What is the meaning of temptation?

According to Webster 1828, temptation means the act of tempting; enticement to evil by arguments, by flattery, or by the offer of some real or apparent good.

1. Solicitation of the passions; enticements to evil proceeding from the prospect of pleasure or advantage.

2. The state of being tempted or enticed to evil. When by human weakness you are led into temptation resort to prayer for relief.

3. Trial.

4. That which is presented to the mind as an inducement to evil.


Source Of Temptation

  1. Negative (where it’s not from)

    Temptations are not from God. God is not responsible for tempting us to sin.

    James 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:

    God does not cause us to do evil/commit the sin. Before we commit the sin, God does not tell you ‘Do it. Go commit that sin’. No, Satan is the one doing that. But here, the Bible says that God tempted Abraham.
    God will allow temptation. Temptation means testing too. So God allows temptation and He will test us but He will not be the tempter to make us sin.

    Genesis 22:1 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.

    David was not supposed to number Israel, that was a sin as a king but the Lord was the one who tempted him.

    2 Samuel 24:1 And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.

    This is the same repeated story. Here it says that Satan was the one who moved David to number Israel. Here God allows the temptation to happen by using the devil to do it, He’s not the one who does it.

    1 Chronicles 21:1 And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.

    Satan wants to tempt Job and God allowed the temptation.

    Job 1:9-12 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.

    God is going to test us to see if we really love Him. He did that with Adam and Eve. He tested them through the tree of knowledge of good and evil. But God didn’t tempt them, it was the serpent. God allowed that to happen.

  2. Positive

    a. SatanJesus was tempted by the devil in the wilderness

    Matthew 4:1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.

    b. The flesh

    James 1:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

    c. The world

    Proverbs 1:10 My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.

    d. Christians

    Matthew 16:22-23 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

The more obvious temptations will come from Satan and the world, but many Christians are not aware that the flesh and other Christians can also tempt to sin.

Reasons For Temptation

Our experience with temptation may help us strengthen our faith in God and test our obedience.

  1. As a test of our faith
    God is going to test us if we can really trust in Him, to trust in His power and His existence during our hour of temptation.

    James 1:2-3 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.

  2. As a test of obedience
    God is going to test us if we really love Him enough to obey Him. He is going to see if we’re going to obey Him anyway regardless how tempting it may be.

    Genesis 22:1 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.

Limit Of Temptation

No experience of temptation will overcome us. God promised that He won’t give us a temptation greater than we can bear.

1 Corinthians 10:13

  1. He sets the time limit for a temptation.
  2. He sets the timing of the temptation.
    He only allows it when we are mature enough to withstand that particular temptation.
  3. He guides the stress or amount of pressure during the actual temptation.

Methods Of Temptation

Ordinary temptations may come and go in a Christian’s life.

  1. through poverty

    Proverbs 30:9 Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.

  2. through prosperity

    Proverbs 30:9 Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.

  3. through worldly glory

    Numbers 22:17 For I will promote thee unto very great honour, and I will do whatsoever thou sayest unto me: come therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people.

  4. through discouragement

    2 Kings 19:4 It may be the LORD thy God will hear all the words of Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master hath sent to reproach the living God; and will reprove the words which the LORD thy God hath heard: wherefore lift up thy prayer for the remnant that are left.

These 4 methods that cause temptations, these are not the sins attracting us to temptations.

Types Of Temptations

The following are examples of temptation:

  1. To unbelief
    Job’s wife is tempting Job to not believe in God anymore

    Job 2:9 Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die.

  2. To presumption
    We presume that it’s God who told us to do it and we did it anyway but it’s not what God wants us to do

    Matthew 4:6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.

  3. To worship Satan
    Satan has a lot of power and he can give us a lot of richness

    Matthew 4:9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.

  4. To pride

    Daniel 4:30 The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?

  5. To pleasure (temptation to excess)

    2 Timothy 4:10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia.

  6. To power

    Acts 8:29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.

  7. To society
    Hanging around with worldly co-workers, worldly church members, worldly friends
    Lot lived in Sodom for far too long and Sodom was such a wicked city. Lot yielded to the temptation of settling in a wicked city called Sodom.

    Genesis 19:24-26 Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

  8. To possession
    Yield to the temptation of wanting more expensive car/houses/men/women/education/clothes etc. That’s why people concentrate more on education rather than coming to church because they want to make more money

    Joshua 7:1 Is there not an appointed time to man upon earth? are not his days also like the days of an hireling?

  9. To sex

    Nehemiah 13:26 Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? yet among many nations was there no king like him, who was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel: nevertheless even him did outlandish women cause to sin.
    2 Samuel 11:2-4 And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon. And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite? nd David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house.

  10. To money (financial temptation)
    Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver

    John 13:21-30 When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake. Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake. He then lying on Jesus’ breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it? Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly. Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him. For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor. He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night.

  11. To false humility
    Here it says that Moses is very humble and meek

    Numbers 12:3 (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)

    Moses’ false humility kindled God’s anger. People pretend to be humble before God. When God asks us to do something, we just do it.

    Exodus 4:10-14 And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue. And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say. And he said, O my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou wilt send. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart.

Outcomes from Temptation

  1. If yielded, it becomes sin. And the saint is weakened in testimony.

    1 Timothy 6:9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.

  2. If resisted, the Lord is glorified and the saint grows stronger to resist other temptations. The person grows in faith and maturity. Obedience is confirmed.

    James 1:2-4 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
    James 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

Victory Over Temptations

Christians can have victory over their temptations by believing in God, using the word of God, intercessory work of Christ, personal prayer, by resisting and fleeing from the temptation.

  1. By the faithfulness of God
    God will make a limit to our temptation.

    1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
    Revelation 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

    Keep praying to God for His faithfulness.

  2. By using the word of God
    Whenever Satan tempted Jesus, Jesus quoted scriptures every time.

    Matthew 4

  3. By the intercession of Christ
    Jesus right now is praying for us to win victory everyday

    Luke 22:31-32 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

  4. By personal prayer

    Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

  5. By fleeing
    Run away from temptation

    2 Timothy 2:22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
    Proverbs 4:14-15 Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.

  6. By resisting
    When our flesh craves, fight and resist that craving, don’t let the devil win.
    The flesh and the devil will never quit, then we need to make sure that we don’t quit as well.

    James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

  7. By accepting the way of escape
    If God provided us a way to escape the temptation, we accept it.

    1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

This is where you’ll be able to access the link to this audio file. Part of Beginner Discipleship 33.