Vance Pitman

Trials and Temptations

The Book of James
Jan 24, 2021

In this message, Pastor Vance continues our study of the New Testament book of James and teaches the important distinction between trials and temptation that we discover in James chapter 1.

Sermon Notes

Trials and Temptations

The Book of James Week 3

 
“One of the reasons why English is known for being difficult is because it’s full of contradictions. There is no ham in hamburger. Neither is there any apple nor pine in pineapple. If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?...as native speakers, we rarely stop to think how illogical many of things we say really are—we’re just used to them.”

—Oxford Royale Academy

 

“No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”—1 Corinthians 10:13

 

Temptations are opportunities to choose something other than God

 

“Consider it all joy, my brethren when you encounter various trials.”—James 1:2

 

Trials are the inevitable circumstances that make life hard

 

“Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. No one is to say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it has run its course, brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers and sisters. Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. In the exercise of His will He gave us birth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.” James 1:12-18

 
“We may ask, ‘Why did James connect the two? What is the relationship between trials without and temptations within?’ Simply this: if we are not careful, the trials on the outside may become temptations on the inside. When our circumstances are difficult, we may find ourselves complaining against God, questioning His love, and resisting His will. At this point, Satan provides us with an opportunity to escape the difficulty. This opportunity is a temptation.”—Warren Wiersbe (Be Mature: James, p.45)

 

I. GOD CAN BE THE SOURCE OF OUR TRIALS, BUT HE CAN NEVER BE THE SOURCE OF OUR TEMPTATION

 

“Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.” (v.13)

 
“God is perfectly sinless. Everything in Him resists sin; evil is inherently foreign to Him. He is aware of it, but He is untainted by it. In no way can God be blamed for temptation and sin.”—David Platt (Christ-Centered Exposition: James, p.10)

 

All temptation is rooted in the lie that something other than God and His will can meet my needs or satisfy my desires

 

“The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?”—Jeremiah 17:9

 

Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.—1 John 2:15-17

 

“for he is a liar and the father of lies.”—John 8:44c

 

Life Application: Every sin in my life is choosing to believe a lie rather than the truth of God!

 
“Growth in the Christian life is a process whereby we learn to recognize the lies of Satan, expose them to the truth of God, and decide whom we will believe: Satan or God…only as lies are exposed to the truths of God can we begin to walk in the truth and really grow as Christians.”

—Clyde Cranford (Because we love Him, p.208)

 

“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.”—John 16:13

 

II. GOD USES TRIALS FOR OUR GOOD. THE ENEMY USES TEMPTATION TO ACCOMPLISH EVIL

 

“Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” (v.17)

 

“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!”—Matthew 7:11

 

“Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”—1 Peter 5:8

 

“What may at first taste sweet soon becomes bitter; what may seem beautiful becomes distasteful; what we were sure would satisfy soon sickens us to the point of despair…Satan dangles a shiny bauble in the shadows and entices us to come after it, but it is counterfeit, a cheap imitation of the real thing.”—Clyde Cranford (Because we love Him, p.220)

 

III. BY PERSEVERING THROUGH TRIALS, WE EXPERIENCE LIFE. BY YIELDING TO TEMPTATION, WE EXPERIENCE DEATH

 

For the Christian, sin is death to his sensitivity, credibility, and influence for the kingdom.”—Clyde Cranford (Because we love Him, p.219)

 

FINAL THOUGHT: WHETHER YOU ARE FACING TRIALS OR TEMPTATION, GOD’S GRACE IS SUFFICIENT

 

“And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’”—2 Corinthians 12:9

 
Sermon Notes
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