Thriving in a Hostile World Message Series

THRIVING IN A HOSTILE WORLD
(Book of James)

Part 3 – How To Overcome Your Tempting Times
James 1:12-16

March 1, 2020
Dr. Mark S. Hartman, Lead Pastor 

 

INTRODUCTION

James 1:12-16  Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.  13  Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.  14  But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.  15  Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. 16  Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.

 

1. FOUR FACTS GOD WANTS US TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT TEMPTATIONS. 

A. Fact #1 – Every temptation is a test of our character.

1. James 1:12  Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial

2. Our reaction to temptation always reveals our character.

B. Fact #2 – God never tempts us to do evil.

James 1:13  Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.

C. Fact # 3 – When we respond correctly to temptation, there is an immediate inner happiness that comes to us.

1. James 1:12  Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial…

2. There is power and joy in purity.

D. Fact #4 – When our life is characterized by right choices, God has promised us a place of honor with Him.

James 1:12  Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the Crown of Life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

 

2. WHAT IS SATAN’S STRATEGY FOR CONQUERING US?

A. First, Sin begins with an enticing thought that we reserve in our heart.

1. Passing thoughts about wrong are not sin, but those thoughts we grab on to and welcome into our hearts become sin.

2. Proverbs 4:23:  Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

B. The second step to sin is a lustful desire.

1. James 1:14  But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.

2. The word lust means any good thing that oversteps the limits God approves.

C. Step three to sin is the act itself.

1. James 1:15  Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin

2. Jeremiah 17:9  The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?

D. Step four to sin is a stronghold in your heart.

1. A stronghold is a habit in a part of our life in which you have lost control.

2. James 1:15  Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.

 

3. HOW DO WE OVERCOME TEMPTATION IN OUR LIFE?

A. Accept personal responsibility with repentance.

1 John 1:9  If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

B. Open our eyes to the consequences of our sin.

1. Galatians 6:7-8  Don’t be misled.  Remember that you can’t ignore God and get away with it. You will always reap what you sow!  8 Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful desires will harvest the consequences of decay and death.  But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.

2. Numbers 32:23  …you may be sure that your sin will find you out.

C. Refocus our attention.

Philippians 4:8  And now, dear brothers and sisters, let me say one more thing as I close this letter.  Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable.  Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

D. Cut off its opportunity to grow.

1. Romans 13:14  But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.

2. I Corinthians 15:33  Bad company corrupts good character.

E. Invite Christ to be at the center of your life.