Part of this chapter that I wanted to focus on is at the beginning there of Luke Chapter 4, when we have the famous passage about Jesus Christ being tempted of the devil for 40 days and 40 nights. The bible tells us in Hebrews, chapter 4, verse 15, "For we have not a 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.
Let us therefore come boldly under the throne of grace that we obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." The bible tells us that part of what Jesus did, while he was on this earth, is that he was tempted in all points like as we are yet without sin. Obviously we know from the bible that Jesus Christ is God in the flesh, but he also was a human being. He became man. He became flesh.
He had all the weaknesses associated with that. He was hungry. He was thirsty. He was tired. He struggled with things. Even in the garden of Eden ... I'm sorry. Good night. The Garden of Gethsemane right before he goes to the cross we see him struggling with the idea of going to the cross. He's sweating. He's praying to God if there's any way that he could get out of it.
We see the humanity of Christ come through in so many different stories. Jesus Christ here is being tempted of the devil. Here we see him resisting those temptations. What I want to preach about this morning is the subject of temptation and resisting temptation. It says in verse number 1, "... and Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan and was led by The Spirit into the wilderness being 40 days tempted of the devil, and in those days he did eat nothing, and when they were ended he afterward hungered. The devil said unto him, 'If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.'
And Jesus answered him saying, 'It is written that man should not live by bread alone, but by every word of God,' and the devil taking him up into a high mountain showed to him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and the devil said unto him, 'All this power will I give thee and the glory of them, for that is delivered unto me, and to whomsoever I will I give it, if thou therefore will worship me, it shall all be thine.' And Jesus answered and said unto him, 'Get the behind me Satan for it is written thou shalt worship the Lord thy God and him only shalt thou serve.'"
Now the first thing that I noticed about these first 2 temptations, that the devil hits Jesus with, is that the things that he's being tempted with are things that Jesus is eventually already going to get anyway. The first thing that is said unto him is, "If thou be the Son of God command that these stones be made bread." He hasn't eaten in 40 days and 40 nights. He's been fasting. The bible says that he's very hungry.
The devil, of course, is going to tempt him with food because he's hungry. The next thing the temps him with is he shows him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them and says, "All these things will I give thee if though will fall down and worship me." We of course know that eventually Jesus Christ is going to rule over all of the kingdoms of the world anyway.
Obviously it's not like Jesus is never going to eat food again. It's not like he's never going to get to eat bread again. It's not that he's never going to receive that kingdom that was promised to him. The bible of course tells in Revelations the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of Christ. He shall rain forever and ever. What I want to point to about that is that often the things that devil tempts us with in our life are things that we are going to get anyway it's just the wrong timing.
For example, one of the biggest examples that you could think of is with fornication. The devil will tempt God's children to commit fornication and in reality that act of fornication is something that we're going to later be able to enjoy when we get married anyway if you're a single person. The devil's temping you with that. If you resist that temptation it's not that God's asking you to just be celibate for your whole life, or just not enjoy the things that life has to offer, it's just that you have to wait until it's legitimate and you have to wait until it would be righteous which would be within marriage to commit that act with your wife.
Another thing you could think of is stealing. That's another major sin that the bible talks about. The temptation to steal, pretty much anything that people to steal is something that if they were patient they would be able to get anyway eventually. Most people aren't stealing things that are just huge. I mean the most common thing that would be stolen would probably be something where somebody just goes into a store and puts something small in their pocket. If you think about the things that people steal they're very small items. Even if you thought about grand theft, what word comes to mind when you hear grand theft ...
Pastor: Auto, right, people are stealing cars. Even a car, it's not something that's just completely out of your reach to just ever own a car. I'm never going to have a car unless I steal it. No, if you were patient, and worked, and saved up some money, you could get a car. You could pretty much buy any of the things at the store that you want if you would just be patient and work and do it.
What the devil is often tempting us with are things that are legitimate things that we want. Jesus wants food that's normal. It's normal for a man to want to be with a woman. That's completely normal. The devil will try to get us to take that early, and to snatch that illegitimately, and steal that, whether that be through committing fornication, or just shoplifting something, instead of waiting until we've earned it, and waiting until it is legitimately ours.
The story the prodigal son comes to mind. One of the most famous stories in the bible. With the prodigal son we have the very wealthy man and he has the 2 sons. One of the sons comes to his father and says, "Give me the portion of the inheritance that falleth unto me now." Now that was an inheritance that was something that had been planned for him.
He was going to deserve it some day legitimately. He wants it early. He's supposed to get it when dad dies. Instead he's saying well just give it to me now. That's what the devil is tempting us to do today to basically not have patience but to just demand instant gratification right now instead of waiting until we've earned things and when we have the right to actually have things.
Also you think of children disobeying their parents. Children don't want to obey their parents. They don't want to be under that authority because they desire freedom. Again, freedom is a natural desire that we human beings should have. Human beings don't want to be a slave and constantly told what to do. It's not that God doesn't want us to have any freedom when he tells us to obey our parents and the Lord for this is right but rather he knows that when you're young you're foolish and you need those rules and boundaries until you're old enough to make good decisions for yourself.
The bible says, "Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child, but the rod of correction will drive it far from him." Again, what is disobeying your parents? Often it is saying, "Well I want all my freedom now. I want to live like an adult now," but you haven't earned it yet. You haven't gotten to that point. Again, the devil is tempting you with things that legitimately you will get if you wait until they come in God's timing.
Also you could think about a pastor who starts a church. He has the choice does he want to preach the whole council of God? Is he going to preach everything that the bible says including those things which are not popular? Is he going to trim the message, sugar-coat things, leave out certain parts of the bible that are less popular? What would be the motive for doing that? Well because he wants the church to grow faster. He wants to have that instant success.
Let me tell you something, if you stand up and preach the bible faithfully, instant, in season, out of season, you're going to succeed. The church is going to grow. You're going to achieve great things for God. It's not going to happen instantly. What does the devil want to temp you with?
He wants to tempt you with getting it all now, trimming the message, sugar-coating the Word of God in order to have that success now, in order to have the big crowd now, in order to get the accolades now which leads me into my next point that when we look at this passage one of the things that stands out is that the devil always tempts people based on pride.
He uses pride in order to get people to fall into temptation. As we study the bible we see that people who are proud people are the ones who give into temptation. The people who are humble are the ones who are able to withstand temptation. Now with the example that we just talked about with the pastor, you can see where pride would play a part.
Pride just glories in, and revels in the attention of, "Hey, look how well I'm doing. Look how big the church is. Look how successful I am." A humble man is going to say, "You know what? I'm just going to do what God told me to do. I'm just going to preach the bible and let the chips fall where they may because I'm not trying to impress anyone."
Pastor: I'm will to just patiently wait for God to do whatever he's going to do. He said, "Upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Pride says, "Let's get the glory now." If you think about it each of these temptations has something to do with pride when you look at these 3 temptations that Jesus Christ is tempted with.
When you look at the first temptation he says to him, "If thou be the Son of God ... " Look down at your bible there in verse number 3, "If thou be the Son of God command this stone that it be made bread." You say, "Well what does that have to do with pride? What does eating food have to do with pride?" Well here's why it has to do with pride because he says, "If thou be the Son of God command that these stones be made bread." He's questioning whether or not Jesus is the Son of God. What does he want him to do? Prove it to me right now. Show me right now that you really are who you say you are.
Especially if you look at the third temptation down in verse 9 it says, "He brought him to Jerusalem and set him on a pinnacle of the temple and said to him, 'If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence for it is written he shall give his angels charge over thee to keep thee and in their hands they shall bear thee up lest at any time thou dash thy foot against this stone.'"
He's asking Jesus to throw himself off the pinnacle of the temple for what purpose? What would be the point of jumping off the pinnacle of the temple? He says well if you're the Son of God jump off the temple. Now you can see why he would want to turn stones into bread because he's hungry. You can see why he would want to rule over the kingdoms of the world and have all that glory, but why in the world would he want to throw himself off the temple?
There's no logical reason to do so except just to prove a point. That's the only reason why anyone would be tempted to do something like that is just, "Well I'm going to show him. I'm going to shut him up." That all has to do with pride because a humble person doesn't really have anything to prove. They don't always have to prove it. Every time somebody challenges them they don't have to be right there to prove it.
In fact, the verse that comes to mind is Galatians 1:10. You don't have to turn there but the Apostle Paul said, "For do I now persuade men or God?" Who are we trying to persuade? Who are we trying to prove something too? Is it to God or is it to the people around us? Pride wants to prove it to the people around us. Humility knows that God already knows everything anyway. We don't need to prove anything. We just want to make sure that we're pleasing to God. It doesn't matter what people think of us.
He says, "Do I now persuade men or God or do I seek to please men for if I yet please men I should not be the servant of Christ." We see that it's more important for us to worry about pleasing God than pleasing man. The only reason why we want to persuade man and prove things to the people around us is just simply for our own pride. That's why the bible says of the devil he is the king over all the children of pride. That's who he has the mastery of those who have a lot of pride.
If you would turn to James chapter number 4, James chapter number 4. While you're turning there I'll read for you from First Peter chapter 5 verse 5. It says, "Likewise ye younger submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea all of you be subject one to another and be clothed with humility for God resisteth the proud and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God that he may exalt you in due time."
Again, when God's asking us to be humble, he's not saying to us, "Hey you're never going to have any glory. You're never going to be exalted." No, he says, "Humble yourself therefore under the might hand of God that he may exalt you in due time."
Which goes back to what we were saying about how the devil tempts us with things that we're eventually going to get anyway. That's why the devil is such a deceiver. He wants to trick you into thinking that God is somehow withholding from you all the pleasures and he's withholding all the good things from you. This is how he's always operated.
If we go all the way back to the garden of Eden, what does the devil say to Eve when he tempts her? He says, well you know, is it true that you're not allowed to eat from all the trees in the garden? Now God had just finished telling her you can eat of all the trees that you want except one. Then the devil words it in a way where it sounds like, "Oh, you can't eat of all of them?"
Just trying to emphasize that which is off limits when in reality there's so much that's allowed. There's so much freedom. There's so much of a choice there of all the trees of the garden thou mayest freely eat except one. The devil tries to spin that as oh man, you can't eat everything? Tries to just emphasize the one thing you're not supposed to do and make a big deal out of it.
Then when she clarifies it with him his response is oh well God knows when you eat of that fruit you'll be like unto him. You'll be as Gods knowing good an evil. Again, he tries to put it to her as well God's trying to hold you back from something good. God's just trying to restrain this knowledge from you that you should rightfully have.
He's just trying to hoard it all for himself and doesn't want you to have any fun and doesn't want you to enjoy anything. That's the devil's lie that basically if you live a Christian life you're going to be miserable and you're not going to enjoy anything. It's all the people of this world that are having all the fun and enjoyment. Let me tell you something, it's the biggest lie, because the people in this world today are miserable.
Pastor: In fact the people who succeed the most in this world are the most miserable people.
Pastor: If you look at these Hollywood types they pretty much have everything that the world thinks they want. They have good lucks. They have fame. They have money. They have freedom. Yet they're the ones who are constantly just drunken, and getting on drugs, committing suicide. They're caught shoplifting. They're millionaires, why? Because they're not happy.
They're just these spoiled rotten successful people of this world. There's no happiness in that life. The devil wants you to think, "Oh, it's the wicked that are having all the fun tonight. They're out at the bar and the club tonight. They're just having a great time while you're just suffering and miserable." No, actually there's great joy in living a Christian life.
Pastor: Honestly, what does the world have to offer that the Christian life doesn't have to offer? What's so great? What's so great about what the world the has? Ah, it's just so fun the drinking and the partying. It's not all that it's cracked up to be.
Pastor: If you've talked to people that have done it they'll say it's not all that it's cracked up to me. There's an emptiness. There's a void there. Yeah, maybe it's fun, but then as you get older it's going to get old. You're going nowhere in life.
The next morning you're puking your guts out. Then you're getting the DUI. Then you got to pay $10,000 grand and go through all that. Then you end up just hurting people and you have children out of wedlock. It's just your life becomes a mess and you get to the end of your life and you've screwed everything up.
Pastor: What's so great about that anyway? Then oh, all but all the fun over there in the bars and the strip clubs. You know what was so funny is I was driving by a million strip clubs in a row. Just driving down the road and there's all these gentleman's clubs or strips clubs or whatever you want. One of them said, "One on one." I was thinking to myself, "Hmm, that kind of reminds me of being married."
Pastor: You know one on one. I mean it's like so stupid like you have to go somewhere to some filthy institution with some filthy prostitute when God has ordained marriage to be enjoyed by a man and a woman, one on one. I mean give me a break.
Pastor: They try to deceive you that it's so fun down there. The bible says that even in laughter the heart is sorrowful ...
Congregation: [crosstalk 00:17:30].
Pastor: ... when it some to the sinful life. It's not what it's cracked up to be. The devil's a deceiver. He wants to play upon that desire to have everything right now instead of waiting and being patient. Not only that he plays on our pride. That's what he's trying to do to Jesus. "Well if you're the Son of God then you should be able to do this." Trying to tap into Jesus pride where, "I'll show you. I'm gonna show him." Think about how that goes with peer pressure.
Isn't that how a lot of children, hopefully just children, hopefully adults have become more wise to where they don't fall for this as adults, some adults even fall for this, but children are really acceptable to peer pressure. Listen up children because when children get around their friends, they really want to be cool. They really want to fit in.
What is that if it's not pride? Pride, you want to be the coolest guy. You want to be the one that everybody thinks is so hip and cool. What does peer pressure do? It taps into that and basically will try to get you to do things that are wrong, whether it's drinking, whether it's drugs. I'm like, "Ah, come on."
What's the most common taunt that comes on the playground when people are trying to get you to something wrong, "What are you scared? Are you chicken?" You know it's almost like what the devil's saying to Jesus where he's saying, "Hey, jump off the pinnacle of the temple Jesus. What area you scared?" [cluck cluck cluck 00:18:58] Are you chicken? Listen kids you need to be careful because a lot of people will try to taunt you into doing a lot of stupid things.
That's what they're going to say like, "You're scared. You're just chicken. You're just afraid to do it." Think about all the things that are under that canopy whether it's shoplifting, "Oh, you're just scare to take it. You're just afraid." Just getting people to do things like drinking, drugs, or fornication. "Oh, you just don't have the guts, you're just scared." This is something that's very common amongst children
If you would look down at your bible there in James chapter 4 where I had you turn. In James chapter 4 it says in verse 6, "But he giveth more grace wherefore he sayeth God resisteth the proud but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you."
Isn't it interesting that in the discussion about being humble he says resist the devil and he'll flee from you. He talks about pride in the context of giving into temptation a lot in the bible. Then he talks about humility a lot in regard to resisting temptation.
He says, "Submit yourselves therefore to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands ye sinners and purify your hearts ye double-minded. Be afflicted and morn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord and he shall lift you up. In verse 6 he's telling you to be humble. In verse 10 he's telling you to be humble. Right in the middle he's saying resist the devil and he'll flee from you.
When you look at the story with Jesus, Jesus resists the devil. I mean the devil's trying to tempt him. He resists that temptation. At the very end of that temptation when Jesus resists it it says in verse 13, "And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season."
The devil does end up leaving Jesus. He resisted the devil. The devil fled from him. Notice it said for a season. It's not like you just resist temptation one time and then oh, the devil's going to leave me alone now. Now he knows he can't mess with me. He says the devil departed from him for a season which means he's coming back.
Pastor: He's going to attempt him again, and again, and again. That's why this sermons important because we're constantly going to be faced with temptation in our lives. The devil's going to constantly try to tempt us. How are we going to handle it? Well the first thing that we need to understand is that wait a minute God is going to give me the good things that I need in life. I don't need to get it now from the devil. Look at James chapter 1 just a few page from where you are right now.
It says in James chapter 1 verse 12, "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation." This is exactly on point with what we're talking about. "For when he is tried he shall receive the crown of life which the Lord hath promised them that love him. Let no man say when he's tempted, 'I'm temped of God.' For God cannot be tempted with evil neither tempted he any man.
Every many is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed. Then when lust has conceived it bringeth forth sin, and sin when it is finished bringeth forth death. Do not error by beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and cometh down from the father of light with whom is no variableness neither shadow of turning."
The bible is telling us that every good gift, every good thing that we want from life is going to come from God. He's going to give it to us. He's not going to withhold from us any good thing the bible says. He'll give us the desires of our heart, but often we must be patient. There's a temptation there where our own lust will be played upon by the devil and where he'll try to get us to want to take everything now and just gratify the flesh now.
When in reality, we just need to be patient and wait for God to give us those things in his timing. That physical relationship with a woman, that comes with marriage. If you're a woman, that physical relationship with a man, that's going to come when you get married. Wait for it, be patient for it. God's not trying to withhold that good thing from you.
You just have to wait until his timing. When it comes to maybe owning something that you want, you have to work hard and earn the money, and get that item, not just steal it right now, and give into that temptation. God is not trying to just hold us back from having any enjoyment in our life. Rather he wants us to obey him, fear him, keep his commandments, be humble, and respect the boundaries that he has placed in our lives. Pride says, "Well you know what? I deserve this right now."
What is pride? It's having an inflated view of yourself. It's trying to life yourself up how great you are. Pride is going to say, "Well you know what? I deserve this. Why should I have to wait for this. Why is everybody around me enjoying this and I'm not. I'm every bit as good as they are." You can see how pride can lead you into temptation through trying to prove things to people and not want to be looked down upon or called a chicken.
The bible says that the people of this world are going to think it's strange that we don't follow them to the same excess of riot and drunkenness and everything. They're going to think that's weird. They're not going to understand that. Especially children don't want to be seen as weird or different. They want to just fit in and go with the flow, so they're going to be a conformist.
The bible says, "Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." Pride says, "Oh, well I deserve this." You know what else pride says?
Pride says, "Well you know what? I'm a great Christian so I can actually play around with sin and do some of these things and it's not going to destroy me because I can handle it because I'm a ... Other more babes in Christ, they're not going to be able to handle playing around with sin because they're just going to go off the deep-end. Whereas I can play with it and do it moderation and everything." That's all pride. The bible says, "Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall."
He's warning those that are proud that they could fall into temptation. Turn if you would to 1st Corinthians chapter 10. While you're turning there I'll read you a famous scripture from Proverbs 16. The bible says in Proverbs 16, 17, "The highway of the upright is to depart from evil. He that keepeth his way preserveth his soul. Pride goeth before destruction, and in haughty spirit before the fall."
Those who are proud are going to fall. Fall what? Fall into temptation. Right before that he says, "Those that are upright are going to depart from evil, and they're going to keep their way." They're going to keep their heart with all diligence. They're going to guard themselves from sin. Whereas the proud are just going to fall into temptation.
First Corinthians Chapter 10 of course the famous verse where it says that, "Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." In verse number, somebody help me out, verse 12. There we go, "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." Then look at the next words. "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man."
Again, the context of falling, when he says, "Pride goeth before destruction, a haughty spirit before the fall," the context is falling into temptation because he says, "Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. There are no temptation taken you but such as is common to man, but God is faithful who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able but will with the temptation make a way of escape that ye may be able to bear it."
What else are people tempted to do besides sins that we've already covered? We talked about the fact that obviously fornication is a big temptation for the unmarried. Obviously, stealing is a temptation when people see something that they want and they can't afford it. They don't want to wait and earn the money. They go ahead and take it.
There's a temptation of course for pastors to not preach all the word of God that they're supposed to preach, again, because of peer pressure. Maybe they want to fit in with the other pastors around them and be accepted of this world and glorified of this world instead of waiting to be glorified by God in due time. There's a temptation for children to rebel against and disobey their parents because they want to experience that feeling of freedom of making their own decisions, of doing what they want to do.
When in reality they just have to wait a few years and then they can do what they want to do, once they grow up, once they're an adult, once they're paying their own bills. By then they'll have the wisdom to make the right decisions. Looking back to my mentality, when I was 11, 12, 13, 14, if i would have been given total freedom I would have done a lot of stupid things.
Thankfully by the time you get to be 17, 18, 19, 20, whenever you end up getting married, leaving the house, doing your own thing, hopefully you've gotten more brains by then and you're going to make better decisions and your parents are there to keep you from doing stupid things. Just to be extreme if you went all the way back to a toddler, what if you just let a toddler do whatever they want, play ball in the freeway, eat ice cream for breakfast.
They're not going to take a bath. They're not going to brush their teeth. They're not going to learn how to read. They're just going to want to play video games, watch TV, eat junk food. They're going to grow up and be stupid, and sluggish, and unhealthy, and a fool, and do nothing with their life. The have to have guidance. They have to have be put in certain parameters.
What are some of the other temptations out there? Of course the temptation to drink. Why do people drink? What's the point of drinking? A lot of the drinking come from peer pressure. You do it as a ... What are the people called? Being a social drinker. Why? Because they drink to fit in. They drink with friends. They drink as a social activity. Also this can be a pride thing. A lot of people take pride in how much they drink don't they?
They brag about oh, yeah, I can drink X amount. The bible talks about that too. Isaiah chapter 5 verse 22, "Whoa unto them that are mighty to drink wine and men of strength to mingle strong drink." God warns about this mentality that thinks it's tough, or mighty, or strong, to be able to drink a lot. I don't understand how that could be a badge of honor that you could drink a lot. All it means, if you can really hold your liquor, and drink a lot, it just means that you've drunk a lot in the past is all that means.
Pastor: Somebody who's never drunk before can't handle it. The more you drink, the more you can handle it, the less it affects you. Wow, that's really cool. The more that you waste your money, and waste your brain, and drink, and do stupid things, and throw up, and make a fool of yourself, than wow, it's like a badge of honor. Think about how stupid that is.
Congregation: That's right.
Pastor: What other stupid things do you brag about?
Congregation: Yeah, right.
Pastor: Just think about that. It reminds me of I've seen these ... Sometimes you'll be Googling something and you'll be looking for an answer to a question. It'll take you to an online forum. It'll be like, "This person has posted 47,359 times to this forum." It has like a little badge next to their name. I'm thinking to myself like that's not cool. That's not something to brag about. "I went on the computer and posted 47,000 things to an online forum." It just shows that basically you're not living real life.
Pastor: Your life is so lame and boring that you're just like stuck on a computer all just ... "Oh, yeah, you know I'm just going to chat on this forum 5 billion times and see if I can reach, you know, gold platinum status on this forum." I'm sure video games probably offer you similar badges of honor that you spent thousands of hours of your life and flushed them down the toilet on some video game and, "Oh, wow, I drank so much alcohol." It's so stupid and lame to those of us who have some wisdom.
Pastor: By the way any sober people who are around people that are drunk just think they're acting like an idiot.
Congregation: Yeah, right.
Pastor: In order for people to have a good time they all have to be drunk.
Pastor: Because there's nothing more annoying than being around somebody who's drunk when you're sober.
Congregation: Amen [crosstalk 00:31:24].
Pastor: You're just looking at [inaudible 00:31:27], "You're an idiot. You're acting like a fool." There's no glory in it. It's just a peer pressure thing. It's a pride thing of you know, "If I want to be one of the tough guys, I have to be into everything that the world's into." What really it is it's actually a spiritual weakness is what it is. The world puts it as strong, manly, if I drink lots of beer. Really what it is it's a spiritual weakness where you're looking for other people's approval.
Pastor: Think about that. That's a spiritual weakness. When you need everybody's approval all the time, and you need other people to bolster you and who you are instead of just being content to be who you are before God, but you have to show everybody how much you can drink, and how much you can indulge in fornication, and how much you can party, and whatever. I's basically just to impress people. Think about it Jesus didn't have to impress anybody. Jesus didn't have to prove to the devil that he's the Son of God.
Congregation: That's right.
Pastor: I mean he's saying if you're the Son of God and Jesus just says you know basically thou shalt not tempt the Lord, get thee behind me Satan. He doesn't care. He's not interested in proving anything to ... Look did it make Jesus less the Son of God because he didn't prove it to the devil?
Pastor: Okay, as you're reading the story are you sitting there and thinking, "Maybe Jesus isn't the Son of God because why didn't he turn those stones into bread?" I mean is that what you think when you read this? Were you reading your bible and you were like, "Why didn't he throw himself off the temple. I'm starting whether Jesus is really the Son of God." Why? Because the people that actually matter, they don't need these stupid proofs.
Congregation: That's right. Amen.
Pastor: God didn't need the proof. We as Christians don't need the proof. We already believe it by faith. Who's asking for the proof? It's the devil.
Pastor: It's the ungodly wicked people of this world that are demanding for Jesus to prove something or for us, as God's children, to prove something all the time. They want to taunt us, and challenge us, and get us to prove something all the time. Pride wants to take up that challenge and fit in and show everybody how great we are. Whereas humility says, "You know what? I've got nothing to prove."
Pastor: I know that I'm a child of God. I know that I'm going to inherit all things. I know I'm going to rule and reign with Christ some day. I'm willing to wait until God exalts me in due time because the bible says if we humble our self we shall be exalted, but everyone that exalted themselves shall be abased and brought low. It's faith that tells us if we wait patiently we will be exalted in due time. We don't need to be might men to drink wine or men of strength to mingle strong drink.
What are some of the other temptations that are out there? Another major sin that people are tempted to commit is lying. I mean all of us are tempted to lie at times aren't we? If you look at what's at the root of lying, what makes a person lie? Again, it's pride. Why? Because what do we lie about? We get busted doing something wrong, so we lie about it to cover it up because we don't want people to think low of us.
Pride says, "Well I want people to think highly of me so therefore I'm going to lie in order to not be busted here with what I've done wrong." People might sometimes lie about achievements that they've never really achieved. Weightlifting comes to mind. You know, "Hey, how much do you bench?"
That's the dumbest question in the world because you never get the truth unless you actually observe it. I mean unless you observe the bench press is really is meaningless because pretty much almost every person you talk to is going to lie about it. There's almost a formula subtract 20% or whatever. With some people you've got to track 50%.
I remember when I was a teenager. I had a weight bench in my room. I liked to lift weights. I would ask my fellow teenage friends, "How much do you bench?" They'd come at me with the craziest numbers. I'm just thinking to myself, "There's no way." A few times I was like I'm going to abase these people. I'm going to bring these guys down. I remember asking them at my house saying, "How much do you bench?" Then they'd tell you some crazy number.
These are like 12, 13-year-olds. It's not a crazy number for an adult. These 12 and 13-year-old kids are like, "Oh, I benched 150, 160." You're looking at them and you're like, "This is a child." I used to say, "Come upstairs with me right now. I have a bench up there right now." I would lower it by 30 pounds. I said, "I bet you can't even do 30 pounds less than what you just said." They'd go up there and can't do it. Then this was how they'd cover it.
Then they ... Oh, what a tangled web we weave when at first we practice to deceive. First they would lie about it. Then they'd have to tell another lie. "Oh, I did it on a machine." Well yeah, you did it on a machine because it's not the same on a machine. They did it on some fake machine and then claim that's how much they can bench. It's apples to oranges. Isn't that just pride? "Oh, yeah, I can bench ... "
Then he'd just name some huge number." Adults do it all the time, make up numbers, what they thought about benching one day, what their goal was, that just becomes their ... "Well I did 10 reps at this so I did a formula, and yeah, I think I could do that you know," or whatever. People lie. They lie about other achievements too.
Congregation: How much do you make?
Pastor: How much do you make? Yeah, there you go. People lie about that too how much money they make. People tell all kinds of lies. They go online and lie about how old they are and stuff. They lie about all kinds of things. Why? To make themselves look better. "Hey, I make more money than I really made." "Hey, I'm stronger than you really think I am." "Hey, I'm actually younger or smarter." Everybody just lies out of pride. When there's a positive lying where you're building yourself up, it's pride.
When there's a negative lying of, "Oh, I didn't do that. I didn't really do it. That wasn't me." Again, it's pride. Not wanting people to think lowly of you. In either case God knows what the truth is. When you lie you're proving you care more about what people think than what God thinks. You know that God would think better of you if you told the truth and owned up to it or whatever and said, "I bench nothing. I benched the bar with no weight on it." At least you told the truth. No, I'm just kidding.
Anyway, the point is that when we lie, it's pride that leads us to fall into that temptation. When you think of other sins, laziness is a sin. This would be the sins of omission as opposed to the sins of commission. For example if we're skipping church, we're tempted to lay out of church, because we're just too lazy to get up, and get dressed, and get down there to church. What are some of the reasons why a person would give into that temptation to be lazy and not go to church.
Some of it could be pride that says, "Oh, well I pretty much know everything that the pastor's going to be preaching anyway. I don't think I really need to be down there, you know because I pretty much heard it all anyway." I mean I've been going to Faithful Word for 2 years and I've pretty much heard everything that Pastor Anderson said. Look I've had people say this to me out on soul winning. I've knocked on the door and say, "Hey, I want to invite you to Faithful Word Baptist Church."
Here's what I've had people say to me, "Well you know what? I don't go to church anymore because every time I go to church I pretty much realize that I know more than the pastor anyway. I pretty much know more than the pastor so what's the point of me going to church?" That's such a stupid ...
In talking to this guy for like 60 seconds, it was real apparent that this guy knew pretty much nothing of the bible. Yet this guy, who knows pretty much nothing of the bible, just throws that out there. Just, yeah, "I pretty much know more than any pastor in this city." I mean that's just a prideful, arrogant attitude. First of all, even if you do know the bible really well, there's always more to learn because the bible's an infinite book.
Pastor: You say, "Yeah, but I already know everything that Pastor Anderson has to say and teach." Well that's impossible because I'm learning new things every week too. I read the bible every week. I'm studying and learning new things. In 2015 I'm preaching new things that I've learned that I never preached in the past. Now it's a mixture of new and old.
There's going to be some things that we've already heard. We still need those things refreshed and we need to be reminded of those things. There are always going to be new things to learn. Look I go on weeknights sometimes and visit other independent Baptist churches in the area when they have a special thing going on on weeknights and everything. I always learn something.
This prideful arrogant attitude that says, "Well I already know. I already know the whole bible. I already read the bible in prison. I already know everything about it." I've heard that like 100 times. Who's had somebody tell you that out soul winning, "Hey can I show you this from the bible? 'Oh, I already read the whole the bible in prison. I already know everything it says.'" What? You could read it 20, 30, 40 times and you don't know everything it says because it's so deep. You keep learning more every time you read it. Again, just pride, arrogance.
Also the temptation not to go soul winning. Listen not going soul winning is a sin. The bible commands us to open our mouths boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel and go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He says, "Whoa unto me if I preach [another 00:41:07] gospel." If our gospel be hid, it's hid to them that are lost. Why do people not go soul winning? Most of it's laziness because it's hard work to go out soul winning.
It's just you don't want to get out there and do it. Pride will say, "Well you know what? I'm such an awesome Christian in other areas it's okay if I don't go soul winning. You know what I mean? Because I'm doing all this other great stuff. I'm just awesome in other ways." Yet that's ridiculous because God's telling us that we need to go out and reach people with the gospel.
It's a key component of the Christian life. When we look at all these different temptations that we fall into ... One last place I want to you have you turn is 1st John chapter 2. When we look at all these temptations that we're tempted to do, the key to resisting temptation is humility. If you want to fall into temptation it's pride.
Pride is going to lead you to that fall into temptation. He says in 1st John chapter 2, verse 15, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the word. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him for all that is in the world," and look at these classic temptations, "The lust of the flesh," I mean what could be more of a temptation than the lust of the flesh.
Isn't that exactly what Satan tempted Jesus with first in Luke 4 when he said, "Command that these stones be made into bread." His flesh is hungry for bread. It's the lust of the flesh. Then it says the lust of the eyes. That's the second thing that the devil did. He took him up to a high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them.
There's your lust of they eyes. He said, "Look at all this. I'll give you all this." Then the pride of life, what was the third temptation? Cast thyself down which is just nothing more than just making a point. Just the pride of showing hey I am who I said I am. I am the Son of ... I'm going to prove it to you right now. I'm going to show you.
That taunting that's there is trying to get him with the pride life. It says it's not of the Father but is of the world and the world passeth away and the lust thereof. He doeth the will of God abideth forever. Okay, so practically speaking, now that we've seen all the doctrine, now that we've looked at all the scriptures that show us how important it is to be humble, when we're resisting temptation and how pride is going to cause us to fall.
How he devil, that's exactly what he went after with Jesus was his pride. If you are of the Son of God prove it. Now that we see all that doctrine. Now that we've looked at all these concrete examples of saying, okay, whether it be stealing, whether it be lying, whether it be fornication, whether it be drinking, whether it be drug, how pride can often be at the root of it.
What's the practical application? How do we resist temptation in our life? What do we do when temptation, because it comes all the time. We're constantly tempted to do wrong. Everyday the temptation is there to do wrong. Not all of these things every day but one of these things every day you're going to be tempted to indulge in one of these sins every single day of your life.
Well what is humility going to do to help us to defeat these temptations? What is humility? It's not having too high of a view of yourself. The bible says that we are not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think. What's humility going to do for us? First of all it's an acknowledgement that we're vulnerable.
That's the firs thing it does because if we're ready for the attack we're going to defend better against the attack than when we don't see it coming. If we realize that we're vulnerable, now we're on our guard. See the proud person's just, "Oh, I'm above that. I'm above [committing ... 00:45:01]. I'm above falling into that sin. Then they don't realize their vulnerable. The surprise attack is going to get there.
The first thing that humility does for us is it lets us know we're vulnerable and so we're on our guard. Realizing, "Hey the devil is out to get me. The devil is going to tempt me. My flesh is going to tempt me. The world is going to try to tempt me." I need to be ready for that temptation so that I can be ready to resist that temptation.
The second thing humility is going to do for us is it causes us to rely on God and not just on our self. You say, "Well what is relying on God going to do?" Well the bible says pray that you enter not into temptation. In Luke 22:40 when he was at the place he said unto them, "Pray that ye enter not into temptation."
Pride says, "Well I can withstand the temptation on my own." Then you fall. Whereas humility says, "You know what? I'm going to need God's help. I better pray every day that God would help me not to enter into temptation." Even part of the so-called Lord's prayer, one of the most famous, you know,
"Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be they name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever, amen."
Even in that patterned prayer when the disciples said to Jesus, "Teach us to pray." He teaches them to pray. Part of what he teaches them is to pray that he would not lead them into temptation. That needs to be a regular part of our prayer life where we go to God and say, "God, I'm weak. God, I'm vulnerable. God, I'm prone to temptation. Lord, help me to withstand this particular temptation. Lead me away from temptation God. Don't even put me in a position where it's going to be accessible to me. When I am confronted with it Lord, give me the strength to resist it."
When we humbly ask that of God, he's going to hear our prayer and he's going to help us. We've got to realize that we're vulnerable. We have to pray because God is the one who's really going to have the strength to help us get through it. Not only that but you know what? We have to not lead ourselves into temptation. I mean if you're going to sit there and pray, "Well lead me not into temptation," and then you drive to the bar. "Well I'm just ordering a soda or whatever." I mean you're leading yourself into temptation there through pride.
Lastly, what humility needs to do for us is it needs to ... We need to get to a place where we're not just out to glorify our self and just to prove to everybody how great we are and how cool we are all the time. Especially children need to listen up to that. Children have this tendency to want to prove to everybody that they are just the coolest guy and that they are just the baddest dude.
That will lead you into a lot of sin, a lot of sin, that mentality. It's so ridiculous and foolish that thankfully most adults have grown out of that. You see adults who haven't grown out of it. As adults, you start to learn that actually the people who are trying the hardest to be cool are seen as the least cool.
Pastor: You know what I mean? It's actually the people that are just confident, and not out to prove everything all the time, that actually are respected the most.
Pastor: Kids are too young to have learned that. They fall into this trap of trying to impress people all the time. When we as adults get around people who are always bragging about themselves and telling you, "Hey, did I mention how much my motorcycle cost? Hey did I mention how much my travel trailer cost. Hey did I mention that we just bought a new house for X amount of money. Hey did I mention my new record on bench press? Hey did I have to tell you that ... ?" We get around people like that and we're actually repelled by it.
Pastor: What's this guy trying to prove?
Pastor: Actually people like that seem like a loser because it's like why are they just constantly just bragging to you about, "Oh, yeah, did you see my wife's new ring? Let me tell you how much it cost by the way. Did I tell you that I just got promoted at my job again?" It just comes off ... You don't want to be around people like that, just that pride and stupidity.
You know what? If we realized that look a lot of the time that we're sinning, if we look at the sins, a lot of it's because of pride. If we could just work on just humbling ourselves and just realizing, "You know what? I'm a child of God. I'm a servant of God. That should be enough. I don't have anything to prove. I don't need to impress people." You know what? Think about about another sin.
What about women who dress promiscuously? That is a sin. The bible talks about women who have the attire of a harlot. What is motivating women to dress promiscuously? Pride, and that's why he says the women should be adorned in modest apparel. What is modesty? The opposite of pride. Modesty is when you're humble and you don't brag. What's pride? Hey everybody, look at me. Look at my body. Look how good I look. That's pride.
Pride is going to lead you into all these sins. Everything from dressing like a harlot, to stealing, to bragging, to ... I mean it's all pride. We need to get a humble attitude before the Lord and let him exalt us in due time and just be patient and know the world doesn't owe us everything right now. We need to just be patient and wait and get what God has for us in his timing and receive it humbly and with thankfulness.
Let's bow our heads and have a word of prayer. Father we thank you so much Lord for all the wonderful things that you have given us and that every good gift and every perfect gift is from above Lord. Please help us to serve you with humility and to every single day just realize hey we're vulnerable.
None of us is such a great Christian that we would never fall into sin. All of us are capable of falling into sin Lord. Help us to remember that every day that we're all human. We are all prone to sin. Help us to humbly pray to you and get help and also just to walk before our fellow man without trying to prove anything but to just be humble servants of you and in Jesus' name we pray, Amen.