Tempt (πειράζω)

Luther Walker

Tempt (πειράζω) expresses a trial through examination or a solicitation to do something that is wrong.

When Jesus was led away into the wilderness by the Spirit, the devil solicited Him to go against the desirous will of the Father, Matthew 4:1. Satan knows that God is One, James 2:19, and that Jesus is the second Person of the Godhead, Mark 3:11. By tempting the second Person of the Godhead, Who was now in human form, Satan sought to divide Them so that Their Word concerning his coming judgment would not hold truth.

In one of the trials by the Pharisees and Sadducees, they again sought a sign from Jesus. However, their intent was not to see a sign so they would believe; instead, they sought something by which they could accuse Him of doing wrong. In response, Jesus rebukes them for being hypocrites and a malignantly evil and [spiritually] adulterous generation. They claim to know what is coming by the appearance of the sky but cannot discern the signs of the times, Matthew 16:1-4.

Attempting again to gain an advantage over Jesus so they could accuse Him, the Pharisees solicited Him to do wrong with a question, “Is it lawful for man to divorce his wife for any reason”, Matthew 19:3. Through Moses, divorce was permitted. Therefore, rather than going against Moses, which is what the Pharisees sought, Jesus explains to them why divorce was permitted through Moses. It was the hardness of their heart. However, Scripture states that the two will become one flesh and, therefore, if a man divorces his wife for anything other than fornication and marries another, he commits adultery under the Mosaic Law, Matthew 19:3-9.

Desires that solicit us to do wrong are not from God; instead, they come from a person’s own desires. One of the three spiritual enemies of the Christian uses these wants to draw him out and bait him into doing wrong, James 1:13-14. For a Christian, sin is anything that is done that is not out from faith, Romans 14:23. Faith is taking God at His Word and is always based upon a promise, Hebrews 11:1. Therefore, when a Christian knows to do good, but choose to follow the desires to go against what God expects of Him, he is sinning, James 4:17. Failure or lack of knowledge concerning a proper defense against each of the Christian’s enemies results in doing lawlessness, and therefore, sin, 1 John 3:4.

When it comes to our faith, we are to put ourselves on trial and examine that we are in the faith by putting our faith to the test to determine what is good (δοκιμάζω). This is especially concerning how a person is saved, for there are many who are led astray by false gospels that preach another Jesus, 2 Corinthians 11:4. 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 states that good news by which we are saved. Christ died on behalf of our sins, was buried, and rose again on the third day, all according to the Scriptures. Faith in Christ through these facts brings salvation, not remorse of sin, asking for forgiveness of sin, accepting Jesus into your heart, making Jesus the Lord of our life, or becoming friends with Jesus. When these gospels are put to the test, they are shown to be false; therefore, any faith based upon these false gospels and not the facts of 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, when put on trial will fail.