How to Resist Temptation, Pt. 2

Scripture: James 1:14, Romans 13:14, James 5:16
You cannot live in this world without being tempted. But is temptation sin? This broadcast looks at this question. It also looks at practical steps to overcome sin and have victory.
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Announcer: It is time now for Bible Talk. Join our hosts Gary Gibbs and John Bradshaw as they open the Bible and talk about themes as they affect your life today. Stay tuned, because the next 15 minutes will deepen your understanding about God's word.

John Bradshaw: Hi and welcome to Bible Talk where we talk about the Bible and how the Bible affects us today. I'm John Bradshaw. With me is Gary Gibbs. Hi there, Gary.

Gary Gibbs: Hi, John. Have you been tempted today?

John: Have I been tempted today?

Gary: Yes.

John: Man, I think you and I both know there's not a day that goes by where a person is not tempted.

Gary: Everybody's tempted, aren't they?

John: Yeah, I'm thinking so. How do you get outside of the reach of temptation?

Gary: I think our listeners are going to be able to identify with what we're going to talk about today. We're going to talk about how to overcome temptation.

John: Very important, considering that all of us meet with temptation on a daily basis, an hourly basis; sometimes a moment by moment basis depending on the situation we find ourselves in. How do you overcome it? Hey, before we go any further with this, maybe we better draw up some definitions here. Temptation and sin - are they the same thing or are they different things?

Gary: The Bible actually says they're two different things. You can't live in this world without being tempted. Just because a thought crosses your mind or something appeals to you, you can help that. I mean you can't totally control what you see all the time. You might not go to certain places or see certain things. You might not read certain types of books, but you're driving down the road and there's something that comes across your eyeballs. You're going to be tempted by it.

John: Sure, in thoughts that just enter your head. You've had that experience when something just pops in there from out of nowhere. It might have something to do with your past or something that happened recently or just the devil at work.

Gary: Right.

John: Let me read from James one. I want to set some minds at rest here and draw up some boundaries on this discussion. James 1:14 says that every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed. Yeah, put a bottle of beer in front of me. Man, I'm not tempted. That's way in the past. It's gone. God's given me the victory. If something else is in front of me, maybe that's a temptation.

Gary: Tell me about what would tempt you and I won't tell anybody else. No, you don't have to do that, John.

John: Thank you for letting me off the hook, here. James 1:14 - Every man is tempted when he's drawn away of his own lust and enticed. That's temptation. OK, when that temptation comes and there's some drawing and there's some enticement? Temptation. Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin and sin when it is finished brings forth death. So it isn't that temptation that's the sin. It's what you do with that temptation. When the thing is conceived, then sin takes place, but when temptation comes, if you bat that away, if Jesus would defend you from that temptation, if the boundary around your heart has been erected and fortified, it doesn't have to get and it doesn't have to drag you down.

Temptation and sin are two different things. I don't want to tell you it's a good old thing to be tempted. The Lord's Prayer, we pray, "Lead us not into temptation." But when temptation comes, that and sin are two different things and it's very important to understand that.

Gary: I think this is a good time to remind our listeners that we have a free offer for them today, a little booklet called Is It a Sin to be Tempted? We're going to get a phone number here in a few minutes and an address and if you'd like to get this free offer, you can call. You can write us and get Is It a Sin to be Tempted? It's an excellent, practical book about sin and temptation and how to overcome it.

John: I want to share something with you from again, James one. Actually, this is a radical idea, a radical idea. You're going through life and devil's bombarding you and there are temptations coming at you from every angle and you feel like the meat in the sandwich sometimes; caught between temptation here and temptation there. But you know what? James, right in James chapter one, he says, "Count it all joy when you fall into diverse temptations." What, are you supposed to celebrate because you've been tempted? James says it's something that you can consider to be joy. Why? Knowing that the trying of your faith works patience.

Let patience have the perfect work that you may be perfect in entire, wanting nothing. Temptation is ultimately going to strengthen you. It's like going to the gym and working out. I mean you're putting you muscles, your body under some stress, but that causes strength to develop. I'm not at all suggesting you ought to go out of your way to find temptation and it's really a great thing because you're being stretched and torn and so on.

But when temptation comes and we resisted in the strength of Jesus Christ, this is going to put the meat on our spiritual bones.

Gary: It really will. Let's get real practical here.

John: All right.

Gary: Let's talk about somebody that has a particular temptation, lets say, a propensity, a drawing to losing their temper. Somebody pulls out in front of them, they just lose it. They got to shout. They got to hit the horn. They got to yell. A coworker doesn't do their job right. They got to yell out. They got to be berating. A child does something wrong. They got to yell at the child. Nobody feels good after they do that. Pressure's up. They realize they've embarrassed themselves. They've hurt someone else and if they're a Christian they realize they have stained the name of Christ. They want victory over that. How do they get that?

John: The first thing I'm going to say is this, "Power in the word of the God, you get Jesus in you. You get the word in you. You're going to have power now that you didn't have before. I'm not suggesting this is the entire answer. It can be, but for many of us, because this sin is so ingrained, it's so entrenched in us, it's not the entire answer. Here's what I'm going to suggest. First you pray. Pray and tell God you have to have the victory. You want the victory and you not going to give him the victory without him and his going to come to your heart and give you this victory.

Gary: Let me interrupt you here, those are those four promises we covered in a previous program on Bible Talk. We talked about victory is a gift in 1 Corinthians 15:57. Then Matthew 7:11, that we can ask God for the victory. If we do that, if we do those two things and then we believe one John 5, we believe that he gives it to us they were going to get that gift.

John: That's right. I think the fourth promise was reckon yourself to be dead and deed onto sin. Really consider you're dead to it. This is going to come. Go to the Word and get some verses and put them in your head. If your problem is anger, be angry and sin not. Meditate on that. Commit it to memory. Blessed are the pure and hot. They shall see God. Put these things to memory so that when the temptations come the Word is going to be present. Jesus met the devil with the word. Jesus was sorely tempted in the wilderness. It is written, "Man shall not live by bread alone." It is written, "Thou shall not tempt the Lord thy God." He met the devil with the word. If that's how Jesus did it, that's how we ought to do it.

Gary: In the Word of God Paul describes it as a two-edged sword. You fight back the devil with the sword.

John: This is right. When you look at the armor of God, a lot of that armor is defensive. Shield is for defense, right? The belt and breast plate, that's defense. The sword is offense. You go on the attack against the devil with the sword of the Word of God. You can do some damage to its kingdom. He used to own you. Now He doesn't. The sword of the Word of God has fought back and done some real damage to the kingdom of the devil.

Gary: So we come to overcome temptation by one, recognizing temptation itself is not sin.

John: Correct.

Gary: And our listeners need to call the number when we give it shortly and get our free offer today. Is it a Sin to be Tempted?

John: That's a must-have. You need that. We want to give that to you.

Gary: So we recognize that as a fact, but two, you were saying, "We get the Word of God into us and we claim the promises for victory. What do we do next? What are some practical things we can do next?

John: Let's say your problem is anger. This could be a complex one. Honestly, some people may need counseling to work through some deep-seated issues. Let's say the problem is drinking. I bet first don't go to the bar, right? Don't go there. Go somewhere else. Again, you're not going to be able to do this in your own strength. Jesus is guiding you, but you go home and you've got that well-stocked liquor cabinet. It's time to take that liquor to the bathroom and make an offering of it, right? Pour it out down the toilet or some place, get rid of it. If your temptation is cigarettes, you got to get rid of those things.

There are some things you don't want around your house. You're prone to having dirty thoughts. You got to go to the video pile in the corner of the living room and go an take a big old trash bag, haul some of that out o the curb and get rid of it because this is just dragging you down.

You've got to dispense with these things that are making it virtually impossible for you t have a clean mind, a clean mouth or whatever.

Gary: The Bible talks about that in Romans 13:14. The apostle Paul says, "Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ and make not provision for the flesh to fulfill the lust thereof."

John: Yeah.

Gary: In other words you don't say, "Keep the alcohol around just in case I can't overcome. We'll keep the cigarettes around just in case I don't overcome. If you've asked God for the victory, you've claimed it, you believed it and you have now died to that sin. You need to clean out the dead man's guts. You need to get rid of his alcohol. You need to get rid of his tobacco, pornography, whatever it is. If it's a sin of the flesh, that facilitates doing these things, you need to get rid of it.

John: There's no question that if you're sitting up all night long watching foolishness on cable television, call the cable provider, get the thing cut off. If you're having problems with what you look at online, you've got to go to the Word. You go to rest here with God and prayer, You've got to plea for the presence of God, but it's time to bring the computer out into the family living room where everyone can see it, where your wife or your husband or your kids can look over your shoulder or if that's not going to be good enough, cancel your Internet connection.

It's better off to be without that than to be bringing the temptation that you just can't handle into your life. And then maybe when the Lord is really giving you the victory, it's time to get that back. Who knows how that'll work out?

Gary: I think there's a real practical thing that you're mentioning here. We're talking about Accountability here.

John: That's right.

Gary: Sometimes we do things that we're not going to overcome on our own even in our faith, moments where we're claiming the victory. We need the fellowship of believers around us to help us with this to hold us accountable from pray to us. Those works of darkness that we do in secret, we need to bring them out into the light, don't we?

John: Yes, that's right. I talked about things that you can get rid of, the Internet connection and so on, but what if your problem is gossip? If you've got a sharp tongue? What if you harbor envy and so forth? Gary, how do we get to the heart of something?

Gary: I want to answer that, but I want to give a text here for this accountability 'cause a lot of people think, "I can't. I don't need to do that. I don't need the fellowship of believers." But think about what James says in James 5:16, "Confess your faults one to another and pray one for another that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much." I have prayed and others have prayed for it so by trying to overcome tobacco who couldn't overcome it any other way. We've watched their healing because this person came to their friends and said, "I can't do this on my own. I need your prayers as well."

John: That accountability is powerful, maybe a "buddy" system. Somebody's going to help you out, a support group type thing of a spiritual nature where people can bring you and that difficulty to the Lord.

Gary: It's like the lame man who was let down through the roof to Jesus to heal. Jesus does the healing. Jesus gives the victory, but sometimes our friends need to help us and bring us to Christ.

John: Back to this idea, if your problem is something in heart, you know what Jesus wants to do for all of us is give us a new heart. Don't be conformed to the world. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Gary: And if we all confess those things whether it's gossip or these things and we'll talk to friends about it, Jesus will help us process it. Why do we do those things? And then we'll confess the deeper root causes and we'll find freedom and we'll find victory in Christ.

John: There is victory in Christ. You've got to get our free offer Is It a Sin to be Tempted? We want you to have that. We want you to come to Jesus and bring your temptations and bring your struggles and your stresses and your hang-ups and your failures. There's no failure in Jesus. He said, "Without me you can do nothing." The Bible also says, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Thanks for joining us today. We look forward to spending more time with you next time with Gary Gibbs. I'm John Bradshaw. This has been Bible Talk.

Announcer: If you'd like more information on what we've been studying today, we have a comprehensive Bible study guide we'd love to share with you that's absolutely free. This study includes many of the texts we've just discussed and expands on the subject including information you'll want to know. To receive this free informative Bible study guide, simply call, write or email and ask for Is It A Sin to be Tempted? The toll free number is 866-Biblesays. That's 866-242-5372. You can write to us at Bible Talk PO Box 1058 Roseville, California 95678 or email us at Bible Talk at

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