Why Are Temptations Necessary?

Matthew 18:7 says “Woe to the world for temptations to sin!  For it is necessary for temptations to come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes!”

For many years, I attended Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minnesota, where John Piper preached.  One thing I will never forget from him is the importance of the word “for”.  The part of this verse that really trips me up is “For it is necessary that temptations come”.  When you see the word “for”, you can be sure that it’s further explaining what came before it.  But, in this case, I’m not seeing how this is explaining the first part of the verse (or the many verses before it).

So, why is it necessary that temptations come?  I would understand this better if it said something more like “temptations are inevitable”.  But, it says “necessary”, which to me conveys that there is a purpose to it and that it is part of the design.


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