Many people equate temptation with sin. Some say, “Well, if you were tempted to commit adultery, then like Jesus said in the Book of Matthew, you have.” Wait a minute! What did Jesus say in that passage? “But I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” (Matt. 5:28) There are two key phrases here. Jesus was not saying that being tempted to commit adultery was a sin. It was the lusting that was sin.
A definition for lust is, “inordinate desire,” or desiring something that is not in line with the Word of God. If you are married and desire someone other than your wife, you are lusting. That in and of itself is a sin. (1 Cor. 10:6) Also notice the other phrase we underlined; “…in his heart.” This was not simply a passing thought that went through the mind as a temptation. This was not in the mind at all, it was in the heart. That is, the spirit of the man Jesus was speaking of; he had obviously meditated on it until it was in his heart. If you have dwelled on something in your mind, and perhaps even said it out of your mouth, and then it gets into your heart, given the chance you would do it!
No, temptation can not be the same as sin. The Word of God tells us that Jesus was completely without sin, He didn’t commit sin, indeed, He “knew no sin”. (2 Cor. 5:21) Yet, in Hebrews 4:15 it says, “For we have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” If, as it says, Jesus was tempted like as we are, and if temptation is sin, then Jesus must have sinned! But you and I both know that Jesus didn’t sin, it even says, “…yet without sin.” Therefore, temptation and sin are not the same. Satan has duped some into believing this in the past, and then told them, “Since your mere thought of it was sin, you might as well go ahead and do it.” He’s a liar! As we’ve seen, when he put that thought, whatever it might be, in your head, it was not then sin. You should have immediately brought that thought captive, and cast it down and out of your mind! (2 Cor. 10:5)
You’ve heard me use the term, “concordant literal” before. It means that if you take a verse of scripture, look up every word in it, find out what the Greek words actual meaning is, and then write it down so that it makes sense, you will have a literal rendering from your concordance. Look at what 1 Cor. 10:13 says it this “concordant literal” rendering: “There has no deep sea of trial and temptation taken hold of you but such as is natural, human, and after the manner of men, but trustworthy God will not permit you to be tested or enticed beyond or over your ability or empowering, but will (when temptation comes) join to it and make an exit to get out of it that you’ll be enabled and empowered to get out from under it.” Some look at this verse and say, “See, God tempts you. It says that He’ll make a way to escape when He tempts you.” NO! You’ve read it all wrong! James 1:13 says that no man should say that he is tempted by God, because God doesn’t tempt. No, what 1 Corinthians 10:13 is saying is that when satan tempts you, God will immediately join to it a way of, not just “bearing the temptation,” but a way to actually get out from under it! He empowers you, so that you can get out from under the power of the temptation! Praise the Lord!
Our tape offer this month is a tape that was recorded at Word of Faith Fellowship during a recent Sunday morning service, the title is: “Understanding Types, Figures and Temptation”. You may have this tape for a contribution of $2.00 or more to Word of Faith Ministries this month.
Items of Interest in This Issue
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