Bible Study for December 2002:
Study 4: TEMPTATIONS AND TRIUMPH
Temptation, trials and tribulations are the common experiences of men (1 Peter 5:8,9). But triumph over them is not universal. The sinner has no grace to overcome and falls at every temptation, overcome by every trial and succumbs to every tribulation. The Christian has Christís promise and power to overcome, Godís grace and strength to triumph, the spiritís leading and enablement to be more than a conqueror in lifeís fierce trials. Many are destroyed for lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6) because the devil takes advantage of their ignorance (2 Corinthians 2:11). In this study we will look at the sources of temptations so that we can be wise, examine the secrets of triumph so that we can thereby be overcomers and see the overcomerís crown and reward so that we can be encouraged to fight the good fight of faith with renewed strength and confidence that victory is sure and certain, possible and provided for in the scriptures.
SOURCES OF TEMPTATIONS
Matthew 4:3-11; 1 Corinthians 7:5; Acts 5:3;
1 Thessalonians 3:5; James 1:13-15; Genesis 3:1-6; 25:29-34; Job 2:9; Proverbs
1:10-19; 22:12-14; 1 Samuel 13:8-14; 2 Samuel 11:2-5; 13:1-20; Genesis
39:7-15; 1 Kings 21:5-7; 22:12-14;
1 Timothy 6:9,10; Revelation 2:20; Jeremiah 35: 1-19; Revelation 2:14,15; 1 John 2:15-17.
The chief agent of temptation is Satan. He is behind every subtle attempt to make the believer fall from grace and fail God. He targets everyone in his plan to hinder us from life eternal. In his temptations, he uses all means, people, things and circumstances available to him. Satan may tempt through the corruption of human heart (Joshua 7:21), entice through the mind and the eye gate (Genesis 3:1-6), influence through the behaviour of evil companions (1 Corinthians 15:33; Proverbs 22:24,25), lead into temptation and sin through the carelessness of others (2 Samuel 11:2-5), influence through the counsel of deceitful friends (2 Samuel 13:1-20), close relation (Job 2:9; 1 Kings 21:5-7), false prophets (1 Kings 13:1-24; 22:5-14), false teachers (Revelation 2:14,15), notable ministers (Jeremiah 35:1-19), pressurizing society (1 Kings 22:12-14; 1 Samuel 13:8-14), evil women in leadership (Genesis 39:7-15; Revelation 2:20), tempt through the lust of the flesh (James 1:13-15), tempt through the pride of life (1 Chronicle 21:1-10), Satan also tempts through uncontrolled desire for material wealth (1 Timothy 6:9,10) and the inviting mirages of earthly glory and power (Matthew 4:1-11; 2 Samuel 15:1-10), and through the appetite (Genesis 25:29-34). Satanís methods and modes of temptations are endless. He is a foul player and does not have any rules. He uses every trick and trap, device and desire, people and programs to achieve his aim.
THE SECRETS OF TRIUMPH
Jeremiah 35:3-11, Daniel 1:5-8; Genesis 39:2-12;
Matthew 6:21-23; 7:15-20; 26:41; 1 Samuel 26:7-12; Proverbs 1:10-15; Job
2:9,10; Romans 6:13; 2 Peter 3:17; Luke 4:5-8; 2 Timothy 2:1-4, 5-22; Romans
16:17,18; 2 John 7-11; Colossians 2:8,16-23; Hebrews 13:9; 2 Thessalonians
2:3-12; Acts 20:28-32; Proverbs 4:23,24; Psalm 141:3,4; Job 31:1; James 4:7; 1
Peter 5:8-10; Ephesians 6:11-18; 1 Kings 22:12-14.
The sum total of the overcomerís secret can be summarized as total dependence on God and utilization of the way and method God has provided for overcoming. There are times to run (Genesis 39:12; 2 Timothy 2:22) reject bad counsel (1 Kings 22:12-14), endure hardness (2 Timothy 2:3 with Genesis 25:29-34), resist with the word (Matthew 4:1-11), avoid false prophets and false teachers (Romans 16:17,18; 2 John 7-11; Colossians 2:8, 16-23; Hebrews 13:9; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12; Acts 20:28-32; Matthew 7:15,16). Soberly watching over the tongue (Proverbs 4:24; Psalm 141:3; James 1:26), diligently avoiding objects of temptation (Job 31:1; Proverbs 4:25), guarding the heart against the subtle inroad of corrupting pleasures (Proverbs 4:23; Psalm 141;4), and constantly praying for the overcoming grace (Matthew 6:13; Luke 18:1; Mark 13:33-37; Ephesians 6:18,19;
2 Corinthians 10:3-5). The only way to ultimate victory over temptation is to resist the devil and his temptations (James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8,9) and this every believer can do in the strength and power of the Lord (Ephesians 6:11; 1 Peter 5:10; 2 Peter 1:3,4; 2 Corinthians 9:8)
THE OVERCOMERíS CROWN AND REWARD
Revelation 2:7,10,11,17,26,; 3:11,12,21;
Jeremiah 35:12-19; Deuteronomy 7:12-20; Joshua 23:6-13; John15:7-14;
Genesis 39:21-23; Matthew 4:11; 2 Timothy 4:7-8; Acts 7:56.
There is the overcomerís crown awaiting every believer that triumphs over the temptations of life, enduring to the end and keeping himself unspotted from the world. God rewards His children for obedience to His word, faithfulness to His cause and loyalty in His kingdom. Let not satan or any man take away your crown. Fight the good fight of faith, endure afflictions as a good soldier of Christ, resist the devil in every temptation and there will be an overcomerís crown and reward awaiting you in heaven!
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