Facing the Temptation

Paul BurlesonThis message by Rev. Paul Burleson was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church during a series of meetings entitled “Week of Renewal”, on Tuesday evening, October 16, 2007, and was taken from Luke 4:1-14.

And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered. And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence: For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee: And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season. And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about. (Luke 4:1-14, KJV)

By way of Introduction:

  1. “If” is sometimes used to mean “since” as in this passage: “if [since] you are the son of God…”
  2. “All” usually doesn’t mean all without exception, but all without distinction.
  3. “Temptation” used in the Bible sometimes means trial or testing. The lord is seen as the author of that. James says count it all joy (James 1:2). Temptation sometimes carries a negative sense meaning enticement to commit sin. This is attributed to the devil, never to God.
  4. Pastor Burleson introduced this series by reading Hebrews 12:1-2, Looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. “Author” comes from the Greek word for “pioneer” or “trailblazer”

Concerning Jesus facing the devil:

  1. Temptation and testings are part of God’s plan for our life. We think that if we walk softly and don’t make too much spiritual trouble, then the devil will leave us alone. But how is our faith going to be purified, if it doesn’t go through the fire? Trials and difficulties do not destroy faith. They just determine whether you have real faith.
  2. Temptation and testings usually come after your greatest times with the Lord. Jesus just came from the Jordan river where he had been baptized, and where the Holy Spirit descended upon him, and God pronounced his blessing upon his son.
  3. Temptation and testings usually come where you are strong, not where you are weak. If we fail where we are weak, most folks will understand. If we fail where we are strong, the world will mock the God that we serve. The Devil tempts us where he will gain the most benefit.
  4. Temptation and testings are never over in your life as a Christian. When Jesus’ temptation was over it says that the devil left him “for a little while.” He would be back in the garden of Gethsemane.
  5. When properly responded to, temptations and testings will only prepare you for the greatest things God will do in your life. If we have eyes to the reality of God alone, then we know that what ever he puts into our life will be ultimately for our good and his glory.
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