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Scripture Reading: Matthew 4:1-7
"If You Are the Son of God"
1. God does not always do what He is able to do. His purposes rule, and He uses His power to bring about His holy will.
2. Jesus displayed this trait of God, when over and again He could have instantly displayed Himself to be the Son of God, but did not (Matt. 4:2-10).
a. To do so on those occasions would have been selfish and against the purposes of God that brought Jesus to this world and led Him to the cross.
b. To act impulsively, selfishly, would have been sin, Heb. 4:15.
3. Lesson: We resist temptation at least two ways…
a. By choosing not to do what is in our power to do (that would be against the will of God, thus sin; 1 Jno. 3:4), or
b. By choosing to do what is in our power not to do (because not acting would be against the will of God, thus sin, Jas. 4:17).
4. Understanding the proposals the devil (and his servants) made to Jesus helps us resist temptations to sin.
I. “IF YOU ARE THE SON OF GOD…,” Matt. 4:3, 6; Lk. 4:9.
A. Satan Challenges Truth by Injecting Doubt.
1. Tempts us to think we must prove the truth instead of rely on the truth (“if you are the Son of God,” prove it!).
2. Tempts our pride.
B. Satan Challenges Trust in God’s Provisions by Enticing Us With Selfish Impulses (bread).
-Uses self-preservation to tempt us with immediate fulfillment.
C. Satan Uses God’s Promises to Entice Us to Test God, Matt. 4:6-7.
D. Satan Uses Immediate Fulfillment to Tempt Our Devotion to the Enduring Purposes of God, Matt. 4:8-10.
II. “IF YOU ARE THE CHRIST, TELL US,” Jno. 10:24; Lk. 22:67; 23:39.
A. Hard Hearts Refuse to See, Jno. 12:37-40.
1. Jesus told them who He was, yet they did not believe, Jno. 10:25.
a. Same message at His trial, Lk. 22:67.
b. Again, on the cross, Lk. 23:39.
2. How often must the word of Jesus tell us the truth before we will believe it and obey it? Matt. 13:13-15
III. “IF YOU ARE THE KING OF THE JEWS, SAVE YOURSELF” Lk. 23:37.
A. The King Came to Save Sinners, Not Himself! Jer. 23:5-6
1. Jerusalem safely inhabited – Messiah’s reign of peace, cf. Ezek. 34:24-28.
2. Exalted and secure, Zech. 14:10; Isa. 2:2-4; Zech. 2:10-13.
3. The church! We have come to and inhabit Zechariah’s prophetic Jerusalem, Heb. 12:22-23, 28.
B. Jesus Christ Has All Authority as King, Matt. 28:18.
1. We have life in His name because Jesus is the Son of God, Jno. 20:30-31; Acts 4:12.
2. Your faith in Christ overcomes the world, 1 Jno. 5:4-5.
By: Joe R. Price
Posted October 7, 2020