Matthew 4:1-11 "Then Jesus was led by the Spirit ..to be tempted by the devil". After Jesus was filled with the Spirit (Matthew 3:16) He was led by the Spirit to be tested by God as a Man. Jesus faced these temptations as a man just like us and what Adam and Eve and Israel and mankind all failed to do, submit to God and triumph over Satan, Jesus did. "For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. 18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted." "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet was without sin. 16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." (Hebrews 2:17-18; 4:15-16)


  • Physical needs and appetites
  • Appeal to personal gain
  • Pride and power

Mathew 4:1-11

  • Turning stones into bread
  • Rescued from a fall by an angel
  • Have all the kingdoms

Genesis 3:1-7

  • The fruit of the tree was good for food
  • You will not die – but is pleasing to the eye
  • You will be like God

1 John 2:15-17

  • Cravings of sinful man
  • Coveting — greed lust of the eyes
  • Boasting of what we have of the world and do

Public ministry (influence) is built on private victory over temptation and sin. We are responsible for the depth of our relationship with the Lord (spiritual disciplines). He is responsible for the breadth of our influence/ministry. "A discipline is an activity in our power that we do to enable us to do what we cannot do by direct effort (i.e. in our own power)" Dallas Willard

Temptation is not just to do something wrong or evil but also to try to meet a legitimate need in a way contrary to God’s will or the leading of the Holy Spirit. (e.g., food, sex, provision for self/family) The question is not, "Lord is it o.k. if I have this, do this, etc.," but, "Lord what do you want, what is your will"? Apart from God’s Word and Spirit we don’t even know what is good or evil. (See Hebrews 5:14)

Every temptation from Satan can be turned into an opportunity for spiritual growth as we choose God’s will. (Genesis 50:20; Romans 8:28) (See Ken Boa’s Spiritual Judo.)

Application: (1) Resist the devil (2) in the power of the Holy Spirit (3) through the guidance of God’s Word (4) to accomplish God’s will. (Dr. Mike Wilkins — The NIV Application Commentary on Matthew) James 4.4

1) Resist the devil: "Submit to God and (then) resist the devil." Like Jesus we must first submit our will to the will of God (nevertheless Thy will be done) in order to resist the devil.

2) Even then we need the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit (like Jesus did) to resist the devil. We cannot do it in our own strength.

3) It is written: We must use the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God (Ephesians 6:17) as Jesus did, to fight off Satan’s lies and deceptions. Satan twists "reality" ("this will make you happy") so God’s truth is the antidote to show us REALITY (this will make you holy which always leads to true happiness). We must know the Word in order to win the battle. It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’", "It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’"." 10 Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’" Jesus gives us His authority to command demons. (Luke 10:19)

4) Only God’s will has eternal value and He created us to know and do His will in order to bring Him glory and honor and pleasure. Romans 12:1-2 "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will." 1 John 2:17 "The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever." (That which is done for Christ will last forever) Revelation 4:11 ""You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being."

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