God Does Not Tempt: What Does James 1:13 Mean?


James 1:13, “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.” (King James Version)

TranslationJames 1:13
ESVLet no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.
NASBLet no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.
NIVWhen tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;
NLTAnd remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else.

Also see the meaning of The Spirit of the Lord Is Upon Me

God Does Not Tempt: Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

1:12-18 It is not every man who suffers, that is blessed; but he who with patience and constancy goes through all difficulties in the way of duty. Afflictions cannot make us miserable, if it be not our own fault. The tried Christian shall be a crowned one.

The crown of life is promised to all who have the love of God reigning in their hearts. Every soul that truly loves God, shall have its trials in this world fully recompensed in that world above, where love is made perfect. The commands of God, and the dealings of his providence, try men’s hearts, and show the dispositions which prevail in them.

But nothing sinful in the heart or conduct can be ascribed to God. He is not the author of the dross, though his fiery trial exposes it. Those who lay the blame of sin, either upon their constitution, or upon their condition in the world, or pretend they cannot keep from sinning, wrong God as if he were the author of sin.

Afflictions, as sent by God, are designed to draw out our graces, but not our corruptions. The origin of evil and temptation is in our own hearts. Stop the beginnings of sin, or all the evils that follow must be wholly charged upon us.

God has no pleasure in the death of men, as he has no hand in their sin; but both sin and misery are owing to themselves. As the sun is the same in nature and influences, though the earth and clouds, often coming between, make it seem to us to vary, so God is unchangeable, and our changes and shadows are not from any changes or alterations in him.

What the sun is in nature, God is in grace, providence, and glory; and infinitely more. As every good gift is from God, so particularly our being born again, and all its holy, happy consequences come from him.

A true Christian becomes as different a person from what he was before the renewing influences of Divine grace, as if he were formed over again. We should devote all our faculties to God’s service, that we may be a kind of first-fruits of his creatures.

Also see the meaning of Where the Spirit of the Lord is There is Freedom

James 1:13 | Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

13. when … tempted—tried by solicitation to evil. Heretofore the “temptation” meant was that of probation by afflictions. Let no one fancy that God lays upon him an inevitable necessity of sinning. God does not send trials on you in order to make you worse, but to make you better (Jas 1:16, 17). Therefore do not sink under the pressure of evils (1Co 10:13).

of God—by agency proceeding from God. The Greek is not “tempted by,” but, “from,” implying indirect agency.

cannot be tempted with evil, &c.—”Neither do any of our sins tempt God to entice us to worse things, nor does He tempt any of His own accord” (literally, “of Himself”; compare the antithesis, Jas 1:18, “Of His own will He begat us” to holiness, so far is He from tempting us of His own will) [Bengel].

God is said in Ge 22:1 to have “tempted Abraham”; but there the tempting meant is that of trying or proving, not that of seducement. Alford translates according to the ordinary sense of the Greek, “God is unversed in evil.”

But as this gives a less likely sense, English Version probably gives the true sense; for ecclesiastical Greek often uses words in new senses, as the exigencies of the new truths to be taught required.

Also see the meaning of I Have Loved You With An Everlasting Love

Recent Posts