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Mmm, tempting

Nigel Gillson, 15th August 2016

Passage from 2 Corinthians 5

Let's face it, we are all tempted with one thing or another. For some, it is harmless things like watching just one more television show; for others, it is their favourite food and still others it can be more damaging, for example alcohol or drugs.

For the Christian, temptation is probably our worst enemy day by day. It is a quick source of happiness, perhaps on a day when everything seems to be going wrong or you are feeling down, temptation always strikes. Perhaps you want to hide something or want to prevent someone thinking bad of you, you may be tempted to lie.

'at one point in all our lives, we will yield to one or more of these'

We can take courage, however, that Jesus was also subject to such temptation as we read in Matthew 4:1-11. Here we see the three recorded temptations of Jesus, although there are likely many other temptations throughout Jesus' adult life, these three cover the main temptations that we, ourselves experience.

First, we read about the lust of the flesh (v3&4), then the lust of pride of life (v5-7) and then the lust of the eyes (v8-10). These plague men and women alike on a daily basis and some succumb more readily than others, but at one point in all our lives, we will yield to one or more of these, in whichever form if presents itself.

But Jesus was the Son of God, he had divine power and ability to resist, didn't he? Yes, but Jesus was also fully human and in being so, he showed us how to resist. Each time he was tempted in Matthew chapter 4, Jesus responds with biblical references (v4, 7 & 10). He filled his mind with Spiritual things so as to resist temptation. This is what we should do when we feel temptation rearing its ugly head.

'I have recently experienced being set free from the burden of temptation and the guilt that ensues'

I am constantly finding myself in positions where I am tempted in any one of the three above, as I am sure you are too. I have recently experienced being set free from the burden of temptation and the guilt that ensues from yielding to temptation. Christ died to set me free from sin. Today, I feel much stronger to resist Satan's temptation, how? By reciting these simple words from a chorus I learnt as a young child:

I am a new creation

No more in condemnation

Here in the Grace of God I stand

(c)1983 Kingsway's Thankyou Music

I will still be tempted daily, we all will, being tempted is not sinful - Jesus was tempted and he was without sin! Yielding to temptation is the sin and we, like Jesus, must set our mind on Spiritual things so God can strengthen us to resist against Satan's daily onslaught.