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You are an overcomer Luke 4 #beonemakeone

January 25, 2019

In Luke 4 we see the temptation of Jesus. I remember writing my first sermon and it was on this passage. And I was only 10years old. I think therefore I can be excused for missing the main point of this chapter. But like most people I focussed on what we can do to overcome temptation. And although this is valid and we will also use this passage to think about this – the main focus of Luke is not to give us a method to overcome temptation but to declare that as Christians we are already overcomers!

Let me explain.

Luke 3 ends with the genealogy. And it is by no accident that Luke located it where he did. As we saw last time he was demonstrating the uniqueness of Jesus being the start of something new, a break from the old and the start of something new – a new humanity. Luke would have remembered Paul’s teaching that Jesus was the new Adam. Therefore it is not surprising that like the first Adam, Jesus would be tempted by Satan. We see that in chapter 4. It was a temptation that was the same as Adam’s and I think Luke switched the order from Matthew to show this more clearly. It was a temptation to the Lust of the flesh (desires/appetites) , lust of the eyes and to the pride of life (wisdom, pride) see also 1 John 2:16.

But the focus of this passage is the obvious difference between Adam and Jesus. Jesus overcame and did not give into temptation. The new humanity would be different. Therefore the conclusion is that through our baptism we are included in Christ and his new humanity and so guess what – You are an overcomer. You have overcome sin.

This is the truth. We have to know this truth. The problem is that when we focus on our old humanity we feel shame, guilt and fail. But when we believe that we are in Christ there is no shame or guilt when we confess our sin and we can then start to live from our new identity.

This does not mean that we do not battle with temptation but we do so free from shame, guilt and inevitability. We battle from a place of victory. Perhaps that is why the temptations of satan lead us to doubt 1. God’s character (that he doesn’t care) or 2. his Word (promises) or 3. his way (that suffering can’t be God’s plan). Because if we doubt God, we doubt our identity and then give in to temptation.

Jesus had to learn here and in the garden of gethsemane that avoiding suffering, pain and hardship is not God’s way but that suffering can be redemptive.

So whatever you are facing don’t doubt God and know that you are overcomer.

But as overcomers we can have a strategy to live in victory and we see in this passage a number of practices we embrace as overcomers

1. Know your identity 3:22

2. Be filled with the Holy Spirit 4:1

3. Embrace the wilderness times 4:1

4. Find solitude for prayer and word 4:2

5. Consider fasting as a discipline to live from God and his word 4:2

6. Remember we are in conflict with a liar/deceiver 4:2

7.Discover your ministry and purpose in serving God 4:14

Jesus has overcome and therefore you are ‘more than a conqueror’. Start believing it.

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