Is Temptation a Sin?


Temptation as it is used in James 1:13, “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempted he any man,” is being tempted to sin from without. God does not tempt us to do evil. God test us to make us like Christ and prove and refine our faith. We as God’s children can’t blame God, Satan, or anything or anyone else but the sin that is in us. Jesus was tempted in the wilderness to prove there was no sin in him. We sin when the evil desires within us join with the temptation and sin is conceived. Sin is an act of the will in actions or thoughts, “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust [passion], and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished [gives birth], bringeth forth death” (James 1:14-15).

Conception or sin occurs when we yield to temptation [v. 15a]. Sin is the result of a four step process- begins with the emotions- look, intellect- think, will-do.

  1. Desire– we see or hear something that draws out a desire.
  2. Deception– when we dwell on it in the mind and we rationalize having or doing it.
  3. Design– we plan to do it. We make a conscious decision to pursue the lust until it is satisfied.
  4. Disobedience– we disobey God’s law and sin is born.

At what stage is it easier to deal with temptation? The earlier in the process we “nip it in the bud,” the less likely we are to sin.

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