Sunday, July 24, 2005I preached today at Temple of Faith Baptist Church - this is the text of the message (continued in the comments)
In our text today we find Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. There seems to be something special about the greenery of a garden. A garden is a place of rest and relaxation, a place of peace and tranquility, a solitary sanctuary from the sources of stress that spoil our situations in this life. You know, there’s something special about a garden. The Babylonians created the Hanging Gardens in order to cheer up Nebuchadnezzar’s wife who was from the country and couldn’t stand the city life. The White House has a rose garden outside of the Oval Office to cheer up the president whenever he looks out of his window. When God created Adam and Eve He put them in the perfect place for people – the Garden of Eden. There’s something special about the serenity found in a garden.
Yet it was in this place of peaceful meditation that Jesus faced His final temptation. His last temptation was the same as His first temptation – the same as Adam and Eve’s temptation – because there is truly only one temptation. All sin and all temptations can be boiled down to one simple question – will you submit to God? It is a matter of the will. It doesn’t matter what you think about a situation and it doesn’t matter how you feel about a situation, all that matters is what you will to do. We have to submit our will to the will of God – anything contrary to that is sin, and every temptation that comes our way tempts us to overthrow God’s sovereign rule. Satan told Adam and Eve straight-up – "And you will be like God." That is the essence of all temptation – instead of submitting to God we want to be God.