HANDOUT FOR THE SERMON: WHY IS TEMPTATION SUCH A STRUGGLE?
August 13th, 2023 Manchester, Tn
INTRODUCTION: Temptation is a real struggle! Have you ever gotten disappointed in yourself as you try
to avoid sin in your life? Have you ever wondered: “Do I have enough faith to fight Satan?” When we
face temptation, we are actually wrestling with Satan. In our lesson today we will turn to God’s word to
see what information God provides which will help us fight the devil and temptation and win! God
clearly knows the abilities of Satan. He knows our make up and our abilities. God has faith in us that we
can defeat Satan, even if it takes a while! We can be victorious.
Let us begin our study by reading 1 John 3:1-10 This section of scripture begins with a beautiful and
optimistic picture of the wonderful joy and blessing of being a child of God (adoption). God calls us His
children. Then God moves into the idea that as children, we have responsibility for our own lives and
choices. Jesus came to take away sin and if we are to be the children of God, we are to avoid sin and stop
living a life filled with sin. Sin is defined as lawlessness and when we choose to participate and remain in
“lawlessness” – we are living in sin. It is true that believers, on occasion, become weak and step outside
of the boundaries God has set with His law. When this happens, we need to acknowledge this and step
back into the boundaries God has set for us, which are for our best interests.
1. THE TRICKS OF THE DEVIL, 1 JOHN 2:15-17
When it comes to the tactics of the devil it involves primarily the concept of deception. However, Satan
does understand the make-up of mankind. He appeals to our own heart, emotions, and flesh! God
warns us about our weakness in this passage of 1 John 2. God is basically saying, get to know yourself
well. Try to understand how your heart, emotions and flesh work and what you struggle with. To do so,
one must be very honest with oneself and see oneself for who you are! Stop pretending, brethren!
The three tools of the trade:
• Your lust of your eyes.
• Your lust of your flesh.
• Your boastful pride of life
When you see something that attracts you, something you really want, that is the lust of your eyes. Not
all we see and want in and of itself is sin but it can become sin to us and in our relationship with others
or with God. As for your lust for the flesh, it involves anything that you are drawn to touch, feel and
physically engage with. It can be a literal physical connection or a chemical experience (such as drugs or
other such substances). We end up “chasing after it” and do anything to “get it!” The temptation of pride
is strong and ever present among humanity. The pride of life is all about ME, the person! We end up
convincing ourselves we deserve something. Satan convinces you that you are an amazing and strong
person so go ahead and do it. He might even suggest to you: “Whatever you really want will make you a
stronger Christian so go ahead and do it (even though God would say NO!)
2.HOW LONG HAS SATAN BEEN DECEIVEING? GENESIS 3:1-7
I John 3:8 “He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning.” Satan has been
against the children of God since creation.
Going back to the “beginning” will help us understand things about God, things about humanity and
things about Satan. How does God think and work? We learn He loves humanity and is greatly
concerned for humanity. God made a wonderful place for Adam and Eve. However, God allows things to
exist in this physical world, that may initially not be that good for us! WHY??? We may ask: “Why did He
make me with desires, lust and choices?” Things that can draw us away from God! I believe the answer
is: God wants ME to choose HIM even when that choice may be more difficult. Our choice demonstrates
what is in our hearts!
3. DOES SATAN USE ANY NEW TOOLS TODAY? LUKE 4:1-13 I find it interesting that the Holy
Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted. We learn from this that God is in control. God
allowed Satan to tempt Jesus. It is the same with us. God allows us to be tempted. Though He
does not tempt anyone, read James 1:13-15. From Luke 4 we learn that Satan knows much
about God and the word of God. In fact, He references the writings of God. He referenced
scripture to Jesus to try to tempt Jesus to sin. There is a possibility Satan will do the same with
In our defense of Satan’s temptations, quoting scripture alone will not help us. Scripture can
only help us fight Satan if we truly believe what the scripture is teaching and apply it correctly
and not misuse it. Satan’s quotes come from: Deuteronomy 8:1-3, 6:10-13, 6:16-18. We know
food is good, money is good, working is good, having a position or status in life can be good,
however, there are things MORE IMPORTANT than these. This was Jesus’ response to Satan!
This should be our response to Satan!
4. THE REDEMPTIVE WORK OF GOD ON EARTH-JESUS KNEW HIS PURPOSE, DO WE?
Luke 4:16-19 What was Jesus focused on? Keeping a focus on the things of God and our
purpose as God’s servants and light in the world helps us with temptation. Jesus focused solely
on His father’s will. He did all He could to stay away from sin. He succeeded by focusing on
God’s Will. We are bought and redeemed to do the work of God. If we focus all week on
everything except the things of God, then you are a sitting duck for the devil. Easy for the devil
to hit when you are sitting still and not busy in the Lord’s work. Is the redemptive work of God
at the center of your life?
1 John 3:18-19 We are to love God in word and in action, deed and in truth! Some translators
put it this way: “Dear children, let’s not merely say we love each other; let us show the truth by
our actions. Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we
stand before God.”
We love, obey and honor God. We love and serve others, our families, and our brethren
because we put God first in our lives (we don’t put ourselves first!). We love ALL those whom
God puts in our lives. The devil is working on you every day, he never stops. This is where he
hits us hard!
He is doing everything and anything to destroy the progress in your life, in your family and in
this beautiful local Church and family of God. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?