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Dangerous Temptation

July 14th, 2019

Minoh International Church
Pastor Joseph Ricohermoso


A survey of Discipleship Journal readers ranked areas of greatest spiritual challenge to them:
「ディサイプルシップ・ジャーナル」が数年前に行った読者アンケートで、 読者が精神的な課題だと思う事柄の順位が次のようになりました。

  1. Materialism
  2. Pride
  3. Self-centeredness
  4. Laziness
  5. (Tie) Anger/Bitterness
  6. (Tie) Sexual lust
  7. Envy
  8. Gluttony
  9. Lying

[Discipleship Journal, November / December, 1992.]

Are you aware of any temptation that you’re most vulnerable to? How do you address it? Are you winning or losing the battle against it?

Today, we are going to understand TEMPTATION’s nature, allure and most importantly, its cure (or, how we can battle against it).

  1. Its Nature

All believers face temptation. None of us is exempt from it.

Jesus said:

“Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation”

Matthew 26:41
Mark 14:38
Luke 22:46 ESV


マルコの福音書 14:38

This suggests that the best of saints can easily fall prey to temptation without the supernatural help we receive from the Lord. Our strength and wisdom can easily evaporate in the face of temptation without His help.

Peter is an example of this weakness. Earlier that night he confidently asserted that, though all should forsake Christ, he would never do so.

Now, our Savior solemnly told Peter,

“So, could you not watch with me one hour?”

Matthew 26:40



It is as if He is saying, “Are you the same Peter who made such a boast never to forsake me? Yet now you cannot even stay awake to watch for an hour. Is this, then, your dying for me, lying there in your own security, while I am dying for you?”
イエス様が「あなたは、先ほど私を絶対に見捨てないと言った同じペテロですか?あなたは、ほんの1時間も起きて見張っていることができないのですか? 私はあなたのために間も無く死にますが、あなたは私のためにほんの1時間も起きていられないのですか」と、(イエス様が)言っているようです。

We find the same trace of weakness in our own hearts.

For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.

Romans 7:18


ローマ人への手紙 7:18 JLB

What is temptation? Seduction to evil, solicitation to wrong. 

It is distinguished from trial thus: trial tests, seeks to discover the man’s moral qualities or character; but temptation persuades to evil, deludes, that it may ruin.

The one means to undeceive, the other to deceive.

The one aims at the man’s good, making him conscious of his true moral self; but the other at his evil, leading him more or less unconsciously into sin.

God tries; Satan tempts.  [Fairbain, quoted in The Words and Works of Jesus Christ, J.D. Pentecost, p. 99.]

In short, TEMPTATION means any action that leads to evil; a cause or occasion for enticement. It denotes, as John Owen describes it as, “an active efficiency toward sinning.”

It is evil breeding evil. Temptation of this sort may come from Satan, from the world, from other people, from ourselves, or from various combination of these sources.

To fall into temptation as the apostle describes in 1 Timothy 6:9, suggests a man falling into a pit. He is not yet killed, but he is caught. He doesn’t have freedom or the knowledge he needs to seek freedom.
テモテへの手紙1 6;9に書かれているように、誘惑に落ちることは「地獄へ送り込まれるようなこと」です。まだ殺されてはいないのですが、捕らわれているのです。自由がないか、または自由を求める知識がないのです。

In the Australian bush country grows a little plant called the “sundew.” It has a slender stem and tiny, round leaves fringed with hairs that glisten with bright drops of liquid as delicate as fine dew. Woe to the insect, however, that dares to dance on it. Although its attractive clusters of red, white, and pink blossoms are harmless, the leaves are deadly. The shiny moisture on each leaf is sticky and will imprison any bug that touches it. As an insect struggles to free itself, the vibration causes the leaves to close tightly around it. This innocent-looking plant then feeds on its victim. 
オーストラリアの奥地に Sundew(太陽の露)、日本語では モウセンコゲという植物が生息しています。赤、白、ピンクの花は美しく無害ですが、その葉っぱは恐ろしいのです。特徴として、葉の縁および表面に粘りのある液を持つ腺毛があり、ハエやガなどの小型の昆虫を捕ら食するのです。だから、見た目は無害で可愛いのですが、実際には危険な植物なのです。

  1. Its Allure

Depending on the specific condition of life, one may find himself entering into a temptation. Such a time is called, “the hour of temptation” (Rev. 3:10).
人生の特別な状況によっては、ある人は誘惑に陥るかもしれません。その時とは、ヨハネの黙示録にあるように、すべての人間を試すために全世界に襲いかかる苦しみと試練の時 (ヨハネの黙示録3:10)です。

It is the season when temptation comes to a head. It may take a long time, but it comes in its own time. That’s why temptation that possesses little or no power over a person in normal circumstances suddenly takes on an overpowering reality. It happens in several ways.

  1. Urgings over a long period of time

It does so by urgings over a long period of time, so that the mind becomes accustomed to the evil thought. At first, temptation may shock the soul by its ugly appearance. Unless this repulsion deepens daily, the soul gradually grows accustomed to temptation’s familiarity. You become desensitized to it. Temptation takes the soul off guard and reaches its climax. Lust then entices and traps

Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin…

James 1:15


ヤコブの手紙 1:15


Are we being desensitized by the present evil world? Do things that once shocked us now pass us by with little notice?

  1. No longer feel its seriousness

When sin prevails over other people and we no longer feel its seriousness expressed in disgust or shock, then it takes advantage of us as well.

Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

Romans 1:32


ローマ人への手紙 1:32

  1. Associates with things not bad in themselves

Sin sometimes associates itself with other considerations that are not evil in themselves. The temptation of the Galatians to fall from the purity of the Gospel took advantage of their natural desire to escape persecution and to enjoy agreement with the legalists. By pleading for good things, they unwittingly gave life to temptation itself.

Sin (lust for example) gets its power by persuading us to believe that we will be more happy if we follow it.

The power of all temptation is the prospect that it will make us happier. It’s a lie!

That’s why we need to examine ourselves to see our own weaknesses and to note the power and efficacy of temptation. In ourselves, we are weakness itself. We have no strength, no power to withstand. Self-confidence produces a large part of our weakness, as it did with Peter.

We must not flatter ourselves that we can hold out against temptation’s power. Secret lusts lie lurking in each one’s heart that will never give up until they are either destroyed or satisfied. In theory, we abhor lustful thoughts, but once temptation enters our heart, all contrary reasonings are overcome and silenced.

One of the most difficult times in my work as a minister is when I have to deal with a sinning brother or sister. Other than knowing the facts of sin is how to deal with the members’ unending questions, such as: “Why did he/she do it?” And, when the offender is a Christian worker, the problem is magnified 100 times more. Now, you have to help people process everything. You’ll hear comments like, “We trusted him.” “He betrayed us.” “What a hypocrite!”

We’ve seen temptation’s nature and its allure, now let’s try to find a way to a cure.

  1. Its Cure

How then can we be vigilant, so that we “watch and pray” (Matthew 26:41)?

This command from our Lord Jesus implies that we should maintain a clear, abiding apprehension of the great danger we face if we enter into temptation. If we are always aware of the great danger, then we should stand guard. It is easier to suppress the first desire than to satisfy all that follow it. Here’s what we can do:

  1. We each need to understand our natural temperament.

By doing this, we guard against the natural treacheries within us. If you are another Jonah, be careful that you do not sulk (Jonah 4). If you’re another Peter, watch that you are not impulsive in your decisions. Just as we have differing and distinctive personalities, we are also affected by differing temptations. Unless we are conscious of these propensities, relationships, and dynamic possibilities, temptation will constantly entangle us.

  1. Implore God again and again that temptation may depart from you

Just like the apostle Paul in 2 Cor. 12:8. If you remain in this attitude, God will either speedily deliver you out of it or give you sufficient grace not to be defeated by it. Do not allow your thoughts to dwell upon the things that tempt you (that will only lead to further entanglement), but set yourself against the temptation itself. Pray that the temptation will depart. Better yet, run from it like Joseph in the Old Testament. But when you flee temptation, be sure you don’t leave a forwarding address. 
コリント人への手紙Ⅱ 12:8 のパウロは、もとどおりに回復させてくださいと、三度も神にお願いしました。と書かれているように、私たちも、パウロと同じような態度を持っていたら、神様は素早く救ってくれるか、その誘惑に負けないための力を与えてくれます。自分の考えを誘惑されているものに支配されないように心かけてください。(それはさらなるもつれにつながるだけです)そして、その誘惑と離れて祈り続けてください。または、旧約聖書のヨセフのようににその誘惑から逃げ出してください。でも、逃げる時に、どこへ逃げて行くかをその誘惑に教えないでね!

  1. Draw near to Christ, knowing He will help you “in time of need” (Heb. 4:16).
    イエス様に近つき、イエス様は「必要な時に」助けてくれるという自信を持つ (へブル人への手紙 4:16)

For because He himself has suffered when tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted.

Hebrews 2:18 ESV


へブル人への手紙 2:18

Lie down at His feet and beg Him for His help. Look to Him for promised deliverance.

Know that God is faithful; He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able

1 Corinthians 10:13


コリント人への手紙Ⅰ 10:13 JLB

Understand that He promises to comfort us in all our trials and temptations

2 Corinthians 1:4


コリント人への手紙Ⅱ 1:4 JLB

Remember His promises of assistance and deliverance. Rest upon them, knowing that God has many ways to deliver you.

Charles Spurgeon, the prince of preachers, has this advice: What settings are you in when you fall?  Avoid them. What props do you have that support your sin? Eliminate them.  What people are you usually with?  Avoid them.  There are two equally damning lies Satan wants us to believe: 1) Just once won’t hurt. 2) Now that you have ruined your life, you are beyond God’s use, and might as well enjoy sinning.


Going back to the survey of Discipleship Journal I mentioned at the beginning of this message, here’s what they found out:

Survey respondents noted temptations were more potent when they had neglected their time with God (81 percent) and when they were physically tired (57 percent).

Resisting temptation was accomplished by

  • prayer (84 percent)
  • avoiding compromising situations (76 percent)
  • Bible study (66 percent)
  • being accountable to someone (52 percent).

[Discipleship Journal, November / December, 1992.]

We need to keep our hearts full of a sense of the love of God. This is the greatest assurance available to us against the power of temptation. Joseph the Dreamer, when tempted by Potiphar’s wife, demonstrates this by saying, “How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9). Temptation couldn’t hold him under its spell. When the love of Christ constrains us to live for Him, then we can withstand temptation.
心をいつも神様を愛することでいっぱいにしないといけません。これは誘惑に対して最も強い保証です。創世記 39:9 で、ポテパルの妻に誘惑されたヨセフはこのように言いました。「 神様に背くことなどできません。」