I’ve shared, too many times to mention, my indebetedness to and appreciation for Ken Boa. I’ve just started studying a series he taught back in 2007. Each lesson is online via video. I would love for you to study it with me in the coming weeks. I’m going to be posting my notes of what I learn, but I’d love to get yourinput as well. If you join me in this study, please share your comments for each lesson: What did you learn? What was the key idea for you? What are you going to try to put into practice?
Looking forward to this journey,
Money, Sex, and Power: Lesson 1
by Ken Boa
Reflections on Temptation
1.) The torment of temptation is easier to handle than the torment of consequences. Most men don’t think of the consequences, but only of the short-term pleasure.
2.) The deceitfulness of sin is that it only shows its pleasures, not its consequences.
- For example, men only fantasize about the sex…never about getting caught. Never about the destruction to one’s family, ministry, reputation, influence, etc.
- It really is an issue of long-term gain vs. short-term loss
3.) You can’t compensate through sacrifice what you lose through disobedience.
- 1 Samuel 15 – Saul lost the kingdom, then tried to sacrifice something to make up for it…after the fact.
The wisdom of this study will be…
1.) To understand the deceitfulness of the world-system (sin, etc.)
2.) To understand the resources that God has given us.
3.) To gain some convictions to help us process these things as we struggle with them on a daily basis.
- Satan tempts us to doubt God
- Satan twists what God says
- Satan tempts us to believe that obedience to God is not in our best interest. This is why we must always believe that God has our best interest at heart.
In other words, Satan not only seeks to undermine God’s authority, but also his goodness.
Satan said it first: “You shall be as God.” Satan wants you to believe that obedience to God is not in your best interest. Here are the consequences that Satan used.
1.) Saw that the tree was good for food
2.) It was a delight to the eyes
3.) The tree was desirable to make one wise
Eve bought into all this and Adam abandoned the authority he had and gave into it at Eve’s suggestion. The “Silence of Adam” (check out book by Larry Crabb) had tremendous consequences.
Then their eyes really were opened…but not in the way that Satan had promised. They didn’t become gods…but felt shame and realized their sin.
They felt alienated in four ways. These “four alienations” have plagued the human condition ever since…
1.) The alienation between us and God
2.) The alienation of ourselves. I.e., we think things we don’t want to think, say things we don’t want to say, etc. There is psychological disintegration in our being (Romans 7)
3.) The alienation between us and other people.
- Relationships are damaged
- Battle of the sexes began here (they blame each other for the sin)
4.) The alienation between us and the natural world (Gen. 3:17)
- Childbirth, thorns, thistles, resistance of ground, etc.
- Productivity will now be harder and less of it. There will be toil and pain associated with it.
There are three things to notice in Genesis 3:6 (three forms of temptation faced in that setting – with reference also to 1 John 2:15. This text describes the world-system.
1.) Lust of the Flesh – Eve saw that the fruit was going to be good to eat
2.) Lust of the Eyes – Eve saw that it was delightful to her eyes.
3.) Boastful Pride of Life – Eve saw that the tree had the power to make one wise (like God).
1 John 2:15 says that these are not from God…but from the world.
1 John 2:16 – For everything in the world–the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does–comes not from the Father but from the world.
Jesus (the second Adam) was tempted by Satan in the same way in Luke 4.
1.) Eyes – covet, desire to possess, greed (kingdoms of this world)
2.) Flesh – food, sexual appetite, quest for pleasure as an end in itself (stone to bread)
3.) Pride – Quest for power, refusal to submit (jump off temple and angels will catch you since you are the Son of God.
Satan’s power is only to the degree that you believe his lies. He can’t create truth, but he will distort it. His only power over you is if he can get you to believe his lies – and the world is full of lies (i.e., what the world declares is valuable, important, what you ought to pursue, etc.)
We’ll be tempted in the same way as both Adams were. We need to respond as the Second Adam did. Romans 5:12-21 deals with this.
- Staying in the line of the old Adam leads to death.
- Entering into the line of the new Adam leads to real life.
Those are the battle lines: Money, Sex, and Power (or some combination of them).