What is temptation?

An enticement to act against the will of God (in thoughts and actions)

“Something you want to have or do, even though you know you shouldn’t. That bag of peanut butter cups on top of your fridge might be an example of a temptation.

The thing that you want despite knowing it’s not good for you — like the cool sneakers you really can’t afford — is a temptation. The feeling is also a temptation — so wanting those shoes is temptation. The Latin word temptare, or to taste, is where temptation comes from, which makes a lot of sense when you think of that bag of peanut butter cups calling to you from the kitchen.”- vocabulary.com

Temptare means to feel or to try out. Everyone wants to try something out

Source of Temptation: Inside & outside of self

  1. Our own flesh (the part of us that wants to work against God’s will); sinful drives / desires – Pride, lust, greed, etc,  (Mat. 15:18-20; James 1:14-16) 
  2. The world (1 John 2:15), i.e. the opinions and acceptable norms of the world around us – which are always contrary to God’s words, because of the one who is ruling this world (John 14:30, 12:31, 2 Cor. 4:4). Riches -1 Tim. 6:9-10;  Power – Deut. 8:17-18
  3. Satan – tempted Jesus (Mat. 4:3);  He prompted Judas (John 13:2,27); Prompted David to count (1 Chron. 21:1)

Nature of temptation

  1. It shows up at crucial times of need or weakest moments of our lives (Mt. 4:2) -Satan came when Jesus was hungry
  2. It camouflages as if to help meet one’s needs, offering fake goods (Mt. 4:3, 6, 9)
  3. It has the intention to give fake answers & do quick fixes, instead of the original answer one would get from God (Mt. 4:1-11)
  4. Satan never gives up in tempting God’s people (Mt. 4:1-11). He left for an opportune time (4:11) 
  5. It presents itself as sweet or hard to resist (lust, vengeance, etc)
  6. It is common to all human beings (1 Cor. 10:13)
  7. God delivers His people from all forms of temptation (1 Cor. 10:13)
  8. Every temptation can be overcome, because God would never allow anything that we cannot overcome (1 Cor. 10:13)


Examples of temptation

  1. Kill the anointed, since he is your enemy  (David & Saul)
  2. Lie to obtain documents, though God hates lies (Prov. 12:22)
  3. Take revenge, even though vengeance belongs to God (Deut. 32:25; Rom. 12:19-20)
  4. Disobey parent, though the word says otherwise (Col. 3:20; Eph. 6:1-4; Exo. 20:12)
  5. Be fearful when something happens, though fear is not of God (2 Tim. 1:7)
  6. Worry about finishing well (Phil. 1:6)


How to overcome temptation

  1. Use the WORD of God, that is Jesus’ pattern – (Mt. 4: 4,7, 10) Ps. 119:11
    1. Remember the word which says you have been delivered from sin (Col. 1:12-13)
    1. Refuse to obey sin when it is luring you (Rom. 6:11-12);  Do not consent (Prov. 1:10)
  2. Ask for the Help of the Holy Spirit who reminds us of God’s words – (John 14:26)
  3. Use Prayers – Jesus asks us to pray that we would not fall into temptation – (Mt. 6:13)
  4. Be Patience (Psalm 37:7). After exercising patience, Jesus received all He needed through the angels that came to minister to Him (Mt. 4:11)
  5. Continuously resist the devil (James 4:7b)
  6. Always tell yourself that sin must no longer have dominion over you (
  7. Always remember God’s promise that he will help you overcome every temptation (1 Cor. 10:13)


Leave a Reply