How to Overcome Temptation

temptation sin bible

Background and Meaning of the Word ‘Temptation’:

  • The same Greek word (Peirasmos) is used for ‘temptations’ (Mat 6:13, 1 Cor 10:13, Jas 1:13) and ‘trials’ (Jas 1:2,12, 1 Pet 1:6).
  • Meaning of the word – To put to proof by experiment of good or experience of evil
  • to scrutinize, entice, discipline, examine, prove, try, tempt
  • It is important to make a distinction between two meanings within this one word.
    • On one hand, it signifies an attempt to entice someone into evil. (Often translated as temptations)
      • Satan is the ultimate source of all desires and actions contrary to God.
      • He is the tempter. (Mat 4:3, 1 Th 3:5)
    • On the other hand, it indicates a testing which aims at spiritual good. (Often translated as trials)
  • This bible study is detailed description of ‘temptation’ in its negative significance.
Purpose of Temptation:
  • To undermine God’s plan and will (Gen 3:4-5)
  • To stray man from God’s way (John 10:10)
  • Temptation at its core, is to deny the authority of God and to seek our independence from God.

What are the ways of Temptation?

  • Temptation starts in heart and mind, in our deepest motives and desires. (Jas 1:14-15)
  • 1 John 2:16 talks about three most fundamental means of temptation. – “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.”
    • Lust of the flesh
    • Lust of the eyes
    • Pride of Life
  • These three fundamental principles summarize any temptations we may face in our daily lives.
  • Satan used this devices to tempt Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden.
    • Lust of the Eyes – “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye..” (Gen 3:6)
    • Lust of the Flesh – “…tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye..”
    • Pride of Life – “…and also desirable for gaining wisdom (like God)…” (Gen 3:5-6)
  • Satan use the same devices to tempt Jesus in the wilderness. (Mat 4:1-11)
    • Lust of the Flesh – “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” (Mat 4:3)
    • Lust of the Eyes – “the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.” (Mat 4:8)
    • Pride of Life – “All this I will give you, if you will bow down and worship me.” (Mat 4:9)

Is temptation Sin? Can temptation be considered as Sin?

  • No, Jesus was also tempted. (Mat 4:1-11)
  • Hebrews 4:15 – “but we have one (Jesus) who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.”
  • Every Christian is faced with some kind of temptation.

Why is it so ‘easy’ to fall or give in to temptation? Why do we see a constant struggle with sin?

  • Because there is a temporary pleasure in it.
  • Hebrews 11:25 – “He (Moses) chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time.”
  • We are susceptible to sin because of our frailty due to sinful nature. (Gen 6:5)

So How to overcome temptation? What are the steps one can take?

Preparation:

  • Bible often picture temptation and struggle with sin as a battlefield, it is fighting against temptation and if you want to succeed in the battle, you need to prepare well.
  • Ready for the battle. (Eph 6:11, 13-17)
  • Watch and pray. (Mk 14:38)
  • Remember Jesus used word of God to attack and overcome all three temptations in the wilderness. We are no better, so spend time in the word of God. Immerse yourself into word of God, study it, memorize it. Remember, you may not have your bible with you when Satan confronts you with some kind of temptation!
  • Be alert and self-controlled (1 Pet 5:8). (For every christian, temptation can come in different form.)
  • Strong in faith. (1 Pet 5:8-9)

Perseverance and Endurance:

  • So often the battle goes weary, and we just give up and give in.  We need to persevere, persist and continue to resist temptation.

Planning: (Strategy)

  • Remember that there is always a way to overcome temptation.
  • 1 Cor 10:13 – “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”
  • There are two strategies, which I have discovered in bible when dealing with temptation.
  1. Resist or Fightback:
    • James 4: 7: ” Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
    • There are times when you need to fight back and resist the temptation. You need to stand firm.
  2. Retreat:
    • 2 Tim 2:22: “Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness…”
    • There are times when you need to flee, run away or retreat to escape temptation.
    • Joseph is an excellent example of both of this methods. He tried to resist Potiphar’s wife as much as he could, but when the time came, he chose to flee out rather than resist her. (Gen 39: 6-12) (Joseph – Bible Character Study)
    • I believe that many times, we choose wrong ways, we flee when we need to stand firm, and vice versa.

Application:

  • Are you ready for the battle?
  • Are you prepared? (Remember that Satan does not take your appointment for the time of temptation!)
  • Is your ‘Sword of the Spirit’ sharpened and ‘Shield of Faith’ strong?

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If you are blessed with this Bible study, I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by sharing it on Twitter, Facebook or your preferred social media network. Thank you!

—Amit Christian (BibleSEO Editor)

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Comments

  1. says

    This is a great looking site. I will have to check it out further. Thanks for stopping by my blog. There is nothing better than a good time of studying God’s word inductively.

  2. JESSE DUENES says

    Thank you so much!the lord lead me to your web site,I was looking for some tool’s for a bible study when I found your site.It’s a blessing to find this tools.

    keep up the Good work & my the lord bless you…

  3. says

    Thank you for your obedience to sharing the Word of God. I’m sure you don’t mind, but I linked to your article verses re-writing the definition of temptation. You made it very clear, thank you. I would love your thoughts/comments on this writing in order to help others as well as myself grow in further understanding. It’s Trials and Trials part 2. http://www.serious-things.com

    Blessings beloved,

    joseph

  4. Kevin Ndegwa says

    Point of correction on resisting the devil.

    THE BIBLE JUST DOESN’T SAY;

    # Resist or Fightback:

    * James 4: 7: ” Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
    * There are times when you need to fight back and resist the temptation. You need to stand firm.

    BECAUSE WE ARE WEAK AND WE CANNOT DEFEAT THE DEVIL RATHER MOST IMPORTANTLY IS THE FIRST PART LEFT OUT THE SAYS

    “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you”

    YOU NEED GODS WORD IN FULL AND NOT A PORTION OF IT.

    aLL IN ALL love you all in the mighty name of Jesus. See you all in Heaven God willing !!!!!

  5. Bible SEO says

    Thanks Kevin. I agree that we absolutely need God in order to fight against the temptations. I have mentioned it in preparation part of it.

    Again thanks for the comment.

    ———————

    “Preparation:

    Bible often picture temptation and struggle with sin as a battlefield, it is fighting against temptation and if you want to succeed in the battle, you need to prepare well.
    Ready for the battle. (Eph 6:11, 13-17)
    Watch and pray. (Mk 14:38)
    Remember Jesus used word of God to attack and overcome all three temptations in the wilderness. We are no better, so spend time in the word of God. Immerse yourself into word of God, study it, memorize it. Remember, you may not have your bible with you when Satan confronts you with some kind of temptation!”

    ———————

  6. B says

    I can testify that the hardest thing is to constantly resist temptation at first, but eventually it those demons will flee from you and it will become easier to resist temptation. The only other thing that makes it easy to resist temptation is draw closer to God and built the walls around your narrow path in life with scripture and prayer.

    I think people often underestimate how present temptation is all around us. I think it is important to know that whenever temptation might become to overwhelming that you always have the option to flee he situation and avoid it all together.

    Your ability to avoid temptation can be worked on and improved. The more you strengthen that ability with scripture, prayer and worship then you will be able avoid and overcome temptation easier every time it presents itself to you. Then eventually it will become natural to avoid temptation because the spirit will have become so strong in you.

  7. says

    I think that in overcoming temptation there are a few things that are useful to consider. Firstly, temptation (ie from Devil or others to draw away from God) is an attempt to get us to meet our needs without turning to God. It can therefore be helpful not only to resist the temptation at hand, but to ask ‘What need in me is this coming from / trying to meet?’ and then turning to God for that need.

    Interestingly, in this way temptation becomes an invitation to express our needs to God and does several things at once including turning away from the temptation itself and also turning to God.

    It is also important to consider involving others in our struggle. As we confess areas of temptation to others, bring it into the light, we can then be supported further and thus reduce the power and isolation. God has placed us in a body, do we use it.

    Sometimes there are particular events / people that ‘trigger’ our temptation. For example, if I am criticized by others am I then tempted to doubt my value before God, which can lead to a temptation to eat too much, withdraw into my ‘cave’, turn to porn, argue with my spouse, bully someone else or any other thing which will help me feel in control and powerful again. This is the temptation. The answer is to turn to God for his affirmation again that I belong to him alone.

    Again, this may require the support of others.

  8. Jasmine says

    Thank you for this lesson on temptation. I’m just beginning my morning worship and studying and this is where I was lead. Getting older, I’m 23, I battle not so much with lust of flesh and eyes, but the pride of life. Thank you for allowing God to use you to help others, some of the scriptures quoted are going on post its in my car. I’m always on the go, but from the lesson I’ve seen how vital it is to quote scripture when being tempted. Thanks again!

  9. Bethel Bobmanuel Elele says

    This is not just a lesson,but a spiritual food to the hearts that hunger,to heart that have the zeal for true worship. I pray that God upholds us with His righthand of righteousness. Amen!

  10. says

    Although i am a bonifide Christian i still struggle with the flesh which i find to be very frustrating to me until some time it drive me to the point of wanted to commit sucicide which i know is displeaseing to God that why i try to hang in there and fight this i call it Satanic and Demons of lust accept that i read in the Bible James chapter 1 that man is drawn away of his own lust and is entice.Help me Please.Thank you and God Bless.every time i get lonely i get into the flesh.

  11. Terry says

    I love this webpage or app I use it on my iPhone so it’s an app to me. I have been struggling with temptation, and this is just what I needed to help point me to where in the Bible to look. I know this just one part of where I’ll use it in my walk. God is good and I thank him for using you to make this app.

    Thank you and God bless

  12. Sv says

    Hi,how can i escape from sexual behavior that i have come addicted to?i dont know what to do.i fast and read the bible ,pray but when temptation comes i find myself very weak to stand agaist it.plz help

  13. Sv says

    Hi, i have a problem concerning my calling.GOD spoke to me in 1996 to fast certain days in order to receive strength for Hiz work,but since then ihave been failing and failing,last year i tried and failed.i find myself doing things that i dont like,things like sexualsin,how can i be able to defeat and accomplish my calling without being prevented by sexual sin?sv.

  14. Yohannan George says

    It is a strengthening artcle for temptation/Struggles in Christian Life. Thanks for this article. Y.George

  15. zaina Mzee says

    continue with the good work for your labour in Christ is not invain. God Bless You So Much.

  16. zaina Mzee says

    Through Christ we are more than conqerous coz He overcame all,and we can do all things through him by His Grace.

  17. Slim12336 says

    Thank you for inviting me to this web site, it has been a blessing. Something different every week and that’s great. Again thanks!!!!

  18. Nanchie Bitton says

    for me,i need your book to containue my study the word of God.And to know His word and His promise.thanks,and God bless us all.

  19. Manasseh Mark Bombeo says

    Ive felt my calling only last month of Feb or March of 2012, since then ive always felt my heart bleed out to speak loud for God to my Church (the Church of God 7th-day). Often given the chance to do discussions and often times closed for me, but im taking it as Gods working in my life and in my role(cuz thats how me and God roll!). In some other times my Lord gives me food for my soul that helps me gain wisdom; like this one here,thanks==). Yet im in dilemma right now. I know, from my other studies, that

  20. Rob says

    Loved the study series that has been set up. Taught me about not giving in every time and being firm in my convictions toward temptation! The study was cool!

  21. RUSTY EBORA says

    I was so enlightened with it. God love endures forever and I was so thankful for His works. Thanks be to God for He brought me on this site. Lets continue to seek Him and serving Him until forever. God bless my dear brothers and sisters in Christ.

  22. says

    It’s timely that i came across with your article about overcoming temptations because I am about to give lecture on this topic. It is very useful reference in teaching the new babes in Christ especially the teens or youth. As Christian parents, we better teach our kids with Biblical principles as early as possible so that they may know what to do when they face the real world. We should always make it Biblical regardless of culture and environment that we are in.

  23. Bismark says

    Thank u very much for u help my christainity life. I pray God will continue strenting u (Amen). But do not relent on your effort I got alot on what you wrote

  24. says

    Thank you for this wonderful article. I have learnt a lot from it. I have acquired insights on how to overcome temptation through the help of the word of God instead of struggling by my strength alone. I pray God will fill you with wisdom …Amen

  25. Toby Jacob says

    I’m glad I entered this website. I heard the pastor preach on Sunday morning about overcoming temptations. While studying the points I wrote on my notebook, I decided to check for more info on Google. This site has revealed some things I’ve never really noticed like taking the right action when faced with a certain temptation whether to flee or resist. Thank you so much. It’s a simple truth but powerful. Thanks again

  26. DAX ALLI says

    Hi Amit, greetings in the precious name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Thank you very much for all these articles/teachings from the Bible, they have been an abundant source of blessings to me. I’ve used/incorporate some of your ideas and teachings in my sermons, they are just great. Keep up the good work, and may God continue to bless you and your ministry, Pastor Dax Alli.

  27. ISAAC WAIRANGU says

    We realy need to study ;not only should we resist but at other times it will be wise enough to RUN AWAY!

Trackbacks

  1. Resisting temptation…

    What does bible say about the temptations and how to deal with it? This bible study contains the original meaning of the word, purpose and ways of temptation, How resist the temptation? Three steps to overcome – Preparation, Perseverance and Planning….

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