Thursday, November 01, 2012

The Vision (11/1/12): Transferable and non-transferable lessons from Christ's temptation

Here are some notes from the conclusion of last Sunday’s sermon from Luke 4:1-15:


It seems there are some lessons here that are transferable (that relate to the pilgrimage of all believers as we follow the pattern of Christ) and some that are nontransferable (that uniquely apply to understanding Christ alone).


First, the transferable:


The devil is a real and formidable adversary.  In 1 Peter 5:8, the apostle Peter admonishes us:  “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”  If he tried to attack our Lord, he will try to attack us.  If a predator in the wild goes after a mature prey, will he not also attack the weak and immature?


He likes to come up against us by sowing doubt as to the sure and precious promises of God’s Word.  So, he asks, “Is the Bible really reliable?”  “Is Jesus really the son of God?”  Does it really matter how I live my life?”  He will even try to twist the Scriptures to justify his perversions.


He comes against the believer with a fury, particularly when he sees that he is losing his prey.  He likes to attack us when we are weak and vulnerable.  This might be when we are physically or emotionally or spiritually worn down.


He brings a variety of temptations against us just as he did against Christ.  He will tempt us to make our physical desires to become our god.  He will tempt us to seek do good through merely temporal or worldly means. He will tempt us to make our religion rotate around our own self-preservation as the ultimate good.


We learn from Christ how we are to respond to temptation.  Our most valuable weapon is the Word of God.  We are to have it at the ready to use as a weapon against Satan.  This means not merely the citation of verses in and of itself but the concept and principles are to be so imbedded within us that we know how to divide truth from error.  This means we must be motivated to read, memorize, meditate upon, and hear the Word of God.


Second, the non-transferable:


Here we see Jesus growing into his full maturity as a man and that includes knocking down the objections of the devil to his calling to be the Suffering Messiah.


Here is illustrated what Hebrews 4:15 declares, that he “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”


He did not do as Satan suggested, try to set up a worldly kingdom.  Instead he chose the path given him by God the Father.  He would strike at man’s root problem, his sin problem, by dying on the cross for sinners and setting up an invisible kingdom.


He did not shrink from the suffering of the cross, but he embraced it.  And by his stripes we are healed.  Here we see Christ passing through the school of trial and we are the beneficiaries. 


Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

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