Sermon Leftovers

18 Mar

This week as I was finishing up Sunday’s sermon, I realized I had a lot of material that I couldn’t get to in the sermon itself. So I wanted to post some of this material here today. These are some of the best quotes and thoughts that didn’t make it into Sunday’s message. These items are somewhat disconnected but may prove helpful to some and may help you get familiar with the passage for the message Sunday morning.

Matthew 4:1-11

4:1 “The devil himself came to the spot and plied his diabolical arts on the man ordained to be his Destroyer.” Spurgeon

RT France — The word testing is better than temptation, for God initiated the trial and is testing Jesus’ reaction to His Messianic vocation as Son of God.

There are implied parallels in this passage of Jesus to Moses (4:2,8) and Elijah (4:2,11).

JC Ryle — The devil is a real enemy. This is he, whom the Bible calls a murderer from the beginning and a liar and a roaring lion. This is he, whose enmity to our souls never slumbers and never sleeps. This is he, who for nearly 6000 years has been working at one work, to ruin men and women and draw them to hell. This is he, whose cunning and subtlety pass man’s understanding and who often appears as an “angel of light.” Let us watch and pray daily against his devices. There is no enemy worse than an enemy who is never seen and who never dies who is near to us wherever we live and goes with us wherever we go. Not least let us beware of that levity and jesting about the devil which is so unhappily common. Let us remember every day that if we would be saved, we must not only crucify the flesh and overcome the world, but also resist the devil.

JC Ryle — “Those who seek their happiness in this life only and despise the religion of the Bible, have no idea what true comfort they are missing.”

4:4  Spurgeon – There is a power in the Word of God which even the devil can’t deny.

DA Carson – Israel demanded bread in the wilderness and died. Jesus denied himself bread and lived by faithful submission to God’s Word. The whole temptation narrative may be an allusion to Habakkuk 2:4.

4:5,6 Spurgeon – The devil handled holy subjects with great familiarity and yet he was unholy. It is ill to talk of angels and act like devils.

4:5-7 France – As Son of God He could claim with absolute confidence the physical protection God promises in Ps 91:11-12 to those who trust Him. So why not try it by forcing God’s hand (and thus silencing any lingering doubts about His relationship with God)? But this would be to tempt God as Israel did at Massah (Dt. 6:16) when they put the Lord to the proof, saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?” (Ex. 17:2-7) The Son of God can live only in a relationship of trust that needs no test. Christians perplexed by the apparently thin line between the prayer of faith and putting God to the test should note that the devil’s suggestion was of an artificially crafted crisis not of trusting God in the situations which result from obedient service.

Notice how in the second temptation Jesus compares Scripture with Scripture. This is a fundamental rule of Bible reading. Scripture is its own best interpreter.

4:8-10 Carson – Satan shows Jesus the splendor of the world’s kingdoms but not the sin.

Spurgeon – We must not pay even a shade of deference to evil, though the whole world should be the reward of a single act of  submission to it.

James Boice, ADAM & EVE — Paradise/ Satisfied/ Together/ Sinned

JESUS — Wilderness/ Hungry/ Alone/ Resisted Sinning

David Platt — Six basic reminders about this passage . . .

There is a spiritual world.  We are in a spiritual battle. Our enemy is formidable. The stakes are eternal. The scope of the spiritual war is universal. Our involvement is personal.

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