Lesson 7: WALKING WITHOUT STUMBLING
Suppose the father asks his son, named SPIRITUAL, to go to the store and buy a 50-cent can of paint. He gives him a five dollar bill and says that 25 cents will be his to keep but to bring back the change.
He tells his son he can spend 25 cents for anything he likes except something to eat, because it is almost dinner time. He also instructs the teacher to go along.
The storekeeper is not very honest; he is only interested in getting people's money. He tries to make people think he is kind to them so he can trick them into spending more money.
There happens to be a "special" on paint and the storekeeper wants to sell the boy 3 cans for $1. He tries to convince him that his father will be very proud of him for taking advantage of the bargain. SPIRITUAL only buys one can, however, because his teacher reminds him that his father had said, "Buy one can of paint."
The storekeeper, eager to get more of the boy's money, suggests that he might like to visit the candy counter. SPIRITUAL is getting very hungry, and he does have a quarter that belongs to him. But the teacher says, "Remember your father said not to get anything to eat." So the boy turns to the toy counter, eager to spend his 25 cents.
There were many toys he would like to buy, After a few helpful words from the teacher he selects a nice toy and is ready to return home.
The storekeeper is not going to give up so easily. He calls his own son to one side and tells him to help persuade SPIRITUAL to spend more money.
The storekeeper's son comes and says, "Say, have you seen the new footballs Dad has? Why don't you get one? Your father is rich and he wouldn't care." SPIRITUAL had been wanting a football all summer. The storekeeper, seeing he is interested, becomes almost insistent. This scares SPIRITUAL and he is glad his father sent the teacher along. He steps a little closer to him, then tells the storekeeper, "No, my father said I should bring the change back to him!" The storekeeper quickly mutters an apology and does not try to sell him anything else, for he is afraid to make SPIRITUAL's father angry. As the boy passes the candy counter on the way out, he stops just to look. His stomach seems very empty and he knows if he stays any longer he will have to buy some. He turns to ask the teacher what to do, but he is at the door already, holding it open for him. SPIRITUAL grabs his paint and runs out the door. On the way home he passes an apple tree loaded with beautiful red apples. He would like to steal one but a word from his teacher reminds him that it is wrong to do this.
Upon arriving at home, the boy delivers the paint and money to his father. Upon learning of his experiences, and the way he has resisted temptation, his father is proud of him and gives him a special reward.
Many Christians are surprised that they are still tempted after they are saved. But the Bible teaches that even spiritual leaders are to be careful so they will not be tempted and fall into sin (Galatians 6:1; I Cor. 10:12). The wise thing to do is to EXPECT temptation.
You have made Satan very angry when you became a Christian. Now he will redouble his efforts to make you sin and look bad before the world and ineffective in the service of Christ. Satan is represented in our story by the storekeeper. He tries to fool people just like the storekeeper and often appears as an "angel of light" (II Corinthians 11:14).
TEMPTATION IS AS NECESSARY TO MAKE STRONG CHRISTIANS AS EXERCISE IS NECESSARY FOR AN ATHLETE.
It is harmless unless you give in to it. In fact, it will make you grow and able to meet stronger tests in the future.
HOW WILL SATAN TEMPT US?
"Every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust (desire) and enticed" (James 1:14).
Satan will tempt and try to lead you into sin through things you already desire. Remember the story of the pig and the lamb in Lesson 3? The Christian still has his old nature as well as his new nature. So one way will be through old sinful habits and desires. Perhaps Satan will send a friend and use him to tempt you. The Bible warns: "If sinners entice thee, consent thou not" (Proverbs 1:10). One of the best ways to avoid being tempted by old habits or desires is to "go not in the way of evil men" (Proverbs 4:14). Just stay away from people and places that might tempt you. "Make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts (desires) thereof" (Romans 13:14).
Satan also uses your good desires to lead you into sin. The storekeeper tried to us SPIRITUAL'S desire to please his father to lead him into disobedience by buying three cans of paint instead of one. He also tried to use the good desire for food to tempt him.
Many times there will be both good and bad desires mixed together in the temptation, such as the desire to steal an apple and to eat it. God's desires may be misused or there may be an over-indulgence in them. Make a list (for your own use) of the good and bad desires Satan might use to tempt you.
HOW CAN WE MEET TEMPTATION?
The teacher reminded SPIRITUAL of his father's words. The Holy Spirit can do the same for you by using the Word of God. This is the way Jesus met temptation: "It
is written" (Matthew 4:4). The Word is the "sword of the Spirit" (Ephesians 6:17). This is an import- ant reason for hiding God's Word in your heart (Psalm 119:11). If you have it ready in your heart at all times, then the Holy Spirit can use it to give you victory over temptation. When Satan temps you do not argue; quote A VERSE OF SCRIPTURE.
RESIST THE DEVIL
Just as SPIRITUAL had to take a stand and say NO to the storekeeper and the football, you will also have to learn to say NO. James 4:7 says: "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."
FLEE THESE THINGS
There are other times when it is probably wiser to flee as SPIRITUAL did. Look for that way of escape
(I Cor. 10:13;
I Timothy 6:11).
The teacher provides special training for his student. He only matches him against tests for which he is ready.
The Holy Spirit will also guide so you can be victorious in temptation. He assures you of four things:
1. That you will not face unusual tests such as other men do not have.
2. That God is faithful and will keep His promises.
3. That the tests will not be more than you are able to meet.
4. That if the test is more than a match for you, God will provide a way of escape (I Cor. 10:13). This is an important verse. It promises you victory over temptation. Claim it!
TO THE PRAISE, HONOR AND GLORY OF CHRIST
How happy the father was that SPIRITUAL had not fallen into sin! He was an honor to the family name. I Peter 1:6,7 says that the trial of your faith is more precious than gold and should bring praise, honor and glory to Christ.
SPIRITUAL was rewarded by his father. You shall also be rewarded. "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him" (James 1:12). This is not salvation but a reward. Salvation is a gift (Eph. 2:8,9). You earn rewards.
No more than you are able to bear,
or a way of escape
For the victorious Rewards
(I Cor. 10:13)
The secret of memorizing is review. Go over your verses every day until you have them "hidden in your heart." You can help your memory by associating new things with old familiar things. REVIEW! REVIEW! REVIEW! REVIEW!
Assignment: Extra blessings:
I Cor. 10:13
I Peter 4:12
1. There is no danger in trying to help someone who has fallen into sin because once we have received Christ we will be free of temptation
. True False
2.A child of God can safely say he cannot sin
(I John 1:8, 10)
. True False
3. God sometimes tempts man to sin (James 1:13). True False
4. Who is your chief enemy
5. He is also called:
(a) god of this world
John 8:44(b) tempter
(d) a liar
(e) appears as an angel of light
6. Satan has ________________
(I Tim. 3:7)
(II Cor. 2:11)
to get Christians to sin.
7. You should ________________ to God and ________________ the Devil
(James 4:7). At times, it may be wise to _______________________ from temptation (I Tim. 6:11).
8. Jesus met temptation by quoting Scripture (Matt. 4:7). True False
9. How can you prepare to follow His example (Ps. 119:11)?
10. According to Proverbs 4:14, Ephesians 4:27, and Romans 13:14, you should not go to places or be with people whom the Devil can use to tempt you to sin.
11. Satan will tempt you to do things you do not naturally like to do (James 1:14).
12. Sometimes a Christian is tempted by something greater than he is able to resist and he cannot help sinning (I Cor. 10:13). True False
13. Christ is able to succour (help) you when you are tempted because He also was tempted (Hebrews 2:19; 4:15). True False
14. Who will give you victory over temptation (II Peter 2:9; I Cor. 15:57)?
15. Your victory over temptation and in testings will bring
and___________________ and ______________________ to Christ at His appearing (I Peter 1:6,7).
16. Will God reward those who are victorious in times of temptation
17. Temptation and sin mean the same thing. True False
18. You are not only tempted to do evil but are sometimes tempted not to do good (James 4:17). True False
19. Have you made a list (for your own use) of the good and bad desires Satan might use to tempt you?
20. Have you read:
(Gen. 3)Yes No
Job 1:7- 2:10Yes No
Matt. 4:1-17Yes No
James 1:1-16Yes No
21. Do you have a systematic plan to commit Scripture verses to memory (time, place, ways)?
22. Have you memorized:
James 1:14Yes No
James 1:12Yes No
23. Extra blessings:
Romans 13:14Yes No
(I Peter 4:12Yes No
Hebrews 2:18Yes No
Ephesians 6:10,11Yes No
II Cor. 6:17,18Yes No