Fighting Temptation (1) – S.Ferguson

In Christ Alone - SFergusonIn the forty-sixth chapter of his book In Christ Alone, Sinclair Ferguson treats the subject of temptation, plainly and powerfully, under the title “An Anatomy of Temptation.” The content speaks specifically to men (although women face the same evils and often in the same ways), as Ferguson deals with two parallel passages: David’s fall into sin recorded in 2 Sam.11:2ff. and the “anatomy of temptation” described in James 1:14-15.

I found his entire treatment soul-searching and faith-building, as he warns us about the power of sin within and without. Here is what he says about the third stage of temptation:

Stage 3: Temptation conquers when unguarded inclinations meet opportunity.

Sometimes when we have strong sinful desires we lack the external opportunity to satisfy them. At other times, opportunities arise when our desires have been diverted to other pursuits. But we would be naive to confuse these situations with an ability to resist temptation at its full height. Then we need to be able to wield the Spirit’s sword.

David’s escape route could not have been clearer. The directions were written on his palace walls: ‘You shall not covet… your neighbor’s wife’; ‘You shall not steal’; ‘You shall not commit adultery’; ‘You shall not bear false witness’; ‘You shall not murder’ (Ex.20:13-17). But if he saw them, he was blind to their importance. Bathsheba was so near that she obscured all heavenly wisdom from his vision.

Third antidote: When inclinations to sin encounter opportunities, remember and keep the commandments. ‘Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing causes them to stumble’ (Ps.119:165). Kindle ed.

Published in: on May 12, 2015 at 10:32 PM  Leave a Comment  
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