Title: EVADING RESPONSIBILITY AND PUTTING THE BLAME ON GOD
Text: James 1:12-18
Ladies, which is your greatest temptation…chocolate or shopping malls? Guys…tools or the pro shop? Temptations vary from person to person depending on our weakness. Someone else’s temptation may not have any pull on us at all. Giving in to some temptations may only result in another pound or two or a few dollars deeper in debt, but other temptations have disastrous results. Satisfying a lust can be as costly as selling our soul to Hell.
There’s an argument that it’s God’s fault that He made us this way and that certain temptations are beyond resistance because of His creation of us. Others would say the fault lies in our parents, for we have a genetic disposition to certain weaknesses. In answering a similar question, James puts the responsibility where it really lies. Read text.
1. James says the one who perseveres under trials is blessed. What is perseverance? (To persist in or remain constant to a purpose, an idea, or a task in the face of obstacles or discouragement.) What thoughts do you focus on during a trial to keep you in a steady course?
2. Though trials may take our health, our belongings, even our loved ones, what can we expect to receive if we persevere through trials? (Crown of life.) What is that really? (A crown which consists of life. If we meet our test with steadfast constancy, life becomes richer than it ever was before.)
3. Go back to verse 12 and name the two conditions by which we get the crown of life. (We persevered AND we were approved.) What do you think the second condition is all about? Deut. 8:2; Deut. 13:1-3; Prov. 17:3
4. If God is the creator of everything, did He create sin and temptation? Explain. Rom. 7:22-25; 1 John 5:18-19
5. How long has man been evading his responsibility about temptation? (Since Adam & Eve.) Gen. 3:12-13
Comment: Man has always been an expert in evasion. Robert Burns wrote: “Thou know’st that Thou hast formed me with passions wild and strong; and list’ning to their witching voice has often led me wrong.”
6. Where does James say the blame of evil desire lies? (Ja. 1:13-14)
7. Where does temptation begin? (In the heart and mind.) Do you think Satan is aware of the things that tempt us the most?
8. Is it possible to eliminate temptations’ control? (Yes, but only by the grace of God.) 1 Cor. 15:9-10; Titus 2:11-13
9. Why do idle hands prove to be working ground for the Devil’s workshop? (The unexercised mind and the uncommitted heart are vulnerable to straying thoughts, which is where temptations begin. And if you nurture desire long enough, you will reap its inevitable consequences. Desire becomes action.)
10. When lust has been conceived, it spawns forth the children of sin. When sin enters in, it brings with it its ugly brother, “Death.” But when we sin, usually we don’t instantly die on the spot, so what is the meaning of Ja. 1:15? Gen. 3:1-6
11. Following his warning about temptation, James issues a warning about deception (1:16). How does that fit with the flow of thought here? (Every temptation has a deception about it. It promises pleasure or satisfaction, but it actually delivers slavery and death.)
12. James promises that every good gift comes from God. How is that so? (Matt. 7:17-18 Because God is good [the pure definition of it], there is no way anything but that which is good can come from Him.)
13. Why do you think James introduces this thought at this point of his letter? (James wants to clarify that God does not give bad gifts to us that tempt us into sin.)
14. James goes on to mention there is no variation or changing shadow with God. What is he trying to teach us here in the context of temptation? (You can count faithfully on God to never tempt you. On the other hand you can count on His faithfulness to never deceive you.)
Now that we have this study on temptation, what is the correct understanding of 1 Cor. 10:13?
How did Jesus fight against temptation? (With the Word.)
What is it going to take for you to resist your greatest temptation the next time it occurs? (Do a Bible study on it and prepare to quote Scripture to Satan when the temptation comes. DIE to that sin to where it no longer has any appeal to our heart. Bring the results of giving into that temptation into the light and EXPOSE the true outcome of giving in to it.)