The Dwelling Place
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The Source Of Temptation
Pastor Seth Karber - April 5, 2018

James 1:14
But each one is tempted…

In other words, to be human is to be tempted. Don't ever think you are above it. The moment you think, “hey, I couldn't be tempted here,” is when you often will be tempted. When you start thinking you are above temptation is when you are most vulnerable.

Temptation is common to every one of us. (1 Corinthians 10:13) We all face this battle against temptation but how we deal with it is what shows the genuineness or the lack of our faith. It proves our faith.

Every situation we face requires a decision. Will I persevere? Will I move ahead in faith in God by obedience to His word or will I take the easy way out, disobey God and fall into sin?

Now, if I fall into sin, whose fault is it? If God allows the trials, then is He responsible for the temptations? This issue of who is to blame in temptation for sin is the heart of this passage and it is an essential thing because it really is something as old as sin.

In Genesis chapter 3, Adam and Eve have already fallen into sin and they are confronted by God. And whose fault was it? (Genesis 3:9-12) Well, he suggests the woman! I mean, after all, he went to sleep single one night and had never seen a women in his life and woke up the next morning and was married to one!

But the real issue here is he’s not blaming Eve. He says, “the woman whom YOU GAVE TO BE WITH ME”. Whose fault was it? GOD’S FAULT. You could have picked any woman you want, why did you pick her? Why did you make a woman who would do that.

By the way, the man isn’t the only one who spoke to God like this (Genesis 3:13) “I’m a victim of something You created, just like my husband. I was in this wonderful garden and all of a sudden this snake showed up. I didn’t make that snake. I didn’t make that snake talk.” The blame therefore is placed on God.

And it’s been so ever since. “God made me with my sinfulness. God made me with my circumstances. God put me in the situation I’m in. God gave me my surroundings. It’s not my fault.” It’s never our fault, it’s always somebody else’s fault. And if it’s not somebody else, it’s God’s fault. That is the tendency of our flesh, to avoid responsibility for our behavior and even go as far as to blame God.

Well, we live in a society full of justification. “Everybody else does it. It's just the way it is nowadays. It's just the way God made me anyway. If I didn't have this desire, if God didn't want me to have this desire, this addiction, this issue He wouldn't have given it to me so God understands anyway. I deserve it. Nobody else knows. This is just my one little thing.” This is the point: If you are doing anything inconsistent with God's Word that is sin.

It doesn’t matter who you want to blame for your sinfulness, it’s still sin. That is sinful behavior and you need to realize and understand that.

We are all tempted. We will all sin and so often we will blame God by blaming our circumstances, blaming our own weakness, blaming our surroundings, blaming our friends, blaming our relatives, blaming our family, blaming our finances or whatever. And so verse 13, James says,

James 1:13
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.

That is a command that leaves no room to blame God. In fact, he says that someone who really knows God has a humbleness and a brokenness when it comes to sin they wouldn’t think of blaming God. Let no man say that. But here’s the good news!

James 1:18
In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.

God gives us His own Spirit, His own self, His own righteous character, His own holiness is implanted in us, just a tremendous thought. As a Christian, you possess the very nature of God. (2 Peter 1:4)

This new life we have in Christ is a taste of future glory when the whole universe will be recreated. Making all things new from the inside. Who does it? God does it sovereignly. When does it happen or how does it happen? It happens when we hear with believing hearts the word of the gospel and then God transforms us and why does he do it? Because we are to stand out in the world as living examples of the goodness of God.

There is no way that God wants you to sin. No way He is pleased with your sin. He created you to be a model of who He is. That’s what He wants. So when you sin, don’t blame Him. Put the blame where it ought to be on your flesh and long for the day when your flesh is redeemed.

Who is to blame in your sin? You better know because you got to deal with it. He causes to be a new creation of His own possession. And we have in us that new creation that allows us to overcome evil if we submit to His power, prayer, the study of the word of God, a disciplined mind. To stop sin at the point where it starts. That’s what it means to be born again and we have much to praise God for.

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THE DWELLING PLACE - April 26, 2018