Thursday, October 13, 2011

What does the word "Temptation" mean?


1 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV) No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

1 Corinthians 10:13 (TM) No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he'll never let you be pushed past your limit; he'll always be there to help you come through it.


In a culture filled with moral depravity and sin-inducing pressures, Paul encouraged the Corinthians about temptation. He said that (1) temptations happen to everyone, so don't feel you've been singled out; (2) others have resisted temptation, and so can you; (3) any temptation can be resisted because God will show you a way out.

God will aid you in resisting temptation by helping you (1) recognize those people and situations that give you trouble, (2) run from anything you know is wrong, (3) choose to do only what is right, (4) pray for God's help, and (5) seek friends who love God and can offer help when you are tempted. Running from a tempting situation is your first step on the way to victory (2 Timothy 2:22).


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.

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)


"Lord thank You for teaching me to pray, 'lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from evil.' As we begin this study of temptation, help my heart to be aware of the snares daily sets in my path. I need to walk in the Spirit so I will not fulfill the lust of the flesh. I need the boundaries of Your Word so I will not look at things that affects my relationship with You negatively. And above all else I need to guard my heart, because that is where the pride of life will try to show itself. Today I am aware of Your Spirit as I live by Your nudge! In Jesus' name, amen!"