The Word This Week

1 John 2:15...

Satan has a very limited playbook.

Unfortunately, his limited playbook has served him very well.

Since Adam and Eve fell under the temptation of Satan in the Garden, and fell away from God in the commission of the first sin, mankind has struggled apart from God.

Even once born again, the struggle continues because man is mired in body of flesh all the days of his life.

The opportunity to not sin is provided by the power of God now made alive in born again man. But the temptation to sin is still available to the flesh - making it vulnerable when the temptation which comes is not denied its opportunity to overcome the flesh and overwhelm the soul apart from the newly available power of God.

It is therefore very helpful to understand where temptation comes from, and also when it is likely to come. First off, we know God never tempts anyone to sin. So, we know whenever we experience temptation Satan is the author of it. Secondly, we know temptation is not sin. The Bible says Jesus was tempted in all points as we are – yet without sin. (We also remember Jesus being tempted for 40 days and nights in the desert by Satan immediately following His baptism. How Jesus resisted temptation becomes an important model for all of us.)

Thirdly, we not only know who the author of all temptation is, we also know where it is going to come and how it is going to affect us. Satan’s playbook only contains three plays. Those three plays have been so effective he has never needed more. Temptation to the flesh will always come in one of three forms, and John lists them for us here. What worked on Adam and Eve has worked on all men and will also work on born again Christians if they allow it to.

The lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life comprises all temptation to sin. While that may be all there is, it covers a lot of ground. It is exactly how Satan tempted Adam and Eve, and it is exactly how Satan tempted Jesus. It is how he has always tempted you, and how he will always continue to tempt you until you learn to employ a spiritual defense against a spiritual enemy.

Part of our spiritual defense is to understand the nature of our flesh, and how it is vulnerable to any temptation apart from the power of God. When equipped with this spiritual knowledge, we can learn how to employ God’s power rather than our own to resist the enemy who seeks to destroy us.

Pastor Bill