On a rough wooden pier, the seasoned fisherman tediously fastens his hook on a line, then baits the hook with what he suspects will lure the fish to bite. This old angler knows that certain fish can be caught only with certain bait … a dry fly for trout, worms for bass, stink bait for catfish. What the fish doesn’t know is, “All is not what it appears to be.” Within a tempting moment there’s a bite—a fight—and then a skinned fish fillet! 

We all know too well what it’s like to be lured by a lie. Something offers a promise, but in the end it doesn’t pay. Temptation is that attractive lure hiding the deadly hook.  Take heart, you don’t have to take a bite. 

“There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” 

Proverbs 14:12 

What Is Temptation? 

  • The most common meaning of the word temptation is “an enticement to do wrong.”

— The word entice comes from an old Greek hunting and fishing term deleazo, which means “to lure by a bait.”

— No bait will tempt everyone, but everyone is tempted by some type of bait. What will tempt you depends on the desires within your heart. 

“Each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.”

James 1:14

  • The Old Testament Hebrew word nasah means “an attempt to prove the quality of something.”

Nasah is most often translated in the Bible as “test, prove, tempt or try.” 

— God permits us to be tested (tempted) in order to reveal our strengths and our weaknesses.

  • Temptation is of the devil (Matthew 4:1–11).
  • Temptation itself is not sin, but succumbing to it is.
  • God does not personally lead us into temptation: “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone” (James 1:13).

  • But God does permit us to be tempted (Job 1:6–12) so that we can face temptation, overcome it, and become stronger: “I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one” (1 John 2:14; see James 1:12).

  • No temptation is irresistible: “You can trust God to keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can’t stand up against it, for he has promised this and will do what he says. He will show you how to escape temptation’s power so that you can bear up patiently against it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

  • Whatever we experience, Jesus has been there before us. He “was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15).

  • Temptation is common to all Christians: “But remember this—the wrong desires that come into your life aren’t anything new and different. Many others have faced exactly the same problems before you” (1 Corinthians 10:13).  Paul describes the Christian as having two natures, the old and the new, which constantly compete for supremacy. The Christian must understand this, and learn to confront this “magnetic pull” of his or her own sinful nature and Satan’s wiles.

Biblical Example

God tested Abraham by asking him to sacrifice his beloved son, Isaac, as a burnt offering. Isaac was the apple of Abraham’s eye. Though he could have refused, he obeyed. When Abraham proved his faithfulness, God spared Isaac’s life. (Read Genesis Chapter 22.) 

“Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, ‘Abraham!’ ‘Here I am,’ he replied. Then God said, ‘Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering.’ ” 

Genesis 22:1–2 

  • The New Testament Greek word peirasmosmeans “a temptation to sin” or “a trial with a beneficial purpose.”5

— This same Greek word is also translated “test” or “trial.” 

— When you are tempted, you are in a trying situation that reveals your character and tests your commitment. 

— When you are tested by temptation, you are being refined by fire. 

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”

1 Peter 1:6–7

Temptation was experienced by Jesus.  Therefore, He is fully able to help you in your temptation

“Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are...




Do you or do you know someone who has additional questions or requires help?

If so, please choose Women of Faith's other resources on this and other relevant topics (Quick Reference Guide, Keys for Living Books and e-Books). 

Grace Filled Words:

“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”

Psalm 119:11

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

1 Corinthians 10:13

“In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.”

Hebrews 12:4

Additional Scriptures: 

Romans chapter 6

1 Peter 1:13

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