Life is a blessing, a great gift from God, it is by His grace that we breathe. And yet there is this thing called temptation... what is temptation? Mr. Matthess opened this question up to us students, one of whom defined it as, "faced with a choice with the possibility of sin." Good choice of words here, note that temptation is not sin, for proof of this all one needs to do is realize that Jesus Christ faced temptation and was without sin.
God does not tempt us... instead it is part of our own lust, of our fallen natures, or the presence of sin within you.
The Apostle James tells us in James 1:12-15 of the steps of temptation:
For a practical example, Genesis 3 records for us the fall of Adam and Eve.
The Serpent's deception in the garden of Eden is a pattern used by the flesh in our lives. (1) How did the Serpent persuade Eve to eat? Satan warped God's command through lies and deception
(2) What did he hide or disguise? the consequence of the action (3) How did he make sin attractive? You will be like God he said, which is idolatry, and you will know Good and Evil he said.
Simple lies that had drastic consequences. Why did Adam and Eve fail? Ultimately they listened to their own desires instead of looking to God. Remember the place of the mind in resisting temptation - temptation first addresses the mind. The mind makes the choice and is the watchman of the soul.
1.) How is it that you yield to something that you know is sinful?
2.) What is the most bizarre excuse you have ever given to justify something you did wrong? Did it work? (Do you really need sin? Do you really think that pleasure will help you and satisfy you?)
3.) What are some of the physical results seen in people's lives as a result of sin?
4.) What are some of the ways we can guard against yielding to temptation? (Think of Joseph and Christ in the desert)
5.) what is it about the relationship between the imaginations and the affections that makes the imagination so important to guard?