Being a real follower of Christ involves dealing with the three basic temptations that all followers of Christ face. All the temptations that you and I have ever faced and will ever face as followers of Christ can be categorized into these three basic temptations. These were the temptations that our first parents, Adam and Eve, faced (Genesis 3:1-7); they are also the temptations that Jesus Christ faced when He was tempted (see Matthew 4:1-10).
The three basic temptations that we all face are, according to 1 John 2:16 are the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. As I mentioned earlier, all the temptations that we will encounter as followers of Christ fall in one of these three categories. The lust of the flesh is the temptation to feel nice at the expense of ignoring God’s principles for living; e.g. wanting to have sex outside marriage, or wanting to alleviate some pain in your life in ways that are dishonouring to God, etc. The lust of the eyes is the temptation to have whatever we want and desire even if it means disobeying the Lord. It shows itself up in greed, envy and sinful jealousy. The pride of life is the temptation to be. This is a temptation to want to be someone or something apart from God; for example pursuing career or leadership positions just to be at the top, or to be liked and praised by others, or to prove a point, etc.
So, how do we overcome these temptations? This is what our current Sunday sermon series “Be Real” is about. We overcome the lust of the flesh be pursuing a life of integrity; we overcome the lust of the eyes by practicing generosity; and we overcome the pride of life by pursuing humility.
Last Sunday Scott Gration taught on integrity – what it is and how to have it in our lives. This Sunday (19 February) Pastor Jim will be preaching on how to conquer the pride of life by pursuing humility. Then next Sunday (26 February) he will bring this series to an end by teaching about generosity. We pray that you will be able to be with us and learn with us how to be real followers of Jesus Christ.