Tested by Temptation

February 24, 2019


February 24, 2019

Mike Rose
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Opening Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 10:13  

Scripture Reading Luke 4:1-13, ESV

Filled with The Spirit… Led into the wilderness: VS1-2

Truth Point #1: God ___________ times of triumph and celebration, times of testing and trial in our lives. Many times, the testing comes on the heels of triumph.

Truth Point #2: Temptation is NOT a predetermination that one will sin. It is a ___________ designed to show one’s maturity, or lack thereof, to trust God’s Word and rely on His _________ and _________ to maintain their standing in His righteousness.  

Hebrews 2:18 …because He Himself has suffered when tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted.

Setting the stage:

There is a place in Israel located between Southern Palestine and the Dead Sea called JESHIMON = The Devastation.

Jesus fasts for 40 days… no food, only water.

Satan is permitted to bring an onslaught of temptation. All of the types of temptation we face.

At the END of the 40 days Jesus’ flesh is at its weakest, Satan comes in with the 3 temptations.

Temptation #1: Can God Be Trusted? VS 3-4

See Genesis 3:1-4

Casting doubt was the first step that led to “The Fall”, creating the need for redemption if man would ever be right with God again.

There are two ways Satan sought to cast DOUBT:

He attacked Jesus’ _________________.

He attacked God’s care and _____________.

Despite compelling reasoning on Satan’s part, Jesus didn’t bite.

He didn’t doubt,

He didn’t argue,

He didn’t curse Satan and banish Him to Hell.

He planted His feet firmly on the foundation of God’s Word: Deuteronomy 8:3

Later, Jesus would find Himself ministering to a woman at a well in Samaria. His disciples had gone into the village to get food. When they returned, they urged Jesus to leave the well and join them to eat. He said:

I have food to eat that you do not know about. My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to accomplish His work. John 4:32,34.  

Temptation #2: Is God’s Plan Good?

This temptation deals with “short cuts” and whether God’s plan is good or too hard to follow.

Jesus is destined to be the King of All Creation as The God-Man. However, the pathway to the throne is paved with the unimaginable pain of bearing our sin on The Cross. Furthermore, there would be thousands of years before the time The Father had set for Jesus to take His Throne

Satan says… skip all that, no need to suffer, no need to wait, …I’ve been given authority over the earth and I can give it to whomever I please… just bow down before me to worship me and I’ll give it all to you

I like shortcuts, don’t you? But I’ve discovered some shortcuts end up make things harder than following the tried and true way.

Truth Point #3: There is ______ shortcut in God’s predetermined plan. The path He chooses is perfect to get us where He wants us to go.

Again, Jesus does not argue, He does not lay down a curse on Satan. Instead, He stand His ground on the inerrant truth of God’s Word. Deuteronomy 6:13

TEMPTATION #3: Presume On God’s Grace

Rebuffed a second time by The Word of God, Satan demonstrates He knows The Word and seeks to employ it for his own wicked purposes.

He takes Jesus to the pinnacle of The Temple which overlooks the Kidron Valley. The drop to the valley floor is about 400 feet. Satan throws out this temptation:  If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here.

Why would Jesus do that? Psalm 91:11-12, a Messianic Psalm that applies to Jesus says; God will command His angels to guard Jesus and not even let Him stub His toe on a stone.  (my paraphrase)

Do you see the temptation?  Prove that God’s Word is true, jump and let’s see The Father in action…  because if you are The Son of God when you jump, no harm will come to you… God will rescue you!

Jesus had nothing to prove to Satan. He had nothing to prove to anyone. Jesus lived for an audience of ONE and the ONE He lived for did not want Him to presume upon His love and protection, but rather to stand firm in His position of obedient victory.

That’s exactly what Jesus did. For the 3rd time Jesus spoke the words of truth. Deuteronomy 6:16  

I appreciate the perspective of Dr. John MacArthur on this point: “This type of temptation is perhaps the most subtle and dangerous of the three, because it seemingly encourages people to exercise faith in God. In reality, it arrogantly, brazenly demands things from God, turning Him into a utilitarian genie who grant’s people’s every whim.”

It’s the mistake the so-called preachers of the “prosperity gospel” make. Claim a passage (out of context) and expect that God must respond.

God will respond to every promise He has made, but when we foolishly put Him to the test, in a way not called for in His Word, He has no obligation to respond at all.

Truth Point #4:  It is ______________ His will, not ours, that matters.

Wrap Up

Jesus, in His humanity, did not have supernatural power within Himself. That’s why Luke is careful to say in VS1 that following Jesus’ baptism He was full of the Holy Spirit. In the flesh, Jesus required the indwelling presence and power of The Holy Spirit to operate in the supernatural.  

Here’s the point… every born-again follower of Jesus Christ has the indwelling presence and power of the Holy Spirit. He is there to:

enlighten us to us in truth.

hold us secure in Christ till we cross over to our glorified state.

guide and direct.

empower us to live the Christ Life/

Just as Jesus successfully faced down Satan’s temptations and maintained His standing in Holiness, so can those who follow Him when they live life surrendered to The Spirit.

You will face temptation, that’s not in question. But you don’t have to yield to sin.  1 Corinthians 10:13; Galatians 5:16