David J Keyser PhD

Overcoming Temptation: Know To Refuse The Evil And Choose The Good



1 John 2:16  (KJV)  

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

Genesis 3:6  (KJV)   THE FALL

the lust of the flesh

And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food,

the lust of the eyes

and that it was pleasant to the eyes,

the pride of life

and a tree to be desired to make one wise,

she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.


Luke 4  (KJV)  

1 And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,

Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.

the lust of the flesh

And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.

And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

the lust of the eyes

And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.

And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.

If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.

And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

the pride of life

And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence:

10 For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee:

11 And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.

12 And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

13 And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.

These are the only three areas in which mankind can be tempted. All sin fits into these categories. There are many variations. Jesus overcame in all three areas for us and will also overcome in us.

During his 33 years on earth as a man, Jesus’ flesh was the same as ours. (John 1:14)

Edward Irving said:

     “If Christ’s flesh was in the conception or generation changed, so as to be in a different condition from man’s, either as it stands related to its susceptibility of temptation from the world, or handing up temptation to the mind, then I see these consequences; which I will not here undertake to open, but shall be content with simply stating: -

     First, He is not tempted in all points as I am.

     Secondly, He is not capable of being a high priest to me, which standeth in this very thing, that in all things he was likened to the brethren. Heb. v.

        Thirdly, He had only two of my enemies to contend with, the devil and the world; and I have no proof that he can overcome the third, which is the flesh.

     Fourthly, He never was one with me, and I know not how I can ever be one with Him.

     Fifthly, I have no evidence either of the Holy Ghost’s willingness to wrestle with wicked flesh, nor yet of his ability to overcome it.

     Sixthly, As Christ’s life is no prototype of the Holy Ghost’s power over sinful flesh, so is Christ’s resurrection no assurance of my resurrection. It is most likely a peculiarity of flesh in that new condition in which he had it.

     Seventhly, The whole Gospels are an appearance, and not a reality. They are written as if he was passive to a temptation and inclination as man is; but you say he was not: therefore you put the lie upon the whole testimony of the Scriptures.”

[Edward Irving, The Orthodox and Catholic Doctrine Of Our Lord’s Human Nature (London: Printed by Ellerton and Henderson For Baldwin and Cradock, 1830]

Jesus overcame temptation FOR us and He can now overcome temptation IN us.

Key Scripture

Isaiah 7:14-15 Expanded Bible (EXB)

14 The Lord himself will give you a sign: The ·virgin [or young woman] will ·be pregnant [conceive] and will have a son, and she will name him Immanuel [“God is with us”]. 

15 He will be eating milk curds and honey … when he learns [by the time he learns; or SO THAT HE WILL LEARN] to reject what is evil and to choose what is good.

Isaiah 7:14-15 Young's Literal Translation (YLT)

14 Therefore the Lord Himself giveth to you a sign, Lo, the Virgin is conceiving, And is bringing forth a son, And hath called his name Immanuel,

15 Butter and honey he doth eat, When he knoweth to refuse evil, and TO FIX ON good.

Isaiah 7:14-15 Amplified Bible (AMP)

14 Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: Behold, the young woman who is unmarried and a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel [God with us].

15 Butter and curds and wild honey shall he eat when he knows [ENOUGH] to refuse the evil and choose the good.

It is a 3 part process.

1. Eat the “Butter and the Honey.”

 Jesus got the Butter and the Honey from the Father. We get it from Jesus. He IS the Butter and Honey. Eat the “Hidden Manna” (Rev. 2:17).

2. Refuse the evil.

“Just say, No.”

AND   No part can be left out.

3. Choose, “fix on,” the Good.

(def.) Fixate, verb; to cause someone to acquire an obsessive attachment to someone or something. Form an obsessive attachment to “JESUS” and all that is good.

John 14:6 KJV

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Philippians 4:8 KJV

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.