A definition:

Temptation is when someone thinks, intends, or wants things which are contrary to the thoughts, intents and desires of God. When actions follow, sin is committed. The Bible says that “the wages of sin is death”, so temptation is a link in the chain of circumstances that leads to death.


Temptation and life

But, temptation is also a link in the chain of circumstances that can lead to life. Temptation is necessary. It is the way faith is tested. [2]

Temptation is universal

Temptation is no respecter of persons. No one escapes its influence. It is not confined by time or place, nor restricted by age, social standing, intellect, race, gender, or creed. [3]

Temptation—its origin

Temptation can arise because of our situation. The people we are with, the place we are in, and the time, may all have an influence. [4]

Temptation may arise because of our individual emotions. Not everyone exposed to the same situation will be affected in the same way. [5]

Temptation can be overcome

We have been promised that we all have the strength to resist any temptations that we experience. [6]

Temptation—its conquest

Overcoming temptation involves appreciating that danger exists, recognising the cause and taking appropriate action. Sometimes that action involves avoidance, sometimes confrontation.[7]

  • We must not place ourselves in situations where temptation will arise. [8]
  • We should seek the company of those who will influence us for good. [9]
  • We must starve our wayward emotions of food. [10]
  • We must be quick and decisive when we are confronted with temptation and positive in our reaction against it. [11]
  • We must be awake to and aware of the insidious nature of temptation. [12]

Inadequate on our own to conquer every temptation, we must seek God’s help in prayer and through His Word. We have a pattern of perfection. We need to emulate and adopt that model. [13]

Sin breeds sin. Overcoming one temptation strengthens us to overcome the next. [14]

Bible references

1 Jas. 1:14 ,15
2 Jas. 1:2,3,12
3 Gen. 3:6; 2 Sam. 11:2-5; Mt. 4:1-11; Rom. 3:10 ,12; 1 Cor. 10:13; Heb. 4:15
4 Gen. 3; Josh. 7; Mt. 19:3; 26:14-16; Lk. 20:21 -26
5 1 Cor. 8:7-13
6 1 Cor. 10:13
7 Prov. 4:14,15; Mt. 5:29,30; Mk. 8:33; Jas. 4:7,8
8 Ps. 1:1; Lk. 4:30.
9 Prov. 9:6; 13:20 ; 22:24
10 Rom. 13:14 ; Eph. 4:22
11 Prov. 1:10 -15; Mt. 16:23 ; Heb. 12:1,2
12 Mt. 26:41; Lk. 12:15 ; 1 Cor. 10:12; 1 Pet. 5:8
13 Mt. 6:13; 26:41; Heb. 12:1,2; 2 Pet. 2:9
14 Jas. 1:2-4