In our last lesson we began to explain the above passage in outline form that we may learn a little more about our enemy the great Tempter, the devil who is Satan and how he uses temptation to draw a person into sin, the DESIRE, the DECEPTION, the DISOBEDIENCE and finally, DEATH. Please read the text again before we begin.
We begin with the DESIRE: James 1:14, “…when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.” This begins first, in a covert manner, rather than overt. It is no sin to have temptation put in front of you unless of course, you yourself put it there. Therefore, at that time, you haven’t yet taken the bait. We all know that it is easy to take the bait. There is plenty of medium whereby we may allow our eye gate to bring corruption into our minds. Have you ever had to restrain yourself from taking the bait? The phrase “…of his own lust…” This means “a desire for what is forbidden.” By “lust” is meant that principle of the corrupt nature, which has its residence in the heart of every man; it is natural and was inherited from Adam and therefore is called “his own.” Lust is inherent in the flesh, whether lost or saved. It lies hidden in the seat of emotions waiting to be awakened by desire. The world is full of people who want to stir your desire; that’s the whole principle of all sales technique. A good salesman understands human nature. Not everything that you desire is necessarily sin, but anything has a potential for sin. The mere desire of good things, or of happiness, or food, or raiment, is no sin; “it becomes sin when indulged in to excess and when it leads us to seek that which is forbidden or beyond our means.” However, covetousness makes any desire to become sin. Excess of anything can make it a sin. 1 Timothy 6:10, “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” Rich or poor or somewhere in-between, the love or lust for money exists. Rich or poor or somewhere in-between, the love or lust for pleasure exists. Rich or poor or somewhere in-between, the love or lust for power exists. The lust for power can be awakened when a person is put in the position of authority.
Next there is the DECEPTION: James says, “…and enticed.” [meaning to excite or to set afire.] Once that lust has been excited within you, the sinful nature takes over. You will find some way to justify the thing in your own mind, regardless of what you know to be right in your heart. Enticement can overpower even the strongest conviction. May I remind you of 1 Peter 5:8 which says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” Do not ever take, even the strongest convictions or principles for granted. 1 Corinthians 10:12 “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”
“Then when lust hath conceived,…” The idea here is probably like the conception in the womb. The sperm and egg are ever so small, but once they are united, they begin to grow and develop. The embryo of lust that is produced in the mind and heart, is that of lasciviousness, sensuality, greed, covetousness, hatred, malice, strife, heresies, drunkenness, revellings and such the like (Galatians 5:20). Remember, sin does not start in with the body, but the mind. We have two more points to examine which we shall, if the Lord wills in our next lesson.