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Jesus and Temptation

Scripture citations are to the King James (Authorised) Version

Q. Was Jesus vulnerable to temptation?


A. As the ʻransom for allʼ Jesus was in nature and capabilities like Adam, the first perfect man. But unlike the first Adam, Jesus as the second Adam was fully obedient to God, even to death (1 Cor. 15: 45). In Heb. 5: 8 it is said of Jesus that ‘though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered’ [emphasis added].


Having been thus tested and tried and proved victorious, God promoted Him to a nature He had not previously held as the Logos, and He was seated at the right hand of God (Phil. 2: 8-11).


In order to satisfy all the Scripture texts bearing on the humanity of Christ, many adherents of the Trinity doctrine are obliged to describe Christ as a dual entity, declaring that He was simultaneously wholly God and wholly Man. Thus they perhaps unwittingly concede that Jesus in the flesh was confronted with the hazard of fallibility and the possibility of failure, a thing difficult to mesh with a belief that Christ was God.


As the noted American Bible scholar, R. C. Sproule, has observed:


Could Jesus have wanted to sin? Theologians are divided on this point. I would say yes, I think he could have. I think that's part of being made after the likeness of Adam. . . . Christ's perfect obedience was not a charade. He actually was victorious over every conceivable temptation that was thrown his way.


            Now, That’s a Good Question! (1996)



The Ransom: A Corresponding Price

Christ's death purchases the believing sinner in a unique demonstration of God's justice: Adam the perfect man sinned and God condemned him to death. Along comes Jesus the perfect man, offering Himself in Adam’s place, thus prospectively releasing Adam and his offspring from this curse and all its consequences.


This ʻransom for allʼ is alluded to in 1 Tim. 2:


5 [T]here is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,

6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

The Apostle Paul lays emphasis on this principle of equivalence in 1 Cor. 15:


22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. [emphasis added]


It seems reasonable to conclude that the Ransom-sacrifice as a transaction of equivalence is not feasible under the doctrine of the Trinity.


August 2017

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