Sunday, April 11, 2021

Lessons from the Book of James

Looking back over James’s teaching on temptation, here is what we have learned. To be victorious, we must: 
1. acknowledge the reality of temptation; 2. assume the responsibility for temptation; 
3. anticipate the routine of temptation; 
4. activate the replacement of temptation; 5. accept the reason for temptation. 

In the front of my Bible I have written five simple words that attempt to summarize all that we have learned so far from James and all that the New Testament writers seemed to be saying when they touched on the subject of temptation. These words and the scriptures that accompany them should be written on the blackboard of our hearts and, along with James’s reasoned argument, used in battle against the Enemy. 

Resist the devil and he will flee from you. (James 4:7) 
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. (1 Peter 5:8–9) 
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (Eph. 6:11) 

Therefore submit to God.… Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. (James 4:7–8) 
For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps. (1 Peter 2:21) 

Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. (1 Cor. 10:14) 
Flee also youthful lusts. (2 Tim. 2:22) 
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. (Rom. 13:14) 
[When tempted by Potiphar’s wife, Joseph] left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside. (Gen. 39:12) 

Pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord. (2 Tim. 2:22) 
He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed. (Prov. 13:20) 
Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” (1 Cor. 15:33) 

Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You. (Ps. 119:11) 
[Christ defeated Satan by quoting the Old Testament, starting His replies with] “It is written …” (Matt. 4:1–11) 

We began this chapter with a reminder that temptation cannot be outgrown. We end our discussion with an emphatic reminder that while it cannot be outgrown, it can be overcome.

 - Dr. David Jeremiah "What to do When you don't know what to do"

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