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Lead us not into Temptations
Text: Luke 4:1-13
Dr Alex Tang
It is the human Jesus who resisted the temptations of Satan by his lived experience of the Scriptures. This gives us hope that we can resist temptations by (1) knowing ourselves; (2) developing a plan to resist; (3) avoid temptations; (4) resist and pray; and to (5) get the help of theirs.
The bible teaches us a lot about temptation and tempting.
Paul warns his mentoree about the temptations of money. The bible has a lot to say about money too.
1 Tim. 6: 9-10
9 People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
Jesus and his three inner circle disciples (John, Peter and James) were at the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus was being tempted and this was his advice to his disciples.
Matt. 26: 41
41 "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."
Dictionary.com defines ‘tempt’ as
Temptation is the enticement, allurement or seduction to do
Recognising this, James has this to offer:
JAS 1:13 When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
It is interesting to note that in the Lord’s Prayer or the prayer Jesus taught his disciples to pray, it includes this statement, Matt. 6:13
MT 6:9 "This, then, is how you should pray:
" `Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
MT 6:10 your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
MT 6:11 Give us today our daily bread.
MT 6:12 Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
MT 6:13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one. '
Foremost in Jesus’ mind may be his personal experience of temptations of Satan as documented by our good doctor Luke 4:1-13 which will be recent in his memory.
We shall look at the temptations of Jesus by the devil.
Text and Context
LK 4:1 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, 2 where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.
LK 4:3 The devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread."
LK 4:4 Jesus answered, "It is written: `Man does not live on bread alone.' "
LK 4:5 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, "I will give you all their authority and splendor, for it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 So if you worship me, it will all be yours."
LK 4:8 Jesus answered, "It is written: `Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.' "
LK 4:9 The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down from here. 10 For it is written:
" `He will command his angels concerning you
to guard you carefully;
LK 4:11 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.' "
LK 4:12 Jesus answered, "It says: `Do not put the Lord your God to the test.' "
LK 4:13 When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.
LK 4:14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. 15 He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.
LK 4:16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. 17 The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
LK 4:18 "The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to release the oppressed,
LK 4:19 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."
LK 4:20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, 21 and he began by saying to them, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."
Jesus’ Temptations: Luke 4:1–13
First temptation (Luke 4:1-4)
The texts that Jesus quoted from are from Deuteronomy which is about the Exodus experiences of the ancient Jews.
Deut. 8:3 3
He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. 4 Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. 5 Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you.
Second temptation (Luke 4:5-8)
DT 6:13 Fear the LORD your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name. 14 Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; 15 for the LORD your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land.
The temptation here is not between choosing between good and bad but between good and better. Satan is willing to give up his domain without a fight. Jesus can be king immediately. Imagine what amount of good Jesus could have done if he has taken over from Satan? The better is following God’s timing.
Third temptation (Luke 4:9-12)
16 Do not test the LORD your God as you did at Massah. 17 Be sure to keep the commands of the LORD your God and the stipulations and decrees he has given you. 18 Do what is right and good in the LORD's sight, so that it may go well with you and you may go in and take over the good land that the LORD promised on oath to your forefathers, 19 thrusting out all your enemies before you, as the LORD said.
This temptation is about doubts. Can God be trusted? Did he really said that?
Here I want to deal with two questions which are inter-related.
CAN JESUS SIN?
CAN JESUS BE TEMPTED?
This deals with the humanity of Jesus. If Jesus cannot sin or tempted, there is no point for Satan to tempt him, is there?
The Person of Christ
False views of the person of Christ
(from House, Wayne H. 1992. Chart of Christian Theology and Doctrine. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 55)
Person of Christ- Fully Divine, Fully Human
(from House, Wayne H. 1992. Chart of Christian Theology and Doctrine. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 56)
The kenosis of Christ
Adapted from Robert E. Picirilli, "He Emptied Himself” Biblical Viewpoint, Vol. 3, No. 1 (April 1969):23-30.
How to deal with temptation?
1. Know yourself (Grass is always greener on the other side)
a. Your weak points
“A man who carries gunpowder about with him, may well ask that he may not be led where the sparks are flying. If I have a heart like a bombshell, ready to explode at every moment, I may well pray God that I may be kept from the fire, lest my heart destroy me.” Charles H. Spurgeon, “Lead Us Not into Temptation” in Spurgeon’s Expository Encyclopedia (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1996 ) 14:394.
b. What makes you susceptible?
(above examples modified from http://www.wikihow.com/Deal-With-Temptation. Accessed 15 Feb 2013)
2. Prepare to resist temptation (Batten down the hatches)
a. What does it mean to be obedience to God
Jesus said, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth” (Jn. 17:17). Peter said to new believers, “As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby…” (1 Pet. 2:2).
b. Live by the Spirit
When the apostle Paul was instructing Christians on how to live a godly life, he said that believers need to be “led by the Spirit” (Gal. 5:17). They must continually “live in the Spirit” and “walk in the Spirit” (Gal. 5:25).
Weapons of warfare 2 Cor. 10:4-5
c. Defines your limits
d. Exercise your will power
· The visualization approach: Visualize yourself resisting the temptation. Picture yourself seeing that chocolate bar, picking it up, feeling it closely, perhaps even smelling it. Then visualize yourself putting it down and walking away from it. Make the whole experience as real and tactile in your mind as possible. When you feel you've practiced it enough, go to the store where they sell chocolate. Look at it. And resist it. Take along a friend if this gives you support. After a while, you might even consider taking a taste test to see if you can eat just a little without overdoing it.
· The gratitude approach: Concentrate on all that you have to be grateful for. Gratitude enables you to remember what you have in life that is good, to be happy about, such as your family, your job, your pets, your hobbies, your health, your friends, the fact you've got a roof over your head and enough food to eat, etc. Gratitude grounds you in a way that removes justifying giving in to temptation because you felt "deprived" of something or someone. Importantly, write down your gratitude, for clarification and reference
e. Think of the consequences of failure
3. Avoid temptations. Prevention is better than cure
a. Avoid situation where you may be compromised
b. Remember your rules or limit
c. Stop justifying your actions
If a man has a strong desire to drink alcoholic beverages in excess, then he must avoid all situations that will tempt him to get drunk. Obviously, he should not allow any alcoholic beverages to be kept in his house. He should not go into bars or restaurants that serve liquor. Also, he should not keep company with men who like to drink.
If a man is struggling with sexual lust, then he should not watch any TV programs or videos, or look at magazines that will pour gasoline on his corrupt embers. (In our sex-saturated culture this task will take continued diligence.) King David should not have been on the roof of his house watching a beautiful woman (who was not his own wife) taking a bath. Young Christian men and women should never go out on dates where they are alone and can easily fall in to the sin of fornication.
4. Pray and resist
a. Watch and pray
b. God understands
15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin. 16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
c. God knows our limits (1 Cor. 10:3)
13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
5. Get a friend to help
ECC 4:9 Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their work:
ECC 4:10 If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up!
ECC 4:11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
ECC 4:12 Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
It was the human Jesus who resisted the temptations of Satan by his lived experience of the Scriptures. This gives us hope that we can resist temptations by (1) knowing ourselves; (2) developing a plan to resist; (3) avoid temptations; (4) resist and pray; and to (5) get the help of theirs.
Soli Deo Gloria
17 February 2013
"treat, heal, and comfort always"
"spiritual forming disciples of Jesus Christ with informed minds, hearts on fire and contemplative in actions"
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