Overcoming Temptation – Part 3
May 17, 2020 AM
Pastor Craig Ledbetter
Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland
I. Introduction (1Corinthians 10:13)
A. One of the most ignored subjects today is the struggle with temptation
1. Tempted to overeat
2. Binge watch tv series
3. Tempted to explode at someone who is bothering us
4. Stay in bed too long
7. Cheat on an exam
B. Temptation is a real problem
C. But the worst thing is that most people, especially Christians, don’t put up any fight against temptation
D. And so most every temptation just knocks at your door, and even Christians just walk over and let it in and take over their thoughts, attitudes and actions!
E. And so they end up spiritually, emotionally, and often even physically battered and bruised and ashamed by the sins that so easily besets / conquers them
F. It is not supposed to be that way!
1. We were made free by the death of Christ in our place
2. Sin is NOT supposed to have any dominion over any believer!
3. We are more than conquerors
G. So, How Do We Escape Temptations Grip, when it attracts us?
II. Message – A Biblical Example of 1 Corinthians 10:13 (Genesis 39)
A. Young Joseph
1. He is one of THE most important Old Testament characters to learn from, next to Jesus Christ
2. He is the favourite son of his father, Jacob
3. But hated by his brothers, and forcibly sold into slavery
4. He ends up being taken 150 miles away from home, and living in ungodly Egypt
5. And there, he is a slave, serving all the servants of a wealthy and powerful man named Potiphar
B. But Joseph was Blessed by God (Gen 39:1-6)
1. Hmmm. A slave, blessed by God? Yep!
2. Honoured by Potiphar for his exceptional hard work, and dependability as a slave
3. He was made the manager of everything that went on in the entire household
4. He was given power over almost everything that happened in that household
a. When people had to get up, and when they had to go to bed
b. What everybody was supposed to be doing during the day
c. Joseph had Potiphar’s credit card, and he had the power to buy whatever he wanted
d. He had great authority in the house, over everyone…
5. Except for Potiphar’s wife
C. Tempted by Sin (Gen 39:7)
1. Potiphar’s wife notices Joseph
2. She is probably a spoiled, bored, neglected woman – Potiphar was away from home a lot
3. She likes what she sees in Joseph – a hard working, handsome young man, who was passionate about his work, and about caring about all the details that it took to run that home
4. And so she wanted him to show some attention towards HER!
5. So she tempts Joseph to be alone with her – to lie down with her and see what happens
6. She is probably very beautiful.
7. She is wealthy – she could give Joseph anything he wanted
8. But there were a couple of big problems with this situation…
9. She was another man’s wife – that meant something back then!
D. Reasoning with Temptation (39:8-10)
1. Joseph knew very well that God spoke loud and clear about sex before marriage
a. Proverbs 6:27-29 Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned? So he that goeth in to his neighbour's wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent.
b. Exodus 20:14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.
2. Even our own wicked hearts KNOW it is wrong to commit adultery – every culture knows this
3. So Joseph explains just how wrong giving into this temptation would be
a. “I have been given great freedom and powers to run this household…”
b. “Potiphar doesn’t even ask me what I do, or why anymore”
c. “There is no one that has more power than I do here”
d. “But you belong to your husband – you are his wife”
e. “How could I choose to do this WRONG, and wilfully sin against GOD?”
f. “I won’t do it!
4. Good man! A rare man, but definitely a good man!
5. And he walked out!
6. But that wasn’t the end of the temptation…
E. The Trap is Set (39:11)
1. Temptation doesn’t reason well - doesn’t even make much sense usually
2. Entrapment – Potiphar’s wife manipulated everything so that the sin would be so easy
3. No one would see - no one would know
4. Just the two of them, alone, together – how exciting it would be!
5. You better believe Joseph was attracted to her
F. And Yet Joseph Did Not Fall (39:12)
H. Because he found a way to escape!
1. He did not try and reason with her anymore
2. He did the hard thing – he FLED, ran out of the room
3. Pretty well cost him everything to go out that exit
4. Left his garment in her hands
5. Left the consequences up to God!
III. Truths About God’s Way of Escape
A. Without God’s Help, You Will NOT Escape
1. Attacking armies always seek to surround their enemy, and trap them so that they surrender
2. And that is exactly what the devil seeks to do to you and me
3. Yet, God has made it possible for us to never be trapped, but to always escape the most intense demonic attacks and pulls ever imagined!
4. We just have to NOTICE the Escape, and Take It!
B. Escaping has short term and long term consequences
1. Fact: It is harder to do right than to do wrong
2. Fact: It is usually more enjoyable to sin, than to suffer
3. Fact: God is usually slower to bless you that the devil will – He is that way on purpose
4. In the short term:
a. You will probably lose friends if you choose to do the right things
b. You may lose promotions or even your job, by just doing the right thing
c. You may be lonely, and may have to wait a long time for Mr Right, or Mrs Right to come
5. But in the long term, God will give you all the right desires of your heart!
C. Temptations will get easier the more you choose to ESCAPE them
1. You cannot wrestle them and win – you are going to have to start “running for your life”
2. Paul told young man named Timothy in 2Timothy 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts!
D. You will always have God’s help if you choose it – GOD IS FAITHFUL TO YOU!
E. The way of escape is always bearable – do-able – not impossible
F. You will always have MORE Liberty when you keep within God’s limits
1. Psalm 119:45 And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.
2. Like a frustrated puppy, that wants to get out of the garden, yaps at all the ground outside of the fence
3. Not knowing that it is the boundaries that make him free
4. Without that bit of fence, he would be someone’s lunch or dinner
5. And if you are not willing that GOD puts limits on your life, then you will be devoured by Satan
6. 1Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour
IV. So, What Do We Have To Do When Tempted?
A. Recognize the Temptations You Face AS temptations to SIN
1. Joseph was tempted by more than just a beautiful woman
a. He was tempted to complain
b. To be depressed – no wife, no family, no freedom, no house of his own
c. To run away
d. Tempted to steal from Potiphar – wouldn’t miss it anyways
2. Do you even know what they are? Are you so used to temptation’s knock that you don’t even hesitate anymore
3. Ask God to show you your weaknesses as sins
d. Secret Porn on your phone
e. Constant complaining
f. Covetousness – never content
g. Laziness – too much sleep
B. Know the Consequences of Yielding (Proverbs 16:25) There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
1. Every temptation is a choice – don’t be blind – learn to look beyond the temptation
a. Beyond the pretty dress
b. Beyond the fake smile
c. Beyond the fast money making opportunity
d. Beyond the lie
e. Beyond the snooze button
f. Beyond the six pack of beer or bottle of wine
g. Galatians 6:7,8 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
2. What were the consequences of Joseph’s actions? (Genesis 39:13-20)
a. Infuriated Potiphar’s wife
b. He was falsely accused of attempted assault and rape
c. Imprisoned on death row
d. No defence – just his word against hers (and we know how that works out)
e. He has just lost, and lost, and lost, and has nothing left
f. Yet… GOD IS FAITHFUL!
3. What would have been the consequences if Joseph HAD yielded to temptation?
a. Oh, yes, he would have enjoyed the pleasures of sin, for a brief season
b. But then… Possible pregnancy
c. God promises that our sins WILL be found out (Numbers 32:23) …behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out.
d. Would lead to his justifiable execution by Potiphar
e. And no help from God at all – no deliverence – he would be on his own
f. He would never have his own home and wife and children
g. And worst of it all, he never would have been used by God to deliever his family back in Caanan
C. Choose to LIVE – REALLY LIVE
1. Not just “have a bit of fun”
2. Having fun is great! Sinning against God is never right!
3. If you want to have LIFE, follow Jesus!
4. John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
5. Romans 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
6. Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
7. Joshua 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; … but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
D. Look to the Lord Jesus Christ – remember your commitment to Follow HIM!
1. Study Him in this Book - Know Him well
2. Listen to His voice in these pages – He speaks ONLY through the pages of this Book!
3. Walk with Him, and talk with Him, constantly throughout your day
4. Do the things He did, and do them the WAY He did them
5. He suffered too doing the right things… But oh didn’t He win in the end!
E. Allow God to Over-Rule Each Temptation with a Better Path
1. Every Christian is supposed to be Overruled by God’s Word
a. We usually don’t like to be told we can’t do something
b. Well, we have been overruled now for the past two months – told what we cannot do
c. Well, GOD certainly should be able to tell us what we can and cannot do as well!
2. I can’t just WATCH whatever I want on my phone, or on TV, or on the internet
a. Psalm 101:3 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.
3. I can’t just follow my heart
a. Proverbs 4:23 Keep [HOLD IT BACK] thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
b. Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
4. I can’t just blow up, and SAY whatever I feel like
a. Psalm 141:3 Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.
b. Proverbs 29:11 A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.
5. I cannot live in fear
a. Luke 12:6,7 Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.
6. I cannot just make all the decisions in my home. I need to do a lot of listening, and let my wife be right
a. 1Peter 3:7 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
b. That means working together WITH her, and she WITH me
7. I can’t keep looking at another woman – my nature is now overruled by God
8. I can’t stay bitter – God overrules my wrong attitudes and commands me to replace them all with RIGHT attitudes
9. I can’t stay in bed on Sundays – God says I HAVE to assemble with other believers
a. Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
10. I can’t stay angry
a. Ephesians 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath
11. I can’t just do as I please anymore – I am owned by the Lord Jesus Christ!
12. If you and I would allow God to be LORD/BOSS/GOD over us, we then
will be better able to resist the devil, and the Bible says that he will…
(James 4:7) …FLEE from you!
James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
a. You will get answers to prayer
b. You will have joy, instead of just some carnal happiness
c. You will start to live FREE of smoking, and anger and wrath, and complaining… etc!
d. You will start winning in the spiritual battles going on around us all
e. You won’t be free from temptation, but you will be free from its victories over you!
F. “Lose your shirt!” – that means, Burn the Bridges back to every sin
1. I am so tired of hearing the same old stories from so many people
a. “I can’t stop” “It is so hard to do the right thing” “you don’t understand what I am going through”
b. Some of that may be true
c. But, you CAN stop lusting for things – you can turn away
d. You can put drink down, and never pick it up again
e. You can stay pure until marriage
f. You can talk without using profanity and curse words
g. You can get up and get a job and defeat laziness!
2. But it needs one more great truth…
3. Temptations only go away when they have been correctly dealt with
4. When you lose your shirt - When you go ahead and run for your life!
5. Here are some ideas on how to RUIN the pull of temptation…
a. Sit outside and publicly BURN every pack of cigarettes – so everyone sees!
b. Burn every rock and roll record – black smoke – get reported
c. Pour out all the bottles of drink – every one of them, and then smash the bottles in the Glass Bin - watch the alcohol kill all your grass!
d. Phone up the Off License and curse them out for ever selling such poison – make them mad at you! make it impossible to ever go back there! Make them hate you!
e. Downgrade your phone so that you can’t get images on it (wish we had rotary dials again)
f. Lose your old reputation – start all over at the bottom (no matter how many times), lose your money… let people mock you and call you ‘Chicken’ or ‘Weird’
g. Work your butt off to be able to marry a godly man or woman
h. Put every penny you spent on drink, or drugs, or porn, or on wasted “things” like stupid drinking holidays, and give the same amount to God now! Seriously! Lose your shirt!
i. Humble yourself to the person you constantly hurt and just say “I am so wrong, and I am sorry.”
j. And then leave the consequences / the outcome, up to God
G. Leave the Consequences Up to God – that’s faith!
1. I don’t know about you, but…
2. I am wanting to hear one day, “Well done thou good and faithful SERVANT”
3. I want some treasures waiting for me up in heaven when I get there
4. I want to live a long life and see my grandchildren serving God, and getting married and having their own children
5. I want to have a clean conscience and be able to sleep at night
6. I want the blessings of the Lord, and not of deceit and manipulation
7. Moses left everything up to God, and just did the right things
a. Heb 11:24-26 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt
A. Temptation is a real problem
B. But the worst thing is that most people, especially Christians, don’t put up any fight against temptation – just give in – just blow everything God is doing in their lives
C. And so they end up spiritually, emotionally, and often even physically battered and bruised and ashamed by the sins that so easily besets / conquers them
E. It is not supposed to be that way!
F. 1Corinthians 10:13 is a foundational Scripture – much of the Bible hangs on this verse!
1. The commonality of temptation
2. The faithfulness of God
3. The way of escape
G. Joseph the son of Jacob is a great example of finding God’s way of escape
1. He felt the very real pull of temptation to sin
2. He could not just ignore it
3. He had to run from it – escape!
H. Read the last chapters of this Book
1. Where will you be?
3. Or living in victory as a Christian?
I. This promise is only for born again Christians – people who have repented of their sin and cried out to God to save them from their sin
J. If you ARE a real child of God, then RUN FOR YOUR LIFE when temptation comes knocking
1. Get into the habit of humbling yourself
2. And submitting to God’s rule over you’re actions and reactions to temptation
3. And then tell the devil to go back where he came from
K. Are you a Christian? A real one? not a Sunday only one, but a born again child of God?
1. If not, bow your head right now and ask Him to take away your sin-record, and forgive you every sin
2. Ask God to replace all that past with the righteousness of Jesus Christ
3. Decide to follow Jesus, RIGHT NOW!