In my last post I discussed the source and succession of temptation as seen in James 1:13-15. I noted that temptation arises when our own desire drags us to the bait of sin. Before you can fight against temptation, it is essential that you have the capacity to do so. Where does such a capacity come from? It certainly cannot be sourced in ourselves (cf. James 1:14). It is exclusively found in the Lord Jesus Christ. Humanity fall under one of two representatives, the first Adam or the last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45). Consider the following similarities between these two:
Both had an amazing entry into the world (Gen. 1:26-27; Matt. 1:23), both represented their people (Rom 5:12-19), and they were both tempted by Satan (Gen. 3:1-8; Matt. 4:1-11). Now consider the contrast:
Adam, who represented all mankind in Eden experienced temptation and sinned. He disobeyed the Law of God and brought death to his race (Romans 5:12). On the other hand, the last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45) experienced temptation yet didn’t sin (Matt. 4:1-10; Heb. 4:15). He obeyed the Law of Good and brought life to His race (Rom. 5:15-19). The first Adam’s sin occurred in the beautiful Garden of Eden, whereas the last Adam’s occurred in the wilderness.
The last Adam is the Lord Jesus Christ. Unlike us, He has been tempted in every respect, yet He never sinned (Hebrews 4:15). Think about it, He could enter into the most tempting of all situations – yet His desire would not yield to the bait. Why is this? The answer is because He is, “holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens” (Hebrews 7:26).
If you are going to effectively fight temptation, you must belong to the last Adam. In-other words, you must repent of your sin and believe in Jesus Christ. You will then become a child of God who is forgiven of their sin and granted the Holy Spirit to reside within. You will now desire to be holy because your Lord is holy. You are to let the word of Christ dwell in you richly and live for Him. He must be the object of all your affection. When it comes to dealing with temptation, you must know that in and of yourself you cannot beat it. For this reason you are to commit yourself to the Lord in prayer (Heb. 4:15-16) and obedience to His word (John 14:15) and fight temptation because you love Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ is the only effective source in dealing with temptation.
Image Credit: Creative Ministries International