Christian Universe TM
Tempted In Every Point
October 14, 2008
In June and July I lost two of my brothers to death. It caused me to stop and think--if my doctor were to tell me that I was about to die, what lessons would I want to share with others?
Tempted In Every Point
By Bernie Parsons
Presented to Globe church of Christ on 10-19-2008
Hebrews 4:14: “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.15: For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”
Jesus is the high priest of all believers. He sits at the right hand of God to be our advocate. Having been in all points tempted like as we are, He is touched by our feelings when we are in trouble of one sort or another.
Matthew 4:1: “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
2: And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
3: And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
4: But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
5: Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
6: And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
7: Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
8: Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
9: And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
10: Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
11: Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.”
Jesus resisted the three types of sin common to man in the flesh. These are the same three that tempted Eve, and Adam, in the beginning.
Genesis 3:6: “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.”
John writes about those in:
1 John 2:14: “I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.
15: Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16: For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
17: And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”
These three modes of sin—the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—encompass all the ways that we can sin against God. Our goals as Christians are to resist any overwhelming desires in these three categories.
1 John 2:1: “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:”
We are to try our best not to sin. When we do sin, Jesus speaks on our behalf to the Father above. He knows what we experience when our body fights against our spirits.
1 Peter 2:11: “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;”
We are but a short while upon the earth. We are passers-through, or pilgrims, on a journey through this life. Our journey comes to an end one day, as we pass on to the next life and world. Our lives here are in preparation of the life that lies before us.
25: And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
26: I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
27: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”
Paul speaks of keeping his body under control—that is, the desires are to be controlled so that they do not become excessive and lead to sin.
James 4:1: “From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
2: Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
3: Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”
Sin is not forced upon us by Satan, as some mistakenly say. Rather, sin originates from within us, giving us the responsibility to avoid sin. Even so, the apostle Paul acknowledged that there is a constant battle between the body and the flesh and the mind.
Romans 8:14: “For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
15: For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
16: If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
17: Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
18: For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
19: For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
20: Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
21: I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
22: For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
23: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
24: O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
25: I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”
This means that each of us must engage in a personal war against lust. Simply ignoring these facts leaves us vulnerable to sin. Blaming them on Satan, or someone else, likewise leaves us vulnerable. Only by owning the process of eliminating sin from our lives, as much as possible, and repenting and seeking forgiveness when we do sin, do we gain any measure of control over whether or not we sin frequently. Keep in mind that John said that we all sin. That is not an excuse to be lax and to freely sin. In fact the apostle Paul had this to say about that:
Romans 6:1: “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
2: God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
3: Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
4: Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
5: For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
6: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.”
We are not to continue sinning simply because Jesus can wash our sins away. When John acknowledged that we sin, he further explained that we are not to sin. This is not contradictory. Even with our best efforts, we will sin. That does not free us from the effort and responsibility to put sin out of our lives. He said that we are “to sin not”.
The key is repentance. When we do wrong, we must recognize that we have sinned, and seek to set things right, if possible.
1 John 1:5: “This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
6: If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
7: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
8: If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
10: If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”
If we fail to recognize and repent of our sins, we become self-righteous.
Romans 10:1: “Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.
2: For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
3: For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.”
We take our example from Jesus, tempted in every point like as us, yet without sin.
John 5:19: “Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.”
John 5:30: “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.”
Romans 6:16: “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?”
Hebrews 5:8: “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;
9: And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;”
2 Thessalonians 1:7: “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
8: In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
9: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;”