When the devil wants to seduce people, also you, then he uses a locomotive of truth that pulls wagons full with lies. As ever he employs the sinful world for this with its three main sins. The bible teaches not seven main sins, but three. They are the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.
Many people have their main goal in a form of pleasure. Carpe diem. Pluck the day. Many have been the philosophies that teach pleasure as a life style. Epicureanism is more than 2000 years old. Ancient Indian ideas have been around that teach so-called modest pleasure. For if you overdo it, then the consequences overshadow and outweigh the enjoyment. Many modern people do not experience enough happiness in their marriage with children and career. So they turn to exaggerated sex, even drugs; or they work for vacations and luxury, or they stick stubbornly to hobbies and deny responsibilities to the detriment of spouses, offspring and society. This happens already at an early age with liquor, too much music and what have you. Everything God created is good and
nothing is to be rejected if it is accepted with thanksgiving; for it is hallowed by God's Word and through prayer (1 Tim. 4.4). But the misuse of creation leads to idolatry, fouling up the environment with all their ensuing problems. The Bible teaches us to be
moderate (Tit. 1.8) and sober (1 Thess. 5.6). This way of life resorts under the
lust of the flesh (1 John 2.16).
The human mind has invented all kinds of gadgetry that can steal almost all our time. All inventions can be misused as so many gods. Computer games, smart phones, impressive cars, beautiful houses, fashionable clothes and so forth can be abused to feast our eyes in an exaggerated way. In this way I cannot
buy out the time (Eph. 5.16), i.e. spend it as practically as possible for the Lord and my fellow men. This attitude is called
the lust of the eyes.
All kinds of ideas such as believe in yourself, only trust your own judgment, bottom line is that you fall back on yourself, do your own thing are more or less like the ancient pantheistic belief that the divine is to be sought within yourself. New Age, meditation techniques, Kabbala and also when one goes deep into occult forms of yoga, relaxation and fighting techniques have been around for thousands of years. They may be foisted on people as something new, something that will finally help them from stress; but they are dangerous and eventually will capture you in bondage. They also may be preached as common sense and human wisdom (cf. Prov. 3.5). This is all idolatry of one's own ego. Great men may even pretend to humility, but it is a mask for damnable pride. Those that are jealous of the so-called stars and of great people, are as guilty as those that wallow in fame and money. However, the Lord Jesus is to be our sustainer (cf. Psalm 18.2). This is the
pride of life.
Satan tested Jesus on these three points respectively when he tempted Him to turn a stone into bread, when he showed Him all the kingdoms of the earth with their glory, promising these if He worshipped him, and when he suggested he throw himself off the pinnacle of the temple. Some think they refer to the body, the soul and the spirit. To some extent that may be true, but they are rather the sin of Adam and Eve. We all are tested and tempted these ways. The temptation to earn your living in an easy way. The temptation for beauty in things or yourself. The temptation to put God to the ultimate test with brinkmanship.
Satan wages an all-out war against us. But
his thoughts are not unknown to us (2 Cor. 2.11).
Resist the devil and he will flee from you (James 4.7).
Flee from the lusts of your youth (2 Tim. 2.22), just like young Joseph fled from the luring temptation of the wife of Potiphar. She tried him out day after day, but he kept his honor.
The apostle John, in his first epistle, teaches that these three main sins are in the world and that if one loves the world, one is constituted an enemy of God. These three main sins are characterized by the fall of our first parents. Deep in our hearts we want to be equal to God. Actually this spells rivalry with the Most High. Only One can be God. The desire to be at the same footing essentially means that we want to strike Him from His throne. Already Nietzsche concluded that we have murdered God. And the end is that many philosophers consider man now also dead. And, yes, Holy Writ teaches that we are dead in sins and trespasses. This desire and pride of disobedience and independence lives deep in our hearts and psyche at many levels. This means that on the one hand we all keep being deceived like Eve and on the other hand we willfully transgress like Adam. In Psalm 19 it is asked
Who knows his own errors and in Jeremiah 17.9 it is as it were shouted
The heart is crooked more than anything, yes it is mortally sick; who can know it. But because Christ has conquered Satan, sin and death deliverance is possible.
The worst form of sin is when we pride ourselves on blessings, from material things, via our spouses, to wisdom and insight that we received out of His hand. When we extol ourselves with what we owe to Him, that is spiritual blindness. When we play god in ourselves and over against each other with what He grants in His mercy and grace.
According to the Bible Satan accuses us as Christians day and night in front of God and probably also His holy angels. And then he does not tell lies! As the original covering cherub he knows us better than we do ourselves. Also it is not for nothing that he has been called the best theologian. But every time the Lord, as our advocate (v. 1 John 2.1,2), answers that He paid for us in full. Yet, we must not tempt our God with too much stubbornness. There are limits and consequences in our lives. The psalmist says that there is forgiveness with God that we may fear Him. If God would forgive us all the time and let us get away with it as some Saint Nick and also when He would punish us for the least mistakes like some bogeyman; then we would become indifferent. Jesus proved to be pure gold throughout such trials. May we follow in His footsteps. Let us praise our Lord for His Love and Wisdom!