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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

TEMPTING vs. TESTING

James 1:13-15 New Living Translation
“…when you are being tempted, do not say, ‘God is tempting me.’ God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.”
         There is one distinction that must be made clear on the onset of this writing. That is the difference between  ‘tempting’ and ‘testing’. God does not tempt us to sin. Our own evil desires lead us to entertain temptation, which when it goes unchecked gives birth to sin. God tests our faith thru various trials, which are designed to aid in our spiritual growth. 
         An interesting point is that our sinful inclinations come from within. We are not forced to sin, nor are we forced to surrender to temptation. It’s our sinful nature that succumbs to temptation. That’s why scripture tells us to develop self-control. Since Jesus was free from original sin he was tempted from without and not from within.
         Those who continually give in to sinful desires seem to always want to blame someone other than themselves.  The fact remains that we are responsible for our own actions 100% of the time.  No one makes us do what we do. We choose to do that which we think is the right thing to do based on what we either know or think we know. Temptations do not go away once a believer is redeemed.  In some ways they become worse because now you are declaring your allegiance to the devil’s main enemy, Almighty God.  You are now a threat to Satan.  If we take the first few chapters of the Book of Job literally, Satan must ask permission to tempt or harass a child of God.  With the Lord in control, no matter what Satan throws at us we can come out unscathed if we exercise self-control and maintain our faith in God.  Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!

Resources: The Life Application Study Bible; The Reformation Study Bible.

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