Peninsula Community Church
June 27, 2011
Sermon on the Mount – Lead Us Not Into Temptation
Mat 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
This last phrase brings us to the conclusion of our series within a series. In this part of the Lord’s Prayer Jesus reminds us that we are to pray that God will not us to be lead into temptation.
Lead us not into temptation:
The first point we need to make about temptation is that being tempted is not a sin. We must understand that temptation in itself is not sin because we are all tempted. Even Jesus himself was tempted after He fasted for 40 days. Therefore temptation is nothing more than a suggestion to sin.
Temptation becomes a sin when it is acted upon. The act of temptation places us at the juncture or crossroads between right and wrong; good or evil. Our choices in that moment will define and shape who we are. Sin and temptation is a lot like dieting. When I try to do the right thing and begin to lose a few pounds my senses are aroused. First of all when I and dieting I can smell what the family two doors down is having for dinner.
I have shared before the process of sin that occurs when we are tempted and we act on that temptation. We see this in the story of Adam/Eve, Achan and David.
- We see – This is the temptation. We see something we think is good and our senses call out for that thing. It is at this juncture that we must reject and turn from the temptation. If we do not resist, the desire will grow. What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. (James 4:1-3).
- We covet – Our senses are stirred and the desire grows and becomes a scream in our hearts to act upon the temptation. It is here that we often meditate on the temptation. We know we are at this point when we begin to rationalize the temptation by communicating false ideas to ourselves: What if I were never caught? What if no one ever knew? I would not hurt anyone but myself. It is at this stage we need to do a Joseph and run from the temptation to give in (Gen. 39).
- We take – we act upon the temptation and the temptation becomes a sin and now holds us in its grip. If not dealt with we will be drawn back into sin again which can lead to developing a stronghold or an addiction.
- We hide – We know we are in deep when we cover our tracks and cover up the sin in hopes that no one will know.
- We suffer the consequences – The result of sin is that there are always consequences to our actions.
Or, we can be tempted; resist the temptation with God’s strength; and we can become a stronger individual. It is like growing spiritual muscle. As we resist we become stronger at resisting the temptation.
We must become aware of our weaknesses and the temptations of our life and then establish boundaries to protect ourselves. The concern is a temptation left unchecked will most often leads to sin which leads to an addiction of some sort. When an area of our life tends to be an area of temptation we must draw boundaries and lines in the sand to avoid crossing over the line. There are many addictions:
- Pornography/sexual perversion
- Poor stewardship
Let us look at what the Scripture says about one of the greatest gateways to temptation and sin; our eyes. I hone in on this particular area because we are so driven visually and from a sensory mode. It is therefore necessary to set a guard to protect us from falling into sin.
- Psalms 101:3 I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless.
- Psalms 119:37 Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.
- Job 31:1 I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin?
- Jesus even stated that if your right eye sins pluck it out. He was serious about dealing with the issues that lead to sin. This statement followed the statement “If a man looks upon a woman with lustful intentions he has committed adultery with her.”
Deliver us from evil or as some commentaries suggest from the veil one:
Temptation cannot be overcome without the power of God being revealed.
We must understand that sin is pleasurable for a season. It can be enjoyed but that enjoyment only lasts for a season. Hebrews 11:24-26 – By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.
Helps to overcome temptation and bring deliverance:
- Prayer – Matthew 26:41 and Mark 14:38 –Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
- The Word– even Jesus was tempted but He knew the Word and how to use the Word to overcome the temptation.
- Psalms 119:9-11 – How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.
- Psalms 119:10 – With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments!
- Psalms 119:11 – I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
- Read it, memorize it and let it take root in your heart.
When we call upon God, we ask that He will deliver us so we are asking for freedom from the results of the temptation. The promise of the Lord is that He will not put on us anything we cannot bear. 1Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
Application: While temptation is not a sin we must draw boundary lines in the sand to prevent the entrapments of sin.