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The Worm, The Hook, The Great Deception

SIH STSTA ICONFor any of you who have ever fished, you probably know how Bill Dance feels in this video compilation of some of his greatest bloopers…. You’ll love it!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_BLggf-mqs

The Bible addresses the issue of temptation, by picturing it as a fisherman attempting to catch a fish.  Unfortunately, in this scenario, temptation is the fisherman (empowered by Satan, our flesh and the world) and we are the fish.  What is the purpose of temptation? To bring misery and death to those who choose to take the bait and be reeled in by the sinful forces of this world.

Here is what the Bible has to say about temptation and it’s results…

THE SCRIPTURE:

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: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. (Jas 1:13-15)

THE STUDY:

In our first text, we find the steps of progression from temptation to the actual act of sin:

Step 1:  he is drawn away of his own lust  We come into contact with something that appeals to our desires.  Much like a fish is attracted to the bait, due to its hunger.

Step 2:  and enticed.  Enticed means to deceive, mislead.  Much like the fish, after being attracted, does recognize the hook; but believes that the bait is harmless.

Step 3:  Then when lust hath conceived  the idea of conceived means to grasp or take.  Once the fish takes the bait, sealing his fate.

Step 4:  it bringeth forth sin  By acting to satisfy the lists within us, we now commit the sin and, of course, bring an act of sin into our lives.  The result of this sin? Death.  Much like the fish that now has taken the bait is reeled to its awaiting death.

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION

For the Christian….

To avoid the commission of sin we need to derail the temptation to sin process anyway we can.

Here are ways to derail the process at each of the first three steps of the four step process:

Step #1 – If we deal with our lusts properly… our sinful desires will be weakened and the opportunity to full those desires will be lessened.

We will be avoiding as many opportunities to fulfill our sinful lusts as possible.

An example: If our lusts lead us to easily abuse alcohol, we should avoid going into bars or restaurants that serve alcohol.

Or, we can think refuse to dwell mentally on our lust and its fulfillment, weakening our lusts by starving them.

An example: Do our lusts trouble us in the area of coveting the possessions of others?  If we see something we desire that is owned by another, we should not continue to think on the items.  This stirs up our lusts and opens the door to covetousness.

Step #2 – We need to stop and think about the true results of the sin we are about to commit.  We will not see the bait as harmless but as something that will work death to us.

An example: How will this action affect me tomorrow, or next week, or next year?  How will it affect those around me?  What will it do to my testimony?

Step #3 – We need to seek the wisdom of God before we commit to actions we are unsure about.  Ny doing this, we will be directed away from committing sin and resolving to do what is honoring to God.

An example:  Before we commit to an action, we should seek out God’s Word and/or the Godly counsel of others, asking the question “What saith the Lord?”.

By derailing the process before the sin is actually committed, we will be avoiding future pain for ourselves and others around us; while pleasing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

For those who have never trusted in Christ…

Before you can begin to win the victory over temptation in your life, you must first submit your life and desires to the will of the Lord Jesus Christ.  This submission is an absolute necessity for the forgiveness of your sins and living a new life of victory over sin and death.

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.(Jas 4:7-8)

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? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

(Rom 6:16-18)

The Worm, The Hook, The Great Deception

SIH STSTA ICONFor any of you who have ever fished, you probably know how Bill Dance feels in this video compilation of some of his greatest bloopers…. You’ll love it!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_BLggf-mqs

The Bible addresses the issue of temptation, by picturing it as a fisherman attempting to catch a fish.  Unfortunately, in this scenario, temptation is the fisherman (empowered by Satan, our flesh and the world) and we are the fish.  What is the purpose of temptation? To bring misery and death to those who choose to take the bait and be reeled in by the sinful forces of this world.

Here is what the Bible has to say about temptation and it’s results…

THE SCRIPTURE:

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: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. (Jas 1:13-15)

THE STUDY:

In our first text, we find the steps of progression from temptation to the actual act of sin:

Step 1:  he is drawn away of his own lust  We come into contact with something that appeals to our desires.  Much like a fish is attracted to the bait, due to its hunger.

Step 2:  and enticed.  Enticed means to deceive, mislead.  Much like the fish, after being attracted, does recognize the hook; but believes that the bait is harmless.

Step 3:  Then when lust hath conceived  the idea of conceived means to grasp or take.  Once the fish takes the bait, sealing his fate.

Step 4:  it bringeth forth sin  By acting to satisfy the lists within us, we now commit the sin and, of course, bring an act of sin into our lives.  The result of this sin? Death.  Much like the fish that now has taken the bait is reeled to its awaiting death.

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION

For the Christian….

To avoid the commission of sin we need to derail the temptation to sin process anyway we can.

Here are ways to derail the process at each of the first three steps of the four step process:

Step #1 – If we deal with our lusts properly… our sinful desires will be weakened and the opportunity to full those desires will be lessened.

We will be avoiding as many opportunities to fulfill our sinful lusts as possible.

An example: If our lusts lead us to easily abuse alcohol, we should avoid going into bars or restaurants that serve alcohol.

Or, we can think refuse to dwell mentally on our lust and its fulfillment, weakening our lusts by starving them.

An example: Do our lusts trouble us in the area of coveting the possessions of others?  If we see something we desire that is owned by another, we should not continue to think on the items.  This stirs up our lusts and opens the door to covetousness.

Step #2 – We need to stop and think about the true results of the sin we are about to commit.  We will not see the bait as harmless but as something that will work death to us.

An example: How will this action affect me tomorrow, or next week, or next year?  How will it affect those around me?  What will it do to my testimony?

Step #3 – We need to seek the wisdom of God before we commit to actions we are unsure about.  Ny doing this, we will be directed away from committing sin and resolving to do what is honoring to God.

An example:  Before we commit to an action, we should seek out God’s Word and/or the Godly counsel of others, asking the question “What saith the Lord?”.

By derailing the process before the sin is actually committed, we will be avoiding future pain for ourselves and others around us; while pleasing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

For those who have never trusted in Christ…

Before you can begin to win the victory over temptation in your life, you must first submit your life and desires to the will of the Lord Jesus Christ.  This submission is an absolute necessity for the forgiveness of your sins and living a new life of victory over sin and death.

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.(Jas 4:7-8)

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? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

(Rom 6:16-18)

To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

 If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

Oh, How Good It Looks… Oh, How Bad It Is For You

SIH STSTA ICONOne of my weaknesses is my desire for a cheeseburger.  I love cheeseburgers…. Burger King Whoppers with cheese to be exact.  But actually, how can anyone find fault with me?  Just take a look at this Burger King Whopper commercial…. (be forewarned, I don’t know how anyone can resist this!) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pltp_xNrego

After having a mild heart attack about 5 years ago, it is for my good that I don’t make a habit of eating these babies.  It seems as if ever since I was told to “lay off the Whoppers” that I have only wanted them more.  We have all experienced something like this… temptation is universal, everyone has experienced it at one time or another.

Sadly, this universal experience is one of the greatest hindrances we face to living a faithful, obedient Christian life.  Why does temptation make such an impact in a Christian’s life?  How can we overcome such a strong influence?  Let’s see what the Bible has to say about temptation…

THE SCRIPTURE:

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. 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. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. (1Jn 2:15-17)

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. (Gen 3:6)

Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. 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. Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, 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. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. 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; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. 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. Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him. (Mat 4:1-11)

THE STUDY:

1 John 2:15-17

Here, we find the three basic areas of attack that temptation takes… the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.  These are the three types of sinful desires we all have within us.  These are the areas that temptation appeals to and to which we submit, producing sin in our lives. (James 1:13-15)

Genesis 3:6

Here, we read of the very first temptation of mankind.  Note the three areas attacked by Satan during his temptation of man:

the tree was good for food” (lust of the flesh);

it was pleasant to the eyes” (lust of the eyes);

a tree to be desired to make one wise” (the pride of life).

This is a consistent pattern throughout the Scriptures.  Every temptation that is enacted upon man is aimed at one (or more) of these three types of sinful desires we all possess.

Matt 4:1-11

In this account, we have the temptation of Christ brought into view. Notice that, again, temptation’s attack is in a three-fold direction:

command that these stones be made bread” – Christ’s hunger after His fasting (this would have appealed to His desires of the flesh)

If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down:… lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.” – By doing this, Christ would be proving to everyone His divine origin (this would have appealed to His desire to exalt Himself or His pride of life)

The devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, …if thou wilt fall down and worship me.” – This was appealing to the sight of all the kingdoms of the world.  (By doing this the temptation involved the desires of His eyes)

In each case, a similar area of Christ’s life was being attacked (just like in the other two examples we looked at.)  However, in the case of Christ, we have a perfectly sinless response to these temptations.  Why?  Christ’s did not have a sinful nature that fallen mankind possesses.  This is one reason why Christ was perfectly able to resist these temptations.

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION

For the Christian….

For our benefit, Christ clearly displayed the method in which to overcome any temptation that we may face.  Please notice, in each of the three attacks by Satan, the Lord used the Word of God to gain the victory over Satan.   “It is written”, “it is written”, “it is written”; was Christ’s constant refrain.

In each case Satan lied (John 8:44), in each case Christ refuted the lie by going to the source of all truth, God’s Word.

Satan can use our friends, our family, even our experiences to lie to us.  The only sure source of truth we can rely on is the Word of God.  If anything in our life leads us contrary to Scripture, we must put it aside, and follow the Scripture exclusively.

The example of Christ, once again, speaks to us concerning the importance of Bible study and memorization for the Christian.  It is truly the only offensive weapon we have to deflect Satan’s attacks against us. (Eph 6:14-17)

Another lesson from Christ’s example is the need to take special care when we see a weakness in any of these three areas in our life.  We should be constantly striving for control of our pride, control of our eyes and control of our fleshly desires.  When these begin to dominate us, we are headed for defeat.

For those who have never submitted to the Lord…

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: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. (Jas 1:13-15)

Without the forgiveness of Christ, spiritual, eternal death is the end result of temptations workings in mankind.  The only remedy for this is to look to Christ, the life-giver, who gave Himself on the cross so that we might share eternal life with Him. (2 Tim 1:8-10)

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If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”