This week we had some audio issues, but you can still listen to our message on the life of Joseph and his secret for getting out of temptations trap.
1 Peter 5:8 (NIV) Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV) No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
Jeremiah 2:19 (NIV) Your wickedness will punish you; your backsliding will rebuke you. Consider then and realize how evil and bitter it is for you when you forsake the LORD your God and have no awe of me,” declares the Lord, the LORD Almighty.
2 Corinthians 5:14 (NIV) For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.
Titus 2:11–13 (NIV) For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Paul’s appeal about how people should live is built firmly on his belief that the future has already appeared in the present, and that we are all now summoned to act in accordance with it. This future-in-the-present has appeared, though, not in the form of a dramatic new social experiment, nor in the shape of yet another oppressive regime stamping on everyone in its path, but in the form of the death and resurrection of Jesus. Paul doesn’t mention this explicitly, but it’s obviously what he has in mind in verse 11 when he talks about ‘God’s saving grace’ appearing for all people. The events of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection were, for him, the moment when, and the means by which, the generous and powerful love of God (that’s what he means by ‘grace’) were unveiled for the benefit, not of one group of people only, but of all the human race. With those brief but earth-shattering events, the future had been unveiled, and everything looked different as a result. – N.T. Wright
1 John 2:1 (NIV) My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.
Questions for Reflection and Discussion (Kris Lundgaard)
1. Look over the story of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife in Genesis 39. Make a list of the rewards that sin offered Joseph. Now make a list of the punishments of sin that he had to consider. Have you ever been confronted by a temptation that had so much in its favor? Describe the situation.
2. Is there anything you can think of that makes sin truly revolting to you, so that you are repulsed by the thought of it? What is it?
3. Is there anything you can think of that makes God’s love seem more real than your best friend’s smile? What is it?
4. Brainstorm ways that the flesh distracts you from thinking about sin as revolting and God’s love as real.
5. Take some time to examine your heart to find places you might have listened to the flesh’s half-gospel. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you (Psalm 139:23–24). Ask him whether there are “Christian freedoms” you are taking that you would have condemned in the past. If there are, ask God to show you whether this is true liberty or you’ve listened to the flesh.
6. Start your prayers every morning this week by fixing your eyes on the cross. Each day think about a different aspect of the cross that shows the shame of sin, and a different aspect that sheds light on the love of God. At the end of the week, describe any effects this has on your prayers or your ability to resist temptation.
The Enemy Within: Straight Talk About the Power and Defeat of Sin, Kris Lundgaard
The Mortification of Sin, John Owen
The Heidelberg Catechism, Part 1 (LD2-4)