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Scripture Reading: James 1:12-16
Lead Us Not into Temptation
1. “Lead us not into temptation” (Matt 6:13) bothers some people; seems to present God as an active agent in man’s temptation to sin (Jas 1:13).
a. The problem: “Most people would like to be delivered from temptation but would like it to keep in touch.” (Robert Orben)
b. Protect us against temptation; do not allow us to be led into temptation, cf. Lk 22:40 (Matt 26:41).
c. There is a way of escape, 1 Cor 10:13.
2. Avenues of temptation (individual and congregational) that we must identify and avoid.
I. TEMPTATION TO GROW (SUCCEED) AT ANY PRICE.
A. Desire to be “Progressive” / “Innovative” at the Expense of Truth, cf. 1 Sam 8:19-20. (cf. Acts 17:21)
1. Social gospel (“whole man” approach).
2. PMA (meet people’s felt needs): Don’t offend with straightforward truth (cf. Jesus, John, etc.).
3. Violations of church government:
a. Sponsoring churches: “a resource pooling strategy”; cf. “One Nation Under God”; Women in leadership roles (1 Tim 2:11-12)...
4. Unity in spite of scriptural error, Eph 4:3 (Jno 17:21).
B. These Things Amount to Compromise of Christ’s Doctrine and an Abandoning of the Old Paths of Truth, 2 Jno 9-11; Acts 20:28-31 (Jer 6:16-17).
II. TEMPTATION TO BE POPULAR AT THE EXPENSE OF OUR PERSONAL CONVICTION AND CONSCIENCE TOWARD TRUTH.
A. The Appeal of Popularity is Strong, Jno 12:42-43; cf. Gal 1:10.
1. This temptation can lead us to:
a. Forsake our faith and our service to Christ, Gal 2:11-12.
b. Compromise our preaching, 2 Tim 4:2-5.
2. We must fear God in doctrine, morality, values and in what we participate, Phil 4:8. Lk 12:4-5 (Heb 13:5-6)
III. TEMPTATION OF FITTING INTO THE WORLD’S MOLD, Rom 12:1-2.
A. These Temptations Include:
1. Materialism, Matt 6:24; Lk 12:15.
2. Worldliness (mind things of here and now with little/no eternal perspective and point of view, Col 3:2.
3. Situation ethics: Self rather than God’s truth, postmodernism of no absolutes, Jno 17:17.
B. Solution: Be Conformed to the Image of Christ, Col 3:10; 2 Cor 3:18; 1 Pet 2:21.
IV. TEMPTATION TO BECOME COMFORTABLE IN NOT FULFILLING OUR SPIRITUAL RESPONSIBILITIES.
A. By Losing Our Vigilance to Serve, Jno 9:4; Rom 12:11.
B. By Regarding Opportunities to do Good as a Nuisance, Gal 6:10.
1. “It does no good” / ”They’ll never change.”
2. An “inconvenience”, cf. Lk 10:29-34, 36.
3. Turn away from opportunities to teach, to study, to encourage because it would be hard / time-consuming / put me out!
C. By Seeing no Need to Personally Mature, Heb 5:12-14.
V. TEMPTATION TO LOVE THIS PRESENT WORLD AT THE EXPENSE OF SALVATION IN THE WORLD TO COME.
A. This Present World Offers the Prospect of Immediate Pleasure and Satisfaction, Heb 11:25; 1 Jno 2:16 (2 Tim 4:10).
1. Tempted to envy wicked – appear to be blessed, Psa 73:3, 12-14 (17-19).
2. Must live with heaven as our goal, Matt 6:33 (Col 3:1).
B. This World (Evil) Will Pass Away, 1 Jno 2:17. (Do the will of God…)
1. Be lights in the world / Hold forth the word of life, Phil 2:14-16.
2. Do this without complaining (murmuring) and disputing (arguing), 2:14.
1. Temptation is not sin; it is the invitation to sin (Jas 1:14-15).
2. Your faith will be tried by Satan. Pray the Lord for His protection to help you successfully avoid yielding to temptation (Lk 22:40).