LIFE OF CHRIST

 

Matthew 4:1-11

HE DID IT! 6/19/05

Life of Christ #6

 

To me, one of the most remarkable things that Jesus did was live a sinless life.  And as we continue our study in the Life of Christ, we move from the ministry of John the Baptist and the baptism of Jesus to the temptation of Christ.  In this true story we see the victory of our Lord Jesus Christ over the temptation of the Devil.

 

I have entitled this message, HE DID IT!  I mean He did what you and I can’t do. He had total victory over sin.  And I want us to think of the significance of that.

 

HE DID IT! – BUT WE HAVE SINNED

 

Before we talk about the temptation of our Lord, let’s put things in perspective by talking about ourselves.

 

The Bible is very clear that all of us are sinners.

We have all failed God.

We have all missed the mark.

We have all wandered away from doing the truth. Isaiah 64:6, Romans 3:10-12, 23

 

Our sins actually fall into three categories, according to

1 John 2:15-16 - Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. [16] For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

 

In this verse the word “world” does not refer to the earth, nor does it refer to the people on the earth.  It refers to the “world system” or the world’s evil way of doing things.   

   

The three categories of sin found in the world, are

·        The lust of the flesh

·        The lust of the eyes

·        The pride of life

 

Lust is desire.  Not all desire is wrong. If we didn’t desire food we wouldn’t eat. 

If husbands and wives don’t desire each other there would be no children.  If we didn’t desire rest we wouldn’t sleep.  If we didn’t desire liquid we wouldn’t drink.

 

The “lust of the flesh” is when these desires get out of hand.

The one who lusts after food is a glutton.

The one who lusts after sex is a fornicator, an adulterer, or worse!

The one who lusts after rest is lazy!

The one who lusts after the wrong kind of liquid is an alcoholic!

 

Whenever I allow my own physical desires to get out of hand, I am guilty of “lust of the flesh”.

 

The “lust of the eyes” is when I desire to please my eyes more than I try to please God.

Most of us would not argue that pornography is wrong! It is when I allow my eyes to feast on things that are sensual.

 

But anytime we look at a member of the opposite sex with the wrong motives, we are guilty of the lust of the eyes. Matthew 5:27-28

 

Lust of the eyes often allows us to enter a fantasy world of entertainment that distracts us from the love of God.

 

Americans love their sports entertainment, their video entertainment, their television entertainment and their World Wide Web entertainment.  And when these fill us with visions and thoughts contrary to God’s holiness or rob us of time that should be devoted to God, they are wrong!

 

Another way the “lust of the eyes” affects us is through our wanting what other people have.  We want to “keep up with the Jones”.  We want the car, the house, the gun, the dress that we really don’t need, but we want it more than we want to please God!

 

When these things rob us of our commitment, love and loyalty to God, they are wrong!  

 

“Lust of the flesh”, “Lust of the eyes” and “the pride of life”. 

 

There is nothing wrong with taking pride in your work or in your appearance.

Pride is wrong when you think yourself better than others and even say so!

Pride is what often keeps us from admitting we are wrong, or apologizing, or asking for forgiveness.

Pride is wrong when it tries to make oneself more important than God.

 

These three categories of sin have been around since the Garden of Eden.  When Satan tempted Eve, the temptation covered three areas – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.

 

Genesis 3:6 - And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

 

Lust of the flesh - good for food   

Lust of the eyes - pleasant to the eyes

Pride of life - a tree to be desired to make one wise

 

Mankind has struggled with these areas of sin ever since.

 

HE DID IT! – AND SHOWED HIMSELF SUPERIOR

 

Vs. 1 – Notice when Jesus was tempted it was after a great act of blessing and obedience.  He had just been baptized and had heard His Heavenly Father’s approval This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

 

Why was Jesus tempted by the devil, just as Eve was in the garden?

 

As the Union Pacific Railroad was being constructed, an elaborate trestle bridge was built across a large canyon in the West. Wanting to test the bridge, the builder loaded a train with enough extra cars and equipment to double its normal payload. The train was then driven to the middle of the bridge, where it stayed an entire day. One worker asked, “Are you trying to break this bridge?” “No,” the builder replied, “I’m trying to prove that the bridge won’t break.” In the same way, the temptations Jesus faced weren’t designed to see if He would sin, but to prove that He couldn’t.

Today in the Word, March 14, 1991 http://www.bible.org/illus.asp?topic_id=1542

   

Vss. 2-3 – Jesus was weak. Jesus was hungry.

                 The Devil comes in this moment of physical weakness and encourages the Lord Jesus to prove Himself the Son of God by taking matters into his own hands and making some stones into bread.

 

Why would this have been wrong?

·        God did not tell Jesus to do this.

·        Jesus taking matters into his own hands would have indicated impatience with and lack of trust in God.

·        Jesus would have been accepting the leadership of God’s enemy, Satan, instead of God Himself.

 

Vs. 4 – Jesus answer is brief, to the point, and directly from the Word of God.  This a quote from Deuteronomy 8:3.

 

Man does not survive simply by food, but by the directions and provision of God at the speaking of His Word.

 

Eve saw that the forbidden fruit was good for food and succumbed to the lust of the flesh.

The Lord Jesus was tempted to make stones into bread to satisfy that same lust of the flesh.  He refused and proved Himself superior.

 

Vss. 5-6 – Please note that Satan can quote Scripture and will.  He is quoting Psalm 91:11-12.  When Satan quotes it, he will quote it out of context or only part of a verse, so it will suit him in his efforts to tempt us to sin.

 

Satan wanted Jesus to tempt or test God by jumping off when God didn’t tell him to.

Satan would have us do things to test God, to presume that He will take care of us no matter how badly or foolishly we behave.

 

Vs. 7 – Jesus answers Satan’s Scripture quote with a better Scripture quote. “Don’t tempt the Lord thy God.” Deuteronomy 6:16

 

When Eve saw that the fruit of the tree would make her wise, she succumbed to the temptation of the pride of life.

When Jesus was tempted to jump and didn’t, He resisted the temptation to satisfy His own pride.  Jesus again proved Himself superior.

 

Vss. 8-9 – What was Satan offering Jesus?

He was offering Him a kingdom without a cross.

Satan, as prince of this world could have fulfilled this promise temporarily. 

All Jesus had to do was become a traitor. Instead of worshipping his Heavenly Father, he was to worship Satan.

Think of this – any time we make something more important to us than God, we are worshipping something else and have become traitors.

 

Vs. 10 – Jesus finally discharges Satan.  Again, he quotes Scripture from Deuteronomy 6:13.  God is to be worshipped, nobody else, and nothing else!

 

When Eve saw that the fruit was pleasant to the eyes she succumbed to the temptation of the lust of the eyes.

When Jesus saw the kingdoms that he could rule over if he worshipped Satan, he did not succumb to the temptation of the lust of the eyes.

 

In all three areas of temptation Jesus was victorious.

He showed Himself superior to Adam and Eve.

He showed Himself to be superior to you and me!

 

HE DID IT! – AND BECAME OUR SAVIOR

 

It is important that Jesus was tempted and did not sin.

It is important that Jesus did not sin, because that qualified Him to become our substitute for sin.

Someone has to pay for our sins.  God is a righteous God who demands payment for sin.  Logically speaking, we should be punished for our sins. Ezekiel 18:4, Romans 6:23a

   

God, in His love sent to us a sinless substitute, His very own Son, who did not have to pay for His own sins. He had none. Instead, Jesus could and did die for our sins. 2 Corinthians 5:21,

Romans 5:6-9  

 

It is now possible for you to be rescued or saved from the wrath of God’s judgment. 

Jesus died for your sins.

Forgiveness and everlasting life does not come through good works, baptism, going to church, keeping The Ten Commandments, or any other man made effort.

 

Forgiveness and everlasting life come from accepting by faith the death of Christ on the cross for your sins, by receiving Him as your Savior. Ephesians 2:8-9

 

HE DID IT! – AND GIVES US HIS STRENGTH

 

Some people have the wrong idea that all a person needs to do is trust Christ as Savior and then they can live any way they want.

 

This, of course, is not true.

Not only do we have Christ as our savior, but He is to be the very strength of our lives through the work of the Holy Spirit.

 

Galatians 2:20 - I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

 

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live – When Christ died on the cross, because I have believed on Him, I died with Him.

Because He was buried, I was buried with Him.

Because He rose from the dead I rose with Him.  

 

yet not I, but Christ liveth in me    - The very Son of God lives inside me, and as I allow Him to, He will control my life.

 

and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

It is through faith in Him that I will allow Him to control my life.

As I do this I will be able to have victory over temptation.

He is ever present to help and strengthen. Philippians 4:13

 

We have access to Christ’s help anytime we need it for anything, especially with help in dealing with temptation. Hebrews 4:15-16

 

Now that we have Christ in our lives, we can have victory over temptation. It is promised.

 1 Corinthians 10:12-14

 

Because Christ is victorious over temptation, we can be too.   

  

He did it! Jesus Christ was victorious over temptation.

Because He is victorious, we can have forgiveness and eternal life and victory in this life.

   

HE DID IT! – BUT WE HAVE SINNED

HE DID IT! – AND SHOWED HIMSELF SUPERIOR

HE DID IT! – AND BECAME OUR SAVIOR

HE DID IT! – AND GIVES US HIS STRENGTH

 

 

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