Temptation

Chris

Administrator
Staff member
Temptation
By David L. Goetsch

As Christians we often face temptations that challenge our faith. This is why we are given the admonition in Matthew 26:41 to “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak.” Standing up to temptation and overcoming it is a daily struggle. Even if we say “no” to temptation today, new temptations will confront us tomorrow. The battle against temptation is, in reality, a battle against our own sinful human nature.

Doug struggled with temptation for a whole semester before finally overcoming it. While taking graduate classes at night to earn an MBA degree, he found himself attracted to a fellow student named Susan. Susan was attractive, friendly, and intelligent. Doug liked meeting with Susan before class to discuss their assignments and prepare for tests. Before long, he found himself making excuses to spend more and more time with her. Susan was equally attracted to Doug. They shared a mutual attraction, but there was a problem: both were married.

One night before class, Susan suggested they take their relationship to the “next level.” When Doug asked about Susan’s husband, she claimed they were headed for a divorce, and soon. In fact, he had already moved out and was living with his brother. Susan invited Doug to her home to study and, although troubled by a guilty conscience, he accepted. They began meeting one night a week in her home. It was after a month of these so-called study sessions things came to a head.

One night, Susan pushed their books aside, took Doug by the hand, and pulled him toward her on the couch. In a fit of panic, Doug grabbed his books and dashed out the front door. He drove away in haste, but was too shook up to drive. Doug pulled into the parking lot of a convenience store where he sat for more than an hour overcome with guilt. His hands shook and his breathing was labored. When he had finally calmed his nerves sufficiently to drive, a deeply chastened Doug went home to face the music. Doug made a complete confession to his wife, dropped the class he and Susan were enrolled in, and sat out a semester to get his feet back under him emotionally.

Temptation is a constant threat to our faith. Therefore, as Christians, we must to learn to confront it head-on and overcome it. By ourselves, we cannot possibly do this, but with Christ at our side we can meet the challenge. Christ knows what it is like to be tempted; he understands what you are going through. Matthew 4: 1-11 tells the story of Christ being tempted by Satan. Rather than give in to Satan’s temptations, Christ steadfastly rejected the evil one’s schemes. This is the example we, as Christians, should follow when we struggle with temptation.

We live in a fallen world. Thus, temptation will always be with us. Satan is always lurking in the shadows looking for opportunities to ensnare you in his evil web. This is the message in 1 Peter 5:8 where we are admonished to be vigilant because the devil is always prowling around like a lion in search of prey. But unlike the lion’s prey, you are neither helpless nor defenseless. You have the armor of God for protection.

Consequently, when you feel yourself weakening in the face of temptation, put on the armor of God and you will be able to withstand the scheming temptations of Satan. This is the message in Ephesians 6: 10-11: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” This message should be inscribed on the heart of every Christian. Although it will never be easy, you can stand up to temptation and overcome it. Four helpful strategies are: read Scripture, pray, seek wise counsel, and learn by observing the successes and failures of others.

1.) READ SCRIPTURE UNTIL THE TEMPTATION PASSES

The armor of God is your best defense against temptation. Even the devil’s sharpest arrows cannot penetrate it. When the devil entices you with temptation, find a quiet place and open your Bible or call up the Bible on your smart phone. Read any of the many verses that deal with temptation. Ephesians 6:11 is a good place to start. This verse makes clear the armor of God will protect you from the devil’s nefarious schemes.

2.) BOLSTER YOUR RESOLVE WITH PRAYER

Few things will stop Satan in his tracks more effectively than the prayers of a believer. If you feel pulled in the wrong direction by temptation, fortify your heart with prayer and Satan will flee from you. This is the message in James 4:7: “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” You submit yourself to God every time you pray. By asking for God’s help, you acknowledge your helplessness and his power. Ask the Lord to take you by the hand and turn you from the temptations in question.

3.) SEEK WISE COUNSEL

Trying to fight temptation alone is unwise. Scripture advises believers who are struggling to seek wise counsel. This is the message in Proverbs 12:15: “The way of the fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.” There is a similar message in Proverbs 11:14: “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” When temptation tugs at you, seek the wise counsel of a pastor, Christian counselor, or a fellow believer.

4.) LEARN BY OBSERVING OTHER PEOPLE

You have probably heard the adage that smart people learn from their mistakes, but wise people learn from the mistakes of others. It is smart to learn from our mistakes so we don’t repeat them. But when it comes to standing firm against temptation, an even better approach is to learn from the mistakes of others. This is the message in 1 Corinthians 10:6: “Now these things took place as examples for us, that we might not desire evil as they did.” Observe the mistakes of others and learn from them.

Dr. Goetsch is the author of Christian Women on the Job: Excelling at Work without Compromising Your Faith, Fidelis Books, an imprint of Post Hill Press and Christians on the Job: Winning at Work Without Compromising Your Faith, Salem Books, an imprint of Regnery Publishing, 2019: www.david-goetsch.com

https://www.raptureforums.com/spiritual-life/temptation-2/
 

Salluz

Aspiring Man of God
Ephesians 6:11 is a good place to start. This verse makes clear the armor of God will protect you from the devil’s nefarious schemes

I do wish more people would talk about the specifics of this as the next few verses explain. I don't know if it helps much to tell someone to put on the full armor of God and then not mention that what that actually means is found in the next few verses. Of course mature Christians are most likely going to be familiar with the passage already, but it's worth talking about why each piece is important.

A new believer won't automatically assume putting the full armor of God on includes things like knowing the truth, being secure in your salvation (by grace alone through faith alone), being ready to explain the gospel, or reading the Bible. They might assume the righteousness portion of it, but even then they may not understand that it likely includes both being assured of your positional righteousness and living a life characterized by experiential righteousness. I'd argue the specifics of the armor of God are the entire practical portion of it, and you need to know them specifically and value them to "put them on."
 

Chris

Administrator
Staff member
I do wish more people would talk about the specifics of this as the next few verses explain. I don't know if it helps much to tell someone to put on the full armor of God and then not mention that what that actually means is found in the next few verses. Of course mature Christians are most likely going to be familiar with the passage already, but it's worth talking about why each piece is important.

A new believer won't automatically assume putting the full armor of God on includes things like knowing the truth, being secure in your salvation (by grace alone through faith alone), being ready to explain the gospel, or reading the Bible. They might assume the righteousness portion of it, but even then they may not understand that it likely includes both being assured of your positional righteousness and living a life characterized by experiential righteousness. I'd argue the specifics of the armor of God are the entire practical portion of it, and you need to know them specifically and value them to "put them on."

Good idea. I'll see what I can find. Here's an article from the Rapture Forums main site (over 13,000 articles on a variety of topics) that may help:

https://www.raptureforums.com/jack-kinsella/the-armor-of-god/

The Armor of God
By Jack Kinsella

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2nd Timothy 2:15)

Recently, I received an email from a friend who continues to struggle in the battle between the flesh and the spirit, despairing of the fact that he is convinced he is losing the fight.

My friend and I have been corresponding for years and I am certain of his sincere desire to be saved, but as he noted in his email, I’ve never bought into the doctrine of once saved, always saved. Consequently, my friend is only certain of his salvation when the enemy is taking the day off.

Let the enemy unleash an attack, my friend falls (as do we all) and now he has to start all over again what he calls a re-re-birth. In the meantime, until he is able to get himself back under control, he believes he has lost his salvation and is useless to God.

The Apostle Paul admonishes believers to put on the whole armor of God for the expressed purpose; that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (Ephesians 6:11)

The purpose of that armor is SO important that Paul restates it in verse 13, saying, Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Paul lists the believers spiritual armor as follows:

Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: (Ephesians 6:14-17)

Let’s look at each component a little more closely:

First, the truth. Note the anatomical analogy Paul uses. In battle, that is an extremely vulnerable target. Strike a serious blow there, and the victim is rendered helpless.

Secondly, the breastplate of righteousness. The torso is the biggest and easiest target to strike, but it is also the easiest to armor. If one is covered by the righteousness of Christ, the heart is protected.

Thirdly, the feet. A battle tactic commonly employed in Paul’s day was to sow the battlefield with nails and other sharp objects. Foot soldiers with injured feet are not very effective. If one is fully prepared (shod) with the Gospel, one can engage the enemy uncrippled.

Fourth, Paul says, Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. (v16) If one is certain of his standing before God, the enemy’s whispering campaign falls on deaf ears.

Finally, Paul says to, take the helmet of salvation, and the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God:

The helmet of salvation. In battle, the most effective way to take an enemy out is a head shot. If the enemy can convince you that your salvation is in doubt, he has sidelined you as a threat.

Without truth, the righteousness of Christ, knowledge of the Gospel, faith in its promises, and the certain knowledge of your standing before Christ, the Christian’s only offensive weapon; the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God is not very effective.
Assessment

Above all, Paul writes, is the shield of faith. Without faith, one can never be certain of one’s salvation. And just how effectively can the unsaved communicate the truth of the Gospel — or wield the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God?

If the doctrine of eternal security is a true doctrine, then the enemy has no power over the Christian. He can’t inspire fear, he can’t inspire doubt, he can’t inspire faint-heartedness in short, HE is defeated.

The only weapon the enemy can deploy against a Christian is doubt. The question can’t be examined often enough what good is the Word of God in the hands of the unsaved?

The Scriptures say, For the preaching of the Cross is to them that perish foolishness; (1 Corinthians 1:18) and,…the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:14)

Can a person who is once saved, become a natural (unsaved) person again through sin? Having been once saved, does the preaching of the Cross become foolishness to the Christian who has sinned his way out of fellowship with God?

If the Word of God doesn’t become ‘foolishness’ to the lost sinner (and the Bible clearly says it does), then why is it that the once-saved sinner now out of fellowship stills knows enough to ask God to save him again? How can a sinner out of fellowship with God discern the spiritual need to be saved (again)?

The Scriptures say that salvation CANNOT be achieved the acts of men. (Corinthians 3:15, Ephesians 2:8, 2 Timothy 1:8-9, Titus 3:5)

Salvation, according to Scripture, comes to us by God’s love for us, not by our love of God. (Psalms 6:4, 17:7, 31:16, 109:26, Isaiah 63:9, Titus 3:4)

1 John 4:19 says that “We love him, because He FIRST loved us,” — and NOT the other way around.

The person who has sinned themselves out of salvation cannot, of his own volition, return to the Throne and ask to be saved a second time.

A Pentecostal preacher that I know once told cited Hebrews 6:4-6 as his proof text that people CAN fall away to the extent they can lose their salvation.

For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame.

It proves exactly the opposite. If his proof text means one can lose one’s salvation, then it also means that, once lost, they are forever lost and have NO HOPE of being re-saved — unless there is another way of interpreting the word impossible .

Salvation is accomplished by Jesus Christ alone. (Matthew 1:21, 18:11, Luke 2:11, 7:50, 9:56, 19:10, John 3:17, 4:42, 12:47, Acts 2:47, 4:12, 5:31, 13:23, Romans 5:9, 10, 11:26, 1 Corinthians 1:18, 2 Corinthians 2:15, Ephesians 5:23, Philippians 3:20, 2 Timothy 1:10, Titus 3:6, Hebrews 7:25, 2 Peter 1:1, 10-11, 2 Peter 2:20)

Salvation is a gift extended by God’s grace and not something to be earned by good works or lost by bad ones. (Acts 15:11, Ephesians 2:5, 8, 2 Timothy 1:8-9)

The state of salvation is eternal, (Isaiah 45:17) physical, (Ephesians 5:23) and comes through the Sovereign Call of God. (Psalms 20:6, 28:8, 57:3, 2 Peter 1:10-11) A person who has been saved is saved from eternal judgment. (Psalms 76:9, 109:31)

The doctrine of eternal security was not given the Church as a ‘license to sin’, as its opponents claim. The doctrine of eternal security was given the Church as a defensive weapon to keep them from succumbing to wounds suffered in the battle with the enemy.

Without the helmet of salvation, the Sword of the Spirit is useless. And without the Sword of the Spirit, the Christian is defeated before he even steps onto the field.

Opponents of the doctrine of eternal security sometimes deride it the ‘doctrine of demons’. Logic says exactly the opposite.

Why would ‘demons’ promote a doctrine that renders the Christian invulnerable in battle, rather than the one that guarantees the Christian’s defeat — since all Christians sin?

Do YOU know anybody that has never sinned since being saved — not even once? What about YOU?

Then, there is the problem with the logic behind conditional salvation.

If a Christian can sin his way out of being saved, which sin is it? (I’ll only have to avoid THAT one)

If it isn’t one sin, but a preponderance of sins, how many sins constitute a ‘preponderance’? (So I can stay under the limit)

And, having sinned oneself out of salvation, how does one get around the problem of “crucify[ing] to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put[ing] Him to an open shame?

But the bottom line is this: If eternal security is a false doctrine, then we are defeated, and even Jesus can’t save us from ourselves.

And THAT, my friends, would be the ‘doctrine of demons’ in a nutshell.
 

Chris

Administrator
Staff member
Here's quite a few more articles on the RF main site that deal with this topic. I hope you find them helpful. :)

From Dr. Chuck Missler:

The Armor of God: The Breastplate of Righteousness -- https://www.raptureforums.com/spiritual-life/the-armor-of-god-the-breastplate-of-righteousness/

The Armor of God: The Shield of Faith -- https://www.raptureforums.com/spiritual-life/the-armor-of-god-the-shield-of-faith/

The Armor of God: The Sword of the Spirit -- https://www.raptureforums.com/spiritual-life/the-armor-of-god-the-sword-of-the-spirit/

The Armor of God: The Helmet of Salvation -- https://www.raptureforums.com/spiritual-life/the-armor-of-god-the-helmet-of-salvation/

The Armor of God: Footwear For the Big Race -- https://www.raptureforums.com/spiritual-life/the-armor-of-god-footwear-for-the-big-race/

The Armor of God: The Adequacy of our Helmet -- https://www.raptureforums.com/spiritual-life/the-armor-of-god-the-adequacy-of-our-helmet/

The Armor of God: Our Quest for Truth -- https://www.raptureforums.com/spiritual-life/the-armor-of-god-our-quest-for-truth/

The Armor of God: Our Heavy Artillery -- https://www.raptureforums.com/spiritual-life/the-armor-of-god-our-heavy-artillery/

From Nathele Graham:

The Weapons of Spiritual Warfare -- https://www.raptureforums.com/ron-nathele-graham/weapons-spiritual-warfare/

From Dennis Huebshman:

Prepare for Battle -- https://www.raptureforums.com/defending-the-faith/prepare-for-battle/
 
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