Title: Temptation- The Victory Part 3

Sermon Summary

This message is the third part of a sermon on victory over temptation and is the last message in the series on temptation. The basic text is the Great Commandments given by Jesus in Mark's Gospel, however, the bulk of the sermon is derived from Paul's instructions to the Philippian Church on having the same attitude and mind as that of Christ. The greatest way to overcome temptation is to follow Jesus' commands to love God with all of one's heart, soul, mind and strength and to love others as you love your self. Doing these things will lead to life change, as well as a change of purpose. This happens as we become more like Jesus!

Community Discussion Guide

1. When we become more like Jesus, the power of temptation begins to lose it's power because our very purpose for living changes. We begin living to love God and to love others. What are some of the ways we can show the love of Christ to others?

2. Another key to becoming like Jesus is being like minded. It stands to reason if we're going to think like Jesus we need to know what He thought! We do this by observing what He said and did consistently in His life. Jesus gave us a key to His though life when He responded to one of Satan's temptations in the wilderness:  Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ’” Matthew 4:4 How can knowing the Word of God help us have the mind of Christ?

3. Jesus desired for us to be one with Him as He was one with The Heavenly Father. How would being one in His Spirit help us in our goal to become more like Jesus?

John 17:20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

4. When we begin to have the mind of Christ, the love of Christ, and the Spirit of Christ, then we will naturally begin to have the same purpose! Read the following passage and discuss what Jesus' purpose was and how we should have the same purpose in life.

John 6:38-40 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”

5. Bonus question: When we start becoming more like Jesus there will be some things we won't do and some other things we will start doing. Read the following verses and see if you can point out these things. 

Philippians 2:3-13 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death —even death on a cross!

Temptation: The Victory Part 3

The lyrics to that song are the secret to living the Christian life! If Jesus is the King of your heart then your heart will have the right desires, your soul will have the right passions, your mind will have the right focus, and the use of your strength will be for the right things! If Jesus is the King of your Heart temptation will lose it's power because your new purpose in life will no longer be to serve self, but God and others! And on this Father's Day, we celebrate the Dads who set the example of this kind of living and challenge the ones who do not! I pray all of us will allow God to change our very lives and our purpose for living! Let's pray and ask God to show us how to do this.

"Father God, You are the greatest example of what a father should be. Some in this room had a great example of a father, others had a bad example, and others had no example. But we are so thankful You are a faithful Father who never abandons His children. We may walk away from Your will and plan for our lives, but You are always right there to welcome us home when we turn away from our selfish desires and begin desiring You! Please teach us today from Your precious Word the truths that will set us free from the chains of sin and give us purpose to live the life we were created for! Please allow Your Holy Spirit to speak through me. Hide me behind the cross and let people see You clearly, for it's in Jesus Name I pray and believe, amen!

We've been talking about temptation for the last four weeks. We talked about the source of temptation being our own selfish desires, Satan, and sometimes people. And of course, God never tempts us! We talked about the lies and deception of temptation. We then began looking at the best ways to have victory over temptation. For this we turned to Jesus' discussion with a teacher of the law. Jesus had been in a debate with some religious leaders considering the resurrection of the dead and here's what happened next...

Mark 12:28-31 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

In these few verses Jesus hands us the keys to overcoming temptation. Two weeks ago we talked about the first commandment and how following it causes a life change! Loving God with all our heart will change our desires! Loving God with all our soul will change our passions! Loving God with all our mind will change our focus! Loving God with all our strength will change the way we use our strength! When these things happen, temptation loses it's power and appeal because our life has changed from the inside out! Last week we began looking at what it means to keep the second great commandment to love our neighbor as our self and how this causes a change in life purpose!

If your purpose changes from only loving self to loving God and loving others, then temptation will lose its power because to give in to temptation would be to go against your very purpose for living. When a person's purpose is greater than simply pleasing self, that person will find their desires, passions, focus and use of strength directed upward and outward rather than inward! And what does this look like? It looks like Jesus! And what does Jesus look like in our lives? For this we again turn to Paul's words to the Philippian church. Let's read the first two verses of chapter 2...

Philippians 2:1-2 If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.

In these 2 verses, and the eleven that follow, we discover the keys to keeping the first and second greatest commandments! We find the keys which allow us to change life, and unlock purpose in life! That purpose will give you the power to overcome temptation! These keys will open the chest that contains the treasures of what it looks like to be like Jesus! Last week we talked about the first four. I'll just remind you of them and then we will just touch the surface of the other nine keys. I hope you will dig deeper this week on the concept of becoming more like Jesus! Okay, here's the first four, and if you missed last week, please go to our website and catch the video cast of the message for the discussion of these...

Key #1

Encouragement (Unity with Christ)

Key #2

Comfort (From His Love)

Key #3

Fellowship (With His Spirit)

Key #4

Tenderness and Compassion (From His Mercy)

Okay, those are so important to understand if we are going to become more like Jesus, which in turn will give us the power to overcome any temptation the world throws at us! We've been united with Christ, received comfort from His love, have fellowship with His Spirit, and have experienced the tenderness and compassion of Jesus. Let's look at the fifth key to becoming like Christ!

Key #5
Same Mind

Paul said if you have encouragement by being united with Christ, comfort from His love, fellowship with His Spirit, or any tenderness and compassion...

Philippians 2:2 ...then make my joy complete by being like-minded...

In other words, we are to think like Jesus! Our goal should be for our very thought life to become like Jesus!! What a difference this would make in our lives, our families, our world if we began to think like Jesus! How can we know what Jesus thought? By looking at what He said and what He did in the gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Let me give you a few examples what Jesus thought…Remember how Jesus responded to Satan during the temptation experience? He quoted from the Torah, the five books of Moses!

Matthew 4:4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ’”

Jesus put a premium on the words of God! He thought about the word of God as He went about His life. He referenced God's law over and over during His sermon on the mount! In fact He had this to say about God's Word in the law of God and through the Old Testament prophets…

Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

Robbie Robertson reminded me of something last Sunday after the message. It's a pretty cool truth. Did you know that the first four commands of the Ten Commandments have to do with loving God and the other six have to do with loving others?

LOVING GOD

Do not have any other god before God

Do not make yourself an idol

Do not take the Lord's name in vain

Remember the Sabbath Day and keep it holy


LOVING OTHERS

Honor your mother and father

Do not murder

Do not commit adultery

Do not steal

Do not testify or bear false witness against your neighbor

Do not covet

Jesus didn't come to this earth because the Laws of God were not true or good, but to do for us what the law could not do for us. The law was 100% right, but our sinful nature was unable to live up to the law. Remember this passage...

Romans 8:1-4 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.

Living according to the Spirit allows us to have the Mind of Christ! The law showed us our sin, Jesus forgave us of our sin and gave us the power to say no to sin! We have the power to overcome temptation when we think like Jesus!
Okay key 6...

Paul said if you have encouragement by being united with Christ, comfort from His love, fellowship with His Spirit, or any tenderness and compassion have the...

Key #6
Same Love

Philippians 2:2 ...then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love...

We talked last week about the comfort we have received from the love of Christ and how we should want others to know this love, but we are also to show the same love by loving others! If we think like Jesus we're going to love like Jesus! Jesus looked beyond the person's sin and what they had become in their lostness. Jesus saw what they could become if they accepted His love! Now I know there are times when we have to have what some have labeled as tough love. We don't want to enable people to do bad things and sometimes the best way to show someone your love is to say no, but it should be done in love and with continued prayers for them. And did you know when Jesus said love your neighbor as your self, he didn't say just love the good neighbors! Listen...

Luke 2:27-28 “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.

If we're going to think like Jesus and love like Jesus we've got to follow His example. And did He practice what He preached? You better believe it! When on the cross this happened...

Luke 23:34-35 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.”

Oh, by the way, this is Father's day. So let me ask you dads out there: What do your children see in the way you treat others, especially those with whom you may have differences? Remember, Jesus didn't say we have to agree with others, but we do have to love them. Your children are watching you and will probably copy you! How will you feel about the copies?

Ok, next key. Paul said if you have any encouragement by being united with Christ, comfort from His love, fellowship with His Spirit, or any tenderness and compassion then...

Key #7
Be One in Spirit

Philippians 2:2 ...then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit...

We talked about fellowshipping with The Holy Spirit last week and allowing Him to lead and guide our lives. Jesus set the example for us in what it means to be one in Spirit. The words of His prayer for His disciples, and future disciples express His heart on the matter of oneness...

John 17:15-23 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified. “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

That's so amazing. Last week we talked about being united in Christ's death, burial and resurrection. We'll read that passage again at the end of our message today before we observe the Lord's Supper. But think about what being one in Spirit with God will mean to your life! It will change everything! In fact the next key mentions what we need God to change in our lives. Paul said if you have any encouragement by being united with Christ, any comfort from His love, any fellowship with His Spirit, or any tenderness and compassion...

Philippians 2:2 ...then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.

Key #8
One in Purpose

What was Jesus' purpose in coming to this world? I believe it was two fold and follows the great commandments. In His own words...

John 6:38-40 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”

Anther time He said this...

Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.”

When you become one with Jesus in purpose you will want to love God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength and you'll want your neighbor to know your Savior!! Dads, your greatest goal in life, besides honoring God should be that your children will see the difference Jesus has made in your life and allow Him to make the same difference in their lives! When you become one with Jesus you'll begin to have the same desire, passion, and focus, on God and others that Jesus had! And what will having the same mind, same love, being one in Spirit, and purpose with Jesus look like? Paul tells in the next few verses of our passage in Philippians...

Philippians 2:3-13 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death —even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

Paul didn't say work for your salvation, but work out your salvation! There's a big difference! You allow the effects of salvation to be worked into every area of your life! And what does working out your salvation look like? It looks like Jesus! When you have the same mind as Jesus, the same love, the same Spirit, and the same purpose then you will find the additional keys to becoming more like Jesus. Here they are...

Key #9
No Selfish Ambition

Jesus gave up any form of selfish ambition because He knew the only way to save us was for Him to give His life on the cross! The temptations of Satan lost their power in light of Jesus' passion to honor His Heavenly Father and to seek and to save that which was lost. When we lose selfish ambition because the desires of our heart and the purpose of our lives has changed, temptation loses it's power!

Key 10
No Vain Conceit

Jesus was God in the flesh, but He was not conceited about that and lived a life free of the entanglements of this world! Vain conceit causes a person to never be satisfied and to live a life of vanity. However, as we become more like Jesus we begin to see what really matters in life. As you've heard me say many times...

The most important things in life are not things at all, but the relationships we have with God and with others!

Key 11
Humility

The humility of Jesus is the reason you and I have the privilege of knowing God...

Philippians 2:8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death —even death on a cross!

Jesus was God and He humbled himself to go to the cross and die for sinners like you and me! When I realize my dependence upon His mercy and grace I am humbled that He would love me with such love and it causes me to want others to know that same love! It is this kind of humility that causes us to have...

Key 12
The Attitude of Christ

A follower of Jesus should seek every day to have the attitude of Christ.

Philippians 2:6-7 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

The nature of a servant! How beautiful. We don't serve God in order to be saved, but because we have been saved. We desire to serve with the same humble attitude in which Jesus served! And never forget this: Jesus didn't have to serve! He was not a slave, conscripted to serve, but a willing servant who understood...

Key 13
Obedience

Remember the verse we read earlier?

John 6:38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.

And just before the crucifixion Jesus prayed this...

Luke 22:41-42 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”

And we know that soon after this Jesus was arrested and the unthinkable happened. The perfect lamb of God was slain for the sins of the world. His obedience was our salvation! So we desire to live in obedience not in order to be saved, but because we have been saved. And in a very mysterious and beautiful way, our obedience is possible because we are united with Christ in His death! This should encourage your heart so much that you want others to know what you know, to find what you've found, to experience what it means to be new in Jesus. This encouragement zaps the temptation to go back to the old ways! It zaps temptations appeal because you know the truth about sin and because you are now in Christ and Christ is in you. As we get ready to remember our Lord's sacrifice for us, His broken body, His blood that flowed from His wounds, I want you to reflect on the following words...

Romans 6:1-8 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin — because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.

I'm going to lead us in prayer and then we will have our time of remembrance and our invitation. There are four tables around the room. There is bread to symbolize His flesh that was torn and juice to symbolize His precious blood that was spilled. At the table, stop for a moment to remember, say a prayer, and then if you would like, you can write a note of thanks. You don't have to sign it, God knows who you are! So after I pray, if you would like to participate, please make your way to a table, and I'll be here at the front if you would like to pray with me or one of our staff.

Let's pray!
PRAY FOR FELICITY in first service!!