"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
| Jesus - Tempted As We Are -poonen|
[b]Jesus - Tempted As We Are[/b]
[i]by Zac Poonen[/i]
The secret of a godly life lies in Jesus Who lived on earth as a Man, and Who was tempted in every way as we are, but never sinned even once in thought, word, deed, attitude or motive or in any other way (1 Tim. 3:16; Heb. 4:15). Since it is only those who have come to a godly life who can live together without strife as one body in Christ, we could go one step further and say that a local church can be the expression of Christ's body only where believers have seen our Lord Jesus in this way. This is the truth of which the church is to be the pillar and support (1 Tim. 3:15,16). Temptation is not the same as sin. Jas. 1:14,15 makes that clear. Our mind has to agree with the temptation before we sin. It is clear from Matthew 4 that Jesus was tempted. But His mind never agreed with any temptation even once. Thus He never sinned. He kept His heart pure. Jesus was born of the Holy Spirit. He did not have the 'old man' that we were born with. We have sinful flesh, whereas Jesus did not have sinful flesh. He came only in the likeness of sinful flesh (Rom.8:3). But the Bible teaches that our Lord was tempted in all points as we are (Heb.4:15). We do not have to analyze this, even as we do not analyze the mystery of God becoming Man. We only have to believe it. At every point, in every temptation, Jesus obeyed His Father, unlike Adam.
Gods Word says about Jesus, He learned obedience and was made complete (Heb. 5:7-9). The word learned is a word that relates to education. So what this verse is saying is that Jesus received an education in obedience as a Man. In each situation, He obeyed His Father and thus completed His education as a Man. Thus He became a Forerunner for us, so that we too can follow in His footsteps, overcoming temptation and obeying God (Heb. 6:20). Our Lord can sympathise with us in our struggles against temptation, because He too was tempted like us (Heb. 2:18; 4:15; 12:2-4). The purity of Jesus as a Man was not something that He received on a platter, but one that was acquired through battle. But those battles were not endless ones. Every temptation was conquered - one after another. Thus, over the period of His lifetime, He faced every single temptation that we are tempted by - and overcame.
All of us have lived in sin for many years, and our sinful flesh can be likened to a box full of poisonous snakes that have been well-fed by us!! The names of these snakes are impurity, anger, malice, strife, bitterness, love of money, selfishness, pride, etc. This box has an opening at the top from which these snakes put out their head whenever we are tempted. We have fed these snakes in plenty during our unconverted days. As a result, they are well-fed, healthy and strong. Some snakes have been fed more than others, and so those lusts have a greater grip on us than others. Now that we have died with Christ to sin, even though these snakes are still hale and hearty, our attitude to these snakes has changed! We have now been made partakers of the Divine nature and "those who belong to Christ have crucified their flesh with its lusts" (Gal. 5:24). Unlike in the old days, now, when a snake puts its head out of the opening of the box (when we are tempted), we hit it on the head with a stick. It goes back into the box. When we are tempted again, the snake puts its head out again, and we hit it again. Gradually it gets weaker and weaker. If we are faithful in each temptation to hit the snake instead of feeding it, then we will soon find the pull of temptation weakening. The flesh cannot be 'shot' or 'hanged' in a moment. It can only be crucified. Crucifixion is a slow death, but it is a certain one. That is why we consider it all joy, when we are tempted (Jas. 1:2) - because it gives us the opportunity to hit the snakes and weaken them. This would not have been possible otherwise.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
| 2007/6/3 22:37||Profile|
| Re: Jesus - Tempted As We Are -poonen|
Brother Poonen writes
Gods Word says about Jesus, He learned obedience and was made complete (Heb. 5:7-9). The word learned is a word that relates to education. So what this verse is saying is that Jesus received an education in obedience as a Man. In each situation, He obeyed His Father and thus completed His education as a Man.
I was studying today and found these Scriptures which speak of the Father's relationship with His Son...
Acts 10:38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.
Luke 4:1 Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,
Luke 4:14 Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region.
Luke 10:21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight.
Romans 8: 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
As a result, they are well-fed, healthy and strong. Some snakes have been fed more than others, and so those lusts have a greater grip on us than others. Now that we have died with Christ to sin, even though these snakes are still hale and hearty, our attitude to these snakes has changed! We have now been made partakers of the Divine nature and "those who belong to Christ have crucified their flesh with its lusts"
This situation we find ourselves in reminds me of the promise Christ spoke in John 8
John 8:31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
John 8:33 They answered Him, We are Abrahams descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, You will be made free?
John 8:34 Jesus answered them, Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
Who are we a slave of? Do we choose to remain in captivity or to be freed by walking in the Spirit by the name of our Savior.
| 2007/6/4 3:02||Profile|