Is Temptation Sin?
“Is temptation sin?” That was a question posed at our marriage conference this week. If a random thought pops into our mind, tempting us towards something that is sin, is the thought sin?
I didn’t have an answer. I mean if I’ve repented of something, maybe a habitual something, & feel like I’ve been totally healed of that something, then if a random thought of that thing flutters to the surface, have I sinned?
As I pondered, the speaker interrupted my thoughts with an emphatic, “No. Jesus was tempted as the Son of Man, but He did not sin.”
We’re not talking about thinking long about the what’s, how’s & outcomes of the temptation, but let’s say you’ve got a big, fat cookie that arrived with your prepaid lunch. You’ve made the decision with the Lord to not eat sweets because you know it’ll steal your focus. Is the cookie before me sin? No. It’s when I come into agreement with eating it that I step over the line & allow it to lead me instead of my Lord.
He spent 40 hungry days in the desert as the Son of Man with no food. Then the enemy taunts him, using the very term of endearment that God did when Jesus was baptized.
Can’t you just see his sneer when he tempts Jesus saying, “if you ARE the SON of God, tell this stone to become a loaf of bread.”
But Jesus, in all of His brilliance beckons Truth by His side, refusing to come into agreement with the temptation, by quoting Scripture: “Man does not live by bread alone.”
You see, Jesus IS the Son of God, but in this moment, He is also the Son of MAN. He chose to become a man in bodily form for our sakes! If He’d chosen to act as The Son of God for HIS sake, He would’ve shaken off the human condition He’d taken FOR OUR sakes!
Jesus came to live as the Son of Man, so He might experience ALL of the temptations we face, but doing so without fault. Living as a sinless man allowed Him to become the spotless Lamb covering ALL sin for ALL time!
The enemy tempts Him to not trust God & to wield His authority to meet His own needs, but He didn’t. He chose instead to speak Truth & trust God.
The next time a fluttering temptation comes our way, let’s do the same: refuse agreement, speak Truth & trust God!
March 20th One Year Bible Readings