NTB-1-MATT-2 - How To Overcome Temptation
“It is written…, It is written…, It is written…” (Mt. 4:4,7,10). Welcome to our study of Matthew 4 (how to overcome temptation). Matthew 4 introduces us to a session in the life of Christ that ought to give each of us tremendous strength. Here, Jesus begins His personal ministry, but as He does, Satan tempts Him sorely in order to try to get Him to fall away and not accomplish all the good that God had planned for Him. As we think about the idea of temptation, we need to realize that this is something that is very practical and relevant for each one of us. In fact, the realization that Satan is going to tempt us is something that each of faces every day. In James 1:2-4, James wrote, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James urged us to count it a joy when we are tempted because it is going to happen—and we need to be ready for it. In 2 Timothy 3:12, Paul told Timothy, “All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” Paul did not say “might” or “may.” Rather, he said that we will suffer persecution. In Matthew 26:41, Jesus warned His disciples, “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation.” In Luke 8:13, in the parable of the sower, one of the reasons that some of the seed did not flourish was because of temptation and the things of this world that drowned out the seed. So, James said in James 1:12, “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” Yes, we are going to face temptation. The devil is going to do everything possible to cause us to sin. In fact, I would suggest that right now the devil is actively trying to tempt each one of us. In Luke 22:31-32, Jesus said to Peter, “The Lord said, ‘Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you.’” Right then, Satan was plotting about how to use Peter against Jesus so he could use Peter for his purposes.