Two Kinds of Temptation

Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday morning and evening, Aug. 26, 2001, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia. 


By Michael D. O’Neal                  Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church                  Albany, Georgia

Scripture Reading: Genesis 22:1 Jas. 1:1-14

Text: James 1:13

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:

Introduction: In our scripture reading in James, there are two kinds of temptatons mentioned. One type of temptation is a trial. I want to talk to you more about it tonight. The other kind of temptation is an enticement to do wrong. This kind of temptation is ALSO a trial, but the one doing the tempting wants you to fail and to sin. This morning I want you to consider this type of temptation.


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:

There are many sources of “bad” temptation. That is, many people and things will try to influence us to do the wrong things. The word, “tempt,” can mean to PROVOKE. One of the secrets of overcoming temptation is to learn where to expect it. Who is going to tempt, or provoke, you to do evil? Answer: The world, the flesh, and the devil.

A. From Society – the world

1 John 2:15-16 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

1. Family

  • 2 Chronicles 22:3 He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab: for his mother was his counsellor to do wickedly.
  • His own mother provoked Ahaziah into evil!
  • Some of the most wicked things that young people ever learn to do, they learn from relatives!
  • Beware of letting your children spend idle time with relatives who are not godly!

2. Friends

    • 2 Samuel 13:3 But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David’s brother: and Jonadab was a very subtil man.
  • Proverbs 13:20 He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.

3. Coworkers

  • Be careful about yoking up with unsaved people in business.
  • You are going to be better off if you can figure out how to either work with other godly people, as Paul worked with Aquila and Priscilla, or in self-employment.
  • Many Christians have been led into sin by the people with whom they work.
  • Many marriages have broken up because of temptation that occurred at the work place.

4. Employers

  • Overtime, no time for family, no time to attend all the church services, no time to become a church worker
  • 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.

5. Movies

  • A Christian should stay away from movies theaters because of testimony as well as temptation.
  • Have you ever observed how that people get into trouble in DARK places? – movies, bars, dating in living rooms, etc.

6. Television

  • Children’s television viewing should be supervised.
  • Don’t put a TV in your child’s room!

7. Magazines

8. Books

9. Internet

  • Most homes would do better to have one computer in a central location and never access the Internet with it without others present.
  • Beware of chat rooms and of Web surfing!

B. From Self – the flesh

1. Looking on the wrong things

  • Fleshy temptation often begins with a look.
  • Genesis 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
  • Joshua 7:21 When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it.
  • One of the problems with television is the temptation of COMMERCIALS.
  • Adultery begins with a look (Matthew 5:28), as was recorded in the story of David’s sin with Bathsheba.

2. Listening to the wrong things and wrong people

  • Don’t listen to the wrong music — country or rock.
  • Don’t listen to the wrong kind of talk … cursing … filthy jokes. Such language should never come out of a Christian’s mouth, and the less it goes into his ear, the better!
  • Train your ears to listen to the right things!
  • Avoid listening to gossips, to doubters, to complainers, to critics, and to rebels against authority.

C. From Satan – the devil

    • 1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
  • Luke 4:13 And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season. Satan works on your mind and spirit.
  • 1 Corinthians 7:5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency. He will tempt you to:
  • Doubt the word of God – Genesis 3:1
  • Deny forgiveness to someone who has tried to make things right – 2 Corinthians 2:10-11
  • Be distracted from God’s will for your life – 1 Thessalonians 2:18.
  • Delay doing what God wants you to do today

Conquering evil temptation:

1. Run from and avoid it:

1 Corinthians 10:13-14 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. 14 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.

2. Pray much:

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

3. Know your weapon:

Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

4. Make up your mind to stay pure:

Daniel 1:8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.

The SECOND kind of temptation that I want to bring to your attention is what I am going to call:


This type of temptation is a TEST or a TRIAL. Notice in James 1:12 how that forms of both words, “trial” and “temptation” are used:

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.

This explains the apparent contradiction between Genesis 22:1 where the Bible says that God tempted Abraham, and James 1:13, which says that God is not tempted of evil, neither tempteth He any man.

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.

The tempting of Abraham in Genesis 22:1 is plainly a test or a trial, for we find the word, “tried,” in Hebrews 11:17:

Hebrews 11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,

God has brought many of His people INTO these temptations or trials. He has brought them not only INTO them, but also THROUGH them, and eventually OUT of them, praise God!

The book of Job contains 42 chapters describing the trial God put Job through. However, for our purposes now, let us consider God’s temptation, or trial, of Abraham.

A. God directed Abraham

  • Abraham was not out of fellowship with God when he was tried. He was not being punished.
  • A trial of your faith is not necessarily a sign that God is chastening you.
  • A test or trial is not necessarily an indication that you have rebelled against God.
  • Job was “perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil” (Job 1:1), but God brought him into an intense, ong trial.
  • Genesis 22:2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.

B. God drilled Abraham

  • What a test God gave him!
  • He commanded him to sacrifice his son, Isaac, for a burnt offering.
  • It may cost you dearly to obey the Lord.
  • Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
  • God tries us for our good and for His glory.
  • Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

C. God delivered Abraham

  • God didn’t really want Isaac to be sacrificed; He just wanted more of ABRAHAM.
  • God restored Job’s loss twofold (Job 42:12).
  • James 5:11 Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.
  • God can get YOU through to the other side of YOUR trial, also!

D. God developed Abraham

  • It was after Abraham passed this great test that he was called the friend of God.
  • James 2:21-23 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
  • God gives us tests to make us BETTER Christians, not BITTER Christians!
  • 1 Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
  • Job 23:10 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

How to endure the trials, or as I am calling them in this message, “Examining Temptations”:


Hebrews 12:2-3 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.


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.


Romans 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

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