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author on October 8th, 2008

Have you ever experienced a great spiritual victory – overcoming a habitual sin, resisting an otherwise irresistible temptation, or leading a friend to Jesus Christ? Then what happens? Unexplained depression, or a major failure, or a greater temptation which catches you completely off guard! Why does it have to be this way?

I think is seems to be the natural order of things. Think about it: if there were never “down” times, how could we know what what an “up” time is? We’d have nothing to contrast one with the other. But that’s not good enough – it’s not as simple as that. We must suffer in order to be strengthened – we need to be strong to experience victory.

Life is a series of struggles. Sometimes the result is victory, and other times it’s defeat. When we fail, we either stay down, or we get up and try again. And we repeat the process until we gain the vitory we sought.

For Jesus, defeat was not an option. If He failed, all mankind would be doomed. Somehow I suspect that we all, as believers, also possess the power to be victorious in every circumstance, but that we lack the faith to have the victory. If Jesus could do it, we can do it – He is our example. It’s not by our own effort or our own self-confidence that we are victorious. That’s being delusional. It’s Christ in us that brings victory.

I can count the truly victorious Christians I know of on one hand. I’m not sure if I’ve actually met one. We all compromise (read: fail) on some level, and rather than repent, we accept it as “the way things are”. those rare, truly victorious Christians are out there – they must be – because the world would be total chaos if they weren’t.

And Jesus is our example. We wouldn’t survive the physical aspects of 40 days in the desert, let alone the spiritual aspects of being tempted by Satan. So we struggle – and we get up every time we’re knocked down – a little stronger, a little more faithful. And when we have victory, we face the next obstacle… and so on… until God has perfected His servants.

Content:

  1. Jesus is baptized by John the Baptist. Heaven is opened and as the Spirit descended on Jesus, a voice from heaven saying, “You are my Son, whom I love, and with You I am pleased”.
  2. The Spirit sends Jesus to the desert; at once He is tempted 40 days by Satan after which angels attend to Him.

Divisions:

  1. Jesus is baptized, receives the Holy Spirit (9-11)
  2. Jesus is at once tempted by satan 40 days in the desert (12-13)

Subject Sentence:

Jesus is baptized, receives Spirit, and is tempted 40 days

Aim:

To cause the audience to know that our victories will be followed by temptations