Consider Him

Posted by on Feb 10, 2008

By Pastor Mike Withem

First Baptist Church of Ranson, WV

February 10, 2008

Sunday Morning

“Consider Him”

 

Scripture Text: Hebrews 12:3

Introduction:

 

A.   The Bible tells us in 1 Cor. 10:13, “13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man:”

1. Do you realize what that verse means?

2. It simply means that every believer, every one of us…

-experiences temptation,

-has to deal with temptation,

-struggles with temptation, if the truth were known, every day of our lives.

3. (Illus.- Let me illustrate. I would imagine that some of us here this morning were tempted to stay home and not come to church. When that alarm clock went off this morning, some of us were tempted to turn it off, roll over, and go back to sleep. Or perhaps we didn’t have trouble getting up this morning, but rather we were tempted to go somewhere else instead. As I look around the sanctuary this morning and see a number of seats empty that are normally filled, I would probably be safe to assume that some of our folks were not only tempted to miss church this morning, but actually gave in to that temptation.)

4. But the fact is, temptation “is common to man.”

5. Every believer, without exception, experiences temptation.

 

B.   Now this raises a question.

1. How do we deal with temptation?

2. How do we overcome temptation?

3. How do we avoid giving in to the temptation to do something that we know, in our hearts, is wrong?

4. There are actually several things we should do when it comes to dealing with temptation.

5. First of all, we should immerse ourselves in the Word of God.

6. The psalmist David wrote in Psa. 119:11, “11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”

7. Secondly, we should pray for God’s strength.

8. Paul wrote in Eph. 6:10-11, “10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”

9. Thirdly, we should remove ourselves from temptation whenever possible.

10.   Paul admonished the young preacher Timothy in 2 Tim. 2:22 to “22 Flee also youthful lusts:”

11.   All of these things will help us in dealing with temptation.

 

C.   However, there is at least one more thing that will help us, and that is, considering Christ.

1. In other words, when we are tempted, we should consider Christ.

2. Notice again our text, Heb. 12:3, “3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.”

3. What does it mean to “consider” Christ?

4. It means to “ponder” or to “think” about Him.

5. It means to think about the…

-life that He lived,

-example that He left for us,

-way that He overcame the temptation that He faced in His own life.

6. It is amazing how much strength and encouragement this will give us we do battle with temptation in our own lives.

 

D.   Now with this in mind, I want us to notice at least three times when we should consider Christ. First of all, we should consider Christ when we are…

 

I.       Tempted To Sin Against God.

 

A.   As I said earlier, we are all tempted.

1. And one of the things that we are tempted to do is to sin against God.

2. (Illus.- I think one of the best Bible examples of temptation to sin is found in the life of the young man, Joseph. Do you remember what happened to Joseph when he came to be the servant of an Egyptian army officer named Potiphar? The Bible says that Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce Joseph, and when Joseph refused, she literally tried to force herself on him. How do I know Joseph was tempted? I know because any red blooded male would have been tempted in that situation.)

 

B.   Now the question is, “How do we deal with that temptation? How do we overcome it? How do we avoid giving in to it?”

1. One thing we should do is to “consider” Christ.

2. We should consider the…

-life that He lived,

-example that He left for us,

-way that He dealt with temptation in his own life.

3. We should consider Christ, and in Him find the inspiration, the motivation, the stimulation that we need to give us victory over our temptation.

 

C.   Now this raises another question.

1. How did Christ deal with temptation in His own life?

2. The short answer to this question is found in Heb. 4:15, which says, “15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”

 

3. The short answer to the question is, “Jesus overcame temptation.”

4. However, the long answer to the question is found in Mat. 4:1-11, where we are given the details of how Jesus did it.

5. Turn there and let’s read it together, “1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. 2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. 3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. 4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. 5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, 6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. 7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. 8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. 10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. 11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.”

6. How did Jesus deal with temptation?

7.  He used the Word of God.

8. Three times the devil tempted Christ, and three times He responded by saying, “It is written.”

9. This is why it is so important that hide God’s Word in our hearts!

10.  It gives us ammunition that we can use to withstand Satan’s attacks!

 

D.   But someone says, “Wait a minute. I understand that Jesus overcame temptation and I understand that He used the Word of God to do it, however, I am not Jesus. I do not have the spiritual strength that He has!”

1. I understand that you are not Jesus, but you need to understand that as a believer, we have access to that same spiritual strength that Jesus used to send the devil fleeing.

2. Turn with me to Hebrews 2:17-3:1, “17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. 18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted. 1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;”

3. In other words, the writer is saying, “When you are tempted to sin, consider Christ, consider His victory over temptation, and in Him find the strength that you need to give you victory in your own life.”

4. He will give you the strength that you need!

 

E.   We should also consider Christ when we are…

 

II.      Tempted To Put Our Will Before God’s Will.

 

 

A.   Not only are we tempted to sin against God, but we are also confronted with the temptation to put our will before God’s will. (In other words, we are tempted to do what we want to do rather than what God wants us to do.)

 

B.   (Illus.- You know, I wish I could say that my will is always in perfect harmony with God’s will for my life, but, of course, I can’t. I must be honest, this morning. There are times when what I want to do is different from what I know in my heart that God wants me to do. When this happens, I am immediately confronted with a temptation. Will I do what God wants me to do, or will I do what I want to do?)

 

C.   The question is, “How do we win this struggle? How do we avoid putting our will before God’s will?”

1. Again, the answer is the same.

2. The answer is to “consider” Christ.

3. To consider the…

-life that He lived,

-example that He left for us,

-way that He handled this temptation,

and, in Him, find the strength and the encouragement that we need to overcome this same temptation in our own lives.

 

D.   How did Christ handle this temptation to put His own will before His Father’s will? (He handled it very well!)

1. We see evidence of this in several passages.

2. First of all, turn with me to John 5:30, “30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.”

3. Now look at John 6:38, “38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.”

4. Now look at John 8:29, “29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.”

5. Wouldn’t be wonderful if we could say that?

6. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could honestly say, “I do always those things that please my Heavenly Father.”?

7. The problem is, however, that far too many times we lose the battle, and give in to the temptation to put what pleases us before what pleases God.

8. Jesus didn’t have this problem, however.

9. This is why we should consider Him when we are faced with this temptation.

 

 

E.   Perhaps the greatest example of Jesus putting His Father’s will before His own will can be found in Mat. 26:39-42.

1. Turn there with me as I read, “39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. 40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. 42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.”

2. What an example Jesus gave us here!

3. This is why when we are tempted to put our will before God’s will, we should consider Christ, how He sought always to…

-do His Father’s will rather than His own will,

-please His Father rather than Himself,

-put His Father’s will first!

even when it meant going to Calvary’s cross and suffering the most horrible death known to man at that time!

4. We should consider Christ, and in Him, find the strength and the encouragement we need to overcome this same temptation in our own life.

 

F.    May I say, finally, that we should consider Christ when we are…

 

III.    Tempted To Quit.

 

A.   I dealt with this last Sunday, but I want to deal with it again this morning.

 

B.   Let me begin by reminding you of the background of the book of Hebrews.

1. The book of Hebrews was a letter written to Hebrew believers. (In other words, Jews who had trusted Christ as their Savior.)

2. Now these believers were going through some pretty difficult times.

3. You see, because they were Jews who had converted to Christianity, they were experiencing some pretty fierce persecution.

4. In fact, the persecution was so fierce that many of them were seriously considering giving up on Christianity and going back to their old religion.

5. Why? Because this would be been the easier road to travel.

 

C.   You know, we, as believers today, have something in common with these Hebrew believers.

1. Life for us can be difficult as well.

2. You don’t have to be a Jewish believer to encounter opposition and persecution in this life.

3. In fact, Paul tells us in 2 Tim. 3:12 that “12 …all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”

4. Jesus put it like this in John 16:33, “33 In the world ye shall have tribulation:”

5. And so, the Christian life can be a difficult life.

6. In fact, at times it can become so difficult that we will be tempted to just throw in the towel and quit, to just say, “Lord, it’s just too difficult, I can’t take any more!”

 

D.   How do we deal with this temptation when it comes?

1. The answer is to “consider” Christ.

2. Look back at Heb. 12:1-2, “1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

3. Notice that word “endured.”

4. It says that Christ “endured.”

5. What does that mean?

6. It means that Christ…

-didn’t quit,

-didn’t stop short,

-finished His course.

7. As I pointed out last Sunday, we should be extremely thankful that Christ didn’t quit, because had He quit, we would still be lost in our sin.

8. What I am saying is this: when we are tempted to quit, we should consider Christ, consider the fact that He did not quit on us, and in that find the strength that we need to continue on!

Conclusion:

 

A.   What have we learned this morning?

1. We have learned how to deal with temptation.

2. We have learned what to do when we are tempted to…

-sin against God,

-put our will before God’s will,

-quit serving God.

3. What should we do?

4. We should consider Christ.

5. Consider how He overcame the temptation to sin.

6. Consider how He overcame the temptation to put His will before His Father’s will

7. Consider how He overcame the temptation to quit.

8. He is our example.

9. He is our inspiration.

10.   He is our motivation.

 

B.   Perhaps you have lost the battle with temptation. The Bible gives us a very precious promise in 1 John 1:9, “9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”