Overcoming Temptation

I Corinthians 10:12-13

I.  Watch out!  It happens to everyone.

   Rm. 7:15-19,  Rm. 12:3           “Take heed lest he fall”     At a time when you think all is well, “take heed.”  Watch out.    Don’t be taken by surprise, but be forewarned.  “You will be tempted.”

Question: Does becoming a Christian make you immune to temptation?  Give scriptural examples of godly men and women both from the Old and New Testament who were tempted and how they dealt with it.

Can we deal with our own temptation in similar ways as these examples?

II.  We are all the same.

Our temptations are limited to those common to all mankind.  “No temptation has come your way that is not common to all mankind.”   Satan tries to make us think that our particular temptation is so hard, it can’t be dealt with.  Nobody else has ever had it this hard.  The fact of this scripture says, that where your temptation is concerned you are not special, but in common with all other mankind.  Don’t have a pity party and fall away from God, but  be strong “seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.  Looking unto Jesus…”  Hebrews 12:1

Just look at all the other Christians around you and think in your mind of them being tempted in the same way you are, yet they are not falling.  You will, from their witness, receive strength to overcome even in  your weakest areas.

Questions:  Are our particular temptations unique and special to us alone, or are they the same as every other person?  Why?

What is the root of the surface sin situation?  i.e. What is the true fundamental character trait being tested?

III.  God is Faithful.

God can be depended on.  You can trust God.  God will not fail you.  In the middle of this overcoming temptation verse of scripture we see God inserting a definite character trait of His.  He says, “This is what I’m like.  I’m faithful.”  This trait never changes.  Even though God can be persuaded to change His mind from time to time(example:  Noah, Jonah and the repentance of Ninevah, the prolonged life of the Old Testament king).  His character never changes.  PTL.  God is faithful.

Question: What does this verse have to say about God’s character?

IV.  Who will not allow us to be tempted above that which we are able to bear.

Question: What does this verse say to those who claim the following statements?

“I can’t take it anymore.”  “I’m going to lose my mind.  The pressure is too great.”  “Suicide is my only answer because life has dealt me too terrible a fate.”  “I tried to live for God, but I couldn’t do it.  It was just too hard to bear.”  “You may be able to live it, but not me.”

V.  A way of escape.

As if these things are not enough to overcome and to go through victorious:

A.  A warning that temptations will come

B.  That our temptations are limited to those common to all mankind

C.  That God is characteristically faithful

D.  God will not permit us to be tempted above that which we are able to bear.

God then adds one more 5th and final temptation overcoming plan:

E.  A way of escape

In the midst of your temptation you will always see the way of escape, but like all other decisions, the choice is yours to make. At the moment before you choose to sin there will be an out.  Take it.  At the invitation to a party, see if God does not at that last moment create other possible plans for you as an escape.  When asked out by the wrong kind of guy, see if God will not give you a way out.

Ask for examples from among the group.