Jesus was tempted in every way that we are, yet He did not sin. He shows us the way to overcome the temptations that come into our lives, including the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. Adam and Eve failed at these temptations but Jesus overcame them. And He shows us the way to overcome.
15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin.
1 John 2:16-17
16 For everything that belongs to the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s lifestyle—is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 And the world with its lust is passing away, but the one who does God’s will remains forever.
Jesus overcame temptation every single time that He was tempted. He empowers us and equips us to do the same. He even teaches us to pray to our Heavenly Father: “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Mt 6:13). By withstanding temptation Himself, Jesus gives us an example to follow.
1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil. 2 After He had fasted 40 days and 40 nights, He was hungry. 3 Then the tempter approached Him and said, “If You are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” 4 But He answered, “It is written: Man must not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” 5 Then the Devil took Him to the holy city, had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: He will give His angels orders concerning you, and they will support you with their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.” 7 Jesus told him, “It is also written: Do not test the Lord your God.” 8 Again, the Devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 And he said to Him, “I will give You all these things if You will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus told him, “Go away, Satan! For it is written: Worship the Lord your God, and serve only Him.” 11 Then the Devil left Him, and immediately angels came and began to serve Him.
The enemy tempts you at your point of weakness. Jesus did not have any moral imperfections, so Satan chose to tempt Jesus at a time of physical weakness, when Jesus had fasted for 40 days and 40 nights. Satan knows where and when you are weak. Expect him to attack you at your points of weakness.
Being tempted is not a sin. Giving into temptation is the sin. Jesus was tempted yet He did not sin. This shows us that just because we are tempted that does not mean we have sinned. Now certainly there are for each of us some places, circumstances, and perhaps even people that we should avoid if they lead us to temptation. But the point I am trying to emphasize is that in the moment that you realize you are being tempted to think, say or do something that is sinful, make a decision at that moment to overcome the temptation.
The Holy Spirit empowers you to overcome. Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted. As we said before, Jesus teaches us to pray, “Lead us not into temptation…” so we know that the Holy Spirit will not lead us into temptation. The Spirit led Jesus to the wilderness so that Jesus could show us the way to overcome. The Holy Spirit empowers every believer with the strength needed to overcome. God is faithful, and He will show you the way to overcome every single time.
1 Corinthians 10:13
13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it.
Overcome by applying God’s Word to your life. Jesus quoted Scripture to overcome Satan’s temptations. Even when Satan quoted Scripture out of context to try to trip Jesus up, Jesus responded with accurately applied Scriptures. So what does mean for you? Consistently read God’s Word, write down key verses, and commit them to memory so that when Satan tempts you, you will be ready to respond by thinking the Word of God, reading the Word of God, and even saying the Word of God out loud, empowering you to overcome the temptation.
For example: if you know that you are tempted to say curse words or mean words or to use the Lord’s name in vain, then memorize Ephesians 4:29: “No foul language is to come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need, so that it gives grace to those who hear.” Every time you are tempted to say something sinful, instead say this verse out loud. Overcome temptation every single time.
Realize that by overcoming temptation, you are walking in close fellowship with the Lord, glorifying God, and being an encouragement and blessing to others. You are experiencing abundant life in Christ. The temptation of Jesus in the Bible gives us the example, inspiration and power to overcome temptation, to be more than a conqueror through Christ.