Tested but Never Tempted by God

James 1:13-18

  1. God doesn’t tempt us to sin (v.13-16).

“Temptation, then, in general, is anything, state, way, or condition that, upon any account whatsoever, has a force or efficacy to seduce, to draw the mind and heart of a man from its obedience, which God requires of him, into any sin, in any degree of it whatsoever. In particular, that is a temptation to any man which causes or occasions him to sin, or in anything to go off from his duty, either by bringing evil into his heart, or drawing out that evil that is in his heart, or any other way diverting him from communion with God and that constant, equal, universal obedience, in matter and manner, that is required of him.”—John Owen

“What must be understood is that temptation is an impulse to sin, and since God is not susceptible to any such desire for evil he cannot be seen as desiring that it be brought about in man.” —Doug Moo

“With irresistible power desire seizes mastery over the flesh…It makes no difference whether it is sexual desire, or ambition, or vanity, or desire for revenge, or love of fame and power, or greed for money….Joy in God is…extinguished in us and we seek all our joy in the creature. At this moment God is quite unreal to us; he loses all reality, and only desire for the creature is real; … Satan does not here fill us with hatred of God, but with forgetfulness of God….The lust thus aroused envelops the mind and will of man in deepest darkness. The powers of clear discrimination and of decision are taken from us. The questions present themselves: “Is what the flesh desires really sin in this case?” “Is it really not permitted to me, yes – expected of me, now, here, in my particular situation, to appease desire?” … It is here that everything within me rises up against the Word of God.”—Dietrich Bonheoffer

“This is a certain rule: If his heart grow cold, negligent, or formal in duties of the worship of God, and that either as to the matter of manner of them, who has had another frame, one temptation or other has laid hold upon him, though he perceive it not.”—John Owen

  1. God is a good God who gives good gifts to his children (v.17-18).