A Study on the Tactics of Temptation
The Drift of Ambition
Luke 4:5-8 • March 25, 2018 • Kurt Pressler
Ambition is a word that often carries with it a negative connotation, but I would suggest that ambition, by itself, is not wrong. We are made in the image of an ambitious God; a God who, for six days, made something out of nothing, declaring it all good because it declared his glory. A God who created of man and woman-united them in marriage-and gave them the mission of filling the whole earth. A God who, when it all was broken because of sin, didn’t give up but instead immediately began to implement the ambitious plan of redemption to reconcile the world back to Himself.
The Drift of Approval
March 18, 2018 • Gary Brandenburg
If you don't keep the eyes of your heart on the approval of your Heavenly Father you will twist every relationship into some kind of stroking machine so that you will be made much of. If you don't make much of Jesus, you are condemned to endless attempts to be made much of. One of the unintended consequences of living in this selfie kingdom is that we sometimes trade the approval of God for the approval of men. It's a bad trade. That is why worship is so essential.
The Drift of Appetite
Luke 4:1-4 • March 11, 2018 • Kurt Pressler
Last week we answered the question of why Jesus needed to be baptized. We said it identified Jesus as the Messiah and identified Jesus with the sinners he came to save. This week, we need to answer the question of why Jesus was tempted. It's clear from the beginning of chapter 4 that the Holy Spirit is leading Jesus in and through the wilderness. This encounter with the devil is not accidental, it's providential. Jesus did not randomly "bump into" Satan. The Holy Spirit intentionally led Jesus into the wilderness to test him through a confrontation with the devil, and he does it for two reasons.
The Three Irreducible Minimums of Ministry
Luke 3:21-22 • March 4, 2018 • Kurt Pressler
The anointing of Jesus by the Holy Spirit was a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy that identified and commissioned Him in His role as the Messiah. A title can be a name that clearly communicates purpose. We know what a teacher, doctor, salesman, or president are called to do. For the Messiah, it’s as if the Old Testament prophecies were a job description for the Savior of the world. It is a role Jesus accepted in eternity past and His baptism is the moment where His work began.