As we have studied the temptations of King David a number of things are clear. First if we allow temptation to start to control us it will lead us to sin and suffering not only for ourselves but also those around us. Secondly we have seen that God can still use us if we repent of our sin and turn back to God for forgiveness. God is faithful and will forgive our sins based on our faith in the death of Jesus to pay the punishment for our sin. Having said this God still desires and we should try not to sin again, to fail again when temptation comes upon us. In this lesson we will study how we can overcome temptation and have victory in our lives.
Study of God's Word
As you go through this lesson, read the verses in the Bible to help you find the answers. Try reading the verses first in a Bible in your own language (Chinese) and then in an English version and writing down any questions you would like to ask later and answers to these questions that follow.
Note: The Bible verse references below are linked to an English version of the Bible. If you would like to follow the Bible verse link, it would be good to "right click" on the Bible verse link and choose to open in new window resized the window so that you can quickly go back and forth from this page to the verses.
Victory over temptation.
Consider the following verses and consider what they teach us to help us overcome temptations in our life.
the evil one or devil (James 4:7; Matthew 4:1-11) - This refers to Satan also called a serpent, the devil (Revelation 12:9; 20:2), and the great deceiver or liar. He is a powerful, evil spirit-creature. God made Satan to be one of the important creatures (angels) who served God in heaven. Heaven is the place where spirit-creatures live with God. Satan wanted to become equal to God. He led a rebellion with other spirit-creatures (angels) against God. Satan and his followers (demons or evil spirits cf. Luke 8:26-33) cause much of the evil and suffering on earth. Satan is God's enemy and our enemy. He tries to destroy us and all God has made. For more detail see Satan.
- What do theses verses tell us that should give us hope in times of temptation 1 Corinthians 10:13; Hebrews 4:15?
There is hope for us. When we face temptation it is good to know that we are no different than anyone else. We all face various temptations. Even Jesus faced temptation but he never gave in to the temptations of life (Heb. 4:15). Thus we know that with the temptations God is also faithful to show us a way out of the temptation. Thus when we face temptation it is like we have come to a split or fork in the road. God has provided a way that will lead us away from the temptation that leads to sin. We have the choice to use the resources that God has provided. The key to overcoming temptation is how strong our relationship is with Jesus by allowing His Spirit within you as a believer to help you. This God does if you will allow God's word the Bible guide you.
- What are these verses warning us about 1 Corinthians 10:12; Proverbs 16:18?
Recognize the Possibility of Temptation. It is easy for us to see a list of evil things or sins that we are not to do and we think, "I would never do that"? We could see or hear about someone else doing something wrong and feel upset at what they have done but then later we do the same thing and think "I don't believe it has happened to me!" Be aware it could happen to you (1 Cor. 10:12).
Those who are proud could easily find themselves embarrassed, shamed and humbled by their fall into sin (Prov. 16:18). Satan "the evil one" (Matthew 6:13), wants you to think it will not happen to you so that you let your guard down and you fall into sin when confronted with temptations (see also additional study Living in Victory below).
- What are these verses saying we should do when we face temptation Matthew 26:41; 1 Corinthians 10:13?
Watch and Pray for Help in Times of Temptation. We need to begin every day asking God to make us aware of the temptations that we face when they come. Pray that God will help us to see the trap, the bait that will get us hooked (see illustration of the fish hook in the introduction to the previous lesson. That God will help us to be aware of the way out of the temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13).
- What other influence in our lives do we need help with when we face temptation? How do we respond to this influence James 4:7; Matthew 4:1-11?
Resist the devil and He Will Flee from You James 4:7; Matthew 4:1-11
How can we stand up to the devil (Satan) when he tempts you? We see the example of what Jesus did when the devil tempted Him. He was so aware of the Word of God the Bible that He overcame the temptation by remembering the word of God and refusing to allow the temptation to lead Him into sin. By claiming the Word of God as our authority Satan has no choice but to flee to leave you along. See study on Matthew chapter 3 part B. The Temptation of Jesus.
- What practical thing do these verses tell us to do 1 Corinthians 6:18 (See also example of Joseph in Genesis 39:2-12. Note especially vv. 11-12.) and 1 Timothy 6:10-11?
Flee from Certain Kinds of Temptation. There are two various dangerous temptations that we should not get close to but to run away from. The first is sexual sin (1 Cor. 6:18) In the story of Joseph in Gen. 39 we see how Joseph dealt with the advances of the wife of his boss who tried to tempt him several times to go to bed with her. His response was to run away, to retreat. Sexual sin is described in the Bible as any form of sexual activity other that with your husband or wife. The people who are most vulnerable to this temptation are those who are in transition. This could be those going through the stormy transition period between the teen years and adulthood. For others it could be the transitions and trials of marriage or the temptations of being separated from family due to work or study. Sexual sins can destroy relationships and destroy your body. Take some time to seriously consider the consequences of sexual sin. What are some of them?
The other dangerous temptation is greed (1 Tim. 6:10-11). The Bible says that the love of money (materialism) is the root of all kinds of evil. We can get hooked onto all kinds of evils as a result of the temptations of materialism. Take some time to think about the evils that have resulted from love of money? Take a few minutes to think about this before you read more.
Here are some possible answers. Greed can lead to overwork with the resulting health or family problems. It can lead to worries over losing what you have gained. It can destroy marriages. It can lead to gambling, drug and alcohol additions as you try to cope with the stress of keeping up a lifestyle that is greater than your financial resources. It could even result in having to settle for a home in a prison cell for breaking the law.
- What additional means are available to us Proverbs 4:14-15 and Acts 19:11-20 ; note particularly vv. 18-19?
Remove any kind of potential temptations from your environment. If you find that some of the people that you spend time with are a bad influence on you then you should avoid them (Proverbs 4:14-15). Maybe they are people that want to go to places were you know there are temptations. It could be to gamble, get dunk, or exposure to other addictive substances. It could be to places that place you in situations of sexual temptation. The list could go on and on. You know the areas that you are more easily tempted. It may not be the people that you spend time with it may be the objects that you have yourself. It may be books and movies that cause a temptation. If that is the case destroy or remove them (Acts 19:18-19).
- What help with temptation does the teaching of Jesus in Luke 11:24-26 give us? See also Proverbs 13:20; 2 Corinthians 6:14 and Hebrews 10:24-25?
Replace the bad influences with good ones. We need to not only to clean out the bad influences in our lives but we need to go one step further and replace them with good healthy influences, friendships and habits that will prevent the old influences from affecting us again (Luke 11:24-26). We need to replace them with positive helpful friends and objects. We need to develop more positive healthy relationships and activities (Prov. 13:20; 2 Cor. 6:14). Stay away from those places, people, entertainment, sights (movies, magazines, internet) or other situations where you would be tempted to do wrong or think evil thoughts. Keep control of the strong, immature desires within you. Instead of playing with evil, focus on activities that are wholesome and beneficial. You should keep busy doing good things with other Christians (Hebrews 10:24-25). We need the encouragement of other believers that is possible from meeting together in worship and Bible study. This can be in a small group study and/or a large group setting at a church on Sundays. For more information on finding a good church check the study "Participating in God's Family". Develop a relationship with a mature Christian that can keep you accountable to living a wholesome and healthy lifestyle. They are the people who will point out to us when we are starting to be pulled into unhealthy activities and temptations (Proverbs 27:5-6).
- What is the ultimate source of power over temptation 2 Corinthians 5:17; Philippians 4:13; 2 Timothy 1:7?
Rely on God's power that you have as a believer. In our study we have started with Christ Jesus and have ended with Him. There is no victory possible with giving our hearts our lives to Him to control our lives. He is the only source of guidance and power to overcome sin in our lives. He has promised in Revelation 3:20 to coming into your life and heart and live with you and change your life. He is the source of victory over temptation and sin if you will only believe in Him and His work for your when He died for you on the cross 2,000 years ago. By His Spirit you can be a changed person. Your old bad habits, family environment or background do not need to enslave you from having victory over sin and the evils that have resulted. For more information about how to receive Christ's forgiveness and have a relationship with God see Knowing God Personally (in other languages).
Conclusion:If you have already taken this first step of asking Christ Jesus into your heart to change your life then take the time to go to the following link and read this very interesting and challenging little booklet written by Robert Boyd Munger called "My Heart Christ's Home".