Desire Gives Birth to Sin

photo of tombstones on grass field

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Reading the Word

James 1:12–15 (ESV)

12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

Understanding and Applying the Word

Desire gives birth to sin and when sin is fully grown, it brings forth death. Sin is a serious problem. In fact, it is our greatest problem. It is why Jesus came into this world and died on a cross. He came to give us freedom from our sin and its end result, death.

So, if sin is such a huge problem, why do we treat it as such a small thing? We even put a positive spin on it when we mention that our dessert was “sinfully delicious”. The truth is we like to sin. We desire to sin, which is why James tells us our desires lure and entice us to sin. We must be aware and resist these constant temptations. We must ground ourselves in the word of God and ask him through prayer to help us to desire the things he desires. And mostly, we must repent of our sin and place our trust in the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ to save us from ourselves. It is through his death and resurrection that death is defeated and that we receive eternal life.

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The Temptation of Jesus

matthew 42–3 [widescreen]

Reading the Word

Matthew 4:1–11 (ESV)

1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4 But he answered, “It is written,

“ ‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ”

5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him 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 command his angels concerning you,’


“ ‘On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.’ ”

7 Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ” 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,

“ ‘You shall worship the Lord your God
and him only shall you serve.’ ”

11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.

Parallel Texts: Mark 1:12-13; Luke 4:1-13

Understanding and Applying the Word

After Jesus was baptized and anointed by the Holy Spirit, we read that he was lead into the wilderness (i.e. desert) where he was tempted by the devil. He was in the wilderness for forty days and was fasting during his time there. It was after forty days, when he was hungry, that Satan came to him to tempt him.

Jesus’ temptation reminds us of another temptation in the Bible, that of Adam and Eve, the first man and woman. In Genesis 3, Satan temps the first humans in the garden of Eden and they fall into sin. Jesus, the Savior of mankind, is also tempted, but resists the devil and proves that he is worthy to be a sacrifice for the sins of humanity. Jesus, the second Adam, did what we could not. He lived a perfect, sinless life. Adam’s sin brought condemnation and death into the world. Jesus’ obedience and death brought life and hope (1 Corinthians 15:21-22). Let us praise our Savior, who was tempted in every way, but remained sinless for us (Hebrews 4:15).

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