Resisting Satan's Attacks
Jesus was sinless and never sinned, we are not.
Jesus was tempted and resisted sin; we do not.
We are tempted and sin because we have sin dwelling within us.
Sin Still Dwells in Us
Paul testified to that in his greatest doctrinal epistle, Romans 7:20. Paul affirms, that after his glorious conversion on the road to Damascus, after his personal tutelage by Christ in the wilderness, after his years of ministry as an apostle and after writing under the inspiration of God for almost 20 years, “…sin [still] dwells in me.”
“Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.” (NJKV)
Today, sin is still in all of us who are saved, and that is why we still sin. We are not sinners because we sin; we sin because we are sinners.
But just as bleak as that truth may be, the glorious truth is that salvation united us to Jesus Christ—and He defeated sin not only once and for all as our substitute on the cross, but also he triumphed in the wilderness, facing Satan.
Three Areas Satan Targets
The three temptations of Christ in the wilderness were directly targeting the three weaknesses all humans have as John expresses in 1 John 2:16:
“For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.”
From John’s classification we know from the Lord that temptations always come in three varieties of packages, in spite of varied shapes, sizes, and colors...they fall into one of three categories:
• Sensual Temptation. This is lust of the flesh for another person. The desire to have and enjoy the body of an individual, even though such pleasure is illegal and/or immoral.
• Material Temptation. This is lust of the eyes for things. The things may be as large as a house or as small as a ring, as bright and dazzling as a new sports car or as dull and dusty as a two-hundred-year-old antique dresser.
• Personal Temptation. This is lust for status called “the pride of life”. Special recognition. The status of fame, fortune, power, or authority. Having a title that makes heads turn, like “top executive” or “president” or “executive director” or even “doctor”.
When Jesus met the Devil in the wilderness His only resource was God's Word—and that is the weapon Satan fears. After the 40 days, as Christ was at His weakest state physically, Satan moves in to confront Him. In three swift tests we could call—instant food, instant fame, and instant fortune.
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