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8. How to Overcome Temptation

Meeting the adversary’s challenge and learning how to expose his lies.

Temptations Will Come

God wants me to live a life of righteousness, but even now that I belong to Jesus, I will have temptations. Christ knew this, so He said…

Matthew 26:41 “Watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation.”

The devil is the tempter. He will use every opportunity to try to trip me up.

1 Peter 5:8b pictures the devil “as a roaring lion walking about, seeking whom he may devour.”
Temptations also come because of my fleshly body. This is part of my heritage from Adam.

James 1:14 “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.”
This applies not to just sexual lust, but to greed, pride, and desire for power and material gains.

Romans 6:12,13 “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: ..."
Nobody is perfect until they get to Heaven. We all make mistakes. But mistakes are different than sin (see the list of sin in the fifth chapter of this study.) A perfect, little green apple can still be perfect, though it is immature. As I get more mature in Christ, I will make fewer mistakes. I can still be sin free though I am not yet mature.

I Can Overcome Temptations with God’s Help

Christ is my example.

Hebrews 4:15b “But (Jesus) was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”

Christ’s example was established when Satan tried to get Him to yield. See Matthew 4:1-11.

With each temptation Jesus answered the devil by saying. “It is written…”

I, too, need to rely on God’s Word. 1 Corinthians 10:13 assures me that God does provide.

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape that ye may be able to bear it.”
Strength comes from God who cannot be tempted.

James 1:13 “Let no man say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted of God:’ for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man.”
I must recognize that temptations are from the devil.

James 4:7 “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

I am not to “give place to the devil.” Ephesians 4:27

When tempting thoughts come into my mind, I should dismiss those thoughts and replace them with scripture or praise to God. Christ helps me.

Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

Hebrews 2:18 “For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.”

What if I yield to Temptation?

1 John 3:8 “He that committeth sin is of the devil;…”

Jesus said to “…Go, and sin no more.” John 8:11

If I live a lifestyle of sin, I am not saved. However, if I slip up and yield on one occasion, I am still in the family of God, but in need of repentance.

I will not be defeated and despondent. I’ll recall…

Psalm 119:9 “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.”
Strength will be mine for I’m assured in 1 John 1:9 that

“…If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
I will go immediately in prayer to ask forgiveness for my failure.

I’ll remember that (2 Peter 2:9)
The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

After having confessed my sins, I’ll strive to…

Ephesians 6:10 “… be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.”

How do I do this?

Ephesians 6:11-18 tells me to “Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.”

Prayer, Bible reading and Fellowship with other Christians will help me to resist temptation. As I become more mature in God, more Christ-like, I will recognize temptations sooner and be able to resist them better.

I will memorize some scripture verses related to overcoming temptations such as…

1 Corinthians 10:13

Philippians 4:13

2 Peter 2:9

…so that when I am tempted I can quote God’s word as Jesus did when He was tempted and say, “It is written…”

Three Major Temptations of a Christian’s Life

1. Youth- the wolf of lust.

2. Middle Age- the tiger of pride, success, status and position.

3. Old Age- the lion of financial security.

Temptations Can Bring Joy

Temptations are testing with the intent of creating spiritual good. They are the trying of my faith. Read Genesis 22:1-18, the account of God testing Abraham’s faith.

James 1:2-4 “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;

3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” James 1:12 “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.”