Facing the trial of temptation

Facing the trial of temptation – a sermon on James 1:13-15 by Rev. Colin Pretorius.

“The Devil made me do it!” That was Eve’s excuse! She may have called him the serpent, that’s really what she said…. The devil made me do it! He was the one who deceived me and I ate! Even at the dawn of time, it seems that the human race’s national sport was called “passing the buck”…. And lest we think otherwise, good old Adam didn’t do much better… not only did he try to pass the buck to Eve, he went on to blamed God! “This woman, God, which You gave me, she gave me the fruit and I ate.”

Passing on the blame to someone else and being slow to take responsibility is a result of our fallen nature. When the famous cricketer that Australians idolise or even venerate was caught out taking a banned diet pill, did he take responsibility? No, basically he said “My mommy gave me the pills”….

Passing the blame is particularly popular when it comes to sin, no matter what that sin may be. Like Adam some even try to blame God when things go wrong or when they yield to a particular sin. It appears that some of the believers to whom James was writing, had fallen prey to this attitude of blaming God for tempting them. And like a loving pastor should do, James points out their error. He reminds them that temptation doesn’t come from God but from within. He also points out to them that succumbing to temptation is sin. Or to put it another way, he highlights how we are contaminated by temptation and also what the consequences are of submitting to temptation. We’ll look at these two aspects first and then ask the question “So what is the cure?” In short, we’re going to look at 3 C’s:

  • The contamination (vv13-14);
  • The consequence (v15); and
  • The cure.