1. Hello, listening friends.
2. Today, we are going to begin a short series of messages on the temptations of Christ;
3. and I want to begin by reminding you of something very important -
4. that we believers are forever in a state of spiritual warfare -
5. and, in the arena of spiritual warfare, there are only two types of people.
6. There are victors and there are victims.
7. There is no neutral ground in the spiritual battle.
8. There is no truce to be declared in the spiritual battle.
9. There is no peace treaty to be signed with the devil.
10. You are either a victim or a victor;
11. and, as the spiritual battle intensifies, so does the heat of the battle.
12. You had better learn to be a victor or else you’ll be a victim.
13. Why do I say this?
14. Because there is no escape from the spiritual war;
15. and here’s the good news:
16. when Jesus confronted Satan in the wilderness, He won the victory over him;
17. and Jesus’ victory over Satan assures us that we, too, can be victorious.
18. Immediately after Jesus’ baptism, the Bible said that Jesus was tempted by the devil.
19. Listen to the Word of God from Matthew 4:1 to 11.
20. IT IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED THAT YOU READ IN YOUR OWN LANGUAGE Matthew 4:1-11 HERE, IF TIME PERMITS.
21. In this message, and the next two, we will learn from the Lord Jesus Christ how to be victorious in the spiritual battle.
22. These three temptations by the devil summarize the three areas of temptation in life.
23. What are these three areas of temptation?
24. They are pleasure, popularity and power.
25. All temptations in life fit into one of these three categories -
26. pleasure, popularity and power.
27. I want to speak to you today about the first temptation.
28. This temptation comes after Jesus had almost finished forty days of fasting.
29. He was in desperate need of food.
30. It was not the first day that Satan came to Him.
31. It wasn’t even in the twentieth day that Satan came to Him;
32. but it was nearly the end of His fast;
33. and Jesus had a choice.
34. “Should I wait for the Father’s timing, or, should I do it My way?
35. Should I seek the glory of the Father, or, should I gratify My own desires?
36. Should I be the servant of the Father’s purpose, or, should I try to get the Father to serve My purpose?”
37. And, my listening friend, this is the temptation that you and I face every day;
38. and there is one thing you have to acknowledge about the devil.
39. He is a master manipulator.
40. He picks his time and he chooses his place of attack very carefully.
41. He often uses people as his mouthpiece.
42. Sometimes, the devil uses false teachers or godless counselors.
43. Sometimes, he uses carnal and arrogant Christians;
44. and he always appeals to our physical needs.
45. He will say to you something like this:
46. “You are a physical being, and you need to gratify your physical appetites.”
47. What is the devil doing?
48. He is getting you to elevate the physical above the spiritual;
49. and that’s what he was trying to do with Jesus.
50. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are in perfect unity;
51. and, in that unity, Jesus was fasting in the wilderness.
52. It was the will of the Trinity;
53. but the devil came in and he tried to put a wedge between Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
54. Do you know why?
55. Because he wanted to make two gods, instead of one.
56. He was turning one against the other by appealing to the Son’s physical needs.
57. My listening friend, let me tell you something of which you can be absolutely sure.
58. Wherever there is a dissention or a division,
59. wherever there is disharmony or strife,
60. you can be sure the devil has brought sin into the relationship.
61. The devil tries to divide relationships between husband and wife.
62. He tries to divide children and parents.
63. He tries to divide believers;
64. and, whenever there is a division, you can be sure the devil has gotten into the situation.
65. The first temptation the devil lobbed at Jesus was this:
66. the devil wanted Jesus to go for the shortcut,
67. for he knew that, if Jesus took the shortcut,
68. he would put a wedge between Jesus and the Father.
69. Remember this, my listening friend,
70. Jesus came from Heaven to do the Father’s will, not His own.
71. He said, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.”
72. Satan wanted to move Jesus from self-surrender to self-centeredness.
73. Had Satan succeeded in getting Jesus to go against the will of the Father,
74. then Satan would have succeeded in creating an irreparable split within the Trinity.
75. Satan longed for Jesus to take power into His own hands;
76. and he wanted Him to use His power for His own needs and His own goals;
77. and don’t ever forget, my listening friend, that Jesus is God of very God.
78. He has the power to heal the sick,
79. give sight to the blind,
80. make the lame walk.
81. Jesus can raise the dead,
82. walk on water,
83. and, yes, feed the hungry;
84. and, when Jesus was hungry Himself, the devil tried to tempt Him.
85. Satan said,
86. “Now, use Your power to meet Your own needs!
87. Now, use Your power for personal gain.
88. Why wait for the Father’s timing?”
89. Do you know, my listening friend, what would have happened if Jesus had fallen for Satan’s temptation?
90. He would have been a victim;
91. but, more than that,
92. if Jesus had sinned,
93. you and I would have been enslaved to sin and Hell in this life, and for eternity;
94. but, thank the Lord, Jesus Christ won the victory over Satan;
95. and, now, Jesus Christ empowers us to win the victory every time we attempt it;
96. but I’m sure the question on most of our minds is, “How did Jesus win the victory?”
97. Now, listen carefully. I want to tell you how.
98. Jesus won the victory by believing and fully trusting and obeying the Word of God.
99. Jesus answered the devil, saying, in Matthew 4:4,
100. “It is written: ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
1. Where did these words come from?
2. They came from the Book of Deuteronomy, Chapter 8, verse 3.
3. You see, my listening friend, Jesus, as a young boy, studied the Bible.
4. He filled His mind with the Word of God.
5. At the age of twelve, He was teaching the Word of God to men three times His age;
6. and, when your mind is equipped with the Word of God, regardless of your age, you will be the victor.
7. The Lord Jesus studied and memorized the Word of God.
8. He taught and defended the Word of God.
9. He lived It through the example of His life.
10. Those of you who are fathers and mothers, please listen carefully.
11. If you live out the Word of God in your life,
12. you will make a powerful impact on your children;
13. and, therefore, how you live your life for God is far more important than all the words you speak.
14. My listening friend,
15. if you have a Bible,
16. you must read it regularly
17. and let the Word of God work inside of you daily;
18. or else, you will be a victim and not a victor;
19. A famous preacher once said
20. that the Bible that is falling apart usually belongs to a life that is not.
21. The key to Jesus’ victory over Satan can be summarized in these words -
22. “It is written.”
23. Jesus resisted Satan by depending on the Word of God;
24. and so, my listening friend, as I conclude, let me tell you this -
25. knowing and obeying the Word of God will always make you a victor and not a victim.
26. See what Jesus is saying, here, to the devil?
27. He is saying, “Satan, I believe the Word of My Father.
28. Satan, I fully trust in the Word of My Father.
29. Satan, I am guided by the Word of My Father.
30. Satan, I will obey the Word of My Father.”
31. What did Jesus mean by saying, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes out of the mouth of God?”
32. He is saying that spiritual food is far more important than physical food;
33. and, yet, my listening friend, look at how much time and effort we spend in our physical food;
34. but, my beloved friends, to be a victor and not a victim, you have to follow the example of Jesus.
35. To defeat the devil every time, put the Word of God into practice.
36. Obedience is the key to unleashing the power of God in your life.
37. I can tell you that all the teaching and all the preaching will not make you a victor,
38. but obeying the Word of God will.
39. Today, you can choose to be a victor or a victim;
40. and, until next time, I pray that you will be a victor.