How Can Good Be Wrong?

Sermons

Woe to us that cannot see, for we are blind and naked against the schemes of the devil. Oh how we think we know right from wrong… yet we are deceived beyond our wildest imaginations…

I would like to show you how I know this, and make clear the light that God is shinning upon us if we but open our eyes…

Matthew 14:4 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.

Did you catch that? Jesus was led by the Spirit for the explicit purpose of being tempted by the devil. Some imagine this to mean that God led Him because the word ‘spirit’ is capitalized, and this may be so, though James teaches us that God does not tempt us (Jms 1.13), but it may also be that Jesus was led by the ‘spirit’ that lives inside all of us. We might call it instinct, or intuition, but perhaps that is what drew Christ into the desert? So often our own spirits lead us into temptation, and more often than not, we fall to those temptations… but Jesus, He did not fall. 

2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Maybe this sounds like an easy temptation to conquer, yet I wonder how many of us have fasted 40 days. The longest I’ve ever gone is two weeks, and I think I would’ve have actually eaten stones had I not had food readily available… yet Jesus, having all the power of God at His disposal, did not allow Satan to draw him into this display of power. What would have been so wrong if Jesus had used His power to turn stones to bread? The truth is, the turning stones to bread would not have been the problem, but instead, it would have been the fact that Jesus would have been following the lead of the devil over the obvious instructions of His Father.

5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”

7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

Many think it is a cop out when Christians quote this passage. They think we do not test God because God would likely not answer the call… and for many – that may indeed be the case – but for others, we have learned not to test God because so often the call for a test of God comes from the evil one. Indeed, we would all love to have proof of God to demonstrate to all, and in our minds we think that would surely win over the hearts of all men… yet He knows better. Even if God were to act as a genie to our requests – even if He answered every request to test Him, man would not learn and honor Him through these tests. No, Instead we would attempt to manipulate Him for our own wicked purposes… I believe Jesus was fully aware of this trap, and stayed true to His Father, knowing who He was and not needing to prove it to the wicked and evil devil. After all, the devil already knew He was the Son of God, otherwise he wouldn’t be wasting his time trying to tempt Jesus. 

8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”

10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’”

11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

Finally, Satan offered Jesus the whole nine yards. And there is much to draw from this passage. Perhaps the first thing we need to realize is Satan could not offer Jesus all the kingdoms of the world unless they were already his to offer. This world had been completely and utterly infected by Satan, and it still is today, and will be until Jesus returns and makes all things new. While we might see such an offer as a decent trade off… while we may have been convinced that we could save the world with our own righteousness, justifying our allegiance to Satan for the sake of the common good, Jesus knew such a deal would only lead to wickedness and rebellion against God. 

If you look at the principals behind every scenario Jesus faced in these temptations, you will see that they are temptations we face everyday. Some of us follow these temptations quite willingly believing its what God would desire. Some of us follow them not recognizing the wickedness of the temptations because we are not in true fellowship with the Holy Spirit. And some of us are overcoming… still making mistakes, but learning from those mistakes through the leadership of the Holy Spirit. 

Think about it. Find the proper applications of the principals Jesus taught us through the temptations He faced, and watch everything you thought was right melt away. 

Glory be to God, because He sees everything – and we see almost nothing… trust in Him and Him alone… even when it looks like things are bad, know that there is a far greater good being accomplished.                 By Pastor Chris

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