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:…
I. THERE IS A TENDENCY IN THE MIND OF TRANSGRESSORS TO TRACE THEIR ERRORS AND INIQUITIES TO TEMPTATIONS PLACED IN THEIR WAY BY THE MORAL RULER OF THE WORLD.
II. TO EVINCE THE UTTER ABSURDITY AND INCONSISTENCY OF ASCRIBING, IN ANY MANNER OR TO ANY EXTENT, THE MORAL DELINQUENCIES OF MEN TO THE AUTHOR OF THEIR BEING, THE APOSTLE REMINDS US OF THE MORAL RECTITUDE OF THE DIVINE CHARACTER. He cannot be imagined as making any arrangements of the natural, or forming any plans in the moral world, of which the direct and necessary effect would be to lead His creatures into that which He has so solemnly declared that He cannot look upon but with abhorrence. Since He views with unmixed complacence the progress of His rational offspring in holiness and benevolence, can we imagine that He should either endow them with capacities, or place them in circumstances, the direct tendency of which should be to lead them into the paths of malevolence and impurity?
III. Having shown from the holiness of the Divine character that God is not the author of human temptations, he next grounds this assertion on THE DIVINE CONDUCT TO THE HUMAN FAMILY.
1. Examine, O man! the moral constitution of thy nature, and see if thou canst detect there any arrangement for thy departure from the path of holiness and peace. God has so formed the human mind that the perception of virtue awakens a sentiment of pleasure, and the presence or discovery of vice a feeling of disapprobation and disgust.
2. Look next into the history of Divine providence. Why has He been so mindful of man, and so careful of his comfort? Not, surely, to tempt him to in. gratitude against his bountiful Benefactor, or to encourage him in rebellion against His authority and law. No! the goodness of God is designed to lead them who are the objects of it unto repentance.
3. Turn, now, to the revelation of the gospel, and see if there be any statements or provisions there that tend to countenance or confirm the strange delusion with which sinners seek to allay the alarms of conscience. Was not the Son of God manifested to destroy the works of the devil? Vegas He not sent to bless us, in turning every one of us from our iniquities?
Parallel VersesKJV: 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: