Help Is Available When We Are Tempted (Hebrews 2:16-18)
1. This morning we studied the occasion when Jesus was tempted by Satan. 2. Jesus showed how hiding God's Word in the heart is one of the keys to overcoming temptation (Psalm 119:11). 3. We learn from Hebrews 2:18 that "help is available when we are tempted." 4. In our lesson we are concentrating on additional instructions that will help us. Discussion: I. JESUS TAUGHT HIS FOLLOWERS TO PRAY WHEN TEMPTED
A. In His model prayer Jesus included a request for help when facing temptation (Matthew 6:13a). B. Consider the Lord's statement to Peter in Matthew 26:41. 1. In addition to watching, Jesus told Peter to "pray, that ye enter not into temptation." 2. We need to depend upon prayer because "the flesh is weak." II. LET US CONSIDER THE INSTRUCTIONS GIVEN IN JAMES 1:13-15
A. These verses identify the source of temptation. 1. It should reassure us to know that God is not the source of temptation. a. (vs.13) God cannot be tempted with evil, and He does not tempt anyone. b. God allows us to be tested, but He does not entice anyone to commit sin. c. Just the opposite is true (2 Peter 2:9 -- "The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations"). 2. Satan is the source of temptation. a. (Matthew 4:1) Following His baptism, Jesus was led "into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil." b. (Matthew 4:3) Satan is identified as "the tempter." c. Satan is also identified as our adversary (1 Peter 5:8). B. These verses teach us how temptation works. 1. According to vs.14, we are tempted when we are lured away by our own desires and enticed (this temptation process is illustrated by what happened to Eve in Genesis 3:1-6). 2. James showed in this verse that the temptation process is both "universal" as well as "personal." a. The temptation process is universal in that it relates to "every man." b. The temptation process is personal in that it relates to our individual desires. C. To avoid entering into temptation, we must stop it at this point. 1. Some helpful instructions are given in James 4:7-8a. 2. Perhaps it will help us to look at two men who faced similar temptations. a. Joseph resisted Satan (Genesis 39:7-12). b. David did not resist Satan (2 Samuel 11:2-4). D. To avoid entering into temptation, we must realize that its results are deadly. 1. Desire that is allowed to conceive will result in sin. 2. The final result of sin is "death" (Isaiah 59:2). E. This information in James 1:13-15 will help us in overcoming temptation. Conclusion:
1. We are assured in Hebrews 2:18 that help is available when we are tempted. 2. Let us follow the Lord's example, practice His teaching, and follow the instructions given by James. 3. The way we react to temptation will affect our behavior that will in turn influence others.