NTB-1-MATT-2 - Matthew: How to Overcome Temptation
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“Matthew: Lesson 2”
Introduction by narrator accompanied by a cappella singing:
THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST. Spreading the soul-saving message of Jesus. And now,
Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you Satan! For it is written ‘You
shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve,’” Matthew
Welcome you to our study of the gospel of Matthew. We're going to
be thinking about how to overcome temptation from the greatest example
ever: the temptation of our Lord. Get your Bible and turn to Matthew 4 as
we study this wonderful subject together.
As we think about temptation, and as we specifically think about the
temptation of our Lord, let's realize from the outset temptation is a reality
that all of us face every day. Every day of this life I am tempted in one way
or another and so are you. James 1:15-17 tells us that temptation naturally
comes and stems from man's own desire and lust after certain things.
The Lord was tempted, Matthew 4 and Matthew 26:40-41. As we look
at temptation, we will also realize not only is temptation reality, it's
something that we can and must overcome. James 1:12 says, “Blessed is
the man who endures temptation, for when he's been approved he will
receive the crown of life which the Lord's promised to those who love Him.”
It's not a sin necessarily to be tempted. That something we face
every day. Giving into and acting on the temptation is what Jesus warns us
about and what we're to overcome in this life.
Now friend as we think about the idea that temptation is a reality for
each one of us, let's also realize just like in Matthew 4 the devil is actively
plotting and actively trying to tempt each one of us in this life. In Luke 22:31
Jesus said “Simon, Simon Satan desires to have you that he may sift you
as wheat, but I've prayed for you.” Simon was being tempted. Peter was
being tempted by Satan. I assure you when Jesus said ‘Simon, Simon,’ you
can put your name in that spot, and I can put mine there because Satan
wants to tempt and cause each one of us to be lost. That's his very nature.
That's his modus operandi. Job 1:7 God said to Satan ‘Where have you
been?’ and Satan in essence said ‘Going to and fro, back and forth on the
earth.’ What was he doing? “Have you considered my servant Job?” He
was actively aggressively, seeking men and women to tempt. That’s how
he's described in the Bible. 1 Peter 5:8 describes him as a ‘roaring lion
seeking those whom he may devour.’
You want to think about Satan in the sense of temptation? He is that
ravenous, snarling lion trying to bring each one into his temptation. He's an
active aggressive enemy, and friend throughout history some of God's
greatest servants have been greatly tempted by the devil.
Let me use an illustration. Think about David. Did Satan ever tempt
David? Here's David up on the rooftop. He sees beautiful Bathsheba
bathing. 2 Samuel 11 and 12, he acts on that temptation, has sexual
relations with her, ultimately lies, has her husband murdered, a whole litany
of sins are caused by that, and David suffers the consequences. Who was
behind all that? The great enemy!
Think about men like Job as we mentioned that. Think about the
problems that happened to Job -destruction, of all his property, and as well
it his leprosy, his disease all of that. Who is the culprit behind that? Satan
You think about Peter. ‘Simon, Simon Satan desires to have you.’
Was Peter trying to temp? Was Satan trying to tempt Peter? You bet he
Then of course the greatest example of all, Christ. Matthew chapter 4
Satan tempted Jesus, the greatest one to ever live, and yet Jesus
overcame that temptation.
Now since we realize that temptation is a reality, it's not something I
can borrow avoid. I know it's going to happen. Rather than try to avoid it or
try to not deal with it, I need to realize I've got to learn how to overcome
Friend we learn perfectly how to do that from the temptation of Christ,
from the temptation of our Lord. There is a great picture and a great
example given of how to overcome temptation.
How did Jesus defeat the devil? The devil, Satan, threw everything
he had at Jesus. How did Jesus overcome that? What can I learn from the
temptation of Jesus that will help me to overcome it?
Number one if I'm going to overcome temptation like the Lord and
Savior Jesus Christ, I need to spend time and spend my life preparing for
Look to Matthew 4:1-12. The Bible says, “Then Jesus was lead up by
the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. When He had
fasted 40 days and 40 nights afterward He was hungry.” Jesus knew this
was coming, but knowing that He spent time in preparation. His life was
leading up to this preparation, and in view of it He fasted 40 days and 40
What did Jesus do to prepare for temptation? More importantly, what
can I do to prepare for temptation? Jesus made His aim in His life to be
about the Father's business. Luke 2:49 Jesus has left the caravan with His
family. There He's gone. He's disappeared in essence as it were. His
parents are looking for them frantically. At the age of 12 they find Him in the
temple listening to the scribes and answering questions. The Bible says
when they quizzed Jesus and said, ‘Where have you been? In essence,
‘your mother and I are worried sick about you.’ Jesus said this in Luke 2:49,
“Did you not know I must be about my Father's business?”
Jesus was prepared for temptation, because He spent time being
prepared for and focusing on the Father's business. Friend if I'll stay active,
if I'll stay busy, if I'll stay focused on what I need to focus on, there's not
going to be a lot of time left for temptation. Proverbs 16:3 the proverb writer
said that as we you know as ‘As we keep our heart on things that they need
to be on there's not going to be a whole lot of time left for temptation.’
When I'm busy, when I'm working, when I'm focused Satan doesn't have
time to get in my life like he ought to. When I'm idle, when I'm not doing
anything- that's when Satan begins to creep into and work in my life in that
Secondly as we think about Jesus being prepared for temptation,
Jesus was prepared because He never quit growing. Luke 2:52 the Bible
says “Jesus increased in wisdom and stature and favor with God and man.”
As a young person even Jesus was always going forward, never
regressing, always progressing, always going forward, and growing in the
direction God wanted Him to grow.
To make sure that I keep temptation at bay, I need to be growing as a
Christian. Don't ever stop growing, get stagnant, and grow stale- that's the
time when Satan can get in my life and yours. I want to continue as a
newborn babe. I want to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and
Savior, 1 Peter 2:2 and 2 Peter 3:18. I want to do what Jesus said in
Matthew 4:4 ‘hunger and thirst after righteousness.’
Now a third thing Jesus did in preparation for temptation and it's so
vital. If I'm going to be prepared for temptation; I've got to prepare by
knowing the word of God- which is the sword of the Spirit.
Now you think about this, Satan throws everything at Jesus. ‘If you're
the Son of God, command these stones become bread. If you're the Son of
God, cast yourself off the Temple. Fall down and worship me.’ How did
Jesus overcome those three temptations?
Here's what He said every time, “It is written. It is written. It is written.”
Jesus overcame temptation by knowing the word of God. Isn't there a
passage in the book of Psalms that directly speaks to that? Psalm
119:10-12 “Your word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against
We have these three unique things Jesus did. He focused on the
Father's business. He kept on growing as a child of God, and He knew
God's word well enough. He had it hidden His heart so that He could
First and foremost, prepare for spend your life preparing for
temptation. Then secondly, realize how Satan works. That's a big key to
How does Satan work? Well how did he work in Jesus life? Let's read
the context of Matthew 4:3-11. I want you notice, as we think about these
words, watch the ways in which Satan tries to tempt Jesus.
Matthew 4:3 the Scripture records “Now when the tempter came to
Him he said, ‘If you are the Son of God command that these stones
become bread.’ But Jesus answered and said, “It is written man shall not
live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of
God.” Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle
of the temple, and said to Him, ‘If you are the Son of God throw yourself
down. For it is written He shall give His angels charge over you and in their
hands they shall bear you up lest you dash your foot against a stone.’
Jesus said to him “It is written again you shall not tempt the Lord your
God.” Again the devil took Him up on exceedingly high mountain and
showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. He said to Him
‘All these things I'll give you if you will fall down and worship me.’ Then
Jesus said to him, “Away with you Satan. For it is written you shall worship
the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve.” ‘Then the devil left Him
and behold angels came and ministered to Him.’
How did Satan try to work in Jesus’ life? And how does He work in
mine today? Lust of flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. The same
way Satan worked in the Garden of Eden, the same way that he worked in
David's temptation, the same way he was trying to get into Peter's life- is
the same way he gets into my life and yours. He throws something out
there of a fleshly desire. Now remember Jesus has been in the wilderness.
He'd been out there fasting. He was hungry no doubt. Satan knew the
desire that Jesus had, and he played dirty. He has been out in the
wilderness fasting, He's hungry. ‘If you're the Son of God,’ he challenges
His deity and His power, ‘if prove you're the Son of God, I know you're
hungry command these stones to become bread.’ That would be a naturally
When Satan knows the weaknesses I've got, and I assure you he
knows my weaknesses and he knows yours, he's going to try to lay that out
there in front of us.
How did Jesus overcome that fleshly desire? Here's what He said. He
knew the word of God well enough. He quoted Deuteronomy 8:3. He said
to Satan, “No. Man shall not live by bread alone, rather by every word that
proceeds from the mouth of God.” What did Jesus in essence say to
overcome that desire? It's here's what He said, listen carefully now, in
overcoming the desires of the flesh Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread
alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” What's He
in essence saying? The spiritual has to come before the physical. He put
the focus and the emphasis where it needed to be- not here on the
physical. This is going to perish. This is going to die. This is one day going
a cease to exist, and it's the spiritual where Jesus places the emphasis and
When sometimes my fleshly desires are strong, I need to realize ‘hey
this old body and all that's in it is one day going be burned up with fervent
heat. Its one day going to decay. It's one day going to cease to exist.’ And
yet, the spirit it's going to live forever. If that's the case, let's put the focus
on the one that's going to last forever.
Secondly, Satan throws at Jesus of the pride of life, Matthew 4:5-7.
You know Satan says to Jesus he you know, he takes Him up on the
pinnacle of the temple ‘All these things I'll give you if you fall down and
worship me.’ Then of course we have the temptation as well ‘If you're the
Son of God, cast yourself down from the temple. God has said He'll take
care of you. He won't allow you to dash your foot against a stone. In
essence, prove you're the Son of God by proving God of course.’ In both of
those, Jesus quotes from Deuteronomy 6. He shows Satan you cannot
tempt the Lord your God.
Sometimes Satan gives our pride as it were a religious façade. That
is we're doing these things because we want to be closer to God, when in
reality we're doing these things sometimes because we want to make
ourselves feel better. Sometimes Satan causes or tries to get us to
question God's care. Cast yourself down God said He's going to care for
you. ‘Hey God wouldn't let this happen in your life if He were really your
God would He? God would never let one of His children have to do
whatever, be hungry, be sick.’
The Bible's not promised and God's not promised that there won't be
temptations and difficulties along the way.
What He's promised is if I'm faithful unto death, God's going to take
care of me. Satan sometimes makes us do things that are even harmful to
Think about all the things he wants Jesus to: cast himself down from
the temple, imagine the harm that would cause. Of course you know He's
the Son of God. I understand that. Why would Satan try to get Him to do
that? Does not Satan work in that same modus operandi today? Is not
Satan tempting us with things that are going to harm our body? They're
going to make us less able to do the things we need to do. When you think
about the things, whether it be immoral things, you know drinking, using
drugs, smoking, a getting involved in sexual immorality- which has a host of
health problems along with that- sometimes Satan tries to talk us into doing
things that we know are not good for ourselves and not good for our
Then of course we have that temptation the lust of the eyes. Matthew
4:8-10, takes Him up on that high mountain, shows Him all the kingdoms of
the world, ‘All these I'll give you if you fall down and worship me.’ Can you
imagine being up on the mountaintop? Maybe you've been up on a peak of
a mountain. You look out across the valley and you look out across that
beautiful scene, there you think about what would it be like to own just a
piece of that. ‘All this I'll give you if you'll fall down and worship me.’
Did Satan have that power? Of course not! Did Jesus already own it?
Absolutely! He's the creator! Creator the world! It's His! But you can see
how Satan thinks he's going to, he’s going to, attempt or make us think he
can give us something that he really can't give us. I'll give you this. If you
follow me, you can be popular. You can be wealthy. Everybody's going to
like you. You can have all this fun if you just follow me. When you buy into
it, and it is not near what it's claimed to be.
He is the greatest trickster, the greatest con artist. You think of
people, great con artists, know that they'll sell you this bill of goods. You
know if you'll buy this stock in this company, one day you're going to be
rich. Give a little, you hear about these sometimes and they're especially
bad at sometimes doing this with the elderly folks. Maybe hear on the news
somebody'd call them up and say ‘Just give me your social security
number. We'll sell you this plan and take care of you the rest of your life.
You give your bank account number.’ You give them your social security
number and guess what? The bank's drained the next day. Sold you
something, promised you something, and yet great con artist takes away
everything that's near and dear to you. That's the way Satan works. Makes
us think it's appealing, makes it look good, but in the end it's not worth it.
What did Jesus say to Satan? “You shall worship the Lord your God
and Him only shall you serve.”
First and foremost, let's spend time preparing as Jesus did to
Secondly let's realize how Satan works. He is the trickster. He is a
deceiver. He's the great con artist, the Bible con artist. The Bible describes
him in John chapter 8 as a liar and a murderer from the beginning. Don't
believe him, and don't buy into it. I promise you it's not going to be what
Satan's made it out to be.
Thirdly to overcome temptation, let's realize the rewards of
overcoming temptation. Let's realize how good it's going to be if I don't give
in to Satan's temptation. Notice Matthew 4:11 again. The Scripture records
for us “Then the devil left Him and behold angels came and ministered to
Now Luke 4:13 gives a postscript to that. For in that account the Bible
says ‘the devil left until a more opportune time.’
He didn't leave forever. He didn't give up forever. He did go away, but
he looked for other opportunities.
Now what are some of the rewards of overcoming temptation? Friend
if I will stay faithful, if I'll remain true, if I'll not give into temptation that
temptation has the ability, in me overcoming it, has the ability to make me
stronger in the faith. Listen to James 1:2-3. “My brethren,” James says,
“Count it all joy.” What? “Count it all joy when you fall into various trials
knowing the testing of your faith produces patience. Let patience have its
perfect work that you may be perfect and complete lacking in nothing.” The
difficulties that I go through, the trials that I face, they make me smarter.
They make me wiser. They key me in to the schemes of Satan, and they
help me in the future to see it coming and to not give in to those things.
There is a benefit to overcoming temptation right there.
Secondly, and this is definitely what you see in the context, the devil
will ultimately give up. Friend listen carefully, if I'll stay faithful- you know I
may be in the midst of great temptation that temptation maybe is working
on me greatly- but if I will stay faithful, if I will not give in it, if I turn to the
Lord for help, if I look to His word for guidance, the good news is Satan will
eventually give up. He may go on to something else. I can get better at
overcoming that temptation. I can grow stronger, and Satan's not going to
use that same avenue to work on me again. Matthew 4:11, “Satan
departed.” Luke 4:13 ‘He looked for another opportune time.’ But he did
eventually flee from the Lord, and he gave up at least momentarily with
Thirdly, and this is the big one, ultimately the greatest reward of all of
overcoming temptation is heaven.
If I remain true to God, if I remain faithful to His cause, in the end
heaven will be my home. Listen to Paul's words in 2 Timothy 4:7-8. Paul
said, “I fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I've kept the faith
henceforth or in the future there is laid up for me the crown of
righteousness, but not for me only but all those who loved His appearing.”
The good news is as I stay faithful to the Lord, as I strive to overcome
temptation, as I as I fight the good fight, as I run the race every day, there's
a reward to be given. Don't give up.
Here's the encouragement: maybe you're in the midst of temptation,
maybe you're struggling with some, you know great lust of the flesh, lust of
the eyes, the pride of life- if you will master that, if you will overcome it, if
you won't give up- there is a great reward one day. You may not get
everything you want in this life. You may fight that temptation every day.
Friend I'll assure you if you win the battle, you will ultimately receive
the crown of life. Jesus's promised us, John 14:1 the Lord said, “I go to
prepare a place for you. If I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again
and receive you to myself that where I am there you may be also.”
There's a beautiful place called heaven that Christians are promised
after this life. Matthew 25:46 Jesus said, “The righteous will go away into
everlasting life.” Revelation 21:4 the Bible says “Heaven is a place where
there'll be no more sorrow, death, pain, crying, all the former things have
passed away.” And Paul said it this way in Romans 8:18 “I consider the
sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory
which shall be revealed in us.”
Heaven's going to be worth it all.
Our encouragement today is this, if you're not a child of God friend to
overcome sin and Satan and temptation first and foremost, you've got to
obey the gospel and become a follower of Christ.
Do you believe Jesus is the Son of God and the Savior of the world?
Jesus said, “Unless you believe that I'm He you'll die in your sins,”
If you do believe in Christ, are you willing to act on that belief and
change your life? Jesus said in Luke 13:3 “Unless you repent you will all
Having repented, would you make that great confession? “With the
heart one believes unto righteousness with the mouth confession is made
unto salvation,” Romans 10:10.
Would you to have your sins washed away and be immersed in water
for the forgiveness of sins? Peter said in Acts 2:38, “Repent and be
baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of
Then having come up out of the waters of baptism, would you walk in
newness of life every day and be faithful unto death, so that you can have
the crown of eternal life?
We hope you'll do that and that you will strive every day to not given
to temptation and overcome Satan.
Study Questions for: “Matthew: Lesson 2”
1. What does Jesus tell Satan in Matthew 4:10?
2. What does James 1:15-17 say about temptation?
3. According to James 1:12, why are we blessed when we are tempted?
4. What does Jesus tell Simon about Satan in Luke 22:31?
5. How does 1 Peter 5:8 describe Satan?
6. In Luke 2:49, what does Jesus say He must be about?
7. According to Mathew 4:1-12, what did Jesus do to prepare for Satan’s
8. According to Psalm 119:10-12, what will help us not sin?
9. What did Jesus continually say in Matthew 4 to defeat Satan?
10. What does James 1:23 say about enduring and overcoming