Temptation and Sin Are Kin, But Not Twins

Podcast 37 Transcript

(This is a computer generated transcript of this podcast. This is NOT a typed transcript and it has not been edited. Expect grammatical and syntactical errors.)

Hello and good day to you. I am B. R. Maul, and you are listening to Living God’s Way In An Ungodly World. This is podcast number 37. Thank you for joining me. We are currently studying the book of James. We are in chapter 1, and we will be looking at 12 through 15 today. There’s much to cover, so let’s jump right in.

The reading begins. 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. Let no one say when he is tempted. I am tempted by God, for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.

Then when the desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is full grown, brings forth death. That’s chapter one. Verses 12 through 15, so I’ll just turn back to verse 12 and let’s break that down After all, that’s one of the things I love to do is to teach God’s Word and The best way it works for me is to break things down verse by verse and even word by word So we are looking at still loving God while under trials because we all are tempted, and it is how we deal with that temptation that determines our life here on this side of eternity, how healthy of a life we are going to have, how productive we will be as a Christian to other brothers and sisters in the faith, And temptation itself is not a sin.

Now, we know that because Jesus Christ was tempted. The devil tempted Jesus when Jesus was ushered out into the wilderness. The difference, though, is… Unlike us, Jesus did not give in to the temptation. I wish I had more time to really look at the journey of Jesus during his time of temptation because it may seem like it happened quickly, but it did not.

He was fasting, so he was hungry, and so physically he was vulnerable. And remember, beloved, that we are physical and spiritual beings. So, when one side of us suffers, so does the other. What I mean by that is, when we are physically hungry, and feeling weak and tired, it has effect on our spirits. And the other way around, when we are spiritually hurt, damaged, or exhausted, physically we feel it.

Perhaps we’re depressed, or just physically exhausted as well. In verse 12, chapter 1 of James, he says, Blessed is the man, and again, man being person, the male, mankind. Blessed is the man, the person 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.

We all will be tempted, and we all continue to be tempted. But we are blessed when we endure temptation. So, enduring. When we endure something, we make it through. It doesn’t mean that we defeat something if we endure it. It means that we get through the process. So, we may endure temptation, but we may also endure hunger.

We can endure just a bad day. Getting through the day. Being able to go to bed, lay our head down at night, and get up, and it’s a new day, a new beginning. So we endured a bad day. So it’s getting through it, but it doesn’t mean that we conquer it. And so we’re blessed by just enduring temptation. And he goes on to say for when he has been approved.

What does that mean when we are approved? When we are approved from the test. When we pass the test, we have made it through the temptation, and being that we made it through, we are approved. And at the end of our life, we receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love him. Now, in my notes, in my Bible, receiving the crown of life I have down is receiving eternal life.

Which would make sense, because he, the person who endures temptation, will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love him. So, of course, for those of us who love the Lord Jesus, which means we are following Jesus, And if we are following Jesus, that means we are born again, because on our own accord, we can’t do that. We don’t have the willpower to follow Jesus without being born again and having his spirit residing in us. Being tempted, we often… Correlate that with doing something wrong, as if being tempted, we put ourselves in a situation, we caused something to happen, and then because of what we did, we have now fallen into temptation.

But I don’t think that’s the right way to look at it, because that would mean that our Savior, Jesus Christ, did the same thing. That it was His fault, that it was stuff that He did. And we can’t look at it that way, because He lived the perfect life. The sinless life. We can look at the life of Jesus and everything that he has shared with us in the Gospels and in the New Testament.

We know that that is what we are to model. We are to mimic the very best we can with the help of the Holy Spirit to do what Jesus would do. So no, temptation, Christian, is not something that you did that’s wrong. We all fall into it. And maybe falling into it isn’t the right way of saying it. Because falling makes it sound like defeated, but we are all tempted. And often that comes in the form of overeating. In certain countries, especially the United States, I can speak as a U. S. citizen that, yes, we have a life of abundance. And overeating, unfortunately, is very common. It’s, it is a sin. And so we fight that. temptation on a regular basis.

So, moving on to verse 13. Let no one say when he is tempted. I am tempted by God. Now, notice James says when we are tempted. Not if, but when. So, James has made it clear. Be ready, because if you’re not being tempted, you soon will be. And if you endure that one, another one’s coming. Let no one say when he is tempted, I am tempted by God, for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he himself tempt anyone.

This goes back as far as Adam and Eve, because that’s the blame game. I am tempted by God. We want to lay our faults on others, and God is often an easy target. I mean, Adam did it. Adam said back in Genesis 3. 12, The woman whom you gave me, gave me of the tree. Notice how he points his finger right away at God.

The woman whom you gave me. You’re the one who gave me her. In other words, if she wasn’t here, if you didn’t give her to me, I wouldn’t have done that. I would have stayed away from the tree. So, it’s as old as the beginning of time, but we are told not to say that, because we can’t say that, because God can’t be tempted by evil, that is impossible, and as much as we can understand that, or maybe even believe it more, he himself also doesn’t tempt anyone, and maybe that’s the part that is a little more Harder to understand because maybe at times we do feel like God is tempting us.

And why is that? Perhaps it’s because. God knows us better than anyone else. He created us. So there’s times that when we are tempted, we’re thinking, well, who else is going to know my weakness? It must be coming from God. And also, because God has the power just to wipe it away. Just to take that temptation away. For starters, we should know God doesn’t work that way. But what about the other part of it? That He knows us better than anyone else, and so it must be Him. He must be tempting me. The statement is true. Our Maker knows us better than anyone, including ourselves. However, we are forgetting the spiritual side of things, and we have an enemy.

And Satan and those demons, they’ve been around for centuries. We, with our short little lives, come and go. And so we don’t live long enough to truly get the knowledge that the angels and the fallen angels have. And so Satan does not know us more than the Maker, because he is not omnipotent. He is not omniscient. He is not omnipresent. He does not have the power as our Heavenly Father, as much as he would like to, he does not. With that said, we don’t underestimate him because at the same time, he has lived much longer than any one human. And so he’s had a lot more time to truly master. What people want what our weaknesses are and even in our life to be able to observe us without being noticed And so, he may not be able to read our thoughts, but the thing is, the enemy can know us so well that I’m sure he can easily predict what we’re going to do or what we’re going to say. And he’ll use that against us. So when it comes to temptation, he certainly knows what to whisper in our ears. He certainly knows how to get our attention and to at least get us looking in that direction.

Verse 14. But each one is tempted. That’s each of us. Each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Alright, so now that defines how temptation works. We are tempted when we are drawn away by our own desires and enticed. So, drawn away. I have here that it means to be snared in a trap. Drawn away. So, much like Proverbs 29;25, the fear of man brings a snare, there’s that word snare, we too then can bring a snare about with our temptation, because we are drawn away, we are snared by our own desires.

Have you, now let me rephrase that because we all have, do you remember a time when perhaps you were daydreaming? Sometimes we call that fantasizing about something that you would really like or perhaps a person that you’d like to be with. And you sit and you allow yourself to think on that scenario and begin to play that scenario out in your mind. And of course, because you’re in control over your thoughts, what is going to happen next in this situation? Keep going and allow the fantasy, that daydream, to continue. And you feed your thought. Well, that’s being drawn away by our own desire. And as we do that, we are enticed. How are we enticed? We are enticed by being lured by the bait.

And I think it’s kind of ironic, maybe is the word, that we are the ones who often lay that bait out. Because as we continue to daydream, to fantasize, it begins to manifest in our mind, and then it grows. So it goes from a temptation to a thought. And that thought draws us away as it turns into a desire.

And then that desire also becomes something that is enticing us. When we are enticed, we are at that time now where we want to grab whatever it is. So, hmm, if I’m enticed by that nice piece of cake, wedding cake, that could be a tough one for me. Nice piece of wedding cake, the way they take the time to decorate it. It has the best ingredients. I mean, everything about wedding cake is just delicious to look at, and to taste, and even to feel in the mouth. I mean, wow, I tell ya. See how that thought process of mine, I mean, by talking about it and thinking about that, I can see that cake in my mind. I’m setting myself up.

I’m thankful. I don’t have a piece of wedding cake at home here. Um, that there’s no way for it to go any further. At least tonight, because I suppose if I were to continue to think on that, and then put myself in this situation, maybe I’d go visit them. a bakery tomorrow. And it might not be a wedding cake, but then I decide, hmm, well, in place of a wedding cake, let me, I’ll just get this over here. And so I buy a different kind of cake, a birthday cake, or just a regular cake.

Verse 15. Then when desire has conceived, so now that desire that we’ve been allowing to grow, that we have fed, when desire has conceived, it gives birth To sin and sin when it is full grown brings forth death.

Let’s continue to use that analogy of the wedding cake that I so enjoy. So I’m sitting here and I’m thinking about that and I’m allowing myself to just kind of daydream about it and what kind I would like and picture myself with the fork as I Stab it in the cake. It’s nice and moist and soft So I started thinking about how it tastes when I put it on my tongue and it’s all just delicious So that’s the desire, and that is enticing me.

So then, I do go to the store, I go to a bakery, and I pick out the cake that I feel is the closest to what would fit my desire. That really plays into my daydreaming, that fantasizing of that delicious cake. And so now, that desire… Has conceived because I play out the rest of it. I bring the cake home and I cut myself a slice put it on the plate and I look at it and I can just kind of enjoy the moment of anticipation and then of course I eat that piece of cake. Oh boy. Do I eat that piece of cake! That is desire conceiving and it gives birth to sin because I have given into that temptation. I have desired it, I have played it out, I have gone after it, and now it becomes a real thing. It’s no longer just played out in my mind, right? I have done it. I have committed that sin.

And sin, when it is full grown, brings forth death. So does that mean that I eat that cake and that’s full grown and so I topple over dead? No, that isn’t what that means. Bringing forth death. That’s what happens when a person cannot or does not, there’s two different things there I guess I’ll have to address, let go of that sin.

Now, I just want to point out that eating cake, brothers and sisters, is not a sin. Please bear with me. I’m using that as just an example. It can turn into one because, remember, anything that we place before our Heavenly Father, or sometimes we try to justify it by saying, it’s not more important than God, it’s just very important.

And so ultimately we try placing some things on the same level as God. He’s a jealous God. He is not going to share being number one with anything or any. One. Period. So anything that we place, even on what we consider the same level as him, that’s sin. Because that’s an idol. That’s something that we need.

And of course, we do see that. Even with cake. If I got to the point where I needed that, and It didn’t matter that I’m gaining weight, it doesn’t matter that I become diabetic, and I just keep on eating it, because really, I don’t care. I just want to eat that cake, and once that cake is done, I need to go get more cake.

And I continue to justify that, but I won’t stop thinking about it, and I won’t stop fantasizing about it, and it continues that desire to become sin, and that’s what the sin is, is when that desire we won’t let go of, and moments ago I said that it’s either when somebody can’t let go, or won’t let go.

So now, what’s the difference? For a non-believer, they can’t let go. Have you ever thought of that, beloved? It is only through the power of the Holy Spirit, God Himself, that gives us the ability to say no and to conquer sin. Think about that. That same power that Jesus had when he was tempted by the devil is the same power that dwells in every born again Christian has that same power. The difference is, we’re not good at using it. But back to a non-believer, who does not have the Holy Spirit in them, that is what it means of being slave to sin. Because a person without the Holy Spirit can, you know, break away, perhaps for a while, for a certain time, but they never are completely free from that sin and from sin because it’s one thing after another often to cover up which of course the world by the way doesn’t refer to it as sin the world will refer to such things as a disease they call someone who’s addicted to alcohol they have alcoholism and so because they have this horrible disease we have to either find a cure for that disease or they just have to learn to live with it So that’s the mentality of I’m a victim.

The victim mentality is embraced in the world because that takes the responsibility from any given individual. And so when they do give in to alcoholism, or gluttony, or whatever desire it is, It’s really not their fault by the world standard, or it’s genetic, they were born with it. They just keep passing that gene in that family right down, and everybody just keeps getting it and they have no control over it. So of course with that kind of mentality. It’s an excuse to live with sin, and to make people accept them for just the way they are. We see that with the LGBTQ community. I think it’s LGBTQ. Maybe there’s a few other letters in there now. I don’t say that mockingly. I, uh, honestly, it changes so much I can’t keep up at times.

So I’m going to step on some feet here because it’s the same thing. The world is making it quite clear that’s just who they are. And so, we need to accept them. It’s not their fault. It’s genetic. I mean, they certainly don’t dare to call it a disease, at least not what I’m aware of. But they certainly are quick to say that’s just who they are, but it’s sin.

It’s like any other sin that we commit, but it’s sin. The last part of 15 and sin when it is full grown brings forth death. Now, I guess I better finish my thought before that because when it comes to a born again believer Then it’s the choice of they’re not willing to let go of that sin. Because we have the Holy Spirit in us, and God has promised that he will never allow us to be tempted beyond our means. That if we turn to him, he will see it through. He will always give us a way out. The key there is that it’s through him, with his help. So if you are a Christ follower, beloved, you have no excuse. for sinning. No excuse for sinning. Yes, we are going to sin in this process of being sanctified. That’s why it’s a process of being sanctified day by day as we read God’s Word and pray to the Lord and just get through life.

He continues to grow us in areas that we were once weak through his strength, and we can overcome sin, but we are going to make mistakes. We don’t continue to sin so grace may abound. The heart of a Christian, the heart of a believer, won’t do that. And if you are doing that, check yourself. And you should question, am I born again? Am I using what I believe is faith in Jesus Christ to just run out and sin? And then I can just turn around and say, oh, forgive me, and then turn around and do it some more. If you’re doing that, beloved, you better check yourself. And when I say check yourself, I mean pray. Check yourself through God. Ask him, Lord, check my heart. Search my heart. Reveal to me anything that is between us, that I am doing, that is corrupting either my relationship with you or am I just pretending, and he’ll help you with that. Okay, so now we know that when it comes to sin, that if a believer refuses to let go, then that sin eventually grows and is full grown and brings forth death. Okay, death. So what does that mean? It’s important that I am clear when I say that death does not mean death spiritually, for a believer. Because when a person is born again, that means it’s their second birth, hence born again. So, someone who is born twice only dies once. We all have that physical death, right?

So, hopefully, you understand that just because you are born again, well, the penalty of sin is death. And we are still going to pay that part of it. We have to go through that process of losing loved ones and, and ourselves, um, departing from this world. That’s just the way it is. With that said, when a Christian refuses to let go of a sin, it will continue to grow.

And the death that it brings forth is ultimately all that the Lord wants to bless his child with is gone. And that person, because they refuse to let go, never loses their eternity. Said it before and I’ll say it again and again and again. We don’t lose our eternity. That’s sealed. So if a person thinks they have lost it, they never had it.

Because it’s not something that we can just lose. Oh, where are my keys? There’s no sin great enough to break the bonds of the Holy Spirit, but we can get to the point where out of whatever emotion, bitterness, pride, whatever it might be, that a Christian decides I have the right to this sin, whether it’s lust or anger, then that Christian loses all of the blessings that they would have received on this side of eternity.

And think about that, because the Lord isn’t going to bless you as a believer just because you’re born again. He owes you nothing. It is a gift of God for everlasting life. So he owes us nothing at all. And when a person does receive that gift and is born again, he still owes us nothing. The other way around, we owe him everything, our very existence. Our every possession that we have, our every talent, he deserves it. But if we insist on having affairs, being a drunkard, being a glutton, holding on to anger, not forgiving someone else in your life or other people, And on and on. Don’t expect to be blessed. Because you’re a child of God, and you divorce your spouse, and you go remarry somebody else, do you expect him to bless that relationship?

Again, your eternity, that gift that’s accepted is yours. But, boy, the rest of the time that you have here could be very difficult. And here’s the other thing, beloved, for anybody who is holding on to sin that is a believer, also remember this, our days are numbered, and realize that God has, and will, snuff out a life if it’s not doing any good.

Think about that. Now, you may be thinking, that sounds really harsh, that’s a, that’s a mean God. No! In fact, au contraire, not a mean God, a very loving God, because somebody who has decided, I’m a baby Christian, I’m born again, I know very little about my Lord at God, but I’m going to hang on to these other sins over here because I know I can do it, and no, I’m not going to, and they hang on, and the Lord tries to help them, he sends people in their lives, he does all kinds of things, and then eventually when he realizes the person is not going to let go.

He can see, if I let it happen, just the kind of pain and misery it can bring others, and including to that person. And so he will mercifully put out that lamp, and that light goes out. As for someone who is not born again, for those who do not believe in Jesus Christ as the Savior. Well, that full grown sin brings forth death, and that is spiritual death, because the sin will just eventually consume a person. Their heart will harden, and like he did with Pharaoh, God can hand people over to their desire and say, okay, this is what you want. Here it is. And now they are consumed by their sin. My heart goes out because so often, uh, there are Churches out there that even teach though that anybody can just wait and their last minute they can just accept Christ as their Savior, but it doesn’t work that way.

I’ve talked about this before I won’t spend much time because I’m almost out of time the way it is right now in this session But if a person seeks to be away from God and thinks in their mind Well, I’m going to just Play my life out. I want to enjoy it while I can. And then yeah, when I’m older I’ll give my life to them.

Okay. A couple of problems there. One is they may not even make it to that age. The Lord may have already numbered their days and well, they’re going to die in their prime. That’s it. So even if you had semi intentions of doing it, too late. But for those who actually do get old enough, there are some, I’m not saying it’s impossible, I have no idea, it’s different for everybody.

And there are some who truly, they come to realize how wrong I was. And they repent and they’re born again at an older age, and some right on their deathbed. But there are so many that they have gone too far. And their heart is hard and cold. And the very thought of the warmth of God touching it scares them.

And so they don’t want it. Sin, when it is full grown, brings forth death. So whether you’re a believer or a non-believer, that sin brings forth death. I pray that if you are born again, that you are indeed reading God’s word. Every day, Beloved, because the world continues to spiral. There is nothing left that needs to be done in order for the rapture to take place, when the Holy Spirit raptures the church, takes it out of the earth. And when that happens, all hell will break loose. Because the devil and all the fallen angels, all the demons, will have free reign. And it’s going to be bloody. It will be a living nightmare during the time of tribulation. The only way we can get through that is, of course, if we’re born again.

And once we’re born again, beloved, you have to be in God’s word every day. The world is so loud. Even the last generation, but we can look back in time and think of all the technology that we have right now that is constantly on us. We are barraged with wickedness, with evil. Every time we turn on the computer, the junk emails that we get, saying this and saying that, trying to entice you.

Come and buy this, come and get that. Oh, make some money fast and now. Or all the solicitations. All of that. That’s just when we turn on the computer. What about in our text messages? I’m getting texts from numbers, phone numbers. I have no idea who they are, but it’s just ridiculous. All the signs along the road, all the radio ads, if you watch cable, if you watch the networks, even streaming videos that fit in their commercials and stuff, and even the videos that we’re watching, the songs that we’re listening to, the, the books that are available, it, it’s wickedness.

It’s getting worse and worse. The movies are becoming more bloody, more scary, downright scary, evil. And the passions that are displayed, the lusts, all the attitudes of get what you want when you want. We are barraged, Christian, and so we have to set aside. We need to do less. of what we once did in the world and more of spending time with God.

We really do. That is the only way that you’re not going to be fooled as a Christian. That’s about all the time I have for today. Again, thank you for joining me. You can reach me at brmaul. com or you’re welcome to write to me anytime, whether it’s email or a letter.

I’d love to hear from you. God bless you in your journey. Know that God loves you so much.

And until next time,

God bless.