Sonship: Overcoming The Tempter

Series: Sonship

Sun am 5 September 2010 – Kobus Swart

Rev. 21:7; Eph. 6:1; Matt. 6:10; Jas. 1:13-15; Heb. 5:8; Heb. 4:15; Acts 10:  ;

1 Cor. 10:13; Rev. 12:1-6, 11; (1 John 2:151-17); (Prov. 22:6)

Mature sons are overcomers. (1 Jn.2:13; Rev.21:7). We have to start training our children even before they reach the age of accountability (which used to be at the age of 14 in Jewish culture, but will be different in today’s various cultures) to be overcomers. We need to teach them to rule their own spirits. Below the age of accountability, the parents take the rap for the children’s wrongdoing. Eph. 6:1 says, “Children, obey your parents.” The first thing a young child has to overcome is disobedience (Jesus learned obedience from the things He suffered [Heb 5:8]); then to overcome a rebellious spirit, laziness etc. Bend the tree while it is young (Prov. 22:6). They will reach the age of accountability when God will hold them responsible for their own choices. The responsibility is in our hands to instill Biblical values and principles in their lives when they are young.

From the beginning Satan used temptation to entice man to sin. One of the best names for Satan is “the adversary or tempter”. He tempted Eve and all of humanity is paying the price.  We have to help our children identify these temptations and how to overcome it. Jesus taught us to pray “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust” (James 1:13-15). Sin is the result of falling for temptation.

Sonship is for those who have overcome the evil one with his temptations. The three categories of sin are the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life (1 John 2:15-17). It can also be identified in today’s language as sex, money and power. What happened to Jesus once He was baptized and the Spirit of God came upon Him? He was led into the wilderness by the Spirit of God and Satan appeared to tempt Him (Matt. 4:1). He tempted Him in every category. He was tempted in all things as we are yet without sin (Heb. 4:15). Revelation 21:7 concludes, “He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son”.

It was a very authentic pioneering function that Jesus had. In Acts 10:38 we read that He was empowered by the Holy Spirit to do the things He did. You and I have access to the same Holy Spirit to empower us to overcome temptation. When you come under the Word and you have access to the grace of God to empower you to become an overcomer, you can’t say, “This is too much for me!”  “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it” (1 Cor. 10:13). You may not have enough strength in yourself to overcome temptation but God will make freely available what you need to overcome temptation. As basic as this word may sound, it is the key to sonship. “He who overcomes will be called my son” (Rev. 21:7).

The temptation today for believers is to consider softer options, going for easier alternatives, refusing to pay the price of true discipleship. The challenge to leadership today is not to lower the standard in order to gain popularity. To bring the Church to a mature level of sonship is not a small challenge. Wherever a Living Word is preached, it doesn’t leave you with the option to remain neutral. Jesus’ preaching always required a response. Is that why He said, “Blessed is he who is not offended in Me”? Your response is either hot or cold, never neutral.

In the Book of Revelation we find the victorious result of believers who found the keys and who refused to bow to the Tempter. “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb (finished works) and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life (referring to their soul life, the mind, emotions and will) even when faced with death”(Rev 12:11).

This is the kind of commitment that is required by the Word we are sitting under. You can’t leave neutral. When you leave this meeting, you are left with a challenge: am I receiving it or am I rejecting it? There is no middle ground.