Author: Ron Graham

Sin and Legalism

God Is Not Our Tempter
—James 1:13

There is an idea in many people's minds, that when they are tempted to sin God is doing it to them. It is an old notion that James opposes quite bluntly:

1 God tempts nobody

This is the first and main point of our lesson: God never tempts anybody to do evil. James made it so clear that we need not elaborate on it...

“Don't let anyone say when tempted, 'I am being tempted from God', for God cannot be tempted by evil, and he himself doesn't tempt anybody” (James 1:13)

2 Satan is our tempter

In the following narratives, the real tempter is identified:

note In the vision of Satan being bound and released (Revelation 20:1-3,7-8), there are two periods: a thousand years in which he is bound and a short time in which he is released. These are not real periods or particular events in history. They symbolise the relative powers of Christ and Satan. The thousand years represents the encouraging fact that Satan is greatly restricted in how he can tempt us. The little season represents the corollary, a warning that Satan is not prevented entirely from tempting us. The principle represented by the vision is stated in plain language by Paul (see 1Corinthians 10:13).

3 But didn't God tempt Abraham?

The Bible says that "God tempted Abraham" (Genesis 22:1-19). However in that narrative we see that God's temptation of Abraham is in all points opposite to the manner in which Satan tempts...