God Will Make a Way for You A New Year’s sermon to bring comfort and help to the people of God. (121223)
Verses 1-3 “1And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,
2Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.
3And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.”
The fact that our perfect Savior was tempted by the devil tells us that we should not be surprised when we are also tempted. As James wrote, “Every man is tempted” (James 1:14). It would be a wise course and would fortify us against the devil’s wiles if we would (1) expect temptation to come; (2) have a plan for how we will avoid sin when we are tempted; and (3) be in prayer ahead of time that we will do the right thing when we are tempted.
It is instructive that Jesus’ temptation came after a spiritually high experience in His life. He had just been baptized and had just heard the voice of His Heavenly Father saying, “Thou art My beloved son; in thee I am well pleased,” and He had just experienced the Holy Spirit coming upon Him in the shape of a dove. Immediately after this mountain top experience the temptation came. So let us beware when we win spiritual victories that we do not become complacent. When we think that we stand, we must beware lest we fall.
Jesus was tempted for forty days. Forty is the Bible number for trial, and it means that Jesus was severely tempted. It is not a sin to be tempted. It is a sin to yield to temptation. Jesus did not sin. He could not sin because He is God and is impeccable. But His temptation was real because He is human.
Poor Peter! He makes one mistake after another, and it leads to one sin after another. He puts himself right in the place of temptation. That is always a bad decision by any child of God. Following “afar off” was indicative of Peter’s spiritual condition. He was already backslidden and “afar off” from Christ. His spiritual declension started with foolish pride and progressed to forsaking Christ, and ends with his thrice-fold denial of the Savior. The drip becomes a torrent! His sins become more and more outrageous. What is the use in praying, “Lead us not into temptation,” if we intentionally place ourselves in the very place of temptation? We must beware of becoming too comfortable in the company of the enemy’s servants and warming ourselves at the enemy’s fire.
6And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.”Aaron was a compromiser and proves to be a weak and vacillating person who does what is popular, not what is right before God. He even synthesized and mixed his bull-god (Apis) with Jehovah, calling it by God’s proper name, as the word “LORD” indicates. He even lent his approval to the wild sexual sins that were part of the worship of the fertility gods of Egypt. The word “play” refers to these promiscuous sexual activities.
We should learn from Aaron that a Christian may have good training, good mentors, and good privileges in life and still go wrong when temptation raises its ugly head. “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (I Cor 10:12).
Verses 1-10 “1Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
2And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
3And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
4But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
5Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
6And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
7Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
8Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
9And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
10Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”
Jesus was in all points tempted as we are, yet He was without sin. This qualified Him to be the Savior that could deliver His people out of temptation. Jesus answered each temptation with the Word of God. There is power in God’s Word to accomplish His purpose and to protect us from evil. “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).
The Spirit of God, for reasons known only to Him, sometimes leads us right into the place of temptation, but He does not tempt us. The Bible says, “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed” (James 1:13-14). When God allows us to be tempted it is for a reason, and when we, with God’s help, overcome temptation it proves our love for Him and makes us stronger.