13a Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God.
It is important that we take note of James’ caution: “Let no man say … I am tempted of God”. Some believers tend to misinterpret God-sent trials as God tempting them with opportunities to sin. Such a notion is far from the truth. So, James gives a stern warning to those who may try to pin the blame on God and hold God responsible for their temptation to sin. James is very concerned about such an idea of God and desires that his readers will reject the suggestion that God has a hand in inducing people to sin.
One’s thoughts about God affect one’s decisions and responses to life’s experiences. If one presumes that the temptations of sin that he experiences are from God, he will then have an ill-conceived excuse for the sins he would commit. As James noted, he would then say impious and despicable things, such as “God tempted me with sins.”
To say that “I am tempted of God” is, first of all, to make a false claim about God. It is a heresy to say that God tempts us with sin. Any thought or statement that depicts God as the author of sin is contrary to the unmistakable teaching of the Holy Scriptures that all of God’s works are holy. In Deuteronomy 32:4, Moses avows that God “is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.” Psalm 145:17 declares that “The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.” Likewise, Psalm 92:15 affirms that “the LORD is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him” (cf. 1 Samuel 2:2; Psalms 111:3; 119:137; Zephaniah 3:5; Revelation 4:8).
Secondly, such a statement deceives the heart to consider sin as an unavoidable matter that God has laid on him. Such a belief stands contrary to all the counsels and admonitions of God in His Word. God commands us to depart and be separate from everything unholy. For instance, 2 Corinthians 6:17 admonishes us, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” The LORD God would have nothing to do with those who follow the way of sin. He calls all His people to “come out” away from all sorts of unclean and false people and their ways.
How scandalous and diabolical it is then to say, “I am tempted of God”!