Saturday, February 16, 2013

Lent 1

The Temptation of Christ

Today is the first Sunday in the season of Lent. As we observe Jesus’ temptation by the devil we will find this is not the first, nor will it be the last attempt of the devil to divert Jesus gaze from the cross. We are not alone in our struggles with the devil, the world and our own sinful self. When we face temptation, as we must, we look to Jesus, our champion who has won for us the victory.
1.    There are three temptations.

A.    The first was to doubt the goodness of God.

1.    Temptation comes to the Savior in His huger after His 40-day fast.

2.    Temptation comes to us in periods of testing; pain, family problems, bereavement, “why isn’t God doing something about this!”

B.    The second is as temptation to the glitter of this world.

1.    For Jesus, there was a price; “Worship me, (and) it shall be yours!” (v.7)

2.    There is a price, which you too must pay; the sacrifice of principle, eyes taken away from eternal truth.

C.    The third urges presumptuous behavior, tempt God.
1.    Satan asks Jesus to Jump from the temple. “You are God’s Son!”

2.    Satan says to you, “There is no danger. Skip the medicine; join the crowd, you don’t need church every Sunday, You’re God’s child!”

Transition: Jesus was tempted with these three temptations.  Over time circumstances may change but the tempter will never change. It is important for you to know the enemy.

2.    They are sly temptations.

A.    The devil tries to use what God intended as a blessing for evil.
1.    In Jesus’ case it was fasting, something that can be a great blessing.

2.    For you, it may be the birth of a baby, a promotion, or a new home may be all we need to keep us from Christ as His Word.

B.    The devil lives up to his reputation as “the father of lies”.

1.    He acts as though it is in his power to give power.

2.    He lies to us about the gravity of sin – before; “it’s nothing” after; “it’s unforgivable”

C.    Satan quotes Scripture

1.    See how he twists Psalm 91 when speaking to the Savior.

2.    To you he may say, “There is no hell.” or “Doesn’t the Bible say, ‘God is love’?

Transition: The temptations you face may at times seem overwhelming. Look to Jesus who has overcome every time He was tempted.

3.    All these temptations failed.

A.    This is for our comfort.

1.    We have often lost battles with the devil. We have succumbed.
2.    Jesus overcomes the devil for you. ”just as all humans were condemned to eternal death because of the sin of one man, so it was also through the perfect act of one Man that all human beings were accepted as perfectly holy and given eternal life.

Just as all human beings were made sinners by the disobedience of one man, so also all human beings will be made perfectly holy by the obedience of one Man.”  (Romans 5:18-19)[1]

B.    This is for our instruction.

1.    Jesus uses Scripture to overcome Satan.

2.    You can in His power do the same. Prayer, yes. Meditation, yes! But above all, THE WORD!

May the Lore bless our observance of Lent as we find both comfort and power in this account.

[1] A New Accurate Translation of the Greek New Testament into simple Everyday American English © Julian G. Anderson 1994 Naples FL

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