As we have seen, God does not tempt us, that is, try to get us into sin. Instead, as James tells us, we are tempted when our lust draws us away from righteousness. That lust is the evil desire of our depraved flesh, as fallen in Adam. The lust of man is to sin, and that sin brings forth death. Death is the doorway that opens the way to hell and everlasting punishment.
No wonder then that James comes to us with the serious warning, "Do not err, my beloved brethren" ( James 1:16 ). Falling into sin in that temptation makes us worthy of everlasting punishment. We may for a few moments enjoy with our flesh the sin; but that sin of a moment calls for unending hell fire! We sinned against the eternal God and deserve endless punishment.
Did Adam and Eve not commit the sin of a moment? God told Adam that the moment he ate of that forbidden fruit, he would die. He did die spiritually that very moment; and physical death began to work on him. Sin always is an act of hatred against God, for it always denies that He is God and may tell us what to do and not do.
What is more, the Greek word here translated as "err" means "deceive." It is used that way by God in Matthew 24:4 where we read, "And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you." The Greek word is, in our Bibles, translated that way many more times than err. Here we are then warned not to be deceived, or to let ourselves be deceived. Adam and Eve were deceived by Satan; and they reached out for death, thinking that they would reach a better life. That was a tremendously great error. They erred, because Satan deceived them.
Sinning is always acting in hatred against God. Remember that, and never let any man or thing tempt you to act in hatred against God. You may think that a certain sin will help you and give your flesh pleasure. But always it does that which calls for everlasting punishment. Be not deceived. Do that which glorifies our God.
Read: James 1:16-27
Quote for Reflection:
¼ however much things may appear to be mingled and confused in the world, good men will find that God has not promised them help in vain against the violence and injuries of the wicked. – Calvin