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Pastor Brant Seacrist

SEPTEMBER 15, 2019


TEXT:  MATTHEW 4:  1-11

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SUBJ: The reason of the temptation and its importance to us in facing the wiles of the Devil and other aspects of the believing life where dependence on God is essential.

AIM: That we should be strengthened and encouraged in the power and example of our Lord.

INTR: Often those things which seem a matter of mere history to us take on importance beyond measure with regard to the fact of Christ engaged for us in coming into the world.
1. This event was an essential event in the ministry of Christ and leads us to ponder and pursue the question, “what was Jesus doing in the wilderness?”
2. It marks the beginning of His public ministry and certainly seems to have been an essential in that He was led of the Spirit to do so (Mark says that He was driven by the Spirit). It was in preparation for what He would face.
3. It is essential in that He was representing His people and assuring that the evil one would not be able to overcome them though his efforts would be great: For still our ancient foe/Doth seek to work us woe/His craft and pow’r are great/And armed with cruel hate/ On earth is not his equal.

THESIS: It is essential that we see that Christ was in the wilderness on our behalf and that He stood as a man before all that Satan could throw at Him and prevailed in order that those for whom He came would prevail also.

I. If thou be the Son of God (vv. 3, 6)
1. Consider that at the time this question was asked Him that He was at a low point in physical and spiritual suffering.
1) Son of God born in a stable
2) Fleeing from Herod
3) Raised in poverty
4) Introduced by the likes of John
5) Declared to be so at Jordan
6) Now at the point of starvation.
2. As the Son of God great power must be at your disposal – cast yourself down!
3. We need great power to resist: Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 1 Peter 5:8 AND Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. 2 Timothy 4:17

II. The temptations (vv. 3, 6, 9)
1. The first temptation (v. 3) was to abandon His dependence on the Father to care for Him and more importantly to do so under Satan’s guidance
1) We are quickly reminded of another scene in which one is bidden to eat – the Garden of Eden
2) Often the thought of Satan is to present a justification for abandoning faith
3) The power was there, but because we are not to abandon faith under any circumstances, neither did He – Rather “It is written” -- Deuteronomy 8:3.
2. The second temptation was to presume on the power of God – to create danger?
1) Consider scripture in the mouth of Satan
2) The promise from Psalm 91 was addressed to the tender care of our Lord for His own
3) But, it is written, (Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God – Deuteronomy 6:16)
4) The place where he took Him overlooked the Valley of Hinnom and the ravine of the Brook Kedron.
i. An extremely high tower built by Herod
ii. The brook which carried away the waste from the Temple and perhaps other places
5) Consider another time in which He stood over a great abyss (at Calvary) and did not hesitate to cast Himself down into the muck and mire of the sins of His people and there to be abandoned and His foot more than dashed against a stone. – Psalms 69:1-3 Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul. 2 I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing: I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me. 3 I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God.
3. The third temptation finds no claim in scripture but simply asserts Satan as the rival of God and claims the domain for himself.
1) Christ calls him the prince of this world (John 12:31, et al)
2) Paul calls him the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4)
3) Has power over death (Hebrews 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;)
4) In fact, they were not his kingdoms to give
5) For all this it is only perceived because men submit themselves to his rule and they in fact worship in this manner. The temptation is to blatant idolatry.
6) The winner declares the confrontation over – Get thee hence -- God alone to be worshiped and served.

III. The departure of Satan
1. The man Christ Jesus prevails
2. He is ministered to on God’s terms and as a result of faith not presumption
3. We may know that the great enemy is felled by one little word – Jesus Christ is Lord and has prevailed over death, hell and the grave!