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Short Take #3: How Christians Should View Temptation

The Christian Worldview / David Wheaton
The Truth Network Radio
March 1, 2021 7:20 am

Short Take #3: How Christians Should View Temptation

The Christian Worldview / David Wheaton

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March 1, 2021 7:20 am

Short Take from The Christian Worldview program on Ravi Zacharias: The Man Who Answered Life’s Deepest Questions Leaves Us Wondering About the Biggest One (Part 2 of 2).

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Here is another short take from The Christian Worldview with David Wheaton. You read in 1 John chapter 2 where it gives these categories, kind of the big three of temptations that we face. It says, For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life is not from the Father, but is from the world. And I've always wondered about those three big categories, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life, and what temptations or what sins do they refer to? The lust of the flesh seems to me to be temptations to please our physical appetites, and that's where the sexual drive would come in.

Or even to please our bodies with gluttony or food or so forth. There's a fleshly lust to please our physical appetites. The lust of the eyes, there's the temptation to please what we desire in life. Not so much our physical appetites, but things we desire, like gaining possessions, materialism, money, greed, those types of things is the lust of the eyes. We see things and we want those things.

And then the third category is the boastful pride of life. And I think this is the category of temptations that has to deal with gaining power or attaining position in life or pride about who I am and where I am. Those kind of encapsulate some of the major temptations that all that is in the world, as it says in 1 John chapter 2. Now we expect non-believers to follow after those lusts, right? They don't have the indwelling Holy Spirit, which is given to believers at the moment of justification to help us live out the Christian life in a way pleasing to God. So we don't expect non-believers to act or to live like believers because they don't have the power inside to do so.

That's the only reason a believer can live a life honoring to God is because they have the Holy Spirit of God living within them. But when Ravi Zacharias or any Christian lives in a sinful way, a shockingly sinful way, the conclusion the world makes is that following God doesn't change you on the inside. It's just a way you're trying to live on the outside. It doesn't change the way you actually live your life. It doesn't give you victory over temptation. You're no different. You're just a hypocrite.

So why would I become a Christian? It's obvious that Ravi Zacharias lost the battle of this sexual temptation in his mind a long time ago. And that's where the battle needs to be won. When it's lost in the mind, in the thoughts, sin eventually will come out. You can't cap sin. You can't be festering lust inside your mind and not overcoming it, not repenting of it and having mastery over it. Before too long, it's going to come out in a sinful action. It says this in James chapter 1 verse 13, let no one say, when he is tempted, I am being tempted by God. For God cannot be tempted by evil and he himself does not tempt anyone. And here's the key verse 14, but each one, each one of us is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin. And when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. Verse 16, it closes by saying, do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.

That's from James. Sin is conceived in our mind and then it gives birth. Sin is birthed in our actions. And when we continue habitually in sin, it brings forth death. Do not be deceived.

It's a great way that passage ends. Don't be deceived, my beloved brother. In other words, don't be deceived by this sequence of what starts in your mind and becomes an action, which becomes a habit, which leads to spiritual death.

Don't be deceived by your own weakness. And I read that and I think, I remember very well, my own sin, my own life, back before I came to saving faith in Christ when I was 24 years old. I was a professing Christian growing up. But I remember very well in my late teens and early 20s, a time in my life when I was professing to be a follower of Christ, but dishonoring God in the way I was living my life. And I look back at that time and shudder, and I shudder and also in thankfulness, how God led me to repentance and see my need to be right with Him, to see my sin for what it was, offense against Him, and then lead me to saving faith in Christ as not just my Savior, but to commit to follow Him as Lord. And then He gave me the Holy Spirit and began to help me overcome the things in my life that I previously couldn't overcome. And in the process of doing that, He increased my fear of Him, my reverence for Him, my love for Him, so that when we're tempted, we think in terms of not how can I get away with this or how can I please myself and get away with this, but that, boy, how could I do this great evil and sin against God? This has been a short take from The Christian Worldview with David Wheaton. To find out more about The Christian Worldview, order resources, make a donation, become a monthly partner or contact us, visit You can also call us at toll-free 1-888-646-2233 or write to us at Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota 55331. That's Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota 55331.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-20 02:51:19 / 2023-12-20 02:54:01 / 3

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