INTRO: The passage before us gives us some idea of how abbreviated Mark's gospel is. Both Matthew and Luke devoted significant space to the event of the temptations of Jesus. But Mark is a gospel of action ... of movement. And, of course, one of the beautiful things about having three synoptic gospels is that the three give us the whole picture! As we look at these first few verses in Mark, we see Jesus as He goes from triumph to temptation. No sooner has God declared Him to be His Son than He is sent into the wilderness to confront Satan. And life is often just like that ... we go from mountain peaks to valleys so quickly. There is much for us to learn from the temptations of our Lord.
I. WE MUST FIRST NOTE HIS "HUMANITY"
A. Jno 1:1-3,14 - "And the word was made flesh..."
1. Gal 4:4,5 - "...made of a woman..."
2. Jesus was human ... He had the same needs as you and I
3. do I understand how He could be both Deity and human? I simply confess that there is much here I do not understand ... but I believe it
B. So, Jesus, in His humanity, could be tempted just as we can
1. notice Heb 2:18 & 4:15b - and He was tempted as we are
2. the difference? He never succumbed to the temptations - no sin
3. but it is this very thing which makes Him such a beneficial high priest/advocate ... He knows the meaning, the feeling of temptation
II. THEN, THERE IS THE BOLDNESS OF SATAN
A. This is most assuredly his "history"
1. Job 1:8-10 - he boldly came into the presence of the Lord (v. 6)
2. Zech 3:1 - Satan was there to boldly oppose God's chosen servant
3. Satan: accuser, adversary ... he is bold and accuses anyone!
B. So, he is very ready even to oppose and tempt even the Son of God
1. this time, however, he will more than have met his match!
2. not only will Jesus not succumb, He will overpower Satan and His "helpers" throughout His brief earthly ministry
3. Lk 10:17,18 - repeatedly, Jesus & disciples were victorious over Satan
III. THE METHOD OF SATAN?
A. Often attacks after some spiritual "triumph" or "high"
1. Jesus has just heard the voice of His Father declaring His Sonship
2. the Holy Spirit was present, too
3. when we feel most strong, most invincible, Satan attacks
B. Often attacks when we are without spiritual companionship
1. Mk 1:13 - "...and was with the wild beasts..." - loneliness
2. without strong companions, encouragement, we may be easier targets
3. this is one of the reasons for Heb 10:23-25 - we hold fast with the help of encouragement and exhorting one another!
4. there is a sense in which all temptation is lonely - only we can decide how we will answer it ... a very individual matter
C. Often attacks with appealing options
1. Mt 4:8,9 - the offer? King of kings over material world
2. the "option" may be just close enough to our objective to be plausible
3. but there is always a "stinger" in the option - "fall down and worship me"
D. Often attacks with corruptions of the word of God
1. Mt 4:6 - even with Jesus, this was one of his methods!
2. the problem here may well be our own ignorance of scripture
3. a little corruption of the word combined with our own ignorance of the truth relative to that textual citation can be a spiritually fatal combination
IV. THE ANSWER TO TEMPTATION?
A. Know the scriptures well
1. each answer of Jesus to Satan was scripture!
2. Mt 4:4 note especially His first answer - secret of dealing with the Devil!!!
3. but Satan knows that many, many do place emphasis on "bread alone" - material successes ... and their choices are made in that direction
4. we need to remember Jno 6:63 with2 Tim 3:16,17
B. Remember Whose you are
1. Jesus had just heard, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am..."
2. remembering this sustained him in the crucible of temptation
3. 1 Jno 3:1 - Christians are the "sons of God" - this must be remembered!
4. in moments of temptation, "What would a child of God do?"
CLOSE: There is a great promise at 1 Cor 10:13. Satan will tempt us. But we must resist him "stedfast in the faith" (1 Pet 5:9). When we do, he will "flee from you" (Jas 4:7). The account of the temptations of Jesus is in scripture for encouragement to us!
Cecil A. Hutson
12 March 2006
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)