This week in James memory challenge we will focus on verses 14 through 16 of chapter one.
But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers.
(James 1:14-16 ESV)
In these verses James continues to address the topic of temptation that he had started in verse 13. If you recall from last week we discussed that God never tempts anyone. God tests His people by giving them trials they can pass that will strengthen their faith and trust in Him. But temptation is sin that designed to lead us away from God and destroy us. Here in verses 14-16 we find where the root of the tree of temptation begins. It’s within us. Our own sinful desires lead us into temptation. All mankind is born with a sinful nature and that nature has a bent that always and continually drives us to sin. So any temptation to sin that we face was first formed within our own heart.
In this passage we also see two interesting word pictures. First in verse 14 we are given the picture of something similar to fishing or hunting. Our own sin lures us like a fisherman lures his prey out with an attractive bait. The object being that the lure is designed to capture and destroy the fish. So we also when we are drawn into temptation by our own sin will be led to our destruction. The second word picture that is given is in verse 15. Here James makes use of the imagery of the birth cycle. Our desires give birth to the child named Sin, and when Sin is full grown Sin gives birth then to the grandchild, Death. It’s powerful imagery and it helps us understand this week’s passage and how temptation affects the life of the believer.