â€œAnd when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.â€ (Genesis 3:6)
Satan was so successful with his first temptation when he persuaded Adam and Eve to rebel against Godâ€™s Word in the Garden of Eden, that he has been using the same technique ever since. By this threefold temptation, he appeals to the body, soul, and spirit. He first appeals to whatever fleshly appetites a person may have (â€œgood for foodâ€), then to his emotional responses (â€œpleasant to the eyesâ€), and finally to his spiritual pride (â€œmake one wiseâ€).
John later would call these desires â€œthe lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of lifeâ€ (1 John 2:16). James identifies them as â€œearthly, sensual, devilishâ€ (James 3:15).
Satan even brought the same three temptations to bear on Christ Himself in the wilderness: â€œIf thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made breadâ€ (Matthew 4:3). That is, â€œsatisfy your physical hunger.â€ â€œCast thyself downâ€ from the pinnacle of the temple, thus enjoying the exhilarating feeling of being borne up by angels (Matthew 4:5-6). â€œAll these things I will give theeâ€ without your going to the cross, Satan taunted (Matthew 4:9).
Christ, however, stood the test, in each case citing an appropriate verse of Scripture to gain the victory. Now, when we are tempted, we can draw on His strength and follow His example. â€œBlessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love himâ€ (James 1:12). God â€œwill not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear itâ€ (1 Corinthians 10:13). HMM