What We Learn From the Temptation of Christ

(H/T – Pastor Harrison)

This past Sunday was the 1st Sunday in Lent & the Gospel reading for the week dealt with the temptation of Christ.  Here’s what Martin Luther said about what we can learn from it.

So, first, we want to note and learn from the example of our dear Lord Christ [the temptation Matthew 4:1-11] that every Christian as soon as he’s baptized, is marshaled into an army in confrontation with the devil, and from his baptism onward is saddled with the devil who harasses him as long as he lives. If this bitter enemy cannot by his onslaughts get the better of Christians and bring about their downfall, he seeks to hang them on the cross and kill them as he did Christ.

All Christians face such attack, for the adversary never relents but continues to try to wrench us away from Christ and our baptism, by means of hunger or persecution, by worldly fame and wealth, or by heresy or false interpretation of Scriptures, so that we give way to despair and vain glory. If such tricks fail, the devil tries to get us by the throat and strangle us to death. We can learn from Christ’s encounter with Satan how to deal with and overcome this adversary, so that he’s forced to let us go. However, this happens only through true faith in God and his Word. Whoever thus arms himself properly will be able to withstand the devil; but whoever fails to do so will certainly he helpless against this deadly adversary.
It is the bounded duty, therefore, of every Christian to earnestly hear God’s Word and its preaching, diligently learn and become well-versed therein. We also should persevere in earnest prayer that God would let his kingdom come among us, not lead us into temptation, but graciously deliver us from evil.
Luther
Invocavit – First Sunday in Lent 1534
Luther’s House Postils, vol. 1, p. 313
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