avoid!) (Ill. Joseph and Potipher’s wife - Gen.
C. To Overcome The World We Need Faith - Faith that Jesus will take care
of us when we willingly give up the attachment to worldly things. If we are
loving the world, we are not loving God - 1 John 2:15; James 4:4. If you
really want victory over the world, then love Jesus more than you love it -
Heb. 12:2. Ill. It is our faith in him that offers us the victory - 1 John 5:4.
D. To Overcome The Devil We Must Fight - If we stand up to him and fight,
he will flee - James 4:7. Ill. You cannot run away from him, but you can
drive him away from you. You must face him in the power of the shed
blood of Jesus Christ. He doesn’t fear you, but he trembles before the blood
of the Lamb! Fight Satan and he will flee! (Ill. Eph. 4:27; 1 Pet. 5:8) (Ill.
Jesus and His temptations - Matt. 4)
Conc: I don’t know what temptations you may be dealing with in your life.
However, I do know that if you are breathing, you are battling! Our greatest
resource in the face of temptation is a close relationship with Jesus Christ. My
counsel to you is that you bring your need to Him. Whatever, the need, the trial, or
the temptation and lay it down before the Lord and expect Him to help. He has
promised us grace during temptation. Why not take Him up on the offer today?
Sermon By Alan Carr
1999, Higher Praise
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A Life Changing Experience
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