Think On This
Is Enticement Sin? Is Enticement Sin? Is Enticement Sin? Is Enticement Sin?

Related Scripture.

Romans 12:1
James 4:7-8
II Thessalonians 2:13
Matthew 18:3
Genesis 3:3,6,19
I Peter 5:5-11

Paul tells us that salvation comes through sanctification (II Thes.2:13). Peter teaches that in sanctification comes affliction and temptation (I Pe.5:5-11). Jesus says that we must begin as "little children" (Mat.18:3).

As we begin our new life in Christ as little children (babes), how are we to act in the face of new temptation. Resist! "How?", you ask. Draw nigh to the Father. (James 4:7-8)

The question is asked: When tempted, where is the line that distinguishes between sin and none sin?. If one does not feel drawn towards a temptation (have a desire towards), where then is the need for resistance? To him or her, there is therefore no need for an offer of resistance.

How, then, can it be temptation? Where then is the test? For we are tested (tried) in temptation. If there is no temptation, then there is no test and nothing is gained. There is no victory to be won, therefore, there is no victory. We are no worse for the experience neither are we any better. (James 1:12-14)

If two are faced with the identical wrong and the first easily, without thought (enticement), turns away and the second is enticed but after some internal conflict, whether great or small, renews his strength and then turns away, who has the victory? The first can boast of his own strength and say, "Because I was strong, I was not tempted in the least!" But the second is thankful of heart in that his strength came not from within, else he knows he would have given in; but it came from without — from a source other than himself. The first is proud, the second humble. For he knows God, not he himself, was his strength and redeemer. (I Peter 5:5-6)

Therefore, God's role in our temptation is not as the temptor but rather the deliverer from our temptation. Temptation does not come from God. It comes from within our own selves. It's source is our own individual lust (James 1:14-15; 1:13). Hence, the identical wrong confronting both mentioned above is only a temptation to the latter.

What then is God's role in our temptation? It is clear from scripture that as with the first humans and later illustrated with Job's trials, He only allows the temptor (Satan) to perpetrate the act of tempting upon us. The act is to see if there be any temptation in us and if so, to what degree and to what end. This is not to identify for Him something that He does not yet know about us, but to identify in us for our knowledge of where we stand in relationship to Him.

It then can be said that the temptation can either exist or not exist within us. If it exists, it is possible that it may only be minor or residing in a greater degree than we may have imagined. If it exists in a greater degree, the question is asked as to how great does it have to become? Or put another way: when does it move from being merely temptation without sin to becoming sin? Is it when I commit that which I am tempted to do, or, when I consent to do it? When I consent to do it! (James 1:14)

When enticement meets lust and consent is given a union of the two occurs and the conception of sin results. And when sin is birthed — is acted out, when actually commited — it delivers up death! (James 1:15)

I see two pictures here. One is from the garden and the original sin. Eve was not forced by Satan to eat of the tree of knowledge. He did not bind her and under extreme duress, she took of the fruit. Consider this. If a woman gives her body willingly, she commits fornication—an act of sin. But if forced upon her or raped (being a party to the same physical act) yet unwillingly, under duress, though the sin is committed, she herself commits no sin. She is guiltless! Eve, however, was not under duress but enticed. And because of her lust, she gave (freely) her consent. Thus, sin was conceived in her heart. Then when acted upon, it resulted in her death. (God did not say: "Ye shall not desire to eat or touch it," but, "ye shall not eat it!" - Genesis 3:6; 3:3,19)

The second picture is given to show one in relation to temptation. Picture a towering loving father whose little child is standing at his side. A dark ominous stranger approaches. The child moves closer to the father's side. The stranger extends an arm towards the child. The child reacts by taking hold, firmly with both arms, her father's leg. In the stranger's extended hand is a sweet (i.e. candy, ice cream or some object of childhood desire). Her eyes sparkle. The child is tempted. But first she lifts her head and looks up questioningly into her father's eyes. And without a word being spoken, he shakes his head no and the little girl shyly mimics the father to the stranger. The stranger, not to be deterred, now speaks. "Go ahead, it's good. You'll really like it. He won't mind." The little girl reaches up franticly for her father's arms to pull her head ever so close to his bosom for security. Enticed? Yes! Tempted? Yes! Sinned? No!

What a picture for us in how we are to act in our relationship with our Heavenly Father when drawn away.

See related topic: Dealing With Temptation



Go Back To Previous Page

Studies Index


Author: Ken Livingston
We encourage you to use these studies as you will.
All we ask is for you to e-mail us as to your actual use of them.