Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.
Martin Luther once said, “Temptation and adversity are the two best books in my library.” Both offer a difficult road, of course, but it is on those well-traveled roads where God can do some amazing work in our lives. Adversity, we have learned, builds our faith and perseverance. Temptation tests our level of commitment to Jesus, who said, “If you love me, keep my commands.” (John 14:15)
The point James is trying to make in this passage is simple: don’t wag your finger of blame at God when you face temptation. God tests and tries our faith, but He never tempts us. He can’t. It is not in His nature (1 John 1:5).
When it comes to temptation and sin, the facts are set in stone: Neither originates in God, but both emanate from our fallen nature and poor choices. Too many people in our culture avoid personal responsibility like the plague, and that is one of the main reason people struggle with the Gospel. The Gospel highlights our failure and then points to the way out. Own your sin, turn from it, and then seek forgiveness from God and you will be saved. Blame it on someone else, including God, and you will take it with you to the grave and then straight into hell. The choice is yours.
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