People wrongly blame God for their temptations. This results in:
- Dark view of God
- Denial of personal responsibility
- Diminishing of worship
- Defeat in temptation
Do you see how false ideas can have so many serious personal consequences? But what if we could correct these falsehoods and replace them with truth? Would that not reverse these consequences?
In James 1:12-18, we’ll see how James helped his readers replace false ideas with the truth, and therefore changed the consequences for good.
1. OUR GOOD GOD NEVER TEMPTS ANYONE
- Temptations are a trial: “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial” (12a). The context makes clear that the trial here is temptation.
- People blame God for their temptations: Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God” (13a).
- God cannot be tempted with evil: “For God cannot be tempted with evil” (13b).
- God tempts no one: “He himself tempts no one” (13c).
Summary: God tries us with evil but never tempts us with evil.
Question: If our temptations are not from God, where do they come from?
2. OUR EVIL DESIRES ARE THE SOURCE OF TEMPTATION
- The conception of desire: “Each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived” (14-15a).
- The birth of sin: “Desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin” (15b).
- The growth of sin: “sin when it is fully grown” (15c).
- The end of sin: “brings forth death” (15d).
Summary: Our hearts give life to sins that kill our lives.
Question: Wow, I’m more evil than I ever thought. What hope do I have before God?
3. OUR GOOD GOD GIVES ONLY GOOD GIFTS
- Every good gift is from God: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (16-17).
- Our new birth is from God: “Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth” (18a).
- Our new status is from God: “That we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures” (18b).
- Our new resilience is from God: “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial” (12a).
- Our new future is from God: “When he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him” (12b).
Summary: You are worse than you ever thought possible, but God is better than you can ever imagine.
LIVING THE BIBLE
Beat temptation by praising God for his gifts, especially for how he uses our temptations for our good and his glory.
PRAYING THE BIBLE
Perfect God, we sometimes wrongly blame you for our temptations. In doing this, we cast aspersions on your character, deny our responsibility, diminish our worship, and ultimately give in to temptation.
We confess our own evil desires are the source of temptation. We testify that you are good and give only good gifts.
Help us to beat temptation by praising you for your gifts, especially for how you even turn our temptations to our good and your glory.
We praise you for Jesus Christ, your greatest gift to us. We thank you that worshipping him is our greatest weapon in the battle against temptation. Amen.