PASSING THE TESTS OF LIFE: "The Test of Temptations" (Matt.4:1-11)

PASSING THE TESTS OF LIFE

“The Test of Temptations”

Matthew 4:1-11

Introduction:

A.  I am glad I’m not in school anymore.

 

            1.  I loved the teaching.

            2.  I hated the testing.

 

B.  I always wanted to pass my tests.

 

            1.  Passing tests was important to me.

            2.  Passing tests took hard work from me.

 

C.  We still have many tests in life.

 

            1.  It is still important to pass the tests.

 

·        So we won’t be punished.

·        So we will be rewarded.

 

2.  It still takes hard work to pass the tests.

 

D.  It helps to know some test prep secrets.

 

            1.  Don’t just study hard.  Study smart.

            2.  We need to know some things about our tests in life

                 in order to be prepared.

 

I.  Know Your Enemy.

 

A.  He Will Hit You.

            He attacked Jesus; He will attack you.

 

 8Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

(I Pt.5:8)

 

            EX:  Like Radical Islam will attack Christians.

B.  He Will Hit You at your Lowest Point.

 

            1.  He tempted Jesus when He was hungry after 40 days.

            2.  He will tempt you where you are weakest.

                        Your weak areas—everyone has them.

                        EX:  Anger, Lust, Greed, Tongue, Pride

 

            3.  He will tempt you when you are weakest.

                        EX:  Depression, sickness, lonely, heartache

                        ILL:  Gangs go after the loners

                        ILL:  Cults go after the young Christians

                        ILL:  Prostitutes hit lonely men away from family.

 

C.  He Will Hit You with Everything he’s Got.

 

            1.  He used many temptations on Jesus.

            2.  He used big temptations on Jesus.

            3.  He will hit us hard at times.

                        He tries to use “overwhelming force.”

                        He wants to make an offer you no canna refuse.

 

II.  Know Your Escape.

 

Just as Jesus could escape temptations of Satan, we can escape.

 

13There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.  (I Cor.10:13)

 

13You are tempted in the same way that everyone else is tempted. But God can be trusted not to let you be tempted too much, and he will show you how to escape from your temptations. (CEV)

 

 

 

 

 

Two main ways to escape:

A.  You can Remove Yourself from Temptation.

 

            1.  This is what Joseph did.

            2.  This is what we are to do.

 

18Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.

(I Cor.6:18)

 

10For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

 11But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

(I Tim.6:10-11)

 

22Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

(II Tim.2:22)

 

            EX:  Alcoholics don’t need to go to bars.

                        Dieters shouldn’t go to all you can eat joints.

                            Young people don’t need to spend long periods

     alone with the opposite sex.

 

B.  You can Resist the Temptation.

7Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  (James 4:7)

 

8Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

 9Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

(I Pt.5:8-9)

 

ILL:  God has given you spiritual armor to resist every onslaught.

            Like magical, unpenetrable armor.

 

            Satan left Jesus; he will leave you.

III.  Know Your Energy.

            How do we resist the devil? 

            Not in our own power, but the power of God.

            Notice four powerful resources for overcoming temptation:

 

A.  God gives us Power through the Spirit.

 

            1.  Jesus was in the Spirit when He was in the Wilderness.

·        The Spirit was on Him at His baptism.  (3:16)

·        The Spirit led Him into the wilderness.

 

2.  The Spirit will give us power to overcome temptations.

 

4Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. (I Jn.4:4)

 

“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”  (Gal.5:16)

 

B.  God gives us Power through Supplications (Prayer).

 

            1.  Jesus spent 40 days fasting and praying to God.

            2.  If we spent more time fasting and praying

                 we would spend less time falling and straying.

 

C.  God gives us Power through Scripture.

 

            1.  Jesus constantly quoted Scripture to Satan.

            2.  Scripture is a weapon against the devil.

 

“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God”  (Eph.6:17)

 

11Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.  (Psalm 119:11)

 

 

 

 

            3.  Find Scriptures about your weak areas and memorize.

                        EX:  Gossip—memorize James 1:19

                        “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be

swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath” 

 

Cursing—memorize Ephesians 4:29

29Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

           

                        Lying—memorize Ephesians 4:25

25Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

 

            ILL:  You don’t go into a battle zone without bullets.

                        Don’t go out into the world without the Word.

 

D.  God gives us Power through Support from Others.

            (4:11)

 

            1.  Angels came and ministered to Jesus.

            2.  We need to minister to one another.

 

2Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

(Gal.6:2)                    

·        We are to bear one another’s physical burdens.

·        We are to bear one another’s emotional burdens.

·        We are to bear one another’s spiritual burdens.

o       We can advise others of right.

o       We can address each other’s wrongs.

o       We can encourage each other in the fight.     

EX:  We need the fellowship of Christians because we will have a fight with the devil.

Conclusion:

There are some things I know for sure:

A.  You will be attacked by Satan and temptations.

B.  You can resist Satan and overcome temptations.

 

 
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