24th February 2023

Resisting temptation

Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
(Matthew 4:1 NIV)

A couple of weeks ago the Grace Communion International sermon outline highlighted Jesus’ words concerning how our thinking about doing something sinful is just as bad as doing the act itself. For instance, hating someone is on a similar level to murdering that person (Matthew 5:22), or looking at someone lustfully is tantamount to having sexual relations with that person (Matthew 5:28). This can be a challenge, as I think all of us, if we are honest, sometimes think thoughts that are less than wholesome.

What do we do in these situations? We could accept that we’re terrible people, come to terms with that and accept it. We could throw our hands up in despair, thinking that we will never be good enough. Even seeing Jesus’ example of temptation may not help us, as we know we could never match that standard. 

What about a more positive response? My plan is to try to do what I know is right. I do make mistakes, and I regret that I do, but God knows my heart and knows that my desire is to live for him. I know that despite my weakness, I am loved by God and am assured of a wonderful future in the Kingdom of God because of what Jesus accomplished through his sinless life, his death, his resurrection, and his ascension. This means I can read about Jesus’ temptation not to metaphorically beat myself up about how terrible I am by not living up to the standard set by Jesus, but rather to see Jesus’ resistance to the devil as a source of thanksgiving, praise and joy. It is because of incidents such as Jesus resisting the devil that my future is secure. Jesus lived a sinless life, including resisting every temptation that was thrust his way, and then died on the cross and was resurrected, all so that we are made right with God. I may try and resist temptation, and sometimes fail, but Jesus never fails and is victorious over temptation, sin, death, and anything else that is part of the domain of evil. 

When I think of my struggle with temptation, I realise my weakness and want to do better, but I am also reminded of 1 Corinthians 15:57: ‘Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Jesus could have remained in heaven and left us to try and battle the temptation of the devil by ourselves, but he didn’t. He took on our human form and resisted all forms of temptation and sin to give us the wonderful future we, in our weakness, could not accomplish by ourselves. 

Praise be to God! We have victory through Jesus.

Father, thank you for all that Jesus has done on my behalf. Thank you that you do have mercy on me, a sinner. Thank you that Jesus resisted temptation and evil, lived a sinless life and then gave up that life, all for the salvation of humankind. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.

Study by Anthony Dady


About the writer:
Anthony Dady is a minister in Grace Communion International and is the Regional Pastor for Wales, the Midlands, and Northern England.

Local congregation:
GCI Northampton
Ecton Village Hall
78A High Street

Local congregational contact:
Maggie Mitchell
Email:  maggie.mitchell@btinternet.com

Word of Life contact: