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Read Introduction to James

 

“But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed”
 
and enticed
 
We have two sources of temptation – both from within and from without. The first temptation is internal and has its source in our sin capacity (“drawn away”). Secondly, there is an external attraction that will pull us down – “enticed.” Our sin capacity is our internal foe and Satan is our infernal foe. He is the foe from without. We always face two foes, that is why we need to stand on guard against a fall. Satan could not entice us without co-operation from our sin capacity.
 
The word “enticed” is literally to lure with bait, beguile by blandishment as with fish. As a fisherman uses a lure to attract a fish, so our lust lures us from self-control. Temptation prods and baits us by appealing to our dark side. Sin looks so inviting but in the end we become enslaved to it. The bait looks so inviting yet we know the deadly result of biting it.
Knowledge does not seem to prevent us from yielding to temptation. Temptation is more powerful than our knowledge. Sin can “overtake” us by surprise (Galatians 6:1). This means that we do not know ourselves sufficiently and the capabilities that lie within us.
Peter uses “enticed” for people who have “eyes full of adultery” and who operate on “the lusts of the flesh.”
“…having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, enticing unstable souls. They have a heart trained in covetous practices, and are accursed children…. For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error” (2 Peter 2:14,18).
Principle:
Satan is the prod to our sin capacity.
Application:
We both set the trap and step into the trap of sin. First, our lust draws us away from God then we yield to Satan’s enticements to sin. Thus, in dealing with sin, we need to address it at two levels – from within and from without. First, temptation draws us away from God. Then once we are away from Him, then Satan entices us at a vulnerable point. As we come under attack at two points so we must deal with it at two points:
1) by forsaking sin and
2) by embracing fellowship with God.
Ultimately, we cannot blame God for our sin nor can we blame Satan; we must blame ourselves. Victim mentality always shifts blame to something or someone else.
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