Temptation and Lust James 1:13-15 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Today when we hear the word lust we typically only think of a sin that is connected with the opposite sex. But the truth is everyone battles this thing called lust. As we will see in this sermon lust is something that is in our flesh and when it is joined with temptation it causes sin.
In James 1:14 we see that every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust. This means that every has a thing called lust in the flesh. Not everyone has exactly the same lust, note that it is said to be his own lust.
In James 1:15 we see that when this lust conceives it brings forth sin. Now for conception to take place there have to be two parties that have come together. So when lust mixes with temptation the fruit will be sin.
Now from this we see that lust by itself is not sin. Think about it without lust there is no temptation. This is the definition that James has just given us. In the Garden of Eden Adam and Eve were created perfect without sin, but there was something in them that desired to eat of the fruit of knowledge of good and evil. If there was not a desire in them then how were they tempted?
This is why Paul said in Romans 7:7 that he had not known lust except the law had said thou shalt not covet.
In James 1:13 it says that God cannot be tempted with evil, but in Hebrews 4:15 we see that Jesus was tempted in all points like as we are yet without sin. If Jesus was God and God cannot be tempted then how could Jesus have been tempted in all points like as we are? The answer is simple he was God manifest in the flesh.
Even though Jesus was born sinless and never sinned he took on human flesh (Hebrews 2:14-18). So he would have had in that flesh some form of lust because according to James in order for a man to be tempted he had to be drawn away by his own lust. When Jesus was tempted by Satan sure his flesh wanted to turn those stones into bread but he did not. The difference with Jesus is that he did not let the lust mix with the temptation and cause sin.
Note that in Hebrews 2:18 he suffered being tempted. He had to put down his flesh which is suffering. Note also that he did this so that he could succor us when we are tempted. This is what makes him such a faithful and merciful High Priest.
How can we deal with lust?
1) First we must understand how it works (see above)
- We must also realize how deceitful the lust is that is in us (Ephesians 4:22)
2) Don’t make provisions for the flesh (Romans 13:14)
- Imagine Adam and Eve in the garden staring at the fruit day after day and wondering what it taste like. I am not saying this is exactly what happened but this is what we do when it comes to sin we make provision for the flesh by getting as close to the temptation as possible and then trying to keep our lust and the temptation from mixing.
3) Walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16)
- To walk in the spirit we must feed the spirit constantly. You will walk in one the flesh or the spirit.
4) Run from it as fast as you can (2 Timothy 2:22)
- Remember when you run from temptation you must run to something good or you will find a new temptation. There cannot be a vacuum or it will suck you right back in to where you are trying not to go.
These are some simple steps that we can use to help keep our lust from mixing with temptation. But the greatest resource is Jesus Christ. Sadly though, he is probably the most overlooked resource by saved people today. Remember he suffered being tempted so that he could help you in your temptation.
Let us come boldly unto the throne of grace to find help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16)!!!