The Power of God in Temptation part 1
Topic: Temptation Verse: Luke 4:1–4:13
“The Power of God in Temptation”
Theme: The Word of God in the hands of the Spirit of God provides strength to overcome temptation.
I. There is Purpose in Temptation – 4:1
A. The Presence of God’s Spirit
- Luke now takes us to a powerful account of Jesus’ qualification as the Messiah - that is, the ability to address the issue of sin as an overcomer.
- Everything that God calls upon you and me to do, Jesus did - without failing in any sense.
- This account provides the pattern by which we ourselves must approach temptation - both in mindset, spirit, and practical application of truth in situations where we are vulnerable.
- We are told that “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan …”
- The awareness of Jesus being “full of the Holy Spirit” is key as we recognize that His temptations were always met by the power of the Holy Spirit - not in His own strength.
- Jesus had surrendered the manifestation of His glory through the use of His divine attributes and became obedient in all things to the Spirit of God - cp. Philippians 2:5-8
- As Jesus responded to the Holy Spirit, He did so perfectly and was blessed by a faithful provision by God of the Holy Spirit’s presence - cp. John 3:34
- Jesus’ life and ministry was completely devoted to the obedience of the Father through the agency of the Holy Spirit - cp. Isaiah 11:1-2; 61:1-2; Hebrews 9:14
- This was so complete that to speak against the works of Christ was to speak against the honor and authority of the Holy Spirit - cp. Matthew 12:31-32.
B. The Priority of God’s Spirit
- The Holy Spirit is completely devoted to the glory of God in the face of Christ Jesus.
- Therefore, the Spirit’s interaction with Christ was designed to provide Jesus the ability to glorify the Father - including by means of overcoming temptation - “… and was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness”
- One of the reasons that He “was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness” was to demonstrate that temptation is not the product of environment, or exposure to external stimuli, but is something that will be encountered even if we were to become hyper-separatist.
- Matthew informs us that the Spirit actually led him there to the wilderness in order for Him to be tempted - cp. Matthew 4:1.
- The Spirit’s agenda for Christ was to place Him in a situation where Christ was able to demonstrate His faithfulness to the Father.
- What is intended by Satan to be a temptation is considered a test of faithfulness by God – with opportunity to demonstrate integrity, trustworthiness and grace – cp. James 1:2-4.
- God’s willingness to expose us to various temptations is designed to provide us with the ability to demonstrate His grace, His faithfulness, His love, His protection, His mercy, and the power of His Word through our victory to the result of our blessing – cp. James 1:12.
- What is God’s purpose for everything that He does?
- How does this purpose inform your responses to HIm, particularly with reference to temptation?
- Read Galatians 5:16-17 … why do you fail in temptation when you do?
II. There Is Persistence in Temptation – 4:2
A. The Constant Harassment by the Devil
- Luke informs us that He was “in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil …”
- We are told that Satan is the enemy of our souls - whose entire purpose is to destroy and kill - John 8:44
- He does everything he possibly can to interfere with the glory of God - His essential or core value.
- He is identified in Scripture as “the tempter” - cp. 1 Thessalonians 3:5.
- Peter describes him as a “roaring lion” seeking to devour - 1 Peter 5:8.
- Here Luke informs us that Jesus was constantly harassed by Satan - certainly not only during these 40 days, but throughout Jesus’ earthly existence - cp. Luke 22:28.
B. The Constant Harassment by Our Desires
- In addition, Jesus suffered from the same cravings or desires as do we - “… and when they had ended, He became hungry.”
- Satan apparently reserved his greatest attacks on Christ for when he thought Jesus’ was most vulnerable, when Jesus’ cravings were clearly intense.
- “forty days” is a critical period in such a fast - as fasting occurs, hunger comes and goes with varying levels of intensity and diminishes significantly once one gets past a certain stage.
- However, around the 40 day mark, there is a ferocious resurgence of hunger that was apparently when Satan chose to attack.
- When can you relax from defending against temptation?
- How do your physical and spiritual impulses interact?
- What is the result when Satan is more committed to your failure than you are to your faithfulness? Who can help you sustain your ability to overcome?