This Is Jesus Series – Part 3
“Understands My Temptations”
The goal of this series is to come face-to-face with the real Jesus. Who do you say that I am?
Firstly, let’s deal with the misconception that because Jesus is God, is perfect, and never sinned, He cannot identify with the things we go through. This is not true.
Jesus is ‘HOMOOUSION’ which means He’s the same in being as God the Father and the Holy Spirit. Jesus is fully God and fully human, therefore He understands everything that you go through.
Hebrews 4:15 tells us Jesus
‘faced all of the same testings we do, yet He did not sin.’
What is temptation?
Temptation is the desire or inclination to step outside of God’s will. Temptation is dangerous because when we give in, it takes us out of God’s best plan for our life and puts us on a lesser path.
Temptation makes grand promises, but ultimately delivers disappointment.
All of us deal with temptation every day whether it be cheating, immorality, drug use, success, pride, or power.
1 John 2:16 tells us, all temptations fall under three categories:
1. A craving for physical pleasure – HEDONISM
The temptation to do whatever feels good in the moment. Trying to satisfy your desires, to indulge. Whether it be food, sexual sins, or drugs.
2. A craving for all we see – MATERIALISM
The temptation to have and want more. You see something, and you want it no matter the cost. It is the desire for more. The temptation of debt or credit. Like shopping when it’s not needed.
3. Pride in our achievement & possessions – POWER
This is the temptation to be someone, to be something. It’s about status and success. To have an insatiable and a limitless need to be loved, honoured, respected, elevated and be the centre of attention.
None of us are immune to temptation, and neither was Jesus.
We can learn how to deal with temptations because although Jesus didn’t sin, He was tempted as we were in these three ways.
Luke 4:1-13 records the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness for 40 days. He was tempted with Craving for physical pleasure when He was hungry; Craving for all we see when the devil promised Him the kingdoms of the world if He world worship him; and Pride and power when he tempted Jesus to test God by jumping off the Temple.
Remember, God never tempts us; but He allows the devil to tempt us.
Notice the devil came to Jesus when He was hungry, weak, and vulnerable. He does the same with us. When we’re weak, that’s when he attacks.
If Jesus had given in to any of the temptations, He would not have been able to fulfill God’s purpose for His life; to become the perfect sacrifice on the cross so that our sins could be forgiven.
In the same way, when we give into temptation, it prevents us from living out God’s purpose for our lives, because temptation leads us on a path away from God. It can hurt our relationships, career, finances, and ultimately, it will hurt our future and our relationship with God.
How to overcome temptations:
1. TO OVERCOME THE CRAVING FOR PHYSICAL PLEASURE: I develop godly boundaries.
Temptations promise good feelings, but they are just for a moment. With time, it ends up hurting you and those you care about most. When you give in to sexual temptation it has both physical and spiritual consequences. It impacts the enjoyment that you can have in your sex life within marriage. Sex outside of marriage causes confusion in relationships, hurts and robs us of something very special that God created for marriage.
God’s antidote to the temptation of the CRAVING FOR PHYSICAL PLEASURE, is to develop godly boundaries in our lives. Don’t put yourself in circumstances that will help you give in to temptation.
What boundaries do we need to create?
If you’re married and attracted to someone else, don’t be alone with this person.
If pornography is an issue, put a filter on your phone or computer at home, so you can’t easily access it.
RUN! Get away from whatever or whoever is tempting you (1 Corinthians 6:18).
2. TO OVERCOME THE CRAVING FOR ALL WE SEE: Live generously.
This is the desire to have more! If you let it, the craving for all you see will leave you broke and unfulfilled because more does not make you happy.
Generosity is God’s antidote to the pursuit of more, because every time you give, you break the grip of wanting more in your life.
If money has a hold on your life, when you give money it breaks the hold that money has over you. God created us to be generous.
You are never more like God than when you’re giving. Are you living a generous life towards God and others? When we give, we also receive much more in return (Luke 6:38). The more we are generous with our time, treasure, and talent, the more God blesses us.
3. TO OVERCOME THE PRIDE IN OUR ACHIEVEMENT: I centre my life on God and His Word.
The pride of life may be the most dangerous temptation, because pride ultimately is the source of all sin. It is telling God you think your way is better than His, making yourself God.
It is when everything is about me: glory, power, attention, and praise. It is what Satan said to Eve,
“If you eat of this fruit, you’re going to be like God.”
Jesus gave us a guide to overcome pride: centre your life on God’s Word. Jesus used Scripture to overcome all three temptations. God’s Word is true, unchanging, and eternal. It will help you stand against any temptation you face. Study and meditate on God’s Word to resist temptation (Psalm 119:11 and 1 Corinthians 10:13).
This sermon was preached by Pastor Elio Marrocco on November 25, 2018 at New Life Christian Church