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May 21, 2023

Leave Us Not to Our Temptation

Leave Us Not to Our Temptation

Passage: Matthew 3:13-4:11

Speaker: Patrick Lafferty

Series: That’s the Spirit: Learning to keep in step with Him who indwells

Keywords: word, spirit, angels, temptation, serve, son, pleased, descending

Everyone alive is tempted by something. The reasons for resisting temptation are many. What is particular about how a Christian faces temptation? We’ll look at the Spirit’s participation in the beginning of Jesus’s public ministry–at his baptism and during his temptation by the devil–and listen to the subtle hints of how his and our encounter with temptation both depend on the Spirit to impress on us a sense of identity, and the implications downstream of that identity.

Readings & Scritpure

PREPARATION: Psalm 103:11-14
LEADER: For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

ALL: As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.
For he knows our frame;
he remembers that we are dust.

LEADER: For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

The Word of the Lord

ALL: Thanks be to God.

CENTRAL TEXT: Matthew 3:13-4:11
Matt. 3:13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. 14 John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15 But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. 16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

Matt. 4:1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4 But he answered, “It is written,
“‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Matt. 4:5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple 6 and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,’

“‘On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”

Matt. 4:7 Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,
“‘You shall worship the Lord your God
and him only shall you serve.’”

Matt. 4:11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.

CONFESSION OF SIN: Romans 7:18,21-25
ALL: For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. . . .So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?

ASSURANCE OF PARDON Isaiah 53:6, Romans 7:25
LEADER: All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

ALL: Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

BENEDICTION: 1 Corinthians 10:13
LEADER: No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

ALL: Thanks be to God. Amen!


  • Genesis 1:2; 8:8-11
  • Genesis 3:1
  • Exodus 17:2-7
  • Psalm 91
  • Isaiah 53:11
  • Matthew 10:16
  • Matthew 16:23-26
  • Matthew 26:41
  • Matthew 28:19
  • Acts 2:38 
  • 1 Corinthians 10:13
  • 2 Corinthians 5:21
  • Hebrews 4:11-16
  • James 1:13


  1. Deep question–simmer on it: what persons or events would you say have most shaped you into how you understand yourself? (Told ya–deep) Why those? 
  2. How are Jesus’s temptations His alone? How are they ours? How are they yours in particular?
  3. To refresh the memory from the sermon: the Spirit is part of the affirmation of Jesus’s identity as Beloved of God and delighted in. What the Spirit speaks over Jesus is similar to what we’re meant to believe God speaks over us, in view of what His Beloved Son has done for us. How is that meant to help us face temptation? How is it meant to help us be restored should temptation overtake us?





  • I can resist everything except temptation. Oscar Wilde
  • From his baptism to his execution, Jesus stays low, at our level, identifying with us at every point, becoming completely one with us in our humanity as, in the church’s teaching, he is believed to be completely one with God in eternity. F. D. Bruner
  • The Spirit is free to lead us not only into good things, but into confrontations with bad things as well. F. D. Bruner
  • All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God...but that hasn't kept us from comparing distances. David Zahl
  • I much question what assistance someone will have from God in temptation if he willingly enters into it just because he supposes that God has promised to deliver him out of it. John Owen
  • If anyone is not feeding on the Word of God, that person is not living. Jerome