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How We Are Tempted

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What, outside of the pulls of our flesh, is most responsible for tempting us to sin?

“But Peter said, ‘Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit …?’” (Acts 5:3 Acts 5:3But Peter said, Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?
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).

“And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts” (Mark 4:15 Mark 4:15And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan comes immediately, and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts.
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“For some have already turned aside after Satan” (1 Timothy 5:15 1 Timothy 5:15For some are already turned aside after Satan.
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The Scriptures sometimes refer to Satan as the “tempter” (Matthew 4:3 Matthew 4:3And when the tempter came to him, he said, If you be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
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). He is a master at tempting us to yield to our weaknesses and selfish desires (Ephesians 2:1-3 Ephesians 2:1-3 1 And you has he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
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Paul cautioned Christians, having turned from Satan’s influence, not to surrender again to it. He knew this was a real danger (2 Corinthians 11:3 2 Corinthians 11:3But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
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). He wrote, “For this reason, when I could no longer endure it, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter had tempted you, and our labor might be in vain” (1 Thessalonians 3:5 1 Thessalonians 3:5For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labor be in vain.
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What is one of Satan’s primary ways of seducing people to sin?

“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
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Few people understand the extent of Satan’s influence over the world’s religious institutions and practices. Satan has succeeded in providing people with every religious preference they could possibly imagine. Religious confusion is the result. Only by carefully reading and following the Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:13-17 2 Timothy 3:13-17 13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. 14 But continue you in the things which you have learned and have been assured of, knowing of whom you have learned them; 15 And that from a child you have known the holy scriptures, which are able to make you wise to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished to all good works.
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) can we extricate ourselves from the worldwide morass of religious confusion and deception. 

Because of this widespread religious deception, it is essential that we pray for God’s help to correctly understand His Word and repent of our transgressions. When we desire to change our lives, and from the heart to surrender our will to God, He has promised to hear us and respond. “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks [from the heart and according to His will] receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8 Matthew 7:7-8 7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you: 8 For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened.
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). “And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight” (1 John 3:22 1 John 3:22And whatever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
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God used the prophet Nathan to rebuke King David for committing adultery with Bathsheba after arranging for her husband to be killed in battle (2 Samuel 12:7-9 2 Samuel 12:7-9 7 And Nathan said to David, You are the man. Thus said the LORD God of Israel, I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul; 8 And I gave you your master’s house, and your master’s wives into your bosom, and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given to you such and such things. 9 Why have you despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? you have killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and have taken his wife to be your wife, and have slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon.
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). David humbly acknowledged his sins and repented before God in prayer. Be sure to read and meditate on David’s heartfelt prayer of repentance as recorded in Psalms 51:1-10 Psalms 51:1-10 1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your loving kindness: according to the multitude of your tender mercies blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. 4 Against you, you only, have I sinned, and done this evil in your sight: that you might be justified when you speak, and be clear when you judge. 5 Behold, I was shaped in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. 6 Behold, you desire truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part you shall make me to know wisdom. 7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 8 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which you have broken may rejoice. 9 Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
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. God has preserved David’s prayer of repentance as an example of the attitude we should have when asking Him for forgiveness.

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