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Testing and Temptation

Testing and Temptation

In the Bible we read stories in both the Old and New

As we shall see, trials, testing and temptation are quit

As a matter of clarification, the word test in any of

The Origin of Testing and Temptation

We find the origins of testing and temptation in the B

Now the serpent was more subtle and crafty

We can see from just these few verses of Scripture, se


The command of God, not to eat of the tree of

The command, which was intended to perpetu

And the very legal ordinance which was designed a

Paul was describing the commandment (in thi


The temptation of Eve in the Garden was extr

The good news is that we know from Scripture that Je

Since, therefore, [these His] children share in flesh a

Satan still holds the power of death over non-b


The temptation for Eve was to gain wisdom, t

5. Disobedience of Gods command also meant t

For I do not understand my own actions [I am baffle

There is a battle that goes on in our minds bec


The first thing that we discover about testing is the so

Purpose and Objectives
Scripture says that the Lord tests both our hearts and

And you shall [earnestly] remember all the w

The objective of testing is found a few verses later: [G

A simple example of testing to expose a heart conditi

Lord rebuked Hezekiah through the prophet Isaiah an

A second example of testing, only this time with a tea

The objective of this testing was to teach the Israelite

could rest on the Sabbath and keep it holy, yet still ha

The objective of most testing is to take us to a new le

Abrahams Faith

In Chapter 22 of the Book of Genesis is found the sto

After these events, God tested and proved Ab

The very first question that comes to mind is, Would

Even though God would never have let Abraham car

course, Abraham passed the test.

The purpose of this was to test Abrahams obedience.

Was not our forefather Abraham [shown to b

In the above Scripture, James is describing the relatio

Notice that there was a progression in the testing of A

action, righteousness was credited to him. The testing

Our testing today will be very similar to that of Abrah

our job, our children or even our own spouse. Are we
Teaching us Warfare
Sometimes the Lord will test us with the objective of

Now these are the nations which the Lord lef

The nations who were left would prove to be a contin

Resisting these nations, especially spiritually, was an

Warfare in the Bible begins in the Book of Genesis in

Just like a modern-day soldier, we need training and t

But solid food is for full-grown men,

The practice (testing) provides us the opportunity to t

In the Garden of Eden, we gained the knowledge of g

The significance of this testing and the eventual warfa

Ephesus - there was an attempted infiltration o

Smyrna - Jews from the Synagogue of Satan s
Pergamos - they were persecuted by the state
Thyatira a self-proclaimed prophetess and fa
Sardis they were overcome by superficiality
Philadelphia was persecuted to the point tha
Laodicea was overcome by wealth. (Rev 3:1

Jesus directly rebuked five of the churches and told e

There are always going to be conflicts and warfare wi

These same things are coming at us today: false teach

homophobic and void of Christian love. Regardless o

Teaching about False Prophets

Sometimes the Lord gives us the lesson first and then

If a prophet arises among you, or a dreamer

In this Scripture, the Lord is clearly spelling out the le

The office of prophet is Biblical (1Cor 12:28, Eph 4:1

Scripture says that the gifts and the calling are irrevoc

Balaam eventually led the Israelites into idolatry by f

And Moses said to them, Have you let all the

The true test of this prophet was not the just truth or v

Some within the Body of Christ today are so starved f

As Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, Do not spurn th

Ministering to Others

Much like discipline, testing can be an unpleasant exp

Simon, Simon (Peter), listen! Satan has aske

Satan wanted to sift the disciples (much as he wanted

There is no doubt that Peter loved Jesus (John 21:15-

Who comforts (consoles and encourages) us

Trials or testing of this sort have a twofold benefit: it

That is why sometimes the most effective ministers o

evangelizer of the Gentiles. Paul, in turn, suffered mu

Often times in ministry or in fellowship with brethren


Unlike testing, temptation is not of the Lord. Scriptur

Purpose and Objectives

Revisiting the first temptation, we can find the genera

Now the serpent was more subtle and crafty

Satan was trying to get Eve to doubt Gods word (com

Although Eve answered Satans question correctly, th

Eve took the bait. And when the woman saw that th

We see the general purpose and objective of temptatio

not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, sa

As we saw above, the objective of testing, through ou

Lessons from Jesus - The Wilderness Tempta

In the Gospel of Luke (Luke 4:1-13; also found in Ma


The very first thing we see is that we dont ha


If we are not in sin (as in the case of Jesus), th


The timing of the temptation is significant. Th


The battle is in the mind. Although Satan spo


Jesus experienced three different temptations,

standing, etc. (throw yourself down to demons


Satan misinterpreted Scripture to tempt Jesus

Garden of Eden, Did God really say.


With each temptation, Jesus did not use His ow

versed in Scripture to effectively use this weap


Finally, when Satan left Jesus in the desert, he

We can see from the experience of Jesus that the dem

The Enemy Within
There is a second source of temptation and it is none

But every person is tempted when he is draw

At the root of this is an incorrect or unsubmitted hear

Outwardly, we can seemingly be free of sin, but if we

A Mind Game

Initially, we are tempted when an incorrect thought co

at providing triggers to inappropriate thoughts. We ar

Regardless of the source, what we do with these inapp

Submitting thoughts to God (taking thoughts captive

James said in a similar fashion, Submit yourselves th

On the other hand, if we dwell on the inappropriate th

When we dwell on an inappropriate thought, r

If we do not stop dwelling on the thought,
Next, the evil desire gives birth to a plan of ac
Finally, we act on the plan, and
All the above four steps can occur in a matter of mom
ourselves in our minds, we have started down a slippe

Our Mindset

There is another serious problem with combating thou

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of

Paul is saying that our mindset needs to be changed b

It is instructive to review just how our minds came to

Therefore, it would seem that the serpent, Satan, is at

When we understand what happened with Satan, we c

Ezekiel initially described Satan as, full of wisdom a
and reason.

Paul was concerned about this type of reasoning when

Getting Eve to reason apart from God is what led to E

Scripture then records that Eve saw that the tree wa

that we have in the armor of God is the sword of the S

Not all wisdom described in the Bible is desirable, pl

increases knowledge increases sorrow

In the Garden of Eden, God gave Adam and Eve a rea

Peter is another good example of reasoning apart from

But turning around [His back to Peter] and

There is no doubt that Peter loved Jesus with all his h

As a result, Satan could try to tempt Jesus by working

By contrast, Abrahams reasoning concerning his son

For he reasoned that God was able to raise [

Therefore, Abraham put Isaac on the altar according t

When asked about the greatest commandment, Jesus

Like Peter, Abraham loved the Lord with all his heart
Abrahams Worldly Mindset

The Lord told Abram in a vision

that he would have his own son
(Gen 15:4)
Abram believed the Lord (Gen
After 10 years, Abram reasoned
that God needed help in this
matter and Ishmael was conceived
by Hagar, Saris maidservant (Gen
Ishmael, the result of Abrams
worldly mindset, symbolized
bondage, children of the flesh
(Gal 4:24)
Even today, the worldly mindset will persecute the Go
Worldly Thinking

Paul told the Romans that, Those who live according

This is how otherwise Godly men and women, men a

Many man-made traditions, such as Christmas and Ea

honoring the god Saturn, the winter solstice honoring
and void of a Scriptural basis.

Yet because of the worldly mindset of many within th

God is a jealous God; He is not about to share His glo
Just as Peter was a snare or stumbling block to Jesus

It should be noted that this is typically not an all or no

On a personal level, a worldly mindset can lead to pro

And to Adam He said, Because you have list

Although Adam was not deceived, he sinned nonethe

worldly they think it is Godly.

Distinguishing between Testing and Temptati

As we have seen, one of the key differences between
The Voice of God

There are two important lessons in Abrahams testing

He said to them, But who do you [yourselves

Jesus was saying that Peter was blessed because he ha

If we do not know Gods voice or are unsure of this, t

The point is that our ability to hear from God is centr

Second, we have an advantage that Abraham did not h

Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by H

We can and should test every word or thought using S

Words or thoughts that we receive can be tested in an

And if you say in your [minds and] hearts, H

If a thought comes to mind or a word given to you by

The exception to the above is when a true word from

The focus of our thoughts can also assist in our discer

in all things.

The importance of knowing Gods voice in our person

Resisting Temptation

There are three main components to a test or temptati

Sometimes the key to resisting temptation is the exter

As an example, Paul directed the Corinthian believers

But now I write to you not to associate with a

These werent just sinners (as we all are), but people

The reason for the strong admonition is that these par

within a fellowship and cause others to sin in ways th

The whole point of Pauls directive to the Corinthians

Other times we have no choice but to walk through a

that we have no choice except to walk through. Ident
Although strategies for successfully dealing with our
have potentially opened a dialogue with the demonic

The First and Last Adam

We understand the fullness of the importance and rela

Both the first and last Adam were tempted and tested.
First Adam
Tempted through Eve the person
closest to Adam

Satan lied: You shall not surely die (Gen

Adam failed the testing
Adam was not complete and was exiled
from the Garden

The ground was cursed because of

Adam (Gen 3:17-19)
Adam had to work for his food (Gen
Satan established his power over
humankind through the disobedience
one man, Adam
Death came into the world through
Adams disobedience (Rom 5:19)

Just like Abraham, the testing of Jesus was a progress

In a similar way, Peter started to mature with his tests

about Jesus (Acts 4:19-20). Peter continued to matur

Final Thoughts Concerning Testing and Tem

Any test will also be an opportunity for Satan to temp

In his epistles, Paul often used the analogy of an athle

Testing stretches, strengthens and refines our faith, fo

The Downside of Testing
The Bible holds some hard truths concerning testing.

Testing can come to the point of death, even

Fear nothing that you are about to su

Some of the believers at Smyrna were going t

predominantly Muslim countries.

Testing can expose a lack of commitment to

And those upon the rock [are the peo

Matthew and Mark contain similar accounts o

This parable describes a person who has recei

We are not to test or tempt God!

and warning to us]; they were written to admo
However, there is one exception to testing God found

Warnings on Specific Temptations

The Bible lists some specific traps that we are to be k


Improper use of the marriage bed can resu


Gently and humbly correct others in sin i

its victim. Satan is always on the lookout for

Those who aspire to wealth are especially su

Now The Good News

Finally, the good news. The Bible holds many words

First and foremost, we are able to overcome all tempt

For no temptation (no trial regarded as entic

place), that you may be capable and strong an

Paul was saying three things. First, we will not exper

Even better news is that we are to consider it a joy wh

Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, when

On the surface, this seems contrary to what we should

The answer lies at the end of the test, trial or temptati

[You should] be exceedingly glad on this acc

Just like discipline, testing and temptation may not se


The last question to be asked is why do we need all th

The answer lies in the experiences of Jesus as He wen

Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedie

According to Strongs Concordance, the word perfec

martyred. The long-term goal of all the testing and te

Temptation and Testing

1 Corinthians 10:13
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.
What is Temptation?
Tempt means test in an unrestricted sense. It is only since the 17th century that the words
connotation has been limited to testing with evil intent. The biblical idea of temptation is not
primarily of seduction, as in modern usage, but of making trial of a person, or putting him to the
test; which may be done for:
1. The benevolent purpose of proving or improving their quality (usually prove or try is a
metaphor from metal refining).
2. The malicious aim of showing up his weaknesses or trapping him into wrong action.
How and Why does God Test Christians?
God tests His people by putting them in situations that reveal the quality and sincerity of their
faith and devotion, so that all can see what is in their hearts.1 God allows the trial to be His
method of purifying the believer as metal is purified in the refiners crucible.2 He strengthens
their patience, matures their Christian character and He leads them into an enhanced assurance of
His love for them. Through faithfulness in times of trial men become approved in Gods sight.3
How and Why Does Satan Test Christians?
Satan tests Gods people by manipulating circumstances, within the limits that God allows him,
in an attempt to make them desert Gods will.4 Christians must constantly be watchful and active
against the devil, for he is always at work trying to make us fall.5 There are four main schemes
that Satan uses to succeed in the destruction of Christians:

1. He tries to crush us under the weight of hardship or pain. 6

2. He tries to urge us toward a wrong fulfillment of natural desires. 7
3. He tries to make us complacent, careless and self-assertive. 8
4. He tries to misrepresent God to us and create false ideas of His truth and His will.9
Matthew 4:5 demonstrates that Satan can even quote (and misapply) Scripture for this
Are Temptations From God or the Devil?
The Bible makes it clear that testing or trials are the work of both God and the devil.10 They
are testing situations in which the servant of God faces new possibilities of both good and evil,
and is exposed to various inducements to prefer the latter. From the standpoint of being lured
into evil, temptations are Satans work; but we must keep in mind that Satan is Gods tool as well
as His foe,11 and it is ultimately God who leads His servants into temptation,12 permitting Satan
to try to seduce us for purposes of His own.
Though temptations do not overtake men apart from Gods will, the actual prompting to do
wrong is not of God. The desire, which impels to sin, is not Gods, but ones own, and it is fatal
to yield to it.13
How Do We Triumph over Temptation and Testing?
Gods desire is for the Christian not to fail in temptation,14 while Satans desire is for the
Christian to fail and eventually give up (become an apostate). The Christian can please God in
the time of testing by applying the following truth into their lives:
1. Believe the Truth. Take God at His word! God promises that a way of deliverance will
always be open when He allows Satan to tempt Christians.15 Whenever being tempted to
sin ask yourself, What lie am I believing? Then begin to replace that lie with truth from
the Bible. Finally, live according to that truth and refuse to believe the lie.
2. Understand the Difference Between Temptation and Sin. We have to understand the
difference between being tempted and sinning. A believer may easily condemn oneself
because of a temptation or desire. After perceiving that they have already failed and
reached a point of no return, they continue on to sin. The Bible never teaches that a
believer will never have a sinful desire (which is temptation); the Bible only teaches not
to gratify your sinful desires (which is sin).16 We must remember that temptation is not
sin, for Christ was tempted as we are yet remained sinless.17 Temptation becomes sin
only when the suggestion of evil is accepted and yielded to.
Understand Our Nature and Gods Power
In the Lords Prayer we humbly confess that we are prone to sin and thus plead with Him not to
allow us to be brought into situations or conditions that involve grave temptation to sin. Those
who sincerely pray for forgiveness of their sins, long to be enabled not to sin again. Thus it is
fitting that the petition to not lead us into temptation follows forgive us of our sins.

God never tempts anyone to do evil,18 but He controls the circumstances of our lives. Christ
taught His disciples to ask God not to expose them to temptation,19 and to watch and pray, lest
they should enter into temptation (yield to its pressure) when at any time God saw fit to try
them by it.20 We must live in the fact that it is not only our resolve but also Gods grace that
allows us to pursue holiness.
Take Radical Steps Not to Sin
In Mark 9:43-48, Jesus encourages the radical initiative to eradicate the possibility of sin in ones
life. Jesus meant a disciple should take prompt, decisive action against whatever would draw him
away from his allegiance to God. Whatever tempts a disciple to cling to this worlds life must be
removed much as a surgeon amputates a gangrenous limb. Although we rely on Gods power for
deliverance, the Scriptures are clear about the mandate for men to take the initiative to pursue
Pursue Accountability
James 5:13-20 has traditionally been interpreted as a passage for God to heal sick people in the
realm of the common cold. However, the context is clear that the sickness mentioned here is that
of spiritual sickness. This particular context seems to be showing a backsliding person whom
God wants to bring healing by using other Christians. Plainly, part of this healing comes through
confessing and praying with other believers.
Having someone in your life to be authentic with about areas of temptation and struggle is
essential. This person or people can continue to pray on your behalf while at the same time
helping you stay accountable as you seek to honor God. Accountability is only a blessing if
people really desire it. The Bible teaches that accountability is one way the Lord uses to bring
healing in Christ.
Application Questions
1. What are three ways that you are tempted?
2. What does the Bible say about those temptations?
3. What are steps you can take to not gratify those temptations?
Memory Verses
1 Corinthians 10:13
James 1:12-13
How does this study reinforce your belief in the gospel?
1. Genesis 22:1; Exodus 16:4, 20:20; Deuteronomy 8:2, 13:3, 16; Judges 2:22; 2 Chronicles

2. Psalm 66:10; Isaiah 48:10; 1 Peter 1:6

3. James 1:12; 1 Corinthians 11:19; 1 Peter 5:10
4. Job 1:12, 2:6; 1 Corinthians 10:13
5. Mark 14:38; 2 Corinthians 2:11; Ephesians 6:10; James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:9
6. Job 1:11-2:7; 1 Peter 5:9; Revelation 2:10; Hebrews 2:18
7. Matthew 4:3; 1 Corinthians 7:5
8. Galatians 6:1; Ephesians 4:27
9. Genesis 3:1-5; 2 Corinthians 11:3, 14; Matthew 4:5
10. Luke 22:28; Acts 20:19; James 1:2; 1 Peter 1:6; 2 Peter 2:9
11. Job 1:11, 2:5
12. Matthew 4:1, 6:13
13. James 1:14
14. James 1:12
15. 1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Peter 2:9
16. Galatians 5:16
17. Hebrews 4:15; Matthew 4:1; Luke 22:28
18. James 1:13
19. Matthew 6:13
20. Matthew 26:41

Does God tempt?

A popular Skeptic writes:

An example of a simple, direct contradiction that does not involve figures or numbers occurs in
James 1:13, which says that God tempts no man, while Genesis 22:1 says God tempted
Abraham. On page 15 of So the Bible is Full of Contradictions Johnson says in this regard, `An
understanding of the meaning of the word `tempt' will dispel the seeming contradiction. This
word is used in a good sense and in a bad sense. When it's used in a good sense it means to test,
to try, to prove. God tested Abraham.... When the word `tempt' is used in a bad sense it means to
entice a person to do evil. God never tempts man to sin.' Two major fallacies are immediately
evident in this rationale. First, there is nothing in the Bible that would justify such a distinction
and there is no compelling reason to make it. Second, if God never tempts man to sin, then why
is God entreated to "lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil" in Matt. 6:13?
Moreover, Deut 4:34 says that God does use temptations to further his ends.

There is a semantic difference between "test" and "tempt". An examination of a complete

English dictionary will verify this. Note that some of the meanings carry positive
connotations, while some carry negative connotations. This is a fact and not debatable.

In Gen 22:1 the root of the Hebrew verb rendered "tempted" in the KJV (and the more
idiomatically-true-to-the-meaning "tested" in the NIV) is nasah . The reader should check
the various Hebrew lexicons (such as the Brown, Driver, and Briggs lexicon) to see that
both "test" and "tempt" are appropriate renderings of this verb. As with any mode of
human communication, context determines the shading being used. And, our Skeptic falls
into the fallacy of basing an argument for error on an English translation (one close to
400 years old) instead of referencing the Hebrew.

In James 1:13 the verb peirazo is used here. Check the various Greek lexicons to see that
there is a wide range of semantical meanings, both positive and negative, attached to this
word. Again, context determines the meaning.

The reader is urged to examine the usage of peirazo in Matt 4:1,3, 16:1, 19:3, 22:18,35,
Mar 1:13, 8:11, 10:2, 12:15, Luke 4:2, 11:16, 20:23, John 6:6, 8:6, Acts 5:9, 15:10, 16:7,
24:6, 1 Cor 7:5, 10:9,13, 2 Cor 13:5, Gal 6:1, 1 Th 3:5, Heb 2:18, 3:9, 4:15, 11:17,37,
James 1:14, Rev 2:2,10, and 3:10 to see that there are plenty of different nuances of this
verb in the Greek, contrary to our subject's claim.

Our Skeptic claims that there is no compelling reason to make a distinction between the
semantical shadings of the words "tempt" in the KJV renderings of Gen and James. Based
on the evidence presented immediately above, why not? Where is wrong to let context
determine usage and to let the text interpret itself? If there is a natural and contextual
exegesis of the passages that avoids problems, why should we press a wooden and
literalistic meaning on the texts and create problems?
A competent historian wouldn't follow such a procedure dealing with ancient documents.

The mention of Matt 6:13 as refuting the claim of St. James that God does not tempt men is an
interesting one. There is a difference between God tempting men directly and allowing or leading
men into situations where they will succumb to sin. What James is stating is that God is not the

direct agent in a man's temptations; He will not cause one's favorite vice to appear before one's
eyes so as to induce sin in the man. On the other hand, as God is omniscient and ruler over all,
everything that happens in the universe is known and seen by him. (I am anthropomorphizing
When a man sins, surely God could step in and prevent it, couldn't he? In essence, every sin is
"allowed" by God in the fashion just described. I have always understood the petition (in both
skeptical and post-skeptical days) in a passive sense -- in His divine mercy may He not allow us
to fall into situations where our weak nature will succumb to sin. To press it against James 1:13
as our subject does is to make various texts clash when we here have a reasonable solution which
makes the various texts go together.
When our Skeptic also cites Deut 4:34 as being problematic, he is relying on the particulars of
the KJV translation, which here translates the Hebrew noun root massah as temptation. However,
he neglects the fact that it is not a particular translation that we analyze problems by, but by the
original language. It is a fact that massah has a variety of semantic shadings: testing(s), trial(s),
and it is debatable about whether or not temptation(s) is a shading of the word.
In fact, the Brown-Driver-Briggs lexicon does not allow "temptation" as a proper shading of the
word. The NIV is more idiomatically faithful to the Hebrew by its replacement of the KJV's
"temptation" by "testing".
James 1:13 brings up a secondary issue. It says God cannot be tempted; but what about the
Temptation of Jesus? The critics need to read the whole verse: God cannot be tempted with evil.
The word behind "evil" means sickness or depravity. Satan made some offers, all right, but none
of them were depraved or perverse. And again, the word used here has varying shades of
meaning that must be determined by context and subject.
Moreover, this objection fails to differentiate between offering of temptation and receipt of it!
Obviously anyone can "tempt" God right now ["Give me this and I'll give you worship!"] but
temptation is a two-way street. James' "by evil" comment indicates the two-way version; the
Gospels and Hebrews only speak of one way.
Objection: Since God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, it follows that "tempt" should be
understood in the negative sense.
Hardly so. Abraham had obtained a promise of a nation through Isaac. Abraham himself was
confronted with an apparent contradiction. Would God be true to his promise regarding Isaac? If
so, then Abraham could proceed to honor the divine command in confidence that God did not
intend that Isaac should die (see here).
-Eric Vestrup and JPH

Trial, Test or Temptation? (Matthew 4)

Written on November 14, 2011 by admin in Devotional Post
In Matthew 4 we read that following his baptism, Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness
to be tempted by the devil. Yet how can that be? The Bible tells us, When tempted, no one
should say, God is tempting me. For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;
(James 1:13) If God doesnt ever tempt us to sin, how is it that The Spirit led Jesus into a
place where he was going to be tempted? Sometime ago I read about the difference between a
trial, a test and a temptation.
Trials are difficult events that inevitably come to every life. Trials are unpleasant circumstances
that occur as a result of living in a fallen world. There are viruses in the air, disappointments in
friends and accidents on the road. Peter wrote, Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful
trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you
participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
(1 Pet 4:12-13)
A test is a difficulty sent deliberately by God to reveal the depth of our character and ultimately
bring out the best in us. Gen 22:1 reads, God tested Abraham when He commanded him to
sacrifice his son Isaac on the altar. A school principal may order a fire drill as a test. The purpose
of the fire drill is not to burn the school down but to test the students ability to vacate the
building in an emergency and to prepare them for potential disaster. The principal knows its a
test but the students do not. God sometimes sends tests to mature us and enhance our witness.
Gods purpose is that we pass the test and thereby gain confidence and provide a positive
testimony of faithfulness to others.
A temptation is sent by Satan to bring out our worst. The word tempt means to entice to do
wrong by a promise of pleasure or gain and is a deliberate enticement to sin. The devils goal is
that you disobey God and are spiritually weakened. His desire is to eventually entrap you in sin
so that you will suffer defeat and ultimately death.
While God temporarily permits Satan to tempt us, God is never the author of temptation and he
always provides the means for us to be victorious over Satans crafty seductions. God permitted
Jesus to be tempted so that He would identify with our experience and demonstrate victory. The
Bible assures us, 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. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Jesus endured the trial of living in spartan, wilderness conditions for forty days. He fasted the
entire time which was a test of endurance. When Satan initiated the temptations to sin, Jesus
resisted his strongest allure.

Whatever trials, tests or temptations you experience this week, remember that Jesus was tempted
in every point just as we are yet he was without sin. (Hebrews 4:15) To this you were called,
because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.


Rev 12:9 (NIV) The great dragon was hurled down--that ancient serpent called the
devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray...

Mat 6:13 (Phi) "Keep us clear of temptation, and save us from evil."
Mat 26:41 (NIV) "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing,
but the body is weak."
When Bad Things Happen
The Scriptures speak of three kinds of "trouble" for the believer: 1) Discipline,
judgment, or rebuke from the Lord; 2) tests, trials, persecutions, suffering; and 3)
temptations or attacks from Satan. So when trouble comes, what type is it? Is this
God directly moving to correct me, or is this the promised persecution for following
Christ, or have we allowed Satan access into our lives? Which kinds of trouble can
be avoided? Which can't?
STUDY 3: Temptations or Attacks of Satan
The Adversary

Job 2:4-7,9-10 (NIV) ... Satan replied, "...But stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and
bones, and he will surely curse you to your face." The Lord said to Satan, "Very well, then, he is
in your hands; but you must spare his life." So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and
afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head... His wife said to
him, "Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!" He replied, "You are
talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept the good from God, and not trouble?" In all this,
Job did not sin in what he said.
Do Not Defend Yourself

Mat 5:25-26 (NIV) "Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it
while you are still with him on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may
hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. I tell you the truth, you will not
get out until you have paid the last penny."

1 Tim 1:15-16 (NIV) Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus
came into the world to save sinners--of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was
shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited
patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.
The Flesh Is Weak

1 Thes 3:5 (NIV) For this reason... I [Paul] sent to find out about your faith. I was afraid that in
some way the tempter might have tempted you and our efforts might have been useless.
2 Cor 2:11 (NIV) order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his
Oswald Chambers: "A man's disposition on the inside, i.e., what he possesses in
his personality, determines what he is tempted by on the outside. The temptation
fits the nature of the one tempted, and reveals the possibilities of that nature. Every
man has the setting of this own temptation, and the temptation will come along the
line of the ruling disposition. Temptation yielded to... is a proof that it was timidity
that prevented the sin before."
Temptation 101

1 Jn 5:18 (NIV) We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was
born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one does not touch him.
James 1:13-14 (NIV) When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot
be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil
desires, he is dragged away and enticed.
Oswald Chambers: "Until we are born again, [this is] the only temptation we
understand. But by regeneration we are lifted into another realm where we face the
kind of temptations Our Lord faced... Satan does not tempt us to do wrong things,
he tempts us in order to make us lose... the possibility of being of value to God...
Temptation is a suggested short-cut to the realization of the highest at which I aim-not at what I understand as evil, but towards what I understand as good... [At this
point Satan] does not come along the line of tempting us to sin, but on the line of
shifting the point of view, and only the Spirit of God can reveal this as a temptation
of the devil."
The Tempter, And The One Who Beat Him

Mat 4:1 (NIV) Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.
Heb 2:18 (Phi) By virtue of his own suffering under temptation he is able to help those who are
exposed to temptation.

C.S. Lewis: "No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good. A
silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an
obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. After all,
you find out the strength of the German army by fighting against it, not by giving in.
You find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down. A
man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it
would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very
little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in. We never
find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it: and Christ,
because he was the only man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only man
who knows to the full what temptation means--the only complete realist."
Our High Priest, Our Defense Attorney Against The Accuser

Heb 4:15-16 (Phi) For ours is no High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses--he
himself has shared fully in all our experience of temptation, except that he never sinned. Let us
therefore approach the throne of grace with fullest confidence, that we may receive mercy for our
failures and grace to help in the hour of need.
Fight The Good Fight

Heb 12:4 (NIV) In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding
your blood.
... In fact, most of us have not even made an honest attempt at resisting
temptation. We cave in immediately without much of a fight. "Well, I'll quit doing
that next week." "Why struggle now when I know I am going to do it again anyway?"
"It is just a matter of time, and now is as good a time as any." But temptation feeds
on weakness and bent desires. We need to start struggling to see what holiness is
all about, to see if we will like it in eternity with God. We will also see just how
strong we are and what we are made of.
Spiritual Wimps
One of the things that makes us cave in to temptation so early is that we often
have the sense that we are going to fail anyway, so why even put up a struggle? But
are we so sure of this? Didn't the problem of last year or last month strike us with
the same despair? And yet with God it was possible.
Spiritual growth seems so impossible in the moment, and so easy in retrospect.
We need to remember how unlikely it seemed we would ever: profess Christ,
pray in public, witness, and all of the other steps along the way, as we face the
temptation to give up now. After all, this too will pass. We can, and will make it by
the grace of God. And God has given us His word...
1 Cor 10:13 (TEB) Every temptation that has come your way is the kind that
normally comes to people. But God keeps his promise, and he will not allow you to

be tempted beyond your power to resist; at the time you are tempted he will give
you the strength to endure it, and so provide you with a way out.
On Guard

Gal 6:1 (Phi) Even if a man is detected in some sin, my brothers, the spiritual ones among you
should quietly set him back on the right path, not with any feeling of superiority but being
yourselves on guard against temptation.
Prov 16:18 (NIV) Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
Don't Place Yourselves In Dangerous Territory Unless God Is With You!

1 Cor 7:5 (Phi) [To married] Do not cheat each other of normal sexual intercourse... or you will
expose yourselves to the obvious temptation of Satan.
Eph 4:26b-27 (NIV) Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the
devil a foothold.
1 Tim 6:9 (NIV) 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.
You Are Not Alone

1 Pet 5:8-10 (Phi) Be self-controlled and vigilant always, for your enemy the devil is always
about, prowling like a lion roaring for its prey. Resist him, standing firm in your faith,
remembering that the strain is the same for all your fellow-Christians in other parts of the world.
And after you have born these sufferings a very little while, the God of all grace, who has called
you to share his eternal splendor through Christ, will himself make you whole and secure and
Attacks Of Satan

Dan 6:16-17 (NIV) So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the
lions' den. The king said to Daniel, "May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!" A
stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own
signet ring and with the rings of his nobles, so that Daniel's situation might not be changed.
Oswald Chambers: "We have the idea that we ought to shield ourselves from
some of the things God brings round about us. Never! God engineers circumstances
and whatever they may be like we have to see that we face them while abiding
continually with Him... They are... temptations to the life of the Son of God in us.
The honor of Jesus Christ is at stake in your bodily life."

Dan 6:19-22 (NIV) At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions' den. When
he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, "Daniel, servant of the living
God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?" Daniel

answered, "...My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me,
because I was found innocent in his sight..."
Dan 6:23-24 (NIV) The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And
when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his
God. At the king's command, the men who had falsely accused Daniel were brought in and
thrown into the lions' den, along with their wives and children. And before they reached the floor
of the den, the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones.
Ps 23:5 (NIV) You prepare a table before me in the presence of mine enemies...
The Secret Weapon
How would a cadaver respond to this temptation? "Reckon yourself dead..." to
every instinct, impulse, and desire of the flesh. This is the violence of the war of the
kingdom of God (Mat 11:12). This is the cross we bear that leads to victory. This is
"the way of the Lord".
Rom 6:11-13 (Wey) ... You must regard yourselves as dead in relation to sin, but as
alive in relation to God, because you are in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign
as king in your mortal bodies, causing you to be in subjection to their cravings; and
no longer lend your faculties as unrighteous weapons for sin to use. On the contrary
surrender your very selves to God as living men who have risen from the dead, and
surrender your various faculties to God, to be used as weapons to maintain the

Luke 9:23 (NIV) Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny
himself and take up his cross daily and follow me."
2 Cor 4:10 (NIV) We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus
may also be revealed in our body.
Rom 8:13 (NAS) ... If by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, then you will
Can't Touch This...

1 Jn 5:18 (Phi) We know that the true child of God does not sin, he is in the charge of God's own
Son and the evil one cannot touch him.
Gal 5:16-17 (Jer) Let me put it like this: if you are guided by the Spirit you will be in no danger
of yielding to self-indulgence, since self-indulgence is the opposite of the Spirit, the Spirit is
totally against such a thing...
James 4:7 (NIV) Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

The Day Is Coming

Eph 6:10,13 (Phi) In conclusion be strong--not in yourselves but in the Lord, in the power of his
boundless strength. Put on God's complete armor so that you can successfully resist all the devil's
craftiness... that you may be able to resist evil in its day of power, and that even when you have
fought to a standstill you may still stand your ground.
2 Tim 4:18 (NIV) The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack...
Mat 6:13 (NIV) "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one."
When Trouble Comes, What Kind Is It?



The Lord

God, World, Satan

The Devil


Following God

Pride or Exposure


Fits Crime

Proves Faith

Leads Astray






Make Light of

Shrink Back

Fall into


We are Sons

His Name is in Us

The Flesh is Weak

Fear and Holiness

Death and Glory

Sin or Victory



1 Cor 10:13 (NIV) 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