Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. – James 1.13-15
I wish I could blame my temptations on someone else. I don’t understand how someone could blame God for their temptations. I know people do, but it never has made sense to me. So the first part of the verse is simple enough to me – I can’t blame God because He is not tempted by evil and He doesn’t tempt anyone to sin.
The last half of the verse takes it a step further because it makes it clear that when I am tempted it is because I am giving way to my own desires, or lusts as the King James put it. When I sin it is because I don’t deal with temptation when it first arises.
I once heard a message on these verses called the ‘LSD’ of the Bible. That was back when LSD was a common recreational drug. It makes sense and it has stuck in my mind.
Lust gives birth to sin
Sin’s ultimate result is…
Now, just because I know it and the message has sunk in doesn’t mean I have always done it. I do, tragically, sometimes act on my various lusts and desires. When I do that is my choice and my fault.
Why do I do that? I know the foolishness of of sin. I know it never really satisfies the desires that lead to it. I know that sin leads to death – and even more tragically it lead to not my death, but Jesus’ death on the cross. I don’t have to die for my choice, but Jesus did. When I allow my lusts to lead me to sin I ignore the fact that Jesus died for that sin. My pursuit of pleasure is more important to me Christ’s sacrifice.
We are entering a new year. I don’t like resolutions. But by God’s grace when we are at that point where our lusts may or may not give birth to sin may we be reminded of the terrible price that Jesus paid for our sinful choices.