11th June 2023

The Temptation of Christ 3

Passage: Matthew 4:1-11, Hebrews 5:7-8, 2:18
Service Type:

Automatically Generated Transcript

Actually, today being June 11th, is the nearest Sunday to exactly six months. And as some of you know, the last six months has been a very interesting time for me, recovering from the four bypass operation I had. And just before that operation occurred, I was invited - and I've told some of you this before - but I was invited to go to a prayer meeting. In a Brethren chapel, actually. But the man was from the Far Eastern Broadcasting Company. Born in Siberia, he was, and told of his mission work over there in the Eastern Bloc.

But he started his talk, and there was a bunch of largely older people who were prayer partners in the local fellowship I went to, where it was at, and it was a Saturday morning. And they were people very used to coming for morning prayer meetings. But he started his talk with a statement that had a lot of us sit back and not know what to say. He said, "My wife has just died," and we didn't know whether to look sad or what to say for a moment. He said, "But it's alright, she's gone to heaven." And she had finished her ministry. And there's a verse that he then quoted, which was the one that I'd been using in the services. I was using the verse on you lot, and he was about to give it to me.

And in the verses, we're in Ephesians 4, where Paul is thinking about the fact of salvation being a gift. And he goes on to say that it's a gift created - we're created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God has ordained beforehand that we should walk in them. And he said, "My wife had finished her works. Jesus took her to heaven." And he spoke of it as a glorious event of completion of her work. And I don't know whether you've noticed, but I've actually been harping on that theme ever since, in little snippets in other sermons. But that the good works that we do, the ones that are really good works, are ones that God has ordained for us, and he's chosen a lot for us, is in contrast to how the book of Hebrews talks about repentance from dead works.

And dead works are not just the really bad ones that society may recognize as bad. But dead works are everything you and I do without God. They're ones that we offer sometimes as a foul-smelling sacrifice to God because they were done by the old man. And salvation brings the opportunity for us to be in Christ. And in Christ, he produces the works that are good works. And all salvation is totally of God. And I've been applying that in the last couple of weeks. This is actually week number four, and I'm not promising there won't be a Temptations of Christ message number five next week. But this is number four, I think, or is it three? No, it's number three, the Temptations of Christ.

And there's something to be learned in connection to the fact that those things that we do are to be done because God has ordained them and God has led us in them. But even though this is such a central teaching in the scriptures, it is not for us to suppose that there's just one set of things God has ordained and there's nothing else possible. There is a part of the sovereignty of God where he always gets his way, in that sense that everything that happens has come under the sovereignty of God. But that has not removed the possibility that we may do things that are not what God wants. There are the dead works of which we are meant to repent.

And the good works that he has ordained, if you haven't finished them, then what that man said at that prayer meeting was that he felt himself totally safe. Because he knew, he already knew of good works the Lord was leading him, he had to do. And I suddenly realized that I was going into an operation where the doctors were telling me and warning me - they said it several times over, so I knew it was real - people do die on the table in this operation you're about to have. And I was able to go into that operation absolutely without any fear. I've had other previous operations and I had lots of fears then, but this time I knew I was completely safe because God had good works for me to do as he does for all of us. And until you finish your good works, you're safe too.

But it doesn't mean that in the scriptures they also teach that if we're not doing God's good works, that we can suffer all sorts of bad things that happen. Now we're in the talking around about the temptations of Christ, and we learn about the temptations of Christ, something that last week I was on about, that these were a part of what Jesus had to go through in order to achieve our salvation.

It's true that we can't get saved by the works that we do. We only do good works because we found a way to be saved by his grace. But in the case of Jesus, all he did for our salvation included how he kept the law, included how he passed the test. Last week we were comparing the Garden of Eden, and especially in the evening, with the end of the book of Revelation where it talks about the tree of life, but there's no tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the book of Revelation at the end because there wasn't a garden.

That's what this morning I want to explain to you, that when Jesus passed the test in the temptation, he did the thing that he had to do in order to be on the track to be your saviour. You don't have to pass the test. I've been very moved to announce about the salvation of Jesus that is not based on any test that you pass. The corollary of that, we celebrate every time we have communion about the shed blood of Christ and the fact that his body was given to the cross, and that we still are in right relation to him.

If you've come and had a faith repentance experience, and the repentance is from dead and the faith is in the Lord Jesus Christ as your saviour, sufficient to save you. He is all you need, and if you've put your trust in him, he's passed the test for you, and that's a part of what he did. It's because he passed the test and qualified, that in a moment's time I'm going to show you from the Bible, so you know this is from the scriptures, not just my idea, that he was then able to go to the cross and be the sinless sacrifice, who when he took on our sins and died in our place, that we can be totally forgiven.

It's stated, put in a relationship with God where there is no test. You're already in the door because of his work, totally. Even the good things that you end up doing if you walk after the spirit, and remember I said it's possible not to walk after the spirit, it's possible for us to do the things that are still dead works. And anyway, because of what he has done, you can be saved and stay saved, because it doesn't depend on you. If it didn't depend on you to get in the door, it doesn't depend on you to stay in the door, it depends on what he has done.

So totally, you'd be amazed at the amount of people who don't wake up to that, to halfway through the years of their being a Christian. And if you're here this morning and you've been on a bit of a performance treadmill to try and be good enough for God's continued smile, let me call on you to look to the Jesus who passed the test on your behalf, in order that he might die in your place for where you failed.

Can you feel the weight of all that that is in our being saved, in his saviourhood? I think many of us get in the door with the squeakiest small amount of gospel understanding, and one of the things that makes you stronger is when from the scriptures we learn a bigger picture of what that salvation has cost him. We're going to begin doing this, and I don't know how quickly. I've already used up more time on the introduction, so I don't know how quickly I can get through, or then I'll continue next week, obviously, if I need to.

Now the first place we're going to look is in the book of Hebrews, and I've been encouraged about our home groups and how there's one that's in the book of Hebrews, and they came up with some pretty good conclusions the last time I was with them. This is in Hebrews chapter 5 and two verses. "In the days of his flesh," before he was crucified and before he rose from the dead - well, he did get crucified was in the days of his flesh, but you'll see that a bit more - Jesus offered up prayers and supplications with loud cries and tears to him who was able to save him from death.

Now, you could pick on two places in the Gospel record as to when Jesus cried out with prayers and supplications and needed help from the Father. And the biggest one, well, one of these two big ones is of course in the desert, where Jesus would have died had it not been that the Father did save him by sending the angels to minister to him at the end. The second one is in the Garden of Gethsemane where he cried and he sweated those great drops of blood, which is an indication of the type of tension people die from. If you get yourself in such tears because of what's coming upon you, you can die of stress, but the angels came and ministered to him again in the Garden of Gethsemane.

But I'm going to pick on the temptation as the one that most is this because it goes on to say, "And he was heard because of his reverence." I think he was heard both times, but in the second time in the Garden of Gethsemane, he had come to the place and said, "Not my will, but yours be done," and he went through and did die. God's will was that he should die, it was God's eternal plan that he should come and die on the cross for your sin and mine. But in this case, it says, "And he was heard because of his reverence."

Now that opens up immediately questions. The question that comes to my mind first of all is, what does the word reverence mean? Was he being very worshipful? In English these days, if you said someone's very reverent, I know it's what I'm not. The word reverence to me has to do with dressing right for Sunday and saying all the right things and being nice. I've just recently been doing a course - I won't go along on this - but I've been doing a course. Yesterday finished five Saturdays, nine o'clock to five o'clock. They're not in a row, thank goodness, but to do with professional supervision.

In the end yesterday, we had to give an example of us acting out being a professional supervisor and a real live person who would be a supervisee who was in the business of counselling people came along with some of her cases and she had four or five cases that each of us took a turn at being the supervisor and doing. The one thing they said that I do wrong is you jump in too quickly and you're too stern and you're there right at the action where you should say nice things to the person and get a bit of rapport going. I was realizing I'd been trying to do that, but even when it was my best attempt they were saying, "Jim, you're just not reverent." That was really what they were saying. You weren't nicey-nicey.

By the end of the session of my leading, they changed their minds and said you also came across all right later. But the word reverent, what does it mean? So I've been chasing that up during the week, the word reverence, and it actually means quite different and it's really the old English of the King James using that word originally.

But what it really means is that you had a fear of God and you revered God and revered in the sense that you listened to what he said and you're careful to do what he says. It says Jesus was heard because of his obedience, his reverence in the sense that he was careful to do what God had required. And then it goes on, "Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered." You know, this verse was answering something I've often had a strange misunderstanding or lack of understanding, it's better to say, about Jesus as a boy.

Because Jesus as a boy, he acted more like a normal boy in my opinion when he was away in Jerusalem at the age of 12. And he got excited about being able to talk to all the big-time people, intellectuals in the temple, and he neglected to come home with a troop of people from his hometown. He didn't even give one thought to his mum and dad that they'd be upset finding him missing. And they had to come back to Jerusalem and tell him off.

Here's a boy getting told off, it's not sin. Now take this in your heads. Listen, Jesus didn't ever sin for the Bible tells us that he was sinless throughout. But it did not mean that he didn't have to learn certain things that at certain stages you've got to learn. And this one says he learned obedience. So he wasn't totally careful to be obedient previously. He just was young. And that's been a very big thing for me to learn, especially when you go, and I used to go on youth camps every second weekend and sit next to kids.

And some of the attitudes of organizers back in those days were pretty heavy on young people. And sitting on a bus next to a young fellow who's from a school who does not have Christian parents, and he pulls out cigarettes and smokes. And then he looked at me, because he knew I was a Christian, I was old enough to not be one of the kids.

And he looked at me, and I pretended I hadn't noticed. I didn't make a Barney. Now, why I did that was because at the church I went to, we used to put on coffee shops in the basement. And I used to go out into the streets of Brisbane and get young people to come. And I had a troop of them, you know, 14-year-olds, who came into the basement and were acting big, you know, because they were 14. And one of the deacons of the church then, who had a magnificent suit on, he was a big, tall, strong man, walked over like an official person and said, "You'd better put out that cigarette." And all my troop I got there to hear the Gospel, God, I had them up and left.

So on the camps I went to, when they got smoking and they'd never heard any of my messages yet, and I still wanted a chance for them to hear the Gospel, I didn't tell them off for smoking. I mean, that was, the administrator can do that, that's not my job. But there is a place for keeping a, you know, standard, and I'm not sour at the deacon who upheld the sign on the side of the wall, "No smoking here." It is to be administered, I agree. But somehow or other, you've got to learn that there's a time for people to grow into doing what is right, as well as there's a time for right and wrong so strictly. For right and wrong so strictly delineated that you don't recognize the truth of this verse. Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered.

Now the suffering, which is what he learned obedience through, is what I now want to talk about. Because what is of interest to me, and it's only this last two or three weeks that I've woken up to the truth from the Bible about this, is that Jesus suffered through his temptation. And that Jesus passing the test included him through the temptation. And here in a couple of chapters earlier in Hebrews, for because he himself has suffered when tempted.

Now, I told you last week, or I forget which service it was, but at the time a friend of mine wanted to have 40 days of fasting because he was coughing Jesus and invited me to join him in his parents' house who'd gone away for the holidays. And he wanted us to fast for 40 days while we prayed. And we had some wonderful answers come in the first two weeks, but I couldn't stand not eating any longer. And I made up an excuse to go and visit my sister in Canberra where she just had her first baby because I had to eat.

And I want to tell you something, that if you go on long enough fast, it does hurt. I want to tell you that the struggle not to eat is not easy, and it actually gets to be painful. And when it stops being painful is that you're near to dying. And the scriptures actually tell us of Jesus at this time that he had the second hunger. And the second hunger, you get the first hunger when you first start your fast. And maybe the first four or five days, you get quite hungry. But that will go away if you go on fasting and the body changes something within it. So it's using up its reserves and you don't feel hungry. You can go for a while. And for me, that lasted two weeks. But then if you get to the second hunger and you don't eat, you're going downhill. And it is the second fast that ends up in death. And Jesus had walked into the wilderness. I said this last week. He had no strength left. And he got to the point of the second hunger, and that meant he was dying. What would he do? He was actually the grounds of the devil coming after the 40 days, at the end of the 40 days, I better say, and testing him. Because he had to trust in the Lord in order to fulfill the works that God had ordained beforehand that he should walk in them.

Let's go to the three passages that David read for us for the Bible reading. And they're from Mark. And there's three passages, Matthew, Mark, and Luke. And the thing that is the case, and this one's Matthew, is that the order of the later temptations are around the different ways in Matthew and Luke. And in this one in Matthew, we're reading in Matthew, the tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread." And he answered, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that precedes. So I'm doing the whole translation, comes from the mouth of God."

Then he goes on to take him up to the top of a mountain. And when you read in Luke, he gives the first one about the bread first. Then it goes to, see if I've got this right, to not the top of the mountain, but to the temple, pinnacle. And tempts Jesus to throw himself down and do such a miracle in front of everybody that they will believe him. And because the orders around different, some people take the opportunities, "Ah, the scriptures made a mistake. Don't believe it all." But if you read it carefully, you'll notice that there's a subtle difference in the wording.

Now let's read in, we're still in, we're in Luke now, that'll do for now. Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led of the Spirit into the wilderness for 40 days, being tempted by the devil. So the temptations actually started before the business with the bread. They started while he was being tested by fasting. And when they were ended, he was hungry. Yeah, that's actually the second hunger. And so that's the moment that both of them agree on, that right at the end of the time of the 40 days, Jesus had this temptation near the end of the 40 days. "If you are the Son of God, command the stone to become bread." I've often wondered, you know, it's funny how you learn these things in Sunday school and you believe them, but you don't understand everything. And sometimes there's things that stick in your mind.

It says, um, the, you know, the 40 days finished and he was hungry and the devil tempts him so. And why is Jesus so down on eating? Why doesn't he turn a few stones into bread if he can? What would be so wrong with that? Any of you ever had that thought? What would be so wrong with turning a stone into bread? Anybody had that thought? Or am I the only one? Maybe we always had stony bread. I don't know. Um, uh, that's my home at home. Not, not my present home. Um, Michelle's bread is good. Um, uh, anyway, "If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become bread." Well, there is an explanation. The explanation we'll get if we know well enough about the Old Testament and what role does the Old Testament and the old covenant and the 10 commandments and the Jewishness of the laws of that period have to do with the salvation that Jesus came to bring. Well, quite a lot actually, but I'll explain it.

And to do so, we need to go to a verse, some verses in the Old Testament. And, uh, so the first one we'll go to now, just to give you a bit of a scare. Um, I've done one verse in Hebrews and now we'll go to the second of nine verses, uh, in Exodus. But I won't do them all. Don't worry, honey. Um, and in Exodus 34 verses 27 to 28, um, we have something more that's there. The Lord said to Moses, now you know who Moses is. He's the person who introduced the old covenant. He's the person that God chose to lead. He was the nearest to being the savior for the people as there is in the old covenant. And the Lord said to Moses, "Write these words for in accordance with these words, I've made a covenant with you and with Israel." So he was there with the Lord God, 40 days and 40 nights, neither ate bread nor drank water. And he wrote on the tablets, the words of the covenant, the 10 commandments.

So the beginning of the old covenant began with a leader who's being used of God to introduce it, fasting for 40 days and 40 nights. And so there's a precedent that is set in the old covenant. Now it's not the only one. Let's keep following, um, this idea through and, uh, see where it takes us. But you'll discover that, um, that there is in the old covenant, a connection that Jesus knew the heels I have to follow. And, um, let's go back to Matthew four and, um, this is three versus three to six, Matthew four versus three to six. And I'm looking at those three passages from the synoptics, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, where we'll resolve a bit of the issue about, you know, temptation and when it started. And the tempter came to him, um, and said, "If you are the son of God now, by the way, the word if in the Greek can mean since can mean if, if it's not decided whether you will or not, but it really means since position, particularly in this case, since you are the son of God command, these stones to become loaves of bread."

And it was to the fact of the devil pointing out the truth, that Jesus by being who he was as God's eternal son, he didn't stop being that just because he took on humanity. He became the God-man, but there was a necessary for him as a Philippians two tells us to put aside his rights of being God in order to take on the dependence of being a man. And the Philippians two, you can look that up later. I don't need to add another verse for this morning, but it talks about the fact he didn't think being equal with God, something to be grasped after or clung onto. He was willing to, to put himself down in terms of the privileges and opportunities and powers that he had. He didn't stop being the son of God. And, but along has come the devil and tempted him to step out from doing the works of God are prepared beforehand that he should walk in them. And to act independently, that's where it rested in. Or you say, "That's a bit of an interpretation, Jim, is it?" Well, it might sound like that your first hearing, but in actual fact, when you track back in the old Testament about this man shall not live by bread alone, you'll discover that there was something that God did with the children of Israel in taking them through the wilderness, which was set up to have them hungry, not have good food. Aside from that, which God provided, they could only live by what God was wanting to give them. And temptation for them was to want broader than that.

You might remember the song by Keith Green, beautiful song about Israelites in the desert. And they sing a song imaginatively in Keith Green's song that they want to go back to Egypt. And they're beginning to remember the leeks and the garlic and the different things that they had back then, as if being in Egypt was a lovely thing to remember. How foolish are our memories at times. They had been slaves, but they hunger for the special foods they had back in Egypt. And God led them in the wilderness and gave them only manna. The very word manna means "what is it?" It didn't liken itself to anything they knew. And this is quoting again, "man shall not live by bread alone. But where did Jesus get it from?" And you have this question about the order of the temptations.

But just before we pass the point, let's go to Mark chapter one. And the spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness and he was in the wilderness 40 days being tempted by Satan. So the tempting by Satan was all the time through the 40 days, not just at the end when the business about the bread being turned into stone turned up. He was being tempted by Satan and the point of his temptation was to become clear at the end, a temptation to step out of the good works that God had chosen beforehand for him to walk in. It was a temptation to act independently, exactly the same temptation Adam and Eve had had in the Garden of Eden, when they trusted their own thoughts, the food was good, the When they trusted their own thoughts, the food was good to be looked at and to be desired for food. And it would make you have knowledge of good and evil. It sounds like you're really stepping up into the upper atmosphere of the angelic beings. And so they relied upon their own interpretation. And Satan was coming to Jesus and giving him the same temptation. And at the end, the angels ministered to him because he was so wearied of not eating. He would have died if the angels had not come.

And let's turn just so you can see that I'm not making this up. It's actually there. Let's go to Deuteronomy chapter 8 verses 2 to 3. And Deuteronomy chapter 8, and this is God to Moses and to the children of Israel, because you know, how was their experience of following God and doing what was asked of them? It was a miserable failure time and time and time again. And here God is speaking about one of their failures. And you shall remember the whole way, that's the fruit of the wilderness, the Lord God has led you these four days. The fruit of the wilderness, the Lord God has led you these 40 years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not. And he humbled you and let you hunger, fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know that he might make you know that God might make you know that man does not live by bread alone. But man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. That's the quote that Jesus gave the devil after the 40 days at the end when he had the pinnacle of that temptation. But he was actually tempted just as Moses was and the children of Israel were through the whole 40 years in the case of the Israelites, but with Jesus 40 days in the wilderness. Now figure 40, was there a precedent that he knew he had to go through and not veer away from what God has led him to?

Now one difference between you and me is that we can get mistaken as to what we think God is leading us to. You've all heard the stories about the poor girl who has the boy of the youth group come and say, "God has led me to marry you." And it may not have been the truth. Now that does happen. That's what I was thinking when I told Michelle we should get married and you can talk to her afterwards because she had to do her own thinking through about that. And anyway, God does lead people to do things. I'm not saying he doesn't lead you, but be aware of the fact that you can mistake the leading of God too. But in the case of Moses, he got it so direct from the Lord and the Lord keeps telling him like in this spot and where he's reminding him that this is why he led you through the wilderness to humble you and to see whether you would keep his commandments or not. Remember I said about the works that God has prepared for you to walk in them, they're not automatic.

It's not a statement of His sovereignty over every little thing that happens. He does have that sovereignty, but it's a statement about the good works that, because He's made you human and capable of cooperating with Him, He wants you to choose to do them. Sometimes those good works boils down to you realizing that you've been mistaken. One of the things about someone who's getting more godly than he was the day before is that he might recognize his mistakes and be willing to be taught. And sometimes he has to be taught to be willing to be taught. And there is a sense in which God wants that process to happen. And just as Jesus learned by growing, that passage I quoted before about the time of Jesus at the age of 12, after His parents came and fetched Him in Jerusalem, He went back with them and the Bible tells us that He was obedient to His parents. He learned to obey through the episode of having done the wrong thing to them by staying in Jerusalem with inconsideration about how they were worried. And the scriptures say, I think it's near the end, this is in Luke I believe, about Jesus as a boy, but it says that He grew in favor with God and man.

Now I understand the growing in favor with human things, because that's what happens when you're young, you're surprised if ever you go back and remember the past, all the stupid things you did. I've got lots of things in the past I'm not going to tell you. Because I was stupid and had to learn. But that's not quite the same as expecting children to know everything perfectly. And I was a teacher, I know, that when they understand that you know what it's like to be a kid, you get them following really well. And on those camps I'd go on, I used to give a talk and the kids would come to me and I knew from their feedback that they saw me not as a big heavy who was always going to tell them to do the right thing. And they would learn. Well, Jesus learned and He grew in favor with God. Now think about it. Jesus grew in favor with God. How can that be when He's the beloved Son? How can it be when He does everything perfectly? And I had built up in my mind this idea of Jesus and His holiness and perfection was something He just was. But the text is telling us here about Moses, and it'll go on later, you'll find in the scriptures that He learned also by being tempted and facing things. And some of the pain of the temptation, in our case sometimes the humbling of having failed it, is a part of how we learn.

And Jesus grew in favor with God as well as socially with people. And so here with Moses, and He humbled you, the Israelites use really a lot of them, and let you hunger and fed you manna, which you didn't know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you to know, that man does not live by bread alone, but lives by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. Christianity is based on the word of God, but not the word of God just recited as a memory or as a pass the test at Sunday school, because I was in those Sunday school tests and thought I was pretty good. The word of God I had to learn was the obedience part, and sometimes the things where I hadn't been obedient, times where I failed. And God has that for all of us, and the purpose of temptation, and it happened for Jesus all through the time of His increasing hunger. And then when He gets to the end, then the devil really picks on that hunger of His and tempts Him to act independently from what God is leading. Well, I have gotten a fair way down the road, and I'll just finish with one more verse, which is Psalm 91, and well maybe two verses, but Psalm 91 verses 11 and 12.

And here you find that when we come to the other temptations the devil brings to Jesus, whether you think that it's the way, the order that Luke has it, or the other way around that Matthew has it, and you'll discover that one of them makes it that it should be the order. I'll let you work out which gospel that is, and that's the proper order, but the other one doesn't really ask you to believe that he's preaching to you, and that's not the But the other one doesn't really ask you to believe that he's putting him in chronological order at all, just his end. Anyway, he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. Now this is from Psalms, and it's a prophecy ahead of the time of Jesus that He could rely upon the facts that there will be angels helping Him in every step down the way. And this part of the verse the devil quotes, "On their hands they will bear you up," and the devil gets Jesus, he must have whisked Him off there to the top of the pinnacle of the temple, all sorts of leaders and Jews and others walking around below. And the devil knows that Jesus has had trouble all through His time. He's going to have a trouble, but he foresees that, where they won't believe that He is who He says He is. And the devil offers Him a way to get it to happen. Just throw yourself down, and the angels make sure you have a soft landing, and then the people say, oh, he must really be from heaven. But God wasn't leaving Him to do it. God was leaving Him to be tempted.

God was not leaving Him with a visible way He could get out of the temptation. Remember, Jesus didn't use or have His all knowledge of all things. He didn't know the time of His own second coming. There are lots of things Jesus didn't know, but He knew by the Spirit leading Him, but sometimes the Spirit didn't lead Him. And in the garden of Gethsemane, He prayed to get out of the cross, but gave into God's will. His will and the Father's will were not appearing to be the same for that moment, but He gave in to what He knew to be the Father's will. And here in this case in the wilderness, He's being tempted to use His own resources when God had not led Him so to do. And the idea that you just cast yourself down, it even looks like it had a scriptural backing. But the thing is, when the devil quotes the scripture, he usually leaves out the relevant part. And the part he then leaves out, "Lest you strike your foot against the stone," he'll guard you in all your ways, up in verse 11. And God will help you do all that are the ways He's meant to go, but He doesn't promise that He'll necessarily help you if you choose the wrong way. And as it was with Jesus, if He's to have had temptation that's comparable to the lot that we get, it doesn't mean that every single temptation we come across, He had. He didn't ever have a ticket from the police. Never mind, I shouldn't tell my faults. He was never caught speeding in the chariot, okay? He had temptations that were applicable to humanity, in that sense, and similar to us. But here He wasn't being led to prove to a generation who liked to see signs by jumping off a high pinnacle and not being killed.

And the idea of the devil was that then they'll say, oh, yes, you've done a lovely miracle, we'll believe in you. Jesus didn't want people believing in Him for the lovely miracles. The miracles were done that proved God was with Him and He was the Son of God, but they wasn't because it was His method to somehow become popular. Anyway, so He left out part of the quote, and I think you'll find that if the devil is quoting the Bible to you, He's not really quoting it very well. So if you go to the passages and look them up, they are a help when you realize, ah, it doesn't have to mean what the temptation is. And, okay, so He replies to that, "You shall not test the Lord your God. Don't put Him to the test. He might put you to the test, but you don't put Him to the test." Same thing applies to the people who get tempted to say, am I meant to be living through all of this? I'll play Russian music. Am I meant to be living through all of this? I'll play Russian roulette. There's one chance in six that God will let there be a bullet in the wrong spot, well, the right spot, but the wrong spot for you living. Don't put your Lord God to the test. And though there are people with testimonies of doing that and it didn't go off on that occasion and they become Christians, don't let that lead you also to get a revolver and try the trick.

Because one out of the six of you will die because God does not like being put to a test where you doubt what He says. Putting God to a test could be said in a good way when you do what He says and you trust in Him to provide the way of escape. The very biggest verse on temptation in Corinthians talks about He will make a way of escape that you may be able to bear it. But don't you make the way of escape. It may not be what He wanted you to do at all. Well, we'll pick up on this because there's more to be learned. And the thing is, is that Jesus not only had to pass the test to qualify to be your savior on the cross, but Jesus also gave us an example that we should follow in His steps. And we ought to thank God for the testings and temptations that we get. And even though sometimes we don't always succeed, thank Him that He's achieving something in us, that you become established. And there's lots of verses and scriptures that talk about us being established by going through the difficult times. And you come out a person far more secure in your faith because of it. Let's have a word of prayer. Heavenly Father, I thank you for the scriptures. Lord, how we love the Bible, how we love the scriptures, how they are so refreshing to us. When, Father, you speak to us through it, Lord, I pray that in our church, you may go on speaking through the scriptures. Lord, that's your part. We can open them and we can read them and we can pray for you to use them. But Lord, you must be the one. And we pray that in our church, in our lives, you might open to us the scriptures. Jesus, you prayed for the two fellows, two people, I don't know, it was a man and woman probably, or two men in a house in Emmaus. And it says that you open the eyes of them to understand the scriptures. And Father, my prayer is that your Holy Spirit in this church might please give us that great blessing that every time, in humility, willingness to be obedient, we open the scriptures, you might open up our minds to understand them. We pray it in Jesus' name. Amen.


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