The early days of the church saw the emergence of many strange and dangerous doctrines. Many of the epistles were written to expose and correct some of these false teachings. James is no exception to the rule. There were those who were saying that God was the source of all temptation to sin. In other words, the very solicitation to lie, or steal, or commit sexual sin came from God Himself! The Spirit of God at the very outset of this letter to the Jewish saints puts this false teaching to a halt, by saying the exact opposite. Yes, God is sovereign over all, but He cannot be tempted with evil, nor does He tempt His creation with evil. (James 1:13-16)
Why is it that we want to blame God for our sin? Right after the fall in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve essentially refused to take personal accountability for their sin. Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the serpent, the implication being, ‘God, You started this whole thing so You can’t blame us for what happened; it is really Your fault.’
Scripture does not say that by God sin came into the world, but by man sin entered. Nothing could be plainer. Temptation is something common to all men, saved or not (1 Corinthians 10:13). Our Great Shepherd Jesus Christ tells us that the key to victory over temptation is by being alert and in prayer (Matthew 26:41). When we fail to adhere to God’s wisdom, Satan is right there to capitalize in that situation (1 Corinthians 7:5). When Ananias and Sapphira lied to Peter about the proceeds from the sale of their land, they tempted the Spirit of God (Acts 5:9). God didn’t lie to Himself through them. Our fallen state is never more evident than when we are willing to believe that the wicked and evil works of Satan and fallen man are really God in disguise!
Our God is The One Who knows how to deliver His people out of temptations (2 Peter 2:9). The Holy Spirit of God clearly refers to Satan as the tempter (Matthew 4:1,3; 1 Thessalonians 3:5). The temptation to sin is something that you and I deal with every single hour of every single day. “Abba” (Galatians 4:6) is not the Godfather who plunges us into evil, but the One who delivers us from it!