Of the Nature of Temptations
James 1:13-15
Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempts he any man:…

The word "lust" signifies in this place every desire or inclination after things unlawful in any kind. The desire of unlawful pleasures, which is the vice of sensuality. The desire of unlawful riches, which is the foundation of unrighteousness, oppression, and fraud. The desire of obtaining honour by corrupt methods, which is the sin of ambition. The desire of being religious without true virtue, without the sincere love of God and of our neighbour, which is the foundation of idolatry, and of all superstitions. When by any of these desires a man is drawn away from what he knows is right, and enticed to do what the reason of his mind condemns, then is he led into sin.

I. In the nature of things EVERY SIN IS A DEVIATION FROM SOME RULE; and such a deviation as the person is sensible of at the time he acts, and knows that he ought not to have so acted. This it is that makes the action blameworthy in its own nature, and justly punishable by a wise and good governor. But, man being endued with rational faculties, and knowing well the difference between good and evil, is still placed in such a situation as to be frequently tempted to depart from reason, and to act contrary to what he knows is right.

II. Second place, to illustrate and confirm this doctrine BY COMPARING IT WITH SOME REMARKABLE EXAMPLES of sinful men and sinful actions, recorded in Scripture for our admonition. Men at all times, and in all places, when they have been seduced by sin, and begun to apprehend the ill consequences of it, have endeavoured to shift off the blame from themselves, and to lay at least part of the fault upon whatever else they could. But the Scripture, in every history there recorded, has always taken care to direct us with sufficient clearness to the true source of the evil. Our first parent, Eve, when she had eaten of the forbidden fruit, immediately her excuse was, "The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat." Saul comforted himself under his disobedience to an express command of God, with an imaginary intention of sacrificing the choice of his forbidden spoils unto the Lord his God. But the true motive that drew him away from his duty was a covetous desire of the spoil (1 Samuel 15:21, 24). David, in the committing of that great crime, the murder of Uriah, flattered himself with that shameful apology, because Uriah fell by the band of the Ammonites (2 Samuel 11:25). Ahab was willing to persuade himself that he had a right to Ramoth-Gilead, and that God too, by His prophets, encouraged the undertaking. Yet had not his ambition and his passions drawn him away, and blinded his attention, it was easy for him to have perceived that in this whole matter he was acting contrary to the will of God (1 Kings 22:8).

(S. Charke, D.D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:

WEB: Let no man say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God," for God can't be tempted by evil, and he himself tempts no one.

Man not Tempted by God
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