“Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death”
James changes his metaphor to childbirth in verse 15. This verse tells us of the product of sin.
Then, when desire has conceived,
Literally, the word “conceived” comes from two words to take and together meaning to take together. It carries the idea of impregnation in the sexual sense. When the believer gives consent to temptation, sin forms a launching pad for action. Temptation evolves into the framework for sin.
it gives birth to sin;
Lust gives birth to sin, just like a woman gives birth to a child, so lust gives birth to sin. Sin is now in its embryonic form.
We most effectively deal with sin at the point of temptation.
There is enormous power in a lustful thought. The Christian must deal with sin at the point of temptation, not at the point where we choose to sin. Once we choose to open ourselves to sin, the overt action of sin is almost inevitable. We most effectively deal with sin at the point of temptation.
None of us can avoid temptation. It is not a sin to be tempted, but it is a sin to yield to temptation. Evil ideas will birth in our minds until we go to meet the Savior.
The Internet, movies, and television today present great temptation to the believer. Lust comes charging into our minds through these vehicles. It comes unexpectedly and quickly. That is why we must guard against temptation by first preparing our minds with the Word of God.
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (James 1:22).
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.” (2 Corinthians 10:4-6).
“Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:2).
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Colossians 3:16).
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2).