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The Temptations of John the Baptist

Scripture Passage: 
John 1:19-22

Introduction: We often focus on the temptations of the flesh and the world and what they offer. However, many of our greatest struggles come from the temptations of life. We wonder who we are, what we have accomplished, and if followed the right path. John the Baptist dealt with these temptations. We need to learn to handle them as he did.

Proverbs 4:23 – “the issues of life”

  • Who am I?
  • Why am I here?
  • What have I accomplished?
  1. THE TEMPTATION OF PRIDE – Who Art Thou? (John 1:19-22)
    1. The Form of the Temptation
      1. A question of identity
        1. Who am I?
        2. Why am I like I am?
      2. A temptation to create a false identity – this is pride
        1. Do you pretend to be something you are not?
        2. Do you create a false identity and then try to project that identity for others to see?
      3. More often a temptation of youth
        1. The young deal with many personal attacks
        2. They struggle with who they are
        3. They are tempted to create a false identity
    2. What the Angel (and therefore God) Said of Him (Luke 1:15)
    3. What He Said of Himself (John 1:23)
      1. John defined himself in his relationship to Christ
      2. Each of us must do the same
        1. What is your relationship to Christ?
          1. As Saviour
          2. As Lord
        2. Do you define yourself in that relationship?
  2. THE TEMPTATION OF ENVY – All Men Come to Him (John 1:26-28)
    1. The Form of the Temptation
      1. A question of purpose
        1. What am I here for?
        2. What is my significance?
      2. A temptation to be jealous of what others are doing
        1. Peter asks, “and what shall this man do?” (John 21:20-21)
        2. When we fail to lift ourselves (PRIDE), we are tempted to bring others down (ENVY)
      3. More often a temptation of the middle years
        1. We seek for a level of significance
        2. We wonder why life has not turned out as we expected
        3. We are disturbed by those who seem to have accomplished more than us (Psalm 73:3)
    2. How His Disciples Exalted Him (John 3:26)
    3. How John Humbled Himself (John 3:28-30)
    4. The Example of Paul (Philippians 1:12-18)
    1. The Form of the Temptation
      1. A question of choices
        1. Did I make the right choices?
        2. Have I accomplished anything?
      2. A temptation to doubt and fret
        1. We second-guess our decisions
        2. We doubt God’s working in our life
        3. Sometimes, we doubt God
      3. More often a temptation of later years
        1. We look back on our life
        2. We question whether or not we made the right choices
    2. His questions of doubt (Luke 7:19-20)
      1. Art thou he that should come?
      2. Or look we for another?
    3. The answers of Christ (Luke 7:21-23)
      1. Jesus confirmed His work as the Christ and therefore confirmed the testimony of John concerning Him
      2. Our lives must also find their fulfillment in the use Christ makes of them

Conclusion: What temptations of life are you facing?

  • Who are you? Have you found your identity in Christ and Him crucified?
  • Why are you here? Are you allowing God to establish your purpose?
  • What have you accomplished? Are you planting and watering, but leaving the increase to the Lord (1 Corinthians 3:6)?
David Reagan

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 22:17

Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto my knowledge.