Dr. Lawrence Butler
The Bridge Church, Pembroke
It is now appropriate to seek application for the things we have learned during our studies of the temptation of Christ in His time of fasting and prayer. There are several principles I would like to address with you which I believe will assist you on your Christian journey. It is not for nothing that our Savior included this story in His training of the twelve disciples!
In each instance when a temptation or opportunity is presented to Christ the one leading this is called either the tempter or the devil. That is until he shows the kingdoms of the world and offers them to our Lord.
The only requirement was that he must be worshipped. Immediately Jesus identifies the tempter as “Satan,” a name that reverberates in heaven and throughout the universe. Jesus recognizes him and now makes sure that we know who the real tempter is, the one who tempts with evil. It is never the Father, never the Son, and never the Holy Spirit.
It is always Satan who tempts us through the lusts of our flesh. He demands the thing he has wanted since before he was kicked out of heaven – worship! He still desires to replace the Father and be worshipped. To paraphrase, “Worship me, and I will give you the kingdoms of the world.”
Don’t give him your life.
The previous attempts had been insidious, but now the devil stands as the self-proclaimed enemy of God.
He had even used the Word of God earlier, but now openly tries to take the worship due to God and reveals himself for the evil one he is. Jesus called him by name, Satan, revealing the truth about this being. He was the former worship leader in heaven (Eze. 28), and was cast out because he tried to ascend to the place of the Father (Isa. 14:13-4). It is never wrong to call evil by its evil name.
We should reveal it and rebuke it. “A transgression is not an indiscretion; a sin is not a misfortune” (Pulpit Commentary). Sin is always wrong.
The final point is that a promise from God will never protect that which is sinful. There is a limit to the protection faith will bring. That limit is the will of God. Being outside the pathway of righteousness and the path of duty to which we are called ends our right to expect God’s blessings upon us.