November 07, 2014
Human conception is an amazing process. The actual conception of a child does not occur until a fertilized egg is implanted--until it connects to the wall of the womb and begins to grow. Up until this point, conception has not occurred and a baby will not be the result.
One of the great problems in most Christians' lives is a confusion between temptation and sin. This is why James gives us a careful play-by-play description of what happens when a man has a legitimate desire (lust), is tempted, and then moves from temptation to sin.
""But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death."" (James 1:14-15)
James reminds us ""Each one is tempted when...""
1. He is carried away and enticed by his own lust (desires).
The word ""lust' in the Bible is amoral, only finding its meaning in the context around it. For instance, every man has a sexual lust. This is not a bad desire at all. In fact, without this desire, the human race would have stopped in the first generation! But the question is, how do we fulfill this desire? Do we fulfill this legitimate desire in a legitimate or illegitimate way?
Temptation is when we are enticed to fulfill it in an wrong way, like a fish that is tempted to fulfill his hunger drive by a plastic worm. And, sadly, it will never satisfy… and there's always a hook.
But temptation, in itself, is not sin! Do not confuse the two. Do not suffer under false guilt simply because you are tempted. Even Jesus was tempted, ""yet without sin.""
2. Lust conceives and gives birth to sin.
When my natural desire is tempted to seek fulfillment in an illegitimate way and I reach out and lay hold of that path—I ""latch on"" to that temptation—then I have sinned. James uses a picture of conception to illustrate this. And conception is always going to give birth to something. A fish is not in trouble when the fisherman's bait dangles before him. But he is in serious trouble when he reaches out and lays hold of the false bait.
3. And when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.
After we have sinned, the result is always death.
But there is a way of salvation, which James describes in the following verses!
RECEIVE THE IMPLANTED WORD! (vs. 21)
""Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls."" (James 1:21)
He contrasts being tempted with the Tempter’s words with being enticed with God's Word. I must listen to God and His wonderful words. I must reach out and lay hold of that word and follow it. In humility (recognizing my need) I must ""receive the implanted word"" like a woman's womb receives the fertilized egg. It must become attached by my embracing the truth and acting upon it. And this ""implanted word"" is able to save my soul from sin and the death that it brings.
Do you want to overcome sin?
Then, don't listen to the world's temptations to fulfill your legitimate desires. Don't take Satan’s bait as he fishes away in the pond of your natural lusts, promising what he can never deliver. Instead, immerse yourself in God's Word. Pay attention to what God says, lay hold of His truth and let it become implanted, and sin will not be birthed in you!
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