Sermon quotes on temptation

Neil T. Anderson

The essence of temptation is the invitation to live independently of God.

Honore de Balzac

Temptations can be got rid of.” “How?” “By yielding to them.”

Le Père Goriot

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Temptations which accompany the working day will be conquered on the basis of the morning breakthrough to God. Decisions, demanded by work, become easier and simpler where they are made not in the fear of men, but only in the sight of God. He wants to give us today the power which we need for our work.

Jerry Bridges

Our minds are mental greenhouses where unlawful thoughts, once planted, are nurtured and watered before being transplanted into the real world of unlawful actions… These actions are savored in the mind long before they are enjoyed in reality. The thought life, then, is our first line of defense in the battle of self-control.

Charlotte Brontë

Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation: they are for such moments as this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigour … If at my convenience I might break them, what would be their worth?”

Jane Eyre

Bryan Chapell

More than the arguments we can muster about the awful consequences upon us when we yield to temptation, the sight of what our sin caused our Savior to suffer should convince us to turn from sin’s path. Our God would not have paid so dear a price to rescue us from temptation’s consequences were not they to be deeply feared.

Holiness by Grace, Crossway Books, p. 100.

Bryan Chapell

God promises that our temptation is never stronger than He is… God provides His solemn word and sovereign promise that He will never allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able to resist.   

Holiness by Grace, Crossway Books.

John Dryden

Better shun the bait, than struggle in the snare. 

George Eliot

“No evil dooms us hopelessly except the evil we love, and desire to continue in, and make no effort to escape from. ”

Daniel Deronda

T.S. Eliot

The last temptation is the greatest treason: To do the right deed for the wrong reason.

Francois Fenelon

To realize God’s presence is the one sovereign remedy against temptation.

Martin Lloyd-Jones

In the last analysis it is not the temptations that meet us on the streets that determine our conduct; it is the heart of the man who faces them. Two men may face the same conditions; one falls, the other stands. The difference is not in the temptation but in the heart of the man.

The Unsearchable Riches of Christ, Studies in Ephesians, Baker.

C.S. Lewis

Christ, because He was the only Man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only Man who knows to the full what temptation means.

C.S. Lewis

A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is… A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in.

Mere Christianity

Martin Luther

My temptations have been my Masters in Divinity.

Martin Luther

God delights in our temptations and yet hates them. He delights in them when they drive us to prayer; He hates them when they drive us to despair.

Martin Luther

Temptations, of course, cannot be avoided, but because we cannot prevent the birds from flying over our heads, there is no need that we should let them nest in our hair.

Alexander MacLaren

The temptation once yielded to gains power. The crack in the embankment which lets a drop or two ooze through is soon a hole which lets out a flood.

Thomas Merton

The greatest temptations are not those that solicit our consent to obvious sin, but those that offer us great evils masking as the greatest goods.

No Man Is an Island

F.B. Meyer

Temptation may even be a blessing to a man when it reveals to him his weakness and drives him to the almighty Savior. Do not be surprised, then, dear child of God, if you are tempted at every step of your earthly journey, and almost beyond endurance; but you will not be tempted beyond what you are able to bear, and with every temptation there will be a way of escape.

Douglas Moo

Christian maturity is not indicated by the infrequency of temptation but by the infrequency of succumbing to temptation.

James, Eerdmans, 2000, p. 76.

Dwight L. Moody

Temptations are never so dangerous as when they come to us in a religious garb.

John Owen

Our great Pattern hath showed us what our deportment ought to be in all suggestions and temptations. When the devil showed Him “all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them,” to tempt Him withal, He did not stand and look upon them, viewing their glory, and pondering their empire…. but instantly, without stay, He cries, “Get thee hence, Satan.” Meet thy temptation in its entrance with thoughts of faith concerning Christ on the cross; this will make it sink before thee. Entertain no parley, no dispute with it, if thou wouldst not enter into it.

John Owen

Temptation is like a knife that may either cut the meat or the throat of a man; it may be his food or his poison, his exercise or his destruction.

A.W. Pink

It is when we have received some special mark of the Lord’s favor, or immediately after we have enjoyed some unusual season of communion with Him, that we need most to be on our guard!

Gleanings in Genesis, Moody Press, 1950, p. 174.

John Piper

Sin gets its power by persuading me to believe that I will be happier if I follow it. The power of all temptation is the prospect that it will make me happier.

David Platt

We do not always choose our temptations. But we do choose our reactions to those temptations.   

Counter Culture, Copyright © 2015, p.168.

Philip Graham Ryken

The weaknesses we see in the people of the Bible are the very weaknesses we ought to recognize in ourselves. Like Eve, who ate the forbidden fruit, we are vulnerable to temptation when we act on our own. Like Abraham, who lied about his wife to save his neck, we are vulnerable to temptation when we are scared. Like David, who slept with Bathsheba while his men were off to war, we are vulnerable to temptation when we are idle. Like Elijah, who wanted God to end his life, we are vulnerable to temptation when we are exhausted. Like Peter, who denied his Lord even after he promised to die for him, we are vulnerable to temptation when we are overconfident. In other words, we are vulnerable to temptation practically all the time.

When You Pray by, © 2000, Crossway Books, p. 148.

Philip Graham Ryken

Every temptation is a kind of test, but not every test is a temptation. Tests and temptations have different purposes, and they come from different places. Tests are designed to show what someone can do. Their purpose is positive, which explains why God himself tests people, as he tested Abraham (Heb. 11:17). A test is a trial posed by God to prove the strength of our faith. Temptations, on the other hand, are more negative. Their explicit purpose is to entice people to sin, which is why they come from the Evil One. A temptation is a trial posed by Satan, with the wicked hope that we will fail.

When You Pray by, © 2000, Crossway Books, p. 151.

Philip Graham Ryken

The fact that [God] does not tempt us (Jas. 1:13) does not mean that our temptations are somehow outside of His control. God is sovereign over all the affairs of life, including every temptation to sin. Although He does not cause our temptations, He does allow them to occur.

When You Pray by, © 2000, Crossway Books, p. 151.

J.C. Ryle

To be tempted is in itself no sin. It is the yielding to the temptation, and giving it a place in our hearts, which we must fear.

J.C. Ryle

The chief weapon we ought to use in resisting Satan is the Bible. Three times the great enemy offered temptations to our Lord. Three times his offer was refused, with a text of Scripture as the reason, “it is written” (Mt. 3:4, 7, 10).

Richard Sibbes

Satan gives Adam an apple, and takes away Paradise. Therefore, in all temptations let us consider not what he offers, but what we shall lose.

Charles R. Swindoll

In other words Jesus went into the desert to confront His enemy and throw down the gauntlet. He would prove Himself to be the legitimate shepherd of Israel by overcoming the temptations that had undone all of Israel’s previous kings, including His mighty ancestor, King David.

J.R.R. Tolkien

“But fear no more! I would not take this thing, if it lay by the highway. Not were Minas Tirith falling in ruin and I alone could save her, so, using the weapon of the Dark Lord for her good and my glory. No, I do not wish for such triumphs, Frodo son of Drogo.”

The Two Towers

William Thrasher

Temptations are an appeal to meet righteous needs in an unrighteous way.

Mark Twain

There is a charm about the forbidden that makes it unspeakably desirable.

Edward Welch

When a serpent comes across your path speaking lies, you should run from it or kill it. You shouldn’t sit around for a friendly chat.

John Wesley

As the most dangerous winds may enter at little openings, so the devil never enters more dangerously than by little unobserved incidents, which seem to be nothing, yet insensibly open the heart to great temptations.

Mae West

I generally avoid temptation unless I can’t resist it.

My Little Chickadee (film)

Oscar Wilde

I can resist everything except temptation.

Lady Windermeres Fan

Robert Grant

By your helpless infant years,

by your life of want and tears,

by your days of deep distress

in the savage wilderness,

by the dread, mysterious hour

of the insulting tempter’s pow’r,

turn, oh, turn a fav’ring eye;

hear our penitential cry!

Savior, When In Dust To You, Stanza. 2

Ian Duguid

We often forget that temptation can come from any quarter, even from within our own family circle. We expect the Devil to assault us like a roaring lion, as ugly and fearsome as can be. We don’t expect him to come to us dressed up like an angel of light, speaking in the honey-sweet tones of the ones we love. Yet the Bible warns us that such an approach is easy for him to adopt (2 Cor. 11:14). Thus, Satan didn’t only confront Jesus head-on in the wilderness (Matt. 4:1-11); he also tempted him more subtly through the words of one of his closest disciples, Peter (Matt. 16:23).

Living in the Gap Between Promise and Reality, P&R Publishing, 1999, p. 63-64.

Paul David Tripp

The Serpent held out to them the one thing they didn’t have, shouldn’t have, and could never have—God’s position.

Taken from Awe: Why it Matters to Everything We Think, Say, and Do by Paul David Tripp, © 2015, pp.28. Used by permission of Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.

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