You might wonder why we would ever have to ask God to, “Lead us not into temptation.” This week you’ll discover some critical ways God humbles us in order to build our dependence and confidence in God.
1. The word “temptation” in English, is used in two ways in the Greek language (New Testament).
a. It can meet “testing,” as in “testing” a piece of metal to discover its strength, or purge out impurities.
b. It can mean “temptation” to do what is wrong, or evil.
1 Cor. 10:13 No temptation has overtaken that is not common to man. God is faithful and will not let you be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape that you may be able to endure it.
Using this verse, answer the following questions…
2. Do you ever wonder if, “I’m the only one that deals with ________?”
3. What does this verse say about your perception?
4. Do you ever wonder if the wrong with which you are tempted is just too strong for you?
5. What does this verse say about your perception about the strength of temptation to do wrong?
6. Do you ever wonder if the strongest temptation you face is just too strong for you?
7. What does this verse have to say about your perception?
8. Do you ever wonder if the temptation you face just inevitably leads to sin?
9. What does this verse have to say about your perception?
10. What is your biggest take away from this verse?
James 1:12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
1. Trials come to every person and every Christian. Also read James 1:2-3, where James describes trials as “various kinds,” or literally, “multi-colored.” What are some trials you’ve been through?
2. What quality is needed in order to “stand the test?”
3. The word, “test” is used to (a) “test” the quality of a metal, like gold, (b) discover what kind of metal it is, or (3) “refine” the metal so as to purge it of impurities. Do you identify with any of these types of “testing?”
4. In what ways is a “trial” also a “test?”
James 1:13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;
5. Though “trials” are (a) part of life, (b) given by God, and (c) used redemptively by God in our lives, what can we never say about trials?
6. When you are under a “trial” are you sometimes “tempted” to sin?
7. Why are we tempted to sin? List every item you can in the following verses.
James 1:14 … but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
8. James puts his finger on the real culprit in temptation: our own “evil desire.” Though we are to vigilantly fight temptation at the action level and relational level, the beginning of the battle begins in the heart! Take a few minutes to humble yourself before God, to yield your desires to God and to submit to His purpose for you today.
Read Matthew 4:1-11, when Satan tempted Jesus.
1. God allowed Satan to tempt Jesus three times. The first temptation is given in verse 3. What was the temptation?
2. Why would this have been a temptation to Jesus? (v. 2).
3. How did Jesus respond to temptation #1?
4. What does this tell you about how you fight temptation? Are you following His example?
5. This temptation may not seem like “all that big of a deal” to you, but Jesus rejected this temptation in its tracks! Why should you reject even the “smallest” of temptations?
6. Satan is a master deceiver. He tried to “catch” Jesus in a “small” temptation so as to “snag” Him in a far greater one. It is the “slippery slope” tactic.
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.
a. Peter describe Satan in two ways in v. 8. What are they?
b. What is the lion out to do?
c. What does Peter say is your role in fighting temptation, in v. 8?
d. What does Peter say is your role in fighting temptation in v. 9?
7. Between Jesus’ response and Peter’s teaching, what do you need to do to fight temptation?
Yesterday we saw how one of Satan’s strategies with us is to tempt us with “smaller” temptations for the purpose of “snagging” us with “bigger” temptations that take us (and others) down.
Read Matthew 4:1-11
1. Temptation #1 was the temptation to turn stones into bread. What is Temptation #2? (vv. 4-7).
2. What do you think would have happened to Jesus if he had succumbed to this temptation?
3. Temptation #2, like Temptation #1 begins with the word “if.” To what do you think Temptation #2 “appealed” to in Jesus’ heart? How is human pride involved in temptation?
4. How did Jesus respond to Temptation #2? (v. 7).
5. What is implied in His response?
6. Temptation #3 comes in vv. 8-9. What does Satan attempt to get Jesus to do?
7. “Worship” is more than an activity. “Worship” comes from the word “worth.” This is a temptation regarding our real allegiance, and what is really going to be most important in our lives. Satan is willing to “pay a fortune” for Jesus’ allegiance and worship.
a. Satan’s strategy is the same for you! How does this strike you?
b. How does Jesus respond to Temptation #3? (v. 10).
c. What strikes you about Jesus’ response to temptation?
Read Matthew 26:31-35
1. Jesus predicts what’s going to happen that very night. He will be arrested, and when He is the disciples will flee like rats (well, like “sheep”). What is Peter’s response in v. 33?
2. Why do you think Peter feels so confident in himself?
3. In spite of Peter’s confidence, Jesus sees that Peter will fall flat on his face. What does Jesus see in Peter that Peter does not see in Himself? (vv. 34-35)
4. Did Peter “hear” what Jesus had to say? How did he act on that knowledge?
5. Read Matthew 26:69-75
a. Peter faced the same temptation, three times. In the first one (vv. 69-70), how did Peter sin against God, against the girl and against himself?
b. The second temptation occurs in vv. 71-72. How did Peter sin against God, against the girl and against himself?
c. The third temptation occurs in vv. 73-74. How did Peter sin against God, against the people and against himself?
d. Up until this moment do you think Peter was even aware he was being tempted?
Matt. 26:75a Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken…
e. What is tragic about this statement?
Matt. 26:75b …”Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly.
f. When we have succumbed to temptation, the hammer falls heavily. What is your biggest lesson in dealing with temptation?