Thursday, October 29, 2009

Temptations (James 1:13-18)

James 1:13-18 is all about the temptations that we face. It goes to say that life brings temptations in various forms and it is crucial that we have a proper view or understanding of the temptations we face.

(v13) GOD DOESN´T TEMPT: This verse is very straight forward. God doesn´t tempt anyone. It sounds like when James wrote this letter that one problem the early church was having was that the people were blaming God for their temptations. We should have a correct view of who our God is. He cannot be tempted by evil. I love the passage in 1 Timothy 6:15b-16 that says " He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the KING of kings and the LORD of lords, who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal dominion! Amen." Our God dwells in unapproachable light and we should never dare to associate Him with the evil in our lives. All that said, don´t associate our God with our temptations, it brings Him lower than what is His rightful position.

(v14) WE´RE THE PROBLEM: We need to take responsibility for our own sin. It´s the lust of our flesh that entices and carries us away.

(v15) RECOGNIZE THE SERIOUSNESS OF SIN: The order of sin is that lust first takes over. Once the lust has convceived or given birth then sin comes forth. In practical terms this is when we allow our lusts to drive us so far as to commit the act of sin. Next, once sin is accomplished or perfected, death is brought forth. It is somewhat difficult to know exactly what the term death implies, however the Greek means death of the body, implied misery in hell, or the body in hell. Many people will argue that once you´re saved your salvation is eternal and secure. I don´t know the answer but I do know that if you are living in sin you should be very afraid of the wrath of God. I believe the Bible leaves the question of secure salvation somewhat unclear for a reason.

(vv16-18) CORRECT VIEW OF THE FATHER: Do not let the Enemy deceive you into believing that God is anything but perfect and holy. ¨Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights.¨ Not only does God give us cool stuff but He has saved us (v18) by the word of truth. Technically said, He has given birth to us. Remember the awesome salvation and call that we have through Christ Jesus (see Ephesians 1-3). God is good, let´s not think otherwise.

Conclusion: I believe in summing up this section of scripture it would be fair to say that we need to have a correct view of the Father. Not only during our temptations but during everyday life. Knowing the character of God is vital for believers. When things are looking bad and we have no where else to turn we need to remember that our God has our best interest in mind. Even when it hurts us!

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