Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God,’ for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. ~ James 1:13-15
Instead, temptation comes from within each of us from our own sinful nature. Even more, the Epistle of James outlines the process of temptation first noting that it comes from within our own desires. That truth indicates the gravity of the sin of covetousness and idolatry which if left uncontrolled leads one down a deeper path of sin and ultimately, bearing the full consequences for sin it can bring death. James’ use of imagery in this text creates a precise picture of sin and its dangers.
Examination & Application of the Text: A revelation of God’s character should always bring comfort to believers and that truth asserts itself here as well. It is comforting for believers who struggle so intensely with sin to know that God is not tainted by sin, and thus neither are his dealings with us tainted by sin. Specifically, God’s character is revealed by not tempting believers. In his goodness, his rejection of such an activity should draw us into a deeper relationship. Trusting this to be true, believers draw nearer to God knowing that he is working in the lives of believers so that they may grow (see James 1:2-12 that we previously studied) and that he is not working against them hoping for failure through the engagement of temptation and sin.
What role does God play in temptation? What role do humans play?
How does this understanding help in our confrontation of temptation?
Practically speaking, what will you do in order to confront temptation?