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If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17

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Introduction

“I can stand up to anything except temptation!”  Life often presents us the things that tempt. God however, is greater than temptation and wants to help us past the traps. He does not often remove temptation, but helps us see choices and gives strength to stand. We are less driven to gratification if we are nurtured through prayer and the Bible such that we are filled with His Spirit. Temptation is not evil in itself, it is a testing ground for developing character.


Bible Zone

Temptation comes from a number of sources.  We have victory when we are filled with God.


It is when we stand up to temptation that we develop godly character.  So, God is at work in us in every temptation to help us through.


Temptation from within

It is important to understand where temptation comes from.  Since the Lord is all powerful, many presume God sends it.  The Bible however is clear that the source is from elsewhere. James 1:13-14, explains that one source of temptation is from within.

  1. What are the origins of temptation?
  2. What can temptation ultimately lead to?
  3. What desires do you have that tempt you?


James 1:13-14  13 And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, "God is tempting me." God is never tempted to do wrong,* and he never tempts anyone else.14 Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.

  More on my desires


Temptation from the world

There are many things in the world that tempt us. 1 John 2:15-16 give an overview of the different areas of temptation that come to us.

  1. What sources of temptation are presented here?  (I see three forms.)
  2. Can you think of examples from your life for each of these?


1 John 2:15-16   Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.16 For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.17 And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.


  More on The World System


Temptation from the devil

In some situations the devil and those under his control are a source of temptation.

  1. Who was it who tempted Jesus?
  2. In what ways did God protect Jesus, and limit this temptation?


Luke 4: 1 Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River. He was led by the Spirit in the wilderness,*2 where he was tempted by the devil for forty days. ... 13 When the devil had finished tempting Jesus, he left him until the next opportunity came.


  More on the devil


Live by the Spirit

As we choose to live by the Spirit, so we are protected from the power of temptation in our lives.

  1. What resource has God given to us that we may have victory over temptation?
  2. How do we benefit from what God has provided?


Galatians 5: 16 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won't be doing what your sinful nature craves.17 The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.18 But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.


  More on Live by the Spirit


Temptation for all

Even Jesus was tempted.  This shows that God understands temptation from personal experience.  It also shows that temptation in itself is not wrong.

  1. In what ways was Jesus tempted?
  2. What impact do Jesus’ temptations have on His ministry to us?


Hebrews 2:17-18  17 Therefore, it was necessary for him to be made in every respect like us, his brothers and sisters,* so that he could be our merciful and faithful High Priest before God. Then he could offer a sacrifice that would take away the sins of the people.18 Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested.


God’s limits temptation

Temptation is not beyond anyone. With God we stand against it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

  1. How unique are your temptations to you?
  2. How does God intervene in the way you are tempted?
  3. What is a way of escape in temptation?


1 Corinthians 10:13  13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.



Blessings through resistance

James 1:12 tells us there are some positive benefits when we resist temptation.

  1. What have people demonstrated who have resisted temptation?
  2. What is the spiritual outcome in God’s eyes to such a victory?


James 1: 12 God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.


The great challenge then is to ask God for help in the temptation, and to look for the way of escape that He presents.  It is one thing to be shown a way of escape, but quite another to actually take it!


Page appears in Bible Explorer titled - Victory in temptation

VICTORY IN TEMPTATION