by Dr. Stephen Rummage on March 04, 2021
April 08, 2021
As we have gone through these early chapters in Luke and studied how God sent Jesus to the world, we now arrive at the verge of His public ministry with the temptation by Satan in the wilderness. If you read Luke 4:1-13, you will see that when Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, God’s purpose was not to find out whether His Son would sin, but rather to show us, and even show Satan himself, that God’s Son would not sin. And thankfully we can also see how we can overcome temptation as we follow Jesus.
As we examine Jesus’ temptation, I want to show your four spiritual strategies for overcoming temptation.
1. Recognize your Diabolical Enemy (v.1-2)
Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness while “being tempted by the devil.” There are two key words to focus on: tempted and devil. The greek word for tempt means to “try to learn the nature or character of someone by submitting to thorough and extensive testing.” The greek word for devil is diabolos, which is where we get the english word “diabolical” and means “accuser.”
Therefore, Satan, the Devil, is a real being with a real agenda of fighting against God. Therefore, He constantly fights against human beings because we are made in the image of God, and especially fights against saved people who love and follow God. Satan is at work when we feel we are being tested. He’s behind the testing we face in our homes, in our marriages, in our relationships, in our workplaces, in our churches. The first step of overcoming temptation is that we must recognize that our enemy is real, but he is an enemy that we can overcome!
2. Remember you Potential Vulnerability (v.2-12)
So what happened when Jesus was tempted by the Devil? We see that Satan attacked Jesus at three points of vulnerability, which are also the three areas in which Satan attacks us. First, we see Satan attack Jesus at the point of physical hunger. Considering the fasting of Jesus for forty days, scripture shows us that He was hungry (v. 2). To which Satan attacks and says “if you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” Satan’s temptation was not to make Jesus doubt Himself, but to depend on Himself. Later in Jesus’ ministry He would do miracles to produce baskets of bread from just a few small loaves; but He did that for others, not for Himself. Regardless of His consuming hunger, he would not obey Satan because He found His sustenance and life in God’s Word.
Second, we see Satan attack Him at the point of what He saw and what He wanted in verses 5-6. Instantly, Satan took Him to the highest point and showed Jesus every kingdom, since he was the “ruler of the world” (John 14:30), the “god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4), and the “prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2). Satan has power on earth to grant, and he offered it to Jesus at this price: “if You will worship me, it will be Yours.” Jesus refused the offer of the Devil, we know that surely one day He will inherit all the kingdoms of the world since He is the true King of Kings and Lord of Lords!
Third, we see Satan attack at the point of pride and ego. Look in verses 9-11 as Satan took Jesus to Jerusalem and set Him at the pinnacle of the temple and told Him to throw Himself down. If He were to do it, the psalmists tell us that the angels would come and rescue Him, and then everyone would see that He indeed was the Messiah. But again, Jesus overcame (v. 12). Now, don’t you think that if Satan is bold enough to tempt the incarnate Son of God, don’t you believe he will tempt you?
3. Rely on Your Spiritual Weaponry (v.1-12)
Now Ephesians 6:10-18 gives a detailed description of the spiritual armor available to believers when we stand against the schemes of the Devil, but let’s look specifically at the temptation of Jesus and see the weapons the Lord used as He fought Satan’s attacks. First, He was praying, which we see in His baptism that occurred immediately before His temptation (Luke 3:21). Second, He was full of the Holy Spirit and led by the Spirit (Luke 4:1). It is essential to note that prayer and the filling of the Spirit will not exempt you from facing temptation, but they will empower you to fight temptation. Third and lastly, Jesus was armed with God’s Word. At every point that Satan tempted Him, Jesus had a counterpunch with scripture (Deut. 8:3; Deut. 6:13; Deut. 6:16).
Thankfully the weapons that Jesus won with are available to you, but it is too late to put on armor when you’re in the middle of the battle. Right now, ask yourself these three questions. Weapon #1: Am I strengthened through prayer? On the night before He was crucified, Jesus told His disciples to pray in times of temptation (Matt. 26:41). Weapon #2: Am I steered by God’s Spirit? Daily surrender to the Holy Spirit’s leadership will keep you from sin when you are tempted (Gal. 5:16). Weapon #3: Am I saturated in God’s Word? I have found that the greatest help to me spiritually -- in my prayer life and in being led by the Spirit -- is the simple discipline of reading God’s Word. Jesus used spiritual weaponry to overcome temptation, and thankfully we can use it too!
4. Rejoice in Your Eventual Victory (v.13)
The time of temptation eventually passes. It did for Jesus and it will for us. The first Adam was tempted in paradise, the Garden of Eden, and lost. Then Jesus, the last Adam, faced temptation in the wilderness and won! But a reminder, temptation never fully goes away. You’ll never come to a time in your life when you are beyond temptation, but praise God that because of the cross,we will eventually have full victory over temptation and sin.
Whatever temptation you are facing; Jesus can give you victory! If you have any questions on salvation, overcoming temptation, or if you have any prayer needs, you can call (405) 302-3030 or you can text your first name to (405) 256-4701. We would love to connect with you.
Watch the full sermon here.