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TRIALS AND TEMPTATIONS (Kent Smith 6/18/23)

A STUDY OF THE LETTER OF JAMES


JAMES 1:12-21

Responding to Trials and Temptations

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FROM TRIALS TO TEMPTATIONS

  • Everyone experiences trials.

  • We are to endure trials through perseverance.

  • God approves of those who are refined by trial.

  • He rewards those who love Him… and His work in us.

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When we face trials, it often leads to temptations


Trials may tempt us to a sinful response:

Some common responses to trials are :

Anger

Depression

Self-centeredness / feeling sorry for yourself

Identifying oneself as a victim

Blaming others or even blaming God.


James 1:13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”

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THE TRUTH ABOUT TEMPTATION

  • TEMPTATIONS ARE NOT FROM GOD

    • He will never seek to lead you into sin.

    • God cannot be tempted.

    • God does not tempt.

  • TEMPTATIONS ARE ROOTED IN OUR DESIRES

    • Appetites and desires are part of God’s design for us.

    • We are tempted when our desire is to please ourselves.

    • We sin when we choose our desires over God’s desires for us.

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James 1:14-15

But each one 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.


Temptations are the result of our uncrucified flesh.

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DO NOT BE DECEIVED…. (GOD IS GOOD!)

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Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.


We must not blame God for our temptations, because He is entirely Good.

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THE GOODNESS OF GOD


God is the source of ALL goodness.

  • His works are always “kind gifts” to us.

    • Without any hidden agendas or manipulation

  • The early Christians were His “first fruits”.

    • They were saved by the “word of truth” (Gospel)

    • They were the evidence of His redemptive work.

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James 1:17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.


His works are always “kind gifts” to us. Without any hidden agendas or manipulation.


James 1:18 In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.


First fruits (especially in the New Testament era) was a recognition that the Christians of that era were just the beginning of God’s Redemptive work among mankind.

In the Old Testament it was God’s requirement to bring the first fruits or first portion of the harvest to God as a sacrifice.

Lev. 23:9-14

It acknowledged His provision.

It was an act of faith that showed their trust in His future provision.

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SUMMATION


Trials are part of earthly life.

Temptations are born from our selfish desires.


Trials are opportunities for God to refine us.

Temptations reflect our preoccupation with self.

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FIVE PRACTICAL RESPONSES

(to trials and temptations)


1. Be quick to hear (LISTEN)

2. Slow to speak

3. Slow to anger

4. Put aside filthiness and wickedness

5. Receive the word into your heart!

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THIS YOU KNOW

That trials come to everyone to perfect us.

That temptations are the result of our selfish and sinful desires

That God is truly good and is seeking our eternal good.

THEREFORE:

Listen – truly incline your ear to hear what God may be saying to you.

Be slow to speak:

We are far too quick to share our opinion or our answer.

Without first listening to what has been said

Without first seeking what God would have us to say.

3. Be slow to anger:

Our anger usually does not reflect God’s righteousness

4. Be rid of:

Filthiness – immorality – things which dishonor God.

Wickedness – that which is depraved, perverted, corrupting of what God created for good.

5. Receive the word IMPLANTED

which is able to save your souls!







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