Satan Tempts Jesus in the Dessert.
Read Matthew 4:1-11
This time of testing showed that Jesus really was the Son of God, able to overcome the devil and his temptations. A person has not shown true obedience if he or she has never had an opportunity to disobey. We read in Deuteronomy 8:2 that God led Israel into the desert to humble and test them. God wanted to see whether or not his people would really obey him. We too will be tested. Because we know that testing will come, we should be alert and ready for it. Remember your convictions are only strong if they hold up under pressure!
The devil, also called Satan, tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden, and here he tempted Jesus in the desert. Satan is a fallen angel. He is real not symbolic, and is constantly fighting against those who follow and obey God. Satan’s temptations are real, and he is always trying to get us to live his way or our way rather than God’s way. Jesus will one day reign over all creation, but Satan tried to force his hand and get him to declare his kingship prematurely. If Jesus had given in his mission on earth-to die for our sins and give us the opportunity to have eternal life- would have been lost. When temptations seem especially strong, or when you think you can rationalize giving in, consider whether Satan may be trying to block God’s purposes for your life or for someone else’s life.
This temptation by the devil shows us that Jesus was human, and it gave Jesus the opportunity to reaffirm God’s plan for his ministry. It also gives us an example to follow when we are tempted. Jesus’ temptation was an important demonstration of his sinlessness. He would face temptation and not give in.
Jesus was tempted by the devil, but he never sinned! Although we may feel dirty after being tempted, we should remember that temptation itself is not sin. We sin when we give in and disobey God. Remembering this will help us turn away from the temptation.
Jesus wasn’t tempted inside the temple or at his baptism but in the desert where he was tired, alone, and hungry, and thus most vulnerable. The devil often tempts us when we are vulnerable-when we are under physical or emotional stress (for example, lonely, tired, weighing big decisions, or faced with uncertainty) But he also likes to tempt us through our strengths, where we are most susceptible to pride. We must guard at all times against his attacks.
The devil’s temptation focused on three crucial areas: (1) physical needs and desires, (2) possessions and power, and (3) pride. But Jesus did not give in. Hebrews 4:15 says that Jesus “Has been tempted in everyway, just as we are-yet was without sin.” he knows first hand what we are experiencing, and he is willing and able to help us in our struggles. When you are tempted, turn to Him for strength.
Jesus was hungry and weak after fasting for 40 days, but He chose not to use his divine power to satisfy his natural desire for food. Food, hunger, and eating are good, but the timing was wrong. Jesus was in the desert to fast, not to eat. And because Jesus had given up the unlimited independent use of His divine power in order to experience humanity fully, he wouldn’t use his power to change the stones to bread. We also may be tempted to satisfy a perfectly normal desire in a wrong way or at the wrong time. If we indulge in sex before marriage or if we steel to get food we are trying to satisfy God-given desires in wrong ways. Remember, many of your desires are normal and good, but God wants you to satisfy them in the right way and at the right time.
Jesus was able to resist all of the devil’s temptations because he not only knew Scripture, but he also obeyed it. Ephesians 6:17 says that God’s Word is a sword to use in spiritual combat. Knowing Bible verses is an important step in helping us resist he devil’s attacks, but we must also obey the Bible. Note that Satan had memorized Scripture, but he failed to obey it. Knowing and obeying thee Bible helps us follow God’s desires rather than the devil’s.
The temple was the religious center of the Jewish nation and the place where the people expected the Messiah to arrive (Malachi 3:1). Herod the Great had renovated the temple was the tallest building in the area, and this “highest point” was the corner wall that jutted out of the hillside, over-looking the valley below. From the spot, Jesus could see all of Jerusalem behind him and the country for miles in front of him.
God is not our magician in the sky ready to perform requests in response to Satan’s temptations. Jesus said not to put God to a test (Deuteronomy 6:16). You may want to ask God to do something to prove his existence or his love for you. jesus once taught through a parable that people who don’t believe what is written in the Bible won’t believe even if someone were to come back from the dead to warn them (Luke 16:31)!! God wants us to live by faith, not by magic. Don’t try to manipulate God by asking for signs.
The devil used Scripture to try to convince Jesus to sin! Sometimes friends or associates will present attractive and convincing reasons why you should try something you know is wrong. They may even find Bible verses that seem to support their viewpoint. Study the Bible carefully, especially the broader contexts of specific verses, so that you understand God’s principles for living and what he wants for your life. Only if you really understand what the whole Bible says will you be able to recognize errors of interpretations when people take verses out of context and twist them to say what they want them to say.
Did the devil have the power to give Jesus the kingdoms of the world? Didn’t God, the Creator of the world, have control over these kingdoms? The devil may have been lying about his implied power, or he may have based His offer on his temporary control and free reign over the earth because of humanity’s sinfulness Jesus temptation was to take the world as a political ruler might then, without carrying out his plan to save the world from sin. Satan was trying to distort Jesus perspective by making him focus on worldly power and not on God’s plans.
The devil offered the whole world to Jesus if Jesus would only bow down and worship him. Today the devil offers us the world by trying to entice us with materialism and power. We can resist temptations the same way Jesus did. If you find yourself craving something that the world offers, quote Jesus’ words to the devil: “Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.”
Angels, like these who waited on Jesus, have a significant role as God’s messengers. These spiritual beings were involved in Jesus’ life on earth by (1) announcing Jesus birth to Mary, (2) reassuring Joseph, (3) naming Jesus, (4) announcing Jesus birth to the shepherds, (5) protecting Jesus by sending his family to Egypt, (6) ministering to Jesus in Gethsemane.
For each of the three temptations: (a) What is its nature? (b) What potentially might appeal to Jesus? (c) What price would there be were he to yield? (d) How does Jesus respond?
What links these temptations with the baptism of Jesus (w/, 3, 6)?
Of these three, which temptation appears most legitimate? Which one is most shrewd? Which one is basic to them all?
What human need is at the heart of each temptation? How are these needs evident in your life? How does Satan use these to tempt you?
What is your greatest temptation right now? How can other’s help?
We have already learned two things which must be found in the life of a child of God.
Repentance (change of living)
In this unit we will see a third thing that must be in the life of a Child of God.
Read the following words taken from the Bible.
“Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord.” (Romans 14:9)
This verse teaches us that Jesus died and returned to life again not only to be our Savior but also to be our .
The word Lord means Master. A Lord is a person who has total authority over us. This means that our Lord is someone we must: obey in all things.
On one occasion Jesus said: “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” (John 14:15)
himself said: “No one can serve two masters”. We must serve and obey Christ and him alone. He must be given first place in our lives.
Now we shall see that we must obey the Lord Jesus Christ in all of our thoughts, words, and deeds.
Obeying and pleasing Jesus is not like pleasing other people. People can only see the outside of our lives, so they must judge by that. However, the Bible says about the Lord: “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” (Hebrews 4:14)
“We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (II Corinthians 10:5)
“Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2)
To be transformed means to be changed. And how are we to be changed? According to this verse, our way of thinking must change. That is what is meant when it says that our must be renewed.
“Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things (Philippians 4:8)
Satan will often tempt you by putting wrong thoughts into your mind, but with God’s help you can keep them from staying there.
Jesus Christ must not only be the Lord of our thoughts. He must also be the Lord of our words.
When a believer’s mind and thoughts are changed. that person’s way of talking will also be changed. Jesus said; “Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Matthew 12:34)
Calling Jesus Lord is more than a matter of words. Jesus talked about people who thought this way when he said: “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say” (Luke 6:46)
In other words, Jesus said that it is not enough to just say that we believe in Jesus and call him “Lord” if we do not also . The Lord expects us to be obedient to him in the things we do as well as thoughts and words.
This is the changed life. it is a transformed life. It is the Abundant Life that the Lord promises to us.
Take some time right now to ask the Lord to renew your thoughts, words, and your deeds. Give yourself to him so that He will truly be your Lord and Master.
Are you a person with the following?
A positive faith attitude
Good listening skills
Time spent in prayer
Can you define or quote the following?
Characteristics of the non believer
Scriptures for soul-winning
Can you do the following?
Share your personal testimony
Use “bridge” statements in witnessing
Listen for the need expressed
Could you answer the following?
What are the differences in evangelism from the ’60s to now?
How can I use relationships for evangelism?
Define seven steps to effective friendship evangelism.
List eight levels of spiritual development.
Can you use the following as witnessing tools?
List areas you would like to improve:
Know the Characteristics of the nonbeliever
The nonbeliever is a person who is spiritually dead and eternally separated from God; a person without hope, and unwilling to give up .
Know the importance of sharing the Gospel
Believe that people want to be saved and that Jesus is the only hope, the only One who can meet the needs of life. People have the of sin. People have a fear of life and a fear of death. People want to have a purpose, and a sense of direction. People want to know how to “get along” in life.
Know how to share your faith
Your presentation of the gospel should be clear and understandable. Using bridge statements can get you into your presentation. Examples include:
“Do you think much about spiritual things?”
“If someone were to ask you ‘What is a Christian?’ what would you say?”
“Would you mind if I showed you in the Bible what it means to become a Christian?”
Effective witnessing tools:
Romans 6:23-Clear scriptural explanation of sin’s consequences and God’s gift of .
Use the following statements as you close:
“Would you like to accept right now?”
Now that you are a Christian, how do you think a Christian ought to live?”
Know How to Close
Instruct the new believer in growing in their faith, by studying the Word, spending time in prayer, and becoming involved in a . Leave relevant Scriptures so the new believer can review. Then close in prayer.
Witnessing communication skills
Write out how you would breakdown Romans 6:23-“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”-and explaining the meaning of specific words, a person can be led to a life with Christ.
Present Single ideas
Don’t throw out a large number of ideas at one time. Encourage reaction and acceptance of an idea once you present it.
Communicate as accurately as possible. The more specific you can be, the better. use examples, analogies, and illustrations; avoid over-generalizing.
Respond to Emotions
Encourage people to share not only their thoughts but also their feelings, and try to draw feelings out. Express praise, understanding, and appreciation for the other person’s feelings. Accept the negative emotions that people may have.
Be open to giving all you have and all that you know. When you are open, people will be open with you.
Know what you want to say
Make sure that your thoughts and ideas on witnessing-the points that you want to cover-are clear in your mind. If they’re not write them out and practice them.
Use a Logical Sequence
Put your thoughts and ideas in a sequence that makes sense to your listeners. It maybe chronological; it may be topical; or it may be from more important to less important.
Involve your listener
To reach the minds of your listeners, you need to draw them-out. Ask questions. Listen to them as they speak.
When someone says something that can bee interpreted several always, give your interpretation to make sure that it matches their intent.
Take the total environment into account whenever you communicate
Be aware of lighting, room arrangement, physical setting, time of day, and the circumstances under which people come to the meeting.
Be aware of intent as well as content
Your tone of voice, body posture, facial expressions and openness to the input of others can all communicate the importance of your content and the respect you have for your listener.
Feedback tells you that your message has been received. Check to make sure you’re actually getting your content across. Ask questions. Encourage feedback and input during the conversation.
Effective Evangelism: Then and Now
|Social Setting||Confrontational; post WWII If you were to die tomorrow||High/Tech/High Touch Now there is a stress on love, and getting four hugs a day|
|Social Complexity||Somewhat Complex Drug abuse, abortion||Highly Complex No easy answers outside of Jesus|
|Personal Relationships||Confrontational Riots, saying abusive things campus demonstrations||Relational, TV shows “Touch by an Angel” positive relations, love.|
|Orientation||Verbal “Tell the gospel convincingly.”||Visual-A TV generation “Demonstrate the Gospel” You can tell a Christian by his love.|
|Focal Point||Decision/Event This was the climax but we found we need the fruit.||Disciple/Process The decision is still vital, but the road leading to maturity is needed.|
|Primary Question||“How can I get this person to make a decision for Jesus Christ as Savior.||While this is still primary, now we ask, “In light of this person’s pain and hurt, how is Jesus Christ good news to him or her? Identify the person’s need-and how can Christ be their Lord|
Relationships in evangelism
Relationship evangelism takes place among our extended family members; that is, family, friends, and co workers. The following demonstrate the advantages of such an approach.
The network includes friends, neighbors, and coworkers to whom a person can more easily witness. Provide a for sharing the good news of God’s redemptive love.
People tend to have deeper levels of conversation with those whom a person can more easily witness. Are more likely to involve people.
On an airplane, for example, there is not sufficient time to get to know someone and when you leave, there is no way to follow-up or offer support. Allow forandof God’s love.
“Oikos” is Greek for household. Be available to answer questions and follow up. Providewhen the “Oikos” member comes to Christ.
Assimilation is possible because you are able to direct the new convert to a church program. Result in the effectiveof new converts into the Church.
God moves through webs of relationships. Many times, when one member of a family has been won to Christ, entire families are won. Try to win entire .
Seven steps of Friendship Evangelism
1. Identify your extended family. This includes people with whom you have regular contact, whether through kinship (through birth or marriage), friendship, or association, such as coworkers or schoolmates. Identify your.
a. Write down the names of members of your extended family who are unchurched or unsaved.
b. Make a star by the ones with whom you have the most contact.
2. Develop a personal profile of each extended family member. It is vital to show a healthy interest in each friend or family member, for the more you understand his concerns and interests, the more redemptive your relationship can be. To fight a war requires strategy and as believers, its important for us to have a strategy for winning people to the Lord. This profile is a beginning point. Develop aof each extended family members.
3. Focus your efforts. Narrow the list to those individuals with whom you have a natural, warm relationship, people you enjoy, and with whom you have a variety of common interests. your efforts.
4. Develop a disciple-making plan. Remember that Christ’s approach to people was highly individual. He met people at their point of need and we should do the same. In this plan, consider the following guidelines:
a. Care. You are an expression of God’s love and care. Moreover, your caring and friendship with others must be unconditional, and not simply the bait of a religious trap.
b. Take time to strengthen relationships. As you spend time together your personal sense of values and purpose will naturally emerge. Your greatest resource in developing a meaningful and caring friendship is to simply be yourself, natural and unmasked, with a healthy attitude of, “I’m not perfect, just forgiven.” Remember that love is a four-letter word, spelled T-I-M-E.
c. Use other members of the body. Use the unique resources of your church and other believers. Introduce your extended family members to others in your church; use present church programs, classes, and activities, including church-sponsored social events. Invite other believers, who have interests similar to your extended family members, to spend time with you. Provide him or her with as many different exposures to the gospel as possible.
d. Share your faith during receptive moments. Be sensitive to the spiritual needs and openness of those in your extended family, and to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Verbalize your belief in Jesus Christ, and point to specific scriptures when appropriate. When you give your testimony, use words a non-Christian can understand. Realize that evangelism is not complete until a person is discipled and involved in a local church.
e. Be patient. Exercising patience and consistency is crucially important in friendship evangelism, for each person is at a different stage of spiritual growth.
5. Put your disciple-making plan into action. Be sensitive and aware of the events in your extended family member’s life, for there is a right and wrong time to share, just as there is a right and wrong way to communicate Christ’s love. Some suggestions:
a. Listen attentively. Concentrate on what the person is saying, rather than letting your thoughts roam. Put yourself in the other person’s place, to see situations from his perspective. Be empathetic, comprehending, and non-judgmental.
b. Relate to needs. Points of need in your own life, or the lives of your extended family members, provide a natural point for demonstrating your Christian faith, relating your experiences, and discussing the solutions Christ has provided you.
c. Identify receptive periods. God’s love and caring is especially appropriate during significant life changes, such as marriage, childbirth, a new job or retirement, or during incidents of stress and periods of transition. It’s important to stay in touch with your extended family members and respond immediately in time of need.
d. Use appropriate times. When you communicate God’s love and the Christian faith can be as important as what you communicate.
e. Use understandable language. Sharing the realities and benefits of Christ in everyday language lends a credibility and relevance to Christian faith that is important to an unbeliever.
6. Pray regularly and specifically for each extended family member. Prayer is at the heart of friendship evangelism. Pray for each person in your extended family on a daily basis, by name, mentioning specific needs and situations.
7. Accept your accountability to others and to God. A final step in effective friendship evangelism is to meet regularly with other Christians who are involved in this process. Playing together and sharing goals and experiences in regular meetings provides an important source of support, fellowship, and accountability. Commitment to regular prayer partners is a vital link in a chain of relationships that bring many into the master’s Kingdom. We are accountable to God to win other people to Jesus Christ, and we should also be accountable to one another. Accept your to God and to others.
Home Phone: Work Phone:
Place of Employment
Exposure to Christian Faith and Life:
Hobbies and interests:
Family Life and Expressed Degree of Satisfaction
Current Events in Life
Knowledge of Bible; Degree of openness to discussing Spiritual Matters: Reason(s) Not currently a believer
Eight Levels of Spiritual Development
Every lost person needs to hear the Word of God through the witness of a believer. Each one is unique being with a distinct personality. Each person is at a different level of spiritual development.
Some approaches in witnessing are message-centered. Their aim is to present the message of the gospel. If the unbeliever is under conviction and ready to receive Christ, this is an excellent approach. But if not, another approach should be taken.
A person-centered approach might be better. A witness for Christ needs to be perceptive to the level of spiritual development of that last person.
A witness for Christ should learn to introduce Christ at the point of a person’s need, regardless of that person’s level of spiritual development.
There are two classes of people in the world-believers and non-believers (see John 3:18).
Needs to be stirred. The Word of God stirs through the conviction of the Holy Spirit. The boat must be rocked for change to come. (Hebrews 4:12)
Needs to be loved, It is hard to love a bitter person. Only through Christ, exercising God’s love, can one love the unlovely. He/she needs someone to love him enough to listen, to help him enough to listen, to help him work through hostility, and to express Christ’s concern for him. (Matthew 5:43-44, Mark 2:17).
Needs to be taught. Sow the seed of the Word. Instruct (Ephesians 2:1-5; Romans 10:17)
Needs to be cultivated. Continue to sow the seed of the Word, The Holy Spirit does the cultivating. (John 6:44)
Needs to be guided to Christ. Explain that Jesus loves him and died for him, though this person has sinned. (Acts 8:31; Romans 5:8).
Needs to be led to the Cross. Encourage the person to confess with his mouth what he believes.
Needs to be encouraged and taught. (Ephesians 4:12-15)
Needs to be confronted, loved, and restored (Jeremiah 2:19; Galatians 6:1-2).
Discuss people you know who are at any of these levels. (Spend Five Minutes).
How would you approach these people now?
We are going to simulate a small group session.
Opening: Introduce Yourself:
Prayer: Begin with a “burden bearers prayer,” in which a request is given, them immediately prayed for by another member in the group.
Briefly tell when and how you became a Christian.
Here are a series of questions concerning believers. Before answering read the appropriate scripture.
How does one become a believer? (John 11;25-26; Acts 16:30-31)
What are the marks of a believer? (Matthew 16:24; John 8:31-32; 13:12-15).
What does a disciple do? (Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 5:18-20; John 15:8, 1 Peter 3:15).
What are the two characteristics of a disciple (John 8:12, 13:35)
What is a modern-day disciple?
Close with conversational prayer.
Eyes for my community
“Community” can be defined in one of two ways: (1) those in your geographical area; and (2) those with whom you work or best relate. Before starting this, decide which definition you desire.
Describe: Take a few moments and briefly describe your community
Include such items as general location:
Approximate number of people:
Approximate ages of people:
Approximate percentage of churched and unchurched:
Any distinctive characteristics:
From what you know at this point, if you were to ask the members of your community what they considered their community’s three greatest needs, what would they say? Be as specific as possible.
See Through God’s Eyes
If God freely did anything in your community that He wanted to do in the next year, what changes do you think you would see by the end of the year? In short, what do you think God’s vision is for your community.
Considering what you know about your community, and what you sense God wants to do, what two specific things could you do to help bring this vision about.
What two specific things could your group do?
BIO:John Richard Rice
John R. Rice was born in Cooke County, Texas, on December 11,
1895, the son of William H. and Sallie Elizabeth LaPrade
Rice. Educated at Decatur Baptist College and Baylor Univer-
sity, he did graduate work at the Southwestern Baptist Theo-
logical Seminary and the University of Chicago.
On September 27, 1921, he was married to Lloys
McClure Cooke. Six daughters were born of that union, all of
whom, with their husbands, labored in full-time Christian
service. Although Dr. Rice served as pastor of Baptist
churches in Dallas and Shamrock, Texas, in addition to start-
ing about a dozen others from his successful independent cru-
sades, his primary work was as an evangelist. He had been a
friend and peer of Billy and Ma Sunday, Bob Jones Sr., W.B.
Riley, Homer Rodeheaver, H.A. Ironside, Robert G. Lee, Harry
Rimmer, and other leaders of that era. He himself held huge
citywide crusades in Chicago, Cleveland, Buffalo, Seattle,
and numerous other key metropolitan centers.
Called by his biographer “the twentieth century’s
mightiest pen,” Dr. Rice authored more than 200 books and
booklets, circulating in excess of 60,000,000 copies before
his death–about a dozen of which were translated into at
least 35 foreign languages. His sermon booklet, What Must I
Do to Be Saved?, had been distributed in over 32,000,000 cop-
ies in English alone–8,500,000 in Japanese, and nearly
2,000,000 in Spanish.
In 1934 he launched The Sword of the Lord, which, by
the time of his death, had become the largest independent re-
ligious weekly in the world, with subscribers in every state
of the union, and more than 100 foreign countries. Thousands
of preachers read it regularly, and it undoubtedly had the
greatest impact on the fundamentalist movement of any publi-
cation in the 20th century.
In 1959 Dr. Rice started the Voice of Revival, a 30-
minute radio broadcast heard on 69 stations in 29 states,
Puerto Rico, and the Philippine Islands. He died in
Murfreesboro, Tennessee, on December 29, 1980.