Friday, August 31, 2007

James 1:13

When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;
(NIV)


There are some important theological issues being covered in this verse. I am going to hit on them, but I am not going to go into detail... This is only a blog... right? :)

God does not tempt anyone to do something evil. This is the first theological point. James' understanding of this comes from the second theological point in this verse, which is that God cannot be tempted by evil.

If you understand what evil is, then this is an obvious conclusion. Like I said, I am not going to go into detail, but allow me to take a slight excursion here: Evil is anything that is not God. God must be God, therefore God cannot be tempted by evil. If God cannot be tempted by evil, then it would follow that He also would not be tempted to draw anyone else to evil.

The important thing is to try to understand why James is bringing this up. A deep theological discussion seems out of place here. If you look at the next few verses, you can see that James is starting a discussion on sin and temptation. It is important, in our own personal battles with sin, to know two things.

One important thing to know is that God is on your side. Actually, you are on His side, but the point is that He is not against you in your battles with sin. He desires for you to succeed. He is giving you every tool that you need to have victory over sin.

The second important thing to take note of is where temptation comes from. I will get into where exactly it comes from in the next verse, but it is so important to know that it doesn't come from God. You might be thinking, "duh!" But consider how often people blame God for their temptations and their sins.

Think of the man who struggles with anger. He might not say that God is tempting him, but he says that his father was like that and his grandfather was like that and the guy before him, and so on... What he is really saying is that God made him that way.

What about the homosexual who blames genetics for his or her temptations. Sometimes they will come right out and say it. I have heard it myself, they will say, "... well then, why did God make me this way?" Ultimately they are saying that God is the one responsible for their being tempted with evil. (By the way, people are not genetically homosexual. They have been trying to say that for years, but there is no scientific evidence to back that up.)

Maybe it isn't because you were born a certain way, but because of your circumstances. You might say that you are struggling because of your job or your kids or your finances, etc. But in reality what you are saying is that it is God's fault because of the life that He gave you! You will end up sounding like Adam, who said, "Lord, it is this woman that you gave me!"

What temptations are you blaming God for?

2 comments:

  1. I agree with you views on this......God isn't tempting me but probably even more than the devil or worldliness is Me tempting Me.
    The devil just exploits whats already there
    The kingdom of Me has big eyes and loves to tell you what I have & what I can do.....as fast as I deconstruct it to make way for the kingdom of God, I'm off making bigger and I wrongly think better plans for ME.

    Thanks again for keeping me from wandering


    JONO

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  2. "The kingdom of Me has big eyes..." Yes it does.

    ReplyDelete

Please add some additional commentary to this verse. Your input is greatly appreciated.