Into the Wilderness of Temptation

How much do you know about Jesus’ life on the earth? Regardless of how you answer this question, I can assure you that there is more to know. The 33 years Jesus walked the earth doesn’t seem like a long time, particularly in light of the fact that Jesus is eternal. However, Jesus came to reveal God to us (John 14:8-9), to teach us (John 18:37), to live the life we cannot live (2 Cor 5:21), to take our place in God’s righteous judgment (1 Peter 2:24), to conquer death (2 Cor 15:54-55), and to give life (John 10:10). This month we go in depth into the temptation of Jesus at the onset of His earthly ministry.  While historical, this is not a history lesson. There is very real and practical application for us as we learn how to face and defeat temptation in our lives in order to be holy.

When you think about “holiness” or becoming holy, what comes to mind?  We often focus on the negatives, challenges, and obligations (Thou Shall Not!).  But do not forget the benefits and blessings, or to say it another way, the payoff.  And I don’t mean just when we arrive in Heaven, though that is significant. Being holy has a payoff in our lives today.

For instance, in Romans 6, after reminding Christians of their mission to pursue holiness, Paul asks, “What fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? (v.21). That is a great question, one that should get our minds thinking about how much better it is for us “right now” when we actually live in a way that pleases God.

Think of how great it is for us when we obey God’s word. We experience God’s power working in us, we are free from shameful regret, we avoid enslaving addictions, and so much more. Righteous decisions, on the other hand, yield the rich benefits of a clear conscience, a mind at peace, a joyful sense of unity with our righteous God, and a complete assurance of our own spiritual life.

What great and timely truths we get to study together.  I look forward to learning with you as we worship our Savior together.

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