Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Vision (10.29.15): Christ: Helper of the Tempted

Image:  Scene from the grounds of FRIM (Forest Research Institute of Malaysia)

Note:  This devotion is adapted from the closing application from last Sunday’s sermon on Hebrews 2:16-18.

For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted (Hebrews 2:18).

Here are seven practical ways that Jesus, the one who took on flesh for us, gives help to the tempted:

1.  He has given us a model and example for righteous living.  We can read through the Gospels and see how Jesus responded in all kinds of circumstances, including the betrayal and denial of his disciples and the mocking and cursing of his enemies.

2.  He gives us the Word of God in the Scriptures to help us understand our own condition, to resist the attacks of the devil, and to pursue things that are good and right.

3.  He gives us his church, the body of Christ, brothers and sisters who come alongside us in the name of Christ and who hold us accountable to the commitments that we have made to live for Christ.

4.  He gives us the indwelling Spirit and a sensitive conscience so that we never rest easy with the presence of sin in our lives.  The Christian conscience acts like a smoke detector giving off an alarm when sin smolders in our hearts.

5.  He intercedes for us.  He “ever liveth to make intercession” for his saints (Heb 7:25).

6.  He comforts us when we are defeated.  When we fall he urges us to rise again.

Proverbs 24:16 For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.

7.  He gives us sure and precious promises. He who endures to the end shall be saved (Matt 10:22).  Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world (1 John 4:4).  Listen to this beatitude:

James 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

Matthew Poole on Christ’s help for the tempted:  “This is the most powerful preservative against despair, and the firmest ground of hope and comfort, that every believing, penitent sinner could desire or have.”

John Calvin on Christ’s help for the tempted:  “Therefore whenever any evils pass over us, let it ever occur to us, that nothing happens to us but what the Son of God has himself experienced in order that he might sympathize with us; nor let us doubt but that he is present with us as though he suffered with us.”

When we face temptation, let us remember that Jesus is able to help us.

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

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