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Three kinds of temptation

How they are enhanced by the consensus process

See also The Nature of Sin and Satan

".. reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace." Romans 6:11-14

  Body Soul Spirit
1 John 2:15-17 "lust of the flesh" "lust of the eyes" "pride of life"
Genesis 3:6 "good for food" "delight to the eyes" "make one wise"
Ephesians 2:3 "desires of the flesh" "desires... of the mind" "according to... the spirit ... of disobedience"
Craving or desire for: food, sex, thrills clothes, money, entertainment recognition, praise, power
Stirred by: suggestions in movies, ads, literature, stores.. same self-esteem teaching, false praise... Dialectic process

Fight temptation with the "Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God:"



Submit your body to God: "...present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service." Romans 12:1

Fill your mind with God's thoughts and refuse to compromise: " not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove... [the] perfect will of God." Rom. 12:2


See yourself as God sees you, no better or worse: 

No one should "think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly...."

Rom. 12:3


The dialectic process has raised the pressure to compromise and made it easy to yield to all kinds of cultural, feel-good temptations.  Though refined for our times, it was first demonstrated in the Garden of Eden. To win the confidence of his victims, he told a partial truth that validated the lie. Look at the dialogue in Genesis 3:1-5 and ponder the familiar process:

Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, "Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?" [1]

And the woman said to the serpent, "We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ [2]

 Then the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." [3]

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.

Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, "Where are you?"

So he said, "I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself." [4]

And He said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?"

Then the man said, "The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate." [5]

And the Lord God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?"

The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate." [5]


1. This question illustrates the "critical thinking" strategy used to change the "fixed beliefs" and values of children everywhere. It begins by challenging or questioning current beliefs, raising doubts about the validity of truth.

2  Eve is slightly confused (cognitive dissonance) and changes God's command slightly. Already, her position or convictions based on truth is becoming shaky.

3. Satan presents a counterfeit promise -- a half-truth that sounds believable -- to Eve if only she would rebel against God and eat the forbidden fruit. The reward for choosing to actually experience evil (in contrast to accepting God's command to avoid it) is to see both good and evil from Satan's twisted perspective rather than from God's holy perspective. 

4. Adam feels shame, but not genuine guilt. He cannot see sin from God's perspective.

5. No longer able to see good and evil from God's perspective, neither Adam nor Eve repent. Instead, they rationalize their sin and blame others.

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