LESSONS FROM THE TEMPTATION OF JESUS AS RECORDED IN THE BOOK OF MATTHEW (2)

  1. In the second temptation, the devil used the Scripture to tempt Jesus. The Devil quoted Psalm 91:11-12.

Lesson: The devil doesn’t always come as a serpent or a black beast with horns. He could come as that Christian who can quote Scriptures or as that Christian who is a ‘prayer warrior’, or who is always going for evangelism, or who can preach great sermons or who can sing very well and whose voice sounds like an angel. The devil knows the Scriptures too. He knows how to disguise himself as an angel of light.

There are a lot of wolves in sheep clothing in the Church. There are a lot of angels of darkness parading as angels of light. That someone is an active member of a Church or fellowship or attends all programs and events or is a worker or can quote Scriptures or can pray very well or can sing like an angel or can preach great sermons doesn’t make that person a Christian or child of God.

Remember that the devil used the Scripture to tempt Jesus (Matthew 4:6) and the devil was found in God’s presence among the heavenly beings (Jobs 1:6; 2:1).

Don’t be deceived. Ask God to give you wisdom and a discerning spirit

Matthew 7:16 (TLB) says,

You can detect them by the way they act, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit…”

“Yes, the way to identify a tree or a person is by the kind of fruit produced.”

Matthew 7:20 (TLB)

 

Matthew 7:15-20 (AMP) says,

“Beware of the false prophets, [teachers] who come to you dressed as sheep [appearing gentle and innocent], but inwardly are ravenous wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them [that is, by their contrived doctrine and self-focus]. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the unhealthy tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruits is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore, by their fruit you will recognize them [as false prophets].”

You will know and be able to differentiate between a believer and unbeliever by what they do. It is by the fruits a person bears that will help you in knowing if that person is a believer or an unbeliever. You will know the difference by their actions and behaviour and not by their words alone.

Galatians 5:19-21 lists the bad fruits as:

“The wrong things the sinful self does are clear: committing sexual sin, being morally bad, doing all kinds of shameful things, worshipping false gods, taking part in witchcraft, hating people, causing trouble, being jealous, angry or selfish, causing people to argue and divide into separate groups, being filled with envy, getting drunk, having wild parties, and doing other things like this.” (ERV)

“Now the practices of the sinful nature are clearly evident: they are sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality (total irresponsibility, lack of self-control), idolatry, sorcery, hostility, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions [that promote heresies], envy, drunkenness, riotous behaviour, and other things like these.” (AMP)

Galatians 5:22-23 lists the good fruits as:

“But the fruit that the Spirit produces in a person’s life is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (ERV)

“But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” (AMP)

  1. Jesus used the Scriptures to overcome the devil’s temptations. Note that the devil used Scripture to tempt Jesus (Matthew 4:6) and in Matthew 4:7, Jesus used Scripture to fight back.

There are some temptations you can only overcome using the Word of God. That is why, as Christians, we must be well grounded in the Word of God. The devil will use Scriptures; quote it rightly but use it in the wrong context and interpret it out of context just to get you to fall into sin. When you know the Scriptures for yourself, you’ll know how to fight back; you’ll know the right interpretation and application of the Scriptures.

I’ve realized that sometimes when we are faced with temptations, we don’t need to resist it using our words, we should use Scriptures instead. Notice that Jesus did not spend time trying to convince the Devil and the Devil too didn’t push further once Jesus quoted a Scripture. 

There are some temptations that you can only resist and overcome using Scriptures. Read the Bible, study it, mediate on it, if possible, please quote and memorize Scriptures. The word of God is a very powerful weapon of warfare.

“For the word of God is living and active and full of power [making it operative, emerging, and effective]. It is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating as far as the division of the soul and spirit [the completeness of a person], and of both joints and marrow [the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and judging the every thoughts and intentions of the heart”.

Hebrews 4:12 (AMP)

 

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