Temptation is what leads us to sin againts God, and on this sermon I am going to tell you what you must know concerning overcoming sin and temptation.
And to hit the nail on the head of this sermon, we are going to look at what is sin and temptation, the origin of sin and temptation, before we draw a conclusion by showing you what you must know about overcoming sin and temptation.
What is sin?
Sin simply means breaking God’s divine law.
This law contains rules of moral behaviours which leads to an agreed pattern of life.
And it is the breaking of this law which leads to sin.
What is temptation?
Temptation is a situation that compels a human being to choose between keeping or breaking the divine laws, which always leads to sin.
Temptation might be seen as a fore-runner of sin in some cases; though human beings might sin several times of their own freewill.
The origin of sin and temptation in the bible.
The origin of sin and temptation can be seen in Genesis 3 where the serpent tempts Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit in the middle of the garden.
After falling for the serpents temptation, Eve also tempts her husband, Adam to partake of the forbidden fruit.
What causes temptation?
As we see in the origin of sin and temptation, it is the serpent who causes temptations.
His mission is like that of a thief; who does not come except to steal, kill and destroy. (John 10:10).
And so the scripture advices us:
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.1 Peter 5:8.
How the devil tempts Christians to sin.
Today’s Christian has given way for the devil to flourish in his mission because, they watch out for him in the wrong places, and fight against him the wrong way.
And they do this because they have no idea about overcoming sin and temptation.
Some believe that by calling the name and blood of Jesus, sprinkling the so-called Holy Water, or calling the Holy Ghost fire; Satan will immediately take to his heels.
But what they don’t know is that the first thing they must do to overcome Satan is to abstain from sin, and obey the Word of God.
And once they are able to do that, they will be covered by the blood of the lamb, and have defence by the word of their testimony. (Revelation 12:11)
Now I want us to note very well that the devil cannot overcome the children of God except through temptations.
And as we see from the origin of sin and temptation, the devil went to Eve, and by means of temptation; was able to deceive her to go against the commands of God.
Then the serpent said to the woman, “you will not surely die. ‘For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.Genesis 3:4-5.
The trick worked because the woman, desperate to be like God; ate the fruit and afterwards gave it to her husband who could not resist her.
And when God came to them, they found out it did not occur the way the devil told them, but the way God said it would be.
For their falling into the devils temptation brought the generational curse; death, upon them.
If Adam and Eve had known that, the devils means of misleading human beings is through temptations; they wouldn’t have listened to him and ate of the fruit.
Our Lord Jesus tried to make us aware of this fact, when He taught us the Lord’s Prayer:
And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one…Mathew 6:13.
And now you can see that without temptation, no one can sin against God.
How the devil tempts human to sin.
Let me give you a logical example: if Satan wants to kill you with a deadly disease, he will start by making you commit fornication, so that you would catch a venereal disease that has no cure and die.
There was a man I came to hear about who had so much spiritual powers that he would catch, torture and kill witches and wizards.
One day he caught a fight with his wife and stripped her naked, in annoyance the wife slept with his houseboy.
And when the man came home to catch them, he went for his gun and shot the houseboy to dead.
The end of the story is that he was arrested, charged to court and sentenced to death for murder.
Now if he had guided against temptation in his life, he would have foreseen what was lying ahead; and would have not beaten his wife and stripped her naked at the first place.
Or even if he did, he would have sent her and the houseboy packing when he found out their affair, and that way his life would not have ended.
Now Christians of today are busy sprinkling holy water, calling Holy Ghost fire to burn witches, and the blood of Jesus to cover them.
But when they leave their place of prayer, Satan will tempt them to go against one of God’s commandment – ‘thou shall not kill’ by passing through someone to offend them.
Immediately they will start raining curses and pick a quarrel with such person, the devil will have a broad way to bring harm upon them.
Or if he was a man, a beautiful girl will pass by dressing almost naked, and being lust in the flesh he will end up going against one of God’s commandment “thou shall not commit adultery”
God does not tempt humans.
When things that we see above occurs, some will blame God that He is the one that gives the devil the chance to tempt them. But the scripture dismisses this fact:
Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.James 1:13-14.
Does using abusive words in prayer scare the devil away?
Using abusive words in prayer cannot scare the devil away.
So instead of a believer using it, he should pray God to lead him not into temptation, but deliver him from the evil one, even as our Lord Jesus taught us.
And so the scripture sheds light on the fact that this kind of prayer rather than save, destroys us.
Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries. Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, “the Lord rebuke you!” but these speak evil of whatever they do not know; and whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these things they corrupt themselves.Jude: 8-10.
No wonder Jesus while being tempted by the devil did not ask fire or water to come down and burn or destroy Satan.
But rather said in Mathew 4:10 “away with you Satan! For it is written.
And immediately He finished saying that, the devil departed and Jesus defeated him.
And while Satan tried to clothe Joshua with dirty garments as seen in Zechariah 3, the words the LORD used on Satan in verse 2 was “the Lord rebuke you, Satan! The LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebukes you!
I pity those who pray and scream ‘Satan I rebuke you’, and not in the name of Jesus which is the name above all names today.
Satan is always happy with this kind of Christians because that is an expressway for him to destroy them.
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.Hosea 4:6.
Why the devil tempts Christians to sin.
One might ask why does the devil has to tempt a child of God before he can destroy him?
Now consider a burning flame and there is something inside it that you want to remove.
And you know that if you try to remove it while the fire is burning, it will burn your hands, so what you will have to do is first quench the fire.
You can do this by pouring water etc.
That is the same way that Satan cannot hurt a true repentant child of God.
Because he is like a burning flame; while temptation is like a water that the devil has to use in quenching the fire, so that he can proceed to take something out of the life of the child of God.
Example of temptations in the New Testament.
After seeing the temptation of Adam and Eve in the Old Testament as the origin, as well as an example of sin and temptation in the Old Testament.
Let us go to the New Testament to see other example of temptations, so we can have a better idea of overcoming sin and temptation.
You can read this sermon to have the full knowledge of those examples: Example Of Temptations In The Bible.
2. The temptations of Jesus.
In Mathew 4, we see the temptations of our Lord Jesus Christ after He came out from His 40 days and 40 nights fasting.
In the first temptation, the devil the devil asks Jesus to change stone into bread.
But Jesus responded by quoting Deuteronomy 8:3 to overcome him. (Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that comes out from the mouth of God).
In the second temptation, the devil tells our Lord Jesus to jump from the highest pinnacle of the temple misquoting Psalm 91:11-12, which God promises to send His angels to save and deliver Him.
But Jesus overcame him by quoting Deuteronomy 6:16.
In the third temptation, the devil told Jesus to bow down and worship him; after showing Him all the good things of life; with the promise to give it all to Him after He worships him.
But our Lord Jesus overcame him by quoting the word of God in Deuteronomy 6:13 which say ‘you shall worship the Lord your God and Him only you shall serve’.
2. The temptation of Peter.
In Luke 22, Jesus Himself fore-warned Peter of the devil’s temptation that will cause him to deny Him.
But Peter assured Jesus that he will never deny Him, instead he will go anywhere and die with Him.
But Jesus prayed for him to be able to overcome Satan; reminding him to strenghten other brethren when he is restored.
As our Lord Jesus predicted, Peter denied Him 3 times, but because of the prayer He said for him; Peter was able to go somewhere and weep for his sins.
And because of that he was forgiven and restored.
3. The temptation of Judas Iscariot.
In the same Luke 22, Satan entered Judas; who was surnamed Iscariot and made him go and collect money from the chief priests to betray Jesus.
But because Judas was unwilling to repent, he went and hung himself; after the chief priests refused to collect him the money after he repented.
Overcoming sin and temptation: How to.
Through the knowledge we have gathered so far from this sermon, overcoming sin and temptation; a Christian who wants to totally overcome temptations must:
1. Feed on the word of God daily.
The same way you eat food daily to survive, you must also eat the word of God.
2. Never test God.
Never put God to the test by complaining when faced by certain trials. But rather believe in God to deliver him from such.
3. Forget the good things and pleasures of life.
Take your mind away from the good things and pleasures of this life. Knowing they will all vanish away one day, and when he dies, he won’t be able to carry one thing out of this world.
From Peter’s temptation, we must always keep in mind that we can sometimes; unknowingly and unconsciously i.e. – not on purpose – fall into the temptations of the devil, and soon as we realize that we must weep bitterly; i.e. cry and ask God for forgiveness through His Son Jesus Christ, in order to have restoration.
We must pray that we should not fall into the same temptations of Judas.
4. Always look up to Jesus.
Finally, knowing that, it won’t be possible for us to overcome temptations by ourselves; we must then look up to Jesus.
For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.Hebrews 2:18
As we can see in the scripture above; our Lord Jesus Himself was tempted; so He can have the idea of how to deliver His followers from the tempting hands of the devil.
This means that, we must always look up to Jesus in prayers and faith; because he is the only one who can and will deliver us from every temptation.
And even if we should ever fall into it; He will help us realize our faults and go back to God and ask for forgiveness; same as He helped Peter.
Then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations…2 Peter 2:9
And we must finally live with the assurance that:
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make a way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.1 Corinthians 10:13.
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