Ellen G. White Writings

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Christ Triumphant, Page 212

Jesus Our Example on How to Overcome Satan, July 24

All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16, 17, NRSV.

The great leading temptations wherewith we would be beset, Christ met and overcame in the wilderness. His coming off victor over appetite, presumption, and the world shows how we may overcome. Satan has overcome his millions in tempting the appetite and leading people to give up to presumptuous sins. There are many who profess to be followers of Christ, claiming by their faith to be enlisted in the warfare against all evil in their nature, yet who, with hardly a thought, plunge into scenes of temptation that would require a miracle to bring them forth unsullied. Meditation and prayer would have preserved them and led them to shun the dangerous positions in which they have placed themselves, and that give Satan the advantage over them.

The promises of God are not for us to claim rashly, to protect us while we rush on recklessly into danger, violating the laws of nature, or disregarding prudence and the judgment God has given us to use. This would not be genuine faith but presumption. The thrones and kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them, were presented to Christ. Never will we have temptations as strong as those that assailed Him.

But Satan comes to us with worldly honor, wealth, and the pleasures of life. These temptations are varied to meet people of every rank and degree, tempting them away from God to serve themselves more than their Creator. “All these things will I give thee,” said Satan to Christ. “All these things will I give thee,” says Satan to us. “All this money, this land, all this power, this honor, and these riches, will I give thee,” and we are charmed, deceived, and treacherously allured on to our ruin. If we give ourselves up to worldliness of heart and of life, Satan is satisfied.

The Saviour overcame the wily foe, showing us how we may overcome. He has left us His example, to repel Satan with Scripture. He might have had recourse to His own divine power and used His own words, but His example would not then have been as useful to us. Christ used only Scripture. How important that the Word of God be thoroughly studied and followed, that in case of emergency we may be “throughly furnished unto all good works” and especially fortified to meet the wily foe.—Letter 1a, 1872.

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