Learning from Temptation in the New Testament

(Feb. 2012)

This wa taught as a "puzzle" where only the titles were displayed and the Christians in the Bible study had to figure out what passages these referred to.

Last time we looked at the Old Testament through the eyes of what it can teach us about temptation and found at least 40 lessons (Temptation in the Old Testament). Now I know what you might be thinking; the Bible does not have enough to say about temptation and overcoming it. ;-) But lest you think the Bible just doesn't teach us very much about it, here are 40 more lessons from looking at the New Testament.
Temptation and sin are like fire. A fire never starts from just one cause, but three: fuel, air, and heat. The followed are compared to a fire:
Gossip and quarreling (Prov 26:20-21)
Adultery (Proverbs 6:27)
Greed and exploitation (James 5:3)
Sins of the tongue (James 3:5-6; Prov 16:27)
So the first person known to have the analogy of temptation and greed being like a fire was Solomon in Proverbs. A second, analogy of temptation and sin is of conception and birth in James 1:14-15 and Ps 7:14.

Three Categories of Temptations

Lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. 1 Jn 2:16

God Never Wants You to Put Yourself in Danger

Ananias in Acts 9:10-16
Also the ministry of Paul

When The Going Gets Tough...

Persecution in Hebrews 10:29-36; Rev 2:10
All who want to live a godly life will be persecuted. (2 Tim 3:12)
We are as sheep to be slaughtered in Rom 8:36

Envy of the Good Fortune of Others

Grumbling of the workers in the vineyard in Mt 20:9-16
Lk 15:25-31
1 Cor 13:4
James 3:14-16
Do not be conceited, envying or gloating over others in Galatians 5:20-26; Mark 7:22; Romans 1:29b; 1 Corinthians 13:4; Titus 3:3; 1 Peter 2:1; Proverbs 3:31; 23:17; 24:1,17.
Envy is unhealthy in Proverbs 14:30; Job 5:2.

Food, Fame, and Power

The temptations of Jesus Mt 4:1-11; Lk 4:1-13

Worldly Sorrow

Judas in Mt 27:3-5;
Godly sorrow brings repentance, while worldly sorrow just brings death in 2 Cor 7:10

Don't Let the Sun Go Down - Don't Hold Grudges

Don't let the sun go down on your anger in Eph 4:26. One reason for this command might be for our benefit. Even if the person never feels remorse for what they did against us, we need to not hold a grudge for our sake.
Now if someone stole from you, hurt you, or otherwise did you wrong, and you forgive them even though they are not sorry, that does not mean you have to put yourself in that same situation again.
If your brother has something against you, lay down your gift at the altar and go reconcile with your brother in Mt 5:22
In the Lord's prayer in Mt 6:12 we ask the Father to forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. Whoever may have done you the most wrong, do you have as much to forgive them for as God has to forgive you for? If, somehow, you feel you have a right to not forgive someone for what they did, how much more does God have a right not to forgive you!

Temptations of the Tongue

Judged for every careless word you speak in Mt 12:36
Prov 4:23-24
James 3:5-6; Prov 16:27
Prov 15:2; Lk 6:45; 1 Cor 5:10-11; Eph 4:29

Do Not Be a Gossip

Pr 11:13; 16:28; 18:8; 20:19; 26:20,22; 2 Cor 12:20; 3Jn 10; Rom 1:29; 1 Tim 5:13

False Messengers of Christ

Mt 24:4-5,10-11; Mk 13:6,22-23; Lk 21:8

Love Grows Cold

Love grows cold Mt 24:12
The Ephesian church forsaking their first love in Rev 2:4

Despair of God's Help

Paul's despair unto death in 2 Cor 1:8-11
Job 2:9
But God says we will not be tempted beyond what we can bear in 1 Cor 10:13
No temptation has seized you except what is common to man also in 1 Cor 10:13.

About to Lose Hope in Jesus

John the Baptist and losing hope in Lk 7:18-23; Jn 11:2-14

Doing Evil to Keep your Promise

Herod and Salome in Mt 14:6-12

The Spirit is Willing but the Flesh is Weak

The disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane Mt 26:36-45; Lk 22:39-46

Temptation to Worry

While we can be concerned about this, we are to be anxious about nothing according to Php 4:6-7
Mt 6:28-33

Wanting to be a Christian and also hold to False Teaching

Teaching of Balaam and the Nicolaitans in Rev 2:14-16.
Also the letter of Galatians was written to those who wanted to follow Christ and still follow the law. The letter to the Hebrews was written to those who wanted to believe Christ but go back to Jewish customs.
Tolerating the immoral alleged prophetess Jezebel in Rev 2:20-23

The Temptation to Go to Sleep

The Church in Sardis in Rev 3:1b-3
Wake up O Sleeper Eph 5:14. (Also Isa 60:1)
Cyprian of Carthage (c.246-258 A.D.) "Let us urgently pray and groan with continual petitions. For know, beloved brethren, that I was not long ago reproached with this also in a vision, that we were sleepy in our prayers,..." Epistles of Cyprian Letter 7 ch.5 p.286

Adultery in Your Heart

Adultery in your heart Mt 5:27-28
A covenant with your eyes in Job 31:1-2
The 144,000 kept themselves from being defiled with women in Rev 14:4

Don't Be Lukewarm

The church in Laodicea in Rev 3:15-19

Always Be Ready

The wise and foolish virgins in Mt 25:1-13

Vengeful Thoughts are Natural, But...

Stephen's last words in Acts 7:60
Lk 6:27-36

Disappointment with Jesus

Many turned back from following Jesus in Jn 6:41-61.

Helping God for Money

Simon the Magician in Acts 8:9-11,18-24
Judas Iscariot Mt 26:14-16; Mk 14:10-11,44; Lk 22:3-6,48

Fear Cripples

Peter Mk 14:29-31,66-72; Lk 22:33-34,54-62; Jn 14:38; Jn 18:15-27
For many temptations, it is important to resolutely make up your mind in advance of what you are going to do.

Giving Part and Claiming All

Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5:1-11

The Temptation of Familiarity

Jesus in His hometown in Mk 6:1-5

The Temptation of Unbelief

Scoffers in the last days 2 Pet 3:3-5
The Sadducees in Lk 20:27-28
Denying Jesus dying for our sins and physically rising from the dead means a faith is in vain. 1 Cor 15:1-6

When Circumstances Look Bad, Praise God

Paul and Silas in the Philippian jailer in Acts 16:22-32

Don't Give Offense to Other Believers

Peter in Galatians 2:11-14
Yet balance this with 4:13-16,21
"and everything hat does not come from faith is sin." Rom 14:23b (NIV)
We should make every effort ot get along with other believers, like Euodias and Syntyche in Php 4:2, and we should help make peace between others as Syzygus in Php 4:3.

The Temptation to Rebuke God

Peter rebuking Jesus in Mt 16:21-23

The Temptation of Money

You cannot love God and Mammon in Mt 6:24
1 Tim 6:10 "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." (NIV)

Speak the Word of God More Courageously and Fearlessly

Paul was happy his chains encouraged others to speak more courageously and fearlessly in Php 1:14
Jer 7; Lk 3:18-19; Jn 6:53-60; 8:54-56; Acts 4:8-13; 4:29,31; 9:27,28; 13:46; 14:3; Gal 2:14-15;

Do Not Get Drunk

Eph 5:18; Titus 1:7
(Implied) Titus 2:3

Do not overeat, of Have Your God Be Your Belly

Php 3:19a says that for some people their god is their belly.
Prov 28:7 says not to even be a companion of gluttons.

Sin Clings

Sin snares and entangles Heb 12:1b
Besetting sin in 2 Peter 2:20-22
Continue to sin in 1 Jn 3:6,9

A Shipwreck of Your Faith

Some shipwrecked their faith, such as the blasphemers Hymenaeus and Alexander in 1 Tim 1:19

Entertaining Angels Unawares

Heb 13:2 says to give hospitality to strangers. Who knows, but you might be entertaining angels without knowing it.
Hospitality was one of the marks of a sheep in the parable of the sheep and the goats in Mt 25:38,40.
Rom 12:13; 1 Tim 5:10; Tt 1:8; Heb 13:1-2; 1 Pet 4:9
3 John 8,10
(But no hospitality to heretics 2 John 10-11)

Greed Blinds

In Acts 19:23-35 how would you like to hear from someone who knew everything you would want to know about the deep teaching of Paul. Wouldn't it be even better if you could sum it all up in one sentence: well here goes: "Paul's teaching threatens the livelihood of Ephesian idol makers; great is Artemis of the Ephesians!" There, how is that?

When God Doesn't Fix It

Paul's thorn in 2 Cor 12:7
Struggle against sin in Rom 7:14-25

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