Sunday Scripture Reading: James 1:14 ~ "but every man is tempted..."
Have you ever wondered why two people who are perfect for each other, literally have a perfect life, are tempted to break their covenant and destroy everything they have? What makes them behave this way?
Temptation. We are all confronted with it. Even Christ was tempted by Satan.
It is what we do when we are faced with temptation that makes the difference in our lives and in the lives of our families. The choices we make can actually bring us illness and even death.
"but every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed."
Notice that James tells us that the temptation is not from God, but of ourselves, of our own desires, and we are lured by them and even beguiled or enticed by them.
Matthew Henry comments on this scripture:
"We are here taught that God is not the author of any man’s sin. Whoever they are who raise persecutions against men, and whatever injustice and sin they may be guilty of in proceeding against them, God is not to be charged with it. And, whatever sins good men may themselves be provoked to by their exercises and afflictions, God is not the cause of them.It seems to be here supposed that some professors might fall in the hour of temptation, that the rod resting upon them might carry some into ill courses, and make them put forth their hands unto iniquity. But though this should be the case, and though such delinquents should attempt to lay their fault on God, yet the blame of their misconduct must lie entirely upon themselves.There is nothing in the nature of God that they can lay the blame upon: Let no man say, when he is tempted to take any evil course, or do any evil thing, I am tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted with evil. All moral evil is owing to some disorder in the being that is chargeable with it, to a want of wisdom, or of power, or of decorum and purity in the will. But who can impeach the holy God with the want of these, which are his very essence? No exigence of affairs can ever tempt him to dishonour or deny himself, and therefore he cannot be tempted with evil.There is nothing in the providential dispensations of God that the blame of any man’s sin can be laid upon. Neither tempteth he any man. As God cannot be tempted with evil himself, so neither can he be a tempter of others. He cannot be a promoter of what is repugnant to his nature.The carnal mind is willing to charge its own sins on God. There is something hereditary in this. Our first father Adam tells God, The woman thou gavest me tempted me, thereby, in effect, throwing the blame upon God, for giving him the tempter. Let no man speak thus. It is very bad to sin; but is much worse, when we have done amiss, to charge it upon God, and say it was owing to him.Those who lay the blame of their sins either upon their constitution or upon their condition in the world, or who pretend they are under a fatal necessity of sinning, wrong God, as if he were the author of sin. Afflictions, as sent by God, are designed to draw out our graces, but not our corruptions. We are taught where the true cause of evil lies, and where the blame ought to be laid.Every man is tempted (in an ill sense) when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. In other scriptures the devil is called the tempter, and other things may sometimes concur to tempt us; but neither the devil nor any other person or thing is to be blamed so as to excuse ourselves; for the true original of evil and temptation is in our own hearts. The combustible matter is in us, though the flame may be blown up by some outward causes. And therefore, if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it, Prov. 9:12 .
The method of sin in its proceeding. First it draws away, then entices. As holiness consists of two parts-forsaking that which is evil and cleaving to that which is good, so these two things, reversed, are the two parts of sin. The heart is carried from that which is good, and enticed to cleave to that which is evil. It is first by corrupt inclinations, or by lusting after and coveting some sensual or worldly thing, estranged from the life of God, and then by degrees fixed in a course of sin.There is a great deal of violence done to conscience and to the mind by the power of corruption: and there is a great deal of cunning and deceit and flattery in sin to gain us to its interests. The force and power of sin could never prevail, were it not for its cunning and guile."