"I know how hard the battle is between the flesh and the spirit under the heavy cross of affliction" ~ John Knox
" 15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me." (Romans 7:15-17, ESV)
“As the salt flavors every drop in the Atlantic, so does sin affect every atom of our nature. It is so sadly there, so abundantly there, that if you cannot detect it, you are deceived.” ~ Charles Spurgeon
Don't Shipwreck your Life
13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and He Himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above..."
"If I'm a sinner, and God created me, then is it really my fault if I sin?"
13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and He Himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire
THE ORIGIN OF OUR SIN NATURE
"sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned" (Romans 5:12, ESV)
THE PROGRESSION OF SIN.
15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
"For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. 4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer." (Psalm 32:3-4, ESV)
"If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth." (1 John 1:6, ESV)
"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28, ESV)
16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above..."
“For certainly, Christ is much more powerful to save than Adam was to ruin.” ~ John Calvin
"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." (Galatians 2:20, ESV)
Satan tempts and GOD tests--this is w hat we learned from Sunday’s message. The major difference is the desired outcome. Satan tempts us to get us to fall, whereas GOD tests us because he wants us to prove our faithfulness, he wants us to grow! There cannot be any evil in GOD’s heart. When one thinks of the issue of blaming GOD for problems/sin there are certain peripheral issues that come to light; has GOD abandoned us, Is GOD a traitor, does He l ove me? Today’s study seeks to challenge you intellectually, as we will look at some of these issues in detail.
1. Let’s look at the underlying cause of such an accusation…’it is GOD’s fault for my problem/sin.’ How does this statement acknowledge that GOD is sovereign?
This accusation is rooted in the acknowledgment of, although drastically misunderstood, the truth of GOD’s sovereignty. So, let’s take at a passage that will help us understand this. Turn to Job chapter 1.
2. As a group read Job 1, discuss how verse 1 would make Job a target for satan to tempt? How would verse 1 make Job a perfect choice for GOD to test?
3. Look at verse 8. Who initiates this whole process?
Here is where we can see a huge difference. From this point forward, everything that happens to Job is designed to be a test from GOD, but in this testing, Satan tempts Job to get him to falter. John Calvin refers to this as the ‘remote’ cause and the ‘proximate’ cause. GOD is the remote cause of the whole situation...He initiated the whole thing, but the way in which Satan would tempt Job is the proximate cause. This can be seen in the thieves of Job 1:15 and 17. Remotely, GOD ordained the entire episode of Job’s trials as a testing of His faith. But after that Satan, not GOD, proximately caused the thieves to steal and kill from Job.
4. Now turn to and read Hebrews 12:3-13. How does Heb. 12:3-4 relate to James 1:14?
5. Hebrews 12:5-12 give us an insight into why GOD would all or be the ‘remote’ cause of some of our hardships. What does this passage point to as a desired outcome for GOD testing us?
6. Finally, look to Heb. 12:12-13. How does this passage act as a summary of today’s study?
The desire to believe that GOD causes our problems is itself a temptation from Satan and, the blaming of GOD for our problems is our falling to Satan’s temptation. GOD cannot have evil in His heart...that He would set you up or trick you--that is Satan’s doing. When we experience a test from GOD, it is because He wants us to grow and mature in our faith. Conversely, when Satan tempts us, it is because he wants us to fall and fail in our faithful obedience and trust of GOD. To view GOD as being the source of our problems, is to view him one of two ways, as either being 1) “Bad,” because He is doing it to us or as being 2) “Helpless” because He cannot do anything about our problems. GOD is not complicit in our sin, our problems, or our temptations...that again is Satan. GOD is active in our redemption and, our maturation/growth--anything that we experience coming from GOD is designed for one or both of these and ultimately for our good!