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Chuck Smith :: Sermon Notes for Matthew 4:1

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TEMPTATION
Intro. Jesus was tempted in three areas, physical, spiritual, vocational. Man is essentially physical and spiritual, but he also exists for a purpose, so there is the vocational.
I. THE FIRST TEMPTATION WAS IN THE PHYSICAL REALM.
A. Jesus is hungry, He had been fasting for forty days.
1. There is nothing wrong with being hungry, it is a part of the marvelous design of the human body, one of our basic drives.
2. The cells of the body require certain vitamins and minerals to sustain them.
3. The whole process of the digestive system is so marvelous that anyone who thinks that this process of turning bananas into thought came by fortuitous occurrences of accidental circumstances over a fifteen billion years has to be a fool.
B. What is the temptation? "Since you are the Son of God, turn these stones into bread." Let the spiritual side of your life become subservient to the physical.
1. This is the heart of all temptation. To allow the fleshly side of my being to rule over the spiritual.
2. The issue is always, do I yield to the desires of my flesh or to the spirit?
3. Paul told the Galatians that these two sides of man's nature were always warring against each other.
a. My flesh is warring against the desires of my spirit.
b. My spirit was warring against the desires of my flesh.
c. He then went on to describe the works of the flesh, adultery, fornication, sexual impurity, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and things like that.
d. He went on to declare that those who did such things would not inherit the Kingdom of God.
e. In contrast to the works of the flesh, he declares that the fruit of the spirit is love, manifested in joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.
4. Temptation is always to yield to the physical, or fleshly side of my nature.
5. Will I be controlled by my flesh, or by my spirit?
6. Will I let my fleshly desires rule over my spirit?
7. The temptation was to use the spiritual to fulfill the needs of the physical.
a. Take your gifts and use them for your own enrichment.
b. Use them independently of the will of God.
C. The answer of Jesus was the written word, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God."
1. I need more than bread to sustain me, I need the word of God.
a. The story of Jesus at the well in Samaria.
b. When they offered Jesus the meat, He responded, "I have meat that you know not of, My meet is to the will of My Father, and to finish His work."
2. Man's life must be ordered and guided by the word of God.
3. The word of God feeds the spiritual side of my nature, and that is more important than the feeding of the physical side of my being.
II. THE SECOND TEMPTATION FOLLOWED, AS SATAN TOOK HIM TO THE PINNACLE OF THE TEMPLE AND DECLARED, "SINCE YOU ARE THE SON OF GOD, JUMP DOWN, FOR IT IS WRITTEN, "HE SHALL GIVE HIS ANGELS CHARGE CONCERNING YOU, AND THEY WILL BEAR YOU UP, LEST YOU DASH YOUR FOOT UPON A STONE."
A. You say that you are trusting in the word of God to sustain you. Then really show your trust in the word. Do something spectacular to show how much you trust the word of God. For it is written.
1. Put the word of God to a real test.
2. Put your life in great jeopardy, and let the angels sustain you.
3. This will really give a jump start to your ministry. Draw the crowds by being spectacular.
4. There are many ministries that have yielded to this temptation.
B. The response of Jesus again was the word of God. It is written again, "Thou shalt not tempt the Lord your God."
1. If by inadvertence or accident I am placed in a place of jeopardy or danger, the Lord will watch over me, and deliver me.
2. I am not to put myself in that place of jeopardy just to prove my trust in God.
a. We read of the cults that practice snake handling.
b. If they would only read the words of Jesus here, they would realize that it is wrong to deliberately place yourself in danger just to prove the scriptures.
3. We realize here that the word tempt, has as a meaning to test.
a. You are to trust God in every situation, but not to put Him to deliberate tests.
b. God often tests us, and that is perfectly proper.
c. It is good for us to know our limitations, so that we will trust Him more.
4. In the answer of Jesus to the temptation we see the importance of comparing scripture with scripture.
a. Many times people take scripture out of context, and it can bring false conclusions.
b. A scriptural position can be a non scriptural position, when used out of context.
c. There is the whole body of truth, and when I so interpret a scripture that it does not line up with the whole body of truth, my interpretation is wrong.
III. THE NEXT TEMPTATION IS THE REALM OF THE VOCATIONAL, THE CALLING AND THE PURPOSE OF LIFE. SATAN TOOK JESUS TO A HIGH MOUNTAIN, AND SHOWED HIM THE KINGDOMS OF THE WORLD AND THE GLORY OF THEM. HE THEN PROMISED TO GIVE THEM TO JESUS, IF HE WOULD JUST BOW DOWN AND WORSHIP HIM.
A. Jesus knew that He had been sent into this world to redeem it from the control of Satan, and bring again the Kingdom of God.
1. To this end, He was going to suffer the indignity of being despised, and rejected. He was to be beaten, and crucified. He was going to receive the sins of the world upon Himself, and suffer death for all man, as He paid the price for sin.
2. This temptation is to seek to accomplish the purpose of God outside of the will of God.
a. That old idea, that the end justifies the means.
b. Just get the job done, it does not matter how.
c. Doing God's work our way.
3. Satan is saying that the cross is not necessary to accomplish the desire of God to redeem the world.
a. He pressed this point again at Ceasaera Phillipi when Peter began to rebuke Him for telling the disciples that He was going to be crucified and rise again the third day.
b. Peter said, "Be that far from thee Lord." and Jesus answered, "Get thee behind Me Satan."
B. Satan is offering a short cut, I will give them if you will pay me homage. Jesus answered, "Get out!" I will get them by driving you out. I will follow the path of the Father, and be obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. It is written, "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve."
C. True to the word, He met every temptation.
D. The word of God is the key to overcome all temptation.
1. "Thy word have I hid in My heart, that I might not sin against thee."
2. John in his first epistle said, "I write unto you young men because you have overcome the wicked one." "I have written unto you young men, because you are strong, because you are strong, because the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one."
Sermon Notes for Matthew 3:8 ← Prior Section
Sermon Notes for Matthew 4:1-11, 24 Next Section →
Sermon Notes for Malachi 1:2 ← Prior Book
Sermon Notes for Mark 1:40 Next Book →
CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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