“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).


1) Learning From the Temptations of Jesus (Al Diestelkamp)
2) “Commits a Trespass Against the Lord” (Heath Rogers)


Learning From the Temptations of Jesus

Al Diestelkamp

Three of the four gospel accounts refer to Jesus being led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Mark’s gospel gives a very brief summary of this event, making it clear that this took place immediately after Jesus’ baptism when the voice from heaven declared, “You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Mk. 1:11-12). Mark makes no mention of Jesus’ forty-day fast or any of the specific temptations—only that He “was tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him” (vs.13). The accounts by Matthew (4:1-11) and Luke (4:1-13) reveal three of Satan’s enticements near the end of this ordeal, as well as Jesus’ responses to His adversary.

We should not think that the three specific temptations recorded constituted the totality of Satan’s attacks during those forty days, nor should we think that Jesus was free from temptations after this. Satan merely left Him “until an opportune time” (Lk. 4:13). From the book of Hebrews we learn that, as a man, He “was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15). 

Though the apostle John did not include this event in his account of the life of Jesus, many sermons have been preached noting that the three temptations in the wilderness seem to correspond well with John’s descriptions of “all that is of the world.” He identifies three worldly desires we all face: “The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” (1 Jn. 2:15-17). The thought is that every sin begins as a temptation to yield to one or more of these three human desires in a way not authorized by God.

It’s understandable, that at the end of a forty-day fast, using one’s ability to turn stones into bread would be tempting. Under other circumstances this might not have been sinful, but performing this miracle was not how Jesus was to prove that He was the Son of God. In response, Jesus quoted Moses who reminded Israel how God had humbled them by allowing them to hunger in order to teach them that “man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Deut. 8:3).

One thing we can learn from this temptation is that Satan is devious enough to use a natural human desire to tempt us to do evil. He will try to convince us that because the desire is legitimate, we have a right to satisfy it anyway we can. We learn from Jesus’ response that we should listen to the word of God instead of being directed solely by our fleshly desires. In the event of hunger, God’s word teaches us to work in order to satisfy this lust (Eph. 4:28).

Hunger is not the only natural fleshly desire that Satan will tempt us to satisfy illegitimately. Sexual desire is one of his most powerful enticements, and he has convinced much of humanity that they have “a right” to satisfy it as they please. God’s word teaches us that “Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Heb. 13:4).

Luke’s account then has Satan taking Jesus upon a high mountain to see “all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time” (4:5). Matthew described this mountain as “exceedingly high” (4:8). There Satan offers Jesus what Satan thought would be irresistible: “If You will worship before me, all will be Yours” (Lk. 4:7). It had to be a glorious sight; but, resisting the lust of the eyes, Jesus preached God’s word to Satan: “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve’” (Deut. 6:13; 10:13).

Satan isn’t likely to use the lust of our eyes to promise world domination, but he will put before our eyes whatever appeals to us if only we will bow to him. We would do well to remember that when Achan “saw a beautiful Babylonian garment, two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold,” he was led to coveting and taking what was accursed (Josh. 7:21).

Following the order of temptations given in Luke’s account, Satan’s final effort to trip Jesus up involved taking Him to a high place of the temple and challenging Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here” (4:9). Satan even resorted to quoting Scripture promising God’s protection (Psa. 91:11-12). But Jesus recognized that Satan was trying to entice Him to test whether God would acknowledge His Son by saving Him from such a fall. Jesus’ response: “It has been said, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God’” (Deut. 6:16).

We need to be aware that Satan has “his ministers” who portray themselves “as ministers of righteousness” (2 Cor. 11:15) who will even quote from the Bible in order to teach what the Scriptures do not teach. They may be in pulpits or theological seminaries, twisting not only the apostle Paul’s epistles, “in which are some things hard to understand,” but also “the rest of the Scriptures” (2 Pet 3:16).

Perhaps the most significant thing we should understand from Satan’s attempt to entice Jesus to sin is that the Son of God was not Satan’s ultimate target. Had he succeeded, Satan would have accomplished his main mission—the inescapable bondage to sin of all mankind, resulting in our “everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord” (2 Thess.1:9).

 — Via Think on  These Things, April-May-June, 2024, Volume 55, No. 2


“Commits a Trespass Against the Lord”

Heath Rogers

In a sermon two weeks ago, we studied David’s statement from Psalm 51:4 – “Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight…” I made the comment that David was aware that he had sinned against Uriah, Bathsheba, his servants, and the entire nation. However, all this vanished away as he considered the enormity of his guilt before God. A good lesson needs to be learned from the man after God’s own heart.

All our sin, regardless of who is hurt by our actions, is ultimately committed against God Himself.

Joseph responded correctly to the sexual advances of his master’s wife: “There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Gen. 39:9). Young Joseph understood the sin of adultery is ultimately a sin against God because it violates His law.

These two men believed that any sin was ultimately a sin against God. What does God say about this?

Monday night, brother McKibben led us in a study of Abraham lying to Abimelech in Genesis 20:1-14. I noticed something God told Abimelech in verse 6. “Yes, I know that you did this in the integrity of your heart. For I also withheld you from sinning against Me; therefore I did not let you touch her” (emphasis mine – HR). Long before Joseph or David lived, God had established that the sin of adultery is a sin against the Lord Himself.

Leviticus chapter 6 offers more light on this subject. In giving instructions regarding offerings and restitution, the Lord said: “If a person sins and commits a trespass against the Lord by lying to his neighbor about what was delivered to him for safekeeping, or about a pledge, or about a robbery, or if he has extorted from his neighbor, or if he has found what was lost and lies concerning it, and swears falsely – in any one of these things that a man may do in which he sins” (Lev. 6:2-3, emphasis mine – HR). All sins we commit against others are first and foremost sins against God.

Denominational writer R.C. Sproul is noted for these excellent comments regarding sin:

Sin is cosmic treason. Sin is treason against a perfectly pure Sovereign. It is an act of supreme ingratitude toward One to whom we owe everything, to the One who has given us life itself. Have you ever considered the deeper implications of the slightest sin, of the most minute peccadillo? What are we saying to our Creator when we disobey Him at the slightest point? We are saying no to the righteousness of God. We are saying, “God, Your law is not good. My judgment is better than Yours. Your authority does not apply to me. I am above and beyond Your jurisdiction. I have the right to do what I want to do, not what You command me to do.”

The slightest sin is an act of defiance against cosmic authority. It is a revolutionary act, a rebellious act where we are setting ourselves in opposition to the One to whom we owe everything. It is an insult to His holiness…(R.C. Sproul, The Holiness of God, 151-152).

— via Articles from the Knollwood church or Christ, October 2023


The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation

1) Hear the gospel — for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).
2) Believe 
in the deity of Jesus Christ, the Son of God (John 8:24; John 3:18).

3) Repent 
of sins.  For every accountable person has sinned (Romans 3:23; Romans 3:10), which causes one to be spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1) and separated from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23). Therefore, repentance of sin is necessary (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).  For whether the sin seems great or small, there will still be the same penalty for either (Matt. 12:36-37; 2 Cor. 5:10) — and even for a lie (Rev. 21:8).

4) Confess faith 
in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).

5) Be baptized 
in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21).  This is the final step that puts one into Christ (Gal. 3:26-27).  For from that baptism, one is then raised as a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17), having all sins forgiven and beginning a new life as a Christian (Rom. 6:3-4). For the one being baptized does so “through faith in the working of God” (Col. 2:12). In other words, believing that God will keep His word and forgive after one submits to these necessary steps. And now as a Christian, we then need to…

6) Continue in the faith
by living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).

Tebeau Street

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evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917

https://thomastedwards.com/go/all.htm (This is a link to the older version of the Gospel Observer website, but with bulletins going back to March 4, 1990.)