Saturday, March 14, 2009

Lent 1: The Bible and Temptation

Lent 1


• The readings for today highlight two main themes: Baptism and temptation

Reading 1: Noah—Imagine God this today! Movie clip 1 Evan Almighty

• God baptized the world in judgment with 40 days and nights of rain—why?
o To cleanse the world that had become as it says in Gen. 6 “Only evil all the time.”
• Noah was a preacher calling people to repent before the judgment came. Did people believe him?
o He was mocked and people did not believe a judgment would come—till it came.
• When the judgment came, what protected Noah? What protects us?
o The ark of salvation protected Noah and his family because they believed and obeyed God to build the ark. Even though they went through the judgment they not judged.
• Baptism separates us from the world. Just as the eight souls aboard the Ark were saved through water, believing God’s Word and being baptized is what saves us from the coming judgment.
o After the baptism of the world, God gave Noah a new covenant and a new beginning.
o Noah was a type of new Adam. God gave the world a new beginning.
• Applications for us:

1. The word LENT = Anglo Saxon LENCTEN means spring—the time when days lengthen.
2. Think of Lent God’s spring cleaning of His house.
3. History shows us that since the times of the apostles, The Church has made the 40 days leading up to Easter Sunday a time of fasting, training new converts for baptism, and renewing baptism especially for those who have fallen away from God and Church.
3. On Easter, after 40 days and nights of Lent, the Church still baptizes new converts at the Great Vigil of Easter, and renews the baptisms of the already converted.
• Lent is a time to join God in cleaning our spiritual house of sin and spiritual clutter.
• Lent is a time to reach out to others like Noah did with the message of salvation.
• Lent is a time for people who have never believed God to come into the ark of salvation.

READING #2: Jesus

12Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness. 13And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him. 14Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel."

• This passage touches on several important things.

1. The Holy Spirit drove Jesus into the wilderness desert for 40 days where he dealt with temptations from the Devil. Sometimes we think God is not with us in wilderness times. Most of the time, it is he who has taken us there.

Movie Clip: From Evan Almighty. Sometimes we miss how God is working through allowing us to be tempted.

• By driving Jesus into the wilderness, the Holy Spirit was giving Jesus the opportunity to show that no matter what temptations would come, he would be faithful and could be trusted.
Wilderness> Symbol of testing faithfulness to God > Desert, dry, barren, exposure to danger

• Every year, Lent is that 40 day period where the Holy Spirit pushes us to deal with our inner life.
• I have heard Christians say they had more difficulty with temptation after Christ than they had before Christ. Why is this?
• Before Christ you did what pleased you. After Christ you desire to be pleasing to the Lord.
• Temptations are Satan’s way of trying to get you to share in the world’s rebellion against God.
• Temptations are the Holy Spirit’s way of leading you to be faithful and showing you can be trusted.
• Jesus overcame evil with good. When tempted, he did good by being faithful and not sinning.
• The Holy Spirit pushed Jesus into the wilderness experience to undergo trial and temptation, and He will do the same in our lives for this reason:

In 1 John 2:12-17 St. John tells us, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. 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. And the world passes away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides for ever.”

• The Holy Spirit wants us to become committed to doing the will of God so we can abide in God’s house forever.
• As it was in the days of Noah, it still, is today. We live in a world that loves evil and rejects God.
• St. John says the world and its lusts will pass away, but HE WHO DOES THE WILL OF GOD WILL LIVE FOREVER.

2. After overcoming temptations Jesus was ready to emerge from the wilderness and preach to others the Gospel of the Kingdom—repent and believe.

• In the wilderness, Jesus overcame the lusts and temptations the Devil offers in this world.
• That gave him power to share the Good News with others. What is the good news?
• You can be saved like Noah. God is offering everyone who will repent and believe a new life and a new beginning free from the dirt that makes us feel so dirty inside, so miserable, lonely, and empty in this life.
• During the 40 days of Lent, two main questions: Do I need to repent? Do I really believe?
• Repent = stop, take a look at your life to see if you are heading the right way, and turn around if you got going the wrong way.
o Are you being faithful to God or are you giving in to temptation?
o You can change you mind and come into the ark. If you have never believed in God you can get baptized and be saved from judgment.
o For believers--Are you in the ark or have you jumped overboard back into the sea of sin
o If yes—then change your mind now and turn back to God and renew your baptism.
• Believe = An act of trusting in God to guide your life.
o Noah had to build an ark. He trusted God’s Word that was guiding his life, and that is what saved him.
o Jesus trusted in God’s Word and overcame Satan by saying it is written every time he was tempted.


1. Today we have heard that Lent is a 40 day time of spring cleaning. It is a time to get our spiritual lives cleaned up and in order.

2. We have heard that Lent is a time when the Holy Spirit give us the opportunity to choose that we will be faithful to God even when we are presented with temptations.

3. Faithfulness is found in two words: Repent = change you mind and turn your life in a new direction, and believe = trust God to guide your life.

4. Those who repent and believe get baptized in water. Baptism cleanses away the inner dirt and guilt of evil in our lives and makes us feel clean. We get a new beginning and a new life.

5. Overcoming gives you power to share the Good News with others.


• My prayer is like Jesus came out of the wilderness in power to share the Gospel with others
• I pray God will lead you through the 40 day Lent wilderness and you will show yourself faithful and emerge in power with a message that God wants

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