Temptation is a state experienced when a person thinks thoughts, considers intentions or desires things which are contrary to the thoughts, intents and desires of Almighty God. When those thoughts are fulfilled through action, those intentions translated into achievements and those desires satisfied by accomplishment, then sin is committed. Sin unrepented of by the sinner and not forgiven by the Father leads to death. Temptation is a link in the chain of circumstances that leads to death (Jam 1:14,15).
Temptation and life
Temptation is also a link in the chain of circumstances that can lead to life. Temptation is necessary. It is the means whereby faith is tested (Jam 1:2,3,12).
Temptation is universal
It is no respecter of persons. No one escapes its influence. It is not confined by time or place, nor restricted by age, social standing, intellect, race, gender or creed (Gen 3:6; 2 Sam. 11:2-5; Mat 4:1-11; Rom 3:10,12; 1Co 10:13; Heb 4:15).
Temptation — its origin
Temptation can arise because of our situation. The people we are with, the place we are in, and the time may all have an influence (Gen 3; Jos 7; Mat 19:3; 26:14-16; Luk 20:21-26). Temptation may arise because of our unique emotional constitution. Not everyone exposed to the same situation will be affected in the same way (1Co 8:7-13).
Temptation can be overcome
We have been promised that we shall have the strength for all eventualities (1Co 10:13).
Temptation — its conquest
Overcoming temptation involves appreciating that danger exists, recognizing the cause, and taking appropriate action. Sometimes that action involves avoidance, sometimes confrontation (Pro. 4:14,15; Mat 5:29,30; Mar 8:33; Jam 4:7,8).
We must not place ourselves in situations where temptation will arise. We must remove ourselves from circumstances where temptation has arisen (Psa 1:1; Luk 4:30).
We should seek the company of those who are wise and strong, and who will influence us for good (Pro 9:6; 13:20; 22:24).
We must starve our wayward emotions of food (Rom 13:14; Eph 4:22).
We must be quick and decisive when we are confronted with temptation, and positive in our reaction against it (Pro 1:10-15; Mat 16:23; Heb 12:1,2).
We must be awake to and aware of the insidious nature of temptation (Mat 26:41; Luk 12:15; 1Co 10:12; 1Pe 5:8).
Inadequate on our own to conquer every temptation, we must seek God’s help in prayer and through His Word. We have a pattern of perfection. We need to emulate and adopt that model (Mat 6:13; 26:41; Heb 12:1,2; 2Pe 2:9).
Sin breeds sin. Overcoming one temptation strengthens us to overcome the next (Jam 1:2-4).