Bible Answer

Does God tempt believers to sin?

Matthew 4:1 tells us Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Does this mean that God (i.e., the Spirit) tempts believers?

In Matthew 4, Jesus is led into the wilderness by the Spirit, but the Spirit of God never tempted Jesus. The enemy tempted Jesus to sin:

Matt. 4:1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
Matt. 4:2 And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry.
Matt. 4:3 And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”

Notice that the enemy is called "the tempter" since he was the one tempting Jesus, not the Spirit of God. So the Spirit led Jesus to travel into the desert, but this is not the same thing as tempting Jesus to sin.

Furthermore, Scripture is explicit that God never tempts anyone to sin:

James 1:13 Let 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.

On the other hand, the Lord may allow us to experience temptation to grow us spiritually, as the Bible says clearly:

1Cor. 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.

God allows us to be tempted but only to a limit. Allowing us to be tempted is NOT the same thing as being the cause of temptation. This is the distinction that the Bible makes.