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Our Sinless Yet Sympathetic Saviour. Welcome to Part 14. Our study this hour is entitled: “Tempted Like as We Are, Part 1.” And now let’s join Pastor Stephen Vincent Wallace once again as he introduces our study.

We’ve been considering together the mystery of all mysteries–God manifest in the flesh. Particularly, we’ve been looking at the incarnation and considering the all-sufficiency of the Word made flesh to be both Substitute and Example for a fallen race. {Audio starts from this point:} At the same time, He {Christ} is our sinless Substitute and he is our valid Example. The challenge, of course, as we have been recognizing together, is to come to an understanding of his nature that allows him to be both sinless Substitute and sympathetic Example at the same time.

We have indicated that there are two camps, both of which have very precious and important truths that they feel they need to uphold. This particular group is particularly interested in upholding the truth that Christ is our sinless Substitute. And this group, that he is our sympathetic Elder Brother and valid Example. Both are precious truths, but we run the risk of heresy when we emphasize even a precious truth disproportionately. And we are into heresy if we emphasize a truth in such a way as to negate or deny or invalidate a balancing truth. That’s what we have to avoid. We have to make sure that everything that we say about Christ as our sinless Substitute still allows him to be our sympathetic Elder Brother and valid Example. And we also have to make sure that everything we say about him as our sympathetic Elder Brother and valid Example still allows him to be our sinless Substitute.

And we have been wrestling with the Word and with the precious insights that we have from the Spirit of Prophecy, seeking to come to a balanced understanding that allows him to be both at the same time. And to the degree that God’s Spirit has been with us, our study has been a blessing. Let’s again pause and ask for God’s Spirit to be with us so that we can be assured of that blessing tonight.

My Father in heaven, I come hiding under the righteousness of Jesus Christ. See me as I am in him, I pray. Father, you know my heart. You know that there is no sin that I cherish. Although I’m painfully aware of my faults and defects, I despise what I am by nature and I plead for your forgiveness for my shortcomings and for what I am. And I claim the righteousness of another, namely, Jesus Christ, as my right to stand before you just now in my own behalf and in behalf of my brothers and sisters. Oh, Father, I thank you for the gracious provision that is ours in the Word made flesh. I thank you for his all-sufficiency to be everything that we need. Lord, as we continue in our study of this mystery of mystery–God manifest in the flesh–I pray that that power which alone can help us begin to understand spiritual truths, which to the carnal mind are nothing but mysteries, that power alone which can help us understand might be active and present, the power of your Spirit, Father. Pour it out upon us, I pray. Oh, I need your Spirit myself, Lord. Quicken, energize these faculties of body, mind and spirit, I pray, that what I say and what I do might be done in a way that is pleasing to you and edifying to your people. This is my prayer in Jesus’ name and for his sake I ask it. Amen.

In our last study, which was a very important one, entitled: “A Body Hast Thou Prepared For Me,” we came to some significant conclusions regarding the uniqueness of the humanity of Christ. May I just summarize with you what we were covering there in that last study. The Son of Man came with a specially prepared body, a human nature, prepared for him by God that he might be in it for man both a sinless Substitute and a sympathetic Elder Brother and valid Example, for the fallen race. His humanity was a new creation, divinely formed by God, but yet he was the virgin’s son. That he might be fully a partaker of humanity, subject by the law of heredity to all our weaknesses and infirmities, but exempt by the miracle of his divine preparation and conception from the inherent sinfulness and depravity. Thus, he was subject to all the innocent infirmities of our fallen nature but he was free from all its sinful propensities. Only as a new creation could he in that humanity produce a righteousness equal to the infinite standard of the law. And only thus would he have a body to offer as an acceptable sacrifice, a sin offering without spot or blemish, holy, innocent, undefiled, separate from sinners. For having no sin in his flesh, he was able to give himself as an offering for sin in the flesh.

As well, only with this unique origin, which made him not only a new creation but the son of Mary, could he sympathize with our weaknesses and know by personal experience our sufferings and struggles. Only thus could he be tempted in all things like as we are. And by overcoming, through only those means equally available to us and with human powers no greater than ours, provide for us a valid Example as to how we, too, may be overcomers. Only a body, a humanity uniquely prepared by God and born of a woman could have accomplished all of this. Indeed, in his sinlessness, he was the head of a new creation, the Son of God, but in his weaknesses he was the child of a fallen race, the son of Mary. It was his sinlessness that enabled him to be our sinless Substitute; it was his weaknesses that enabled him to be our sympathetic Elder Brother and valid Example. That, in just a nutshell, was what we were seeking carefully to establish in our last study.

Now, what we need to do at this point is to focus in on how it is, indeed, that he can be and is a sympathetic Elder Brother and entirely valid Example for even a fallen race. A valid Example as to how they can be what? Overcomers. How is he a valid Example, though sinless, as to how we, though sinful, can be overcomers?

The title of this study is: “Tempted in All Things Like as We Are,” and it’s taken, as you well know, from Hebrews 4:15: “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted” how? “Like as we are, yet without sin.” As we have already considered, he came to prove that man, as God created him, could perfectly obey. But now we must recognize that he came to prove as well that even fallen man could overcome every temptation. But how could he do both at the same time? For to do the one, he had to begin where Adam began. But to do the other, he had to be where we are. How could he do both?

Answer, stage one of our answer: By being as sinless as Adam but just as weak as we are. As sinless as Adam. Let’s make sure we keep this in mind. Signs of the Times, May 29, 1901: “In the fullness of time he was to be revealed in human form, he was to take his position at the head of humanity by taking the nature but not the sinfulness of man.” Nature but not the sinfulness of man. In other words, all of our inherited weaknesses and infirmities, but none of our inherited tendencies and propensities to evil. Our deteriorated nature but not our depraved nature. In our last study, we considered how it was that he could be subject to the one but exempt from the other. And that’s why it was such an important study.

In Youth’s Instructor, June 2, 1898: “Christ is called the Second Adam. In purity and holiness connected with God and beloved by God, he began where the first Adam began. Willingly he passed over the ground where Adam fell and redeemed Adam’s failure. The first Adam was created what? Pure, sinless, without a taint of corruption upon him. And Christ began, as far as his sinlessness is concerned, where Adam began.

In Letter 8, 1895, she states: “He was assailed with temptations in the wilderness as Adam was assailed with temptations in Eden.” How was Adam assailed with temptations in Eden? With sinful propensities? Absolutely not. And Christ was assailed with temptation in the wilderness in the same way as Adam was assailed with temptation in the garden. Do we have insights as to how Adam was assailed in the garden? Indeed.

Bible Commentary, volume 1, page 1083: “In what consisted the strength of the assault made upon Adam, which caused his fall? It was not indwelling sin, for God made Adam after his own character, pure and upright. There were no corrupt principles in the first Adam, no corrupt propensities or tendencies to evil.” And Christ had to prove that man, as God created him, could have overcome. So he had to be just as free from corrupt propensities or tendencies to evil as Adam was. He had to begin where the first Adam began.

How was Adam tempted in Eden, not having sinful propensities or tendencies? He was tempted to yield to those God-given desires and appetites that were his. They are in three areas. In using the John 1:16 format: The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the what? The pride of life. Now, that is describing those three areas as they have been perverted by sin. But each of those has an unperverted counterpart before sin. Did Adam have an appetite before he sinned? Why, of course. Did he have human passions before he sinned? Why, of course. But they were in no way perverted or sinful because they were under perfect control of the higher faculties of his mind, and in perfect harmony with law. Nevertheless, he was tempted in these three areas.

Desire of Ages, pages 116, 117: “The test upon appetite, upon the love of the world, and upon the love of display which leads to presumption. . .” What do you hear there? Lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, pride of life. “The test upon appetite, upon the love of the world, and upon the love of display, which leads to presumption, these were the temptations that overcame Adam and Eve, and that so readily overcome us.” Clearly then, they were tempted in those three areas, though having no sinful appetites, perverted appetites or passions.

Selected Messages, volume 1, page 279: “Christ knew that Adam in Eden, with his superior advantages, might have withstood the temptations of Satan and conquered him. He also knew that it was not possible for man, out of Eden, separated from the light and love of God since the fall, to resist the temptations of Satan in his own strength.”

Signs of the Times, June 9, 1898: “Christ came to the earth, taking humanity and standing as man’s representative, to show in the great controversy with Satan that man, as God created him, connected with the Father and the Son, could obey every divine requirement. So what did he come to do? He came to show in the great controversy with Satan that man, as God created him, connected with the Father and the Son, could obey every divine requirement. Is that clear? To do that, he had to be just as sinless as the first Adam. But we ask, and here is the vitally important transition point. Follow me. Is that all he came to show? Only that man as God created him, that is, in his sinlessness of nature, connected with God, could obey? No, he came to show that even fallen man, with all his sinful propensities and inherited and cultivated tendencies to evil, even fallen man, connected with God, could overcome every temptation, in spite of Satan’s claims to the contrary.

Signs of the Times, January 16, 1896: “Satan declared that it was impossible for the sons and daughters of Adam to keep the law of God. And thus charged upon God a lack of wisdom and love. If they could not keep the law, then there was a fault with the law-giver. Jesus humbled Himself, clothing His divinity with humanity, in order that He might stand as the head and representative of the human race and by both precept and example condemn sin in the flesh, and give the lie to Satan’s charges. He was subjected to the fiercest temptations that human nature can know; yet he sinned not, for sin is the transgression of the law.”

Do you see we move here into another aspect? He came not only to give evidence that sinless Adam was condemnable for yielding to temptation, but he came to give evidence that even fallen descendants of Adam are condemnable for yielding to temptation. He comes to prove that it is not a necessity, joined with him, to yield to temptation even in our fallen condition.

Bible Commentary, volume 5, 1131: “He (Christ) came as a representative of the human family before heaven and earth. He was to live the life of humanity in such a way as to contradict the assertion that Satan had made that humanity was his everlasting possession and that God himself could not take man out of his adversary’s hands. So, what did Christ come to prove as well?

Review and Herald, May 7, 1901: “Possessing our nature, though unstained by sin. . .” Note the qualifier. “Our nature, though unstained by sin and tempted in all points as we are, Christ kept the law, proving beyond controversy that man also can keep it.” But, to do this, to prove this, he had to be touched with the feelings of our what? Infirmities. And here we come to our key text. Hebrews 4:15: “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses,” is the way the New King James puts it. I like the King James even better. “Who is not touched with our infirmities but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Touched. Touched with the feelings of our infirmities. These infirmities he actually took upon himself. He had personal, experiential acquaintance with them.

{22’35”} Review and Herald, January 7, 1904: “The Saviour came to the world in lowliness and lived as a man among men. On all points except sin divinity was to touch humanity.” He was touched with the feelings of our infirmities on all points except what? Sin. On all points except sin. He had to have, in order, brothers and sisters, to prove that even fallen man could overcome temptation, He had to have two things. Please note them. He had to have all our innocent infirmities and weaknesses by nature, and then, by providential circumstances, have even those brought to such a tortured state as to know personally and experientially what even the most weakened and depraved go through under temptation. We’ll develop that concept later, but I just want to plant it in your mind at this point.

Was it sufficient just for Him to have sin-weakened faculties to know what it’s like to be tempted in all things like as we are with sin-perverted faculties? Was it? No. So, therefore, his sin-weakened faculties had to be so stressed by providential circumstances, had to be so augmented as to make it possible for him to know what we with our perverted faculties are up against in temptation.

First of all, all our innocent infirmities. Clearly, he had these, and this distinguished him from Adam in his overcoming. This is found in Manuscript 113, 1902: “Adam had the advantage over Christ in that, when he was assailed by the tempter, none of the effects of sin were upon him. He stood in the strength of perfect manhood, possessing the full vigor of mind and body. He was surrounded with the glories of Eden and was in daily communion with heavenly beings. It was not thus with Jesus. When he entered the wilderness to cope with Satan, 4000 years the race had been decreasing in physical strength, in mental power, in moral worth, and Christ took upon him the infirmities of degenerate humanity. Only thus could he rescue man from the lowest depths of degradation.” He took upon him the what? The infirmities of degenerate humanity. Did he take the propensities of degenerate humanity? No. The infirmities.

Youth’s Instructor, June 2, 1891: “Christ was tempted by Satan in a hundredfold severer manner than was Adam, and under circumstances in every way more trying.” How many fold? A hundredfold severer than Adam was the intensity of his temptations. Why? Because, brothers and sisters, he came to prove not only that sinless Adam didn’t have to yield, but he came to prove that what? We don’t have to yield to temptation either. And, of course, the first is proved and comprehended in the latter. If he can prove that even fallen man, with his perverted appetites and passions can overcome, certainly that is more than proof that unfallen man could have overcome.

Review and Herald, February 10, 1885: “He was made like unto his brethren with the same susceptibilities, mental and physical. He was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin.” Susceptibilities. What does that mean? Dictionary. Capable of being influenced, able to respond with sensitivity to outward influences. He had all of the faculties and capacities that we have to respond and be influenced by outward circumstances and influences. So, then, in order to be tempted in all things like as we are in our fallen state, he had not only to take our infirmities upon him, but what else did have to do? He had to be tempted in all points like as we are. In all points.

I read from Review and Herald, June 28, 1874: “Christ bore the sins and infirmities of the race as they existed when he came to the earth to help man. In behalf of the race, with the weaknesses of fallen man upon him, he was to stand the temptations of Satan upon all points wherewith man would be assailed.” What are these points of temptation? There are only three. There are three categories of temptation, and every single temptation known to the human race can be put under one of these three headings.

What are they? John, again, I John 2:16. We’ve referred to it but let’s read it. “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world.” These are the only three temptations that there really are. Every other temptation known to man is a variation or an application of one of these three. These are the three major categories of temptation.

Was Christ tempted in these three areas? Clearly. Desire of Ages, pages 116, 117: “With the terrible weight of the sins of the world upon him, Christ withstood the test upon appetite, upon the love of the world, and upon the love of display that leads to presumption. These were the temptations that overcame Adam and Eve and so readily overcome us.” Christ experienced them as well. In all three areas, then, he is tempted like as we are.

It is important to note, though, that even sinless Adam was tempted in these three areas. Eve saw that the tree was what? Good for food. What’s that? Lust of the flesh, appetite. A delight to the eyes. What’s that? Lust of the eyes. Desirable to make one wise. What’s that? Pride of life that leads to presumption. She was tempted in those three areas and was absolutely free from any sinful propensities, wasn’t she? Yet, she and Adam obviously could be drawn away and enticed, tempted, to transgress God’s law by means of having these three basic desires deceptively appealed to by Satan.

Would they have been attracted and drawn to yield by something that Satan would have presented as overt transgression and violation of God’s will? Absolutely not. He had, then, to carefully disguise his temptation to make it appear to them that what he offered was within God’s will for them. Is a being in a sinless state tempted by that which is overtly sinful? Absolutely not. A being in a sinless state can only be tempted by evil disguised as good. That’s an important point to remember.

Tempted in all things like as we are. That Christ was. Signs of the Times, August 13, 1874. And since he was tempted in all points like as we are, what is Ellen White able to say? “All are personally exposed to the temptations that Christ overcame, but strength is provided for them in the all-powerful name of the great Conqueror, and all must for themselves individually overcome.” Did you hear that? “All are personally exposed to the temptations that Christ overcame.” I ask you, Have any of you been personally exposed to a temptation to turn stones to bread? Have you? I haven’t. What obviously, then, is she talking about? Specific temptations or types? Types. Precisely. Christ was tempted in all points like as we are in that he experienced those three types of temptation.

Brothers and sisters, please recognize that Christ as not tempted in all things like as we are in specific temptations any more than we are tempted in all things like as he was in specific temptations. We are talking here about types, general categories, of temptations. I have a very real concern on this because there are some, and they are well-meaning, they want Christ to be perceived of as a sympathetic Elder Brother and a valid Example, and so they feel that they have to have him tempted in every specific temptation that you and I are faced with. But brothers and sisters, it becomes ludicrous the lengths to which we have to go, if we say tempted in all things means specific temptations. And it becomes not only ludicrous, it becomes blasphemous.

There are those, well-meaning I will allow, who say that Christ had all the temptations of the most perverted sex pervert. Brothers and sisters, can we say that of our Lord? Most emphatically not. Did he have the temptations of a homosexual? No. I don’t have the temptations of a homosexual and I’m a fallen man. You see, if we say that Christ being tempted in all things like as we are means specific temptations, we not only have to give him a fallen nature, but we have to make it as fallen as a nature can become, and we cannot do that. Therefore, tempted in all things like as we are cannot mean specific temptations; it has to refer to types, categories. And there are only three. Keep it in mind.

But Christ came to prove that not only sinless man, with sinless appetites and passions could have obeyed, but that sinful man, with sinful appetites and passions could overcome, with divine help. To do this, however, what did he have to take? Did he take our sinful passions and appetites to prove it? No, he did not. Was he, as is said of his disciples, subject to like passions as we are? No, he clearly was not. You see, the passions that we have are sinful, and if we give them to Christ, we make him thereby sinful.

Evangelism, page 557: “Where the precious seeds of truth find lodgment in the heart, through the workings of the Spirit of Christ, the receiver will discover the sinfulness of human passions.” The what? The sinfulness of human passions. Did Christ have sinful human passions? No, most emphatically he did not.

I read from Testimonies, volume 2, page 201: “He is a brother in our infirmities but not in possessing like passions. As the Sinless One his nature recoiled from evil.” Is that clear? He is a brother in our infirmities, yes; all of those innocent infirmities he took. He’s a brother in our infirmities, but the sinful propensities? Absolutely not. He is a brother in our infirmities, but not in possessing like passions. As the Sinless One his nature recoiled from evil. Recoiled from evil.

Now, does this mean, however, that he had no human passions and appetites? No. Bible Commentary, volume 5, page 1130: “He possessed all the human organism. His necessities were the necessities of a man. He had bodily wants to be supplied, bodily weariness to be relieved.” You see, brothers and sisters, when we insist that he did not have like passions, we are not saying that he did not have human passions.

In Heavenly Places, the morning watch book, page 155: “Though he had all the strength of passion of humanity, never did he yield to temptation to do one single act which was not pure and elevating and ennobling.” What did he have? He had all the strength of passion of humanity. But were those sinful, perverted, fallen passions? No, they were not, clearly.

Testimonies, volume 2, page 508: “He was a mighty petitioner, not possessing the passions of our fallen human natures, but compassed with like infirmities.” So the strength of human passions that he did have were which human passions? The human passions of man before the fall or the human passions of man after the fall? They were the human passions of man before the fall, the appetites of man before the fall. Unperverted, unsinful. ” He was a mighty petitioner, not possessing the passions of our fallen human natures, but compassed with like infirmities.” However, he did have the full set of appetites and passions of a sinless man. Okay? These are important points when we consider how he was tempted. In all things like as we are.

You see, there’s a vast difference between having strong human passions and appetites in perfect submission to the higher faculties of the mind, as God gave them and intended them to be enjoyed, between that and having sinful, perverted, inordinate passions and appetites, at war with the higher faculties of the mind. Or even worse, in control of them. These latter are called sin. In Romans 6:12, Paul exhorts us: “Therefore let not sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey it in its lusts.” These perverted, inordinate passions and appetites are also called fleshly lusts that war against the soul. These Christ did not have.

Manuscript 47, 1896. Note the origin of fleshly lusts again. “Often Satan conquers us by our natural inclinations and appetites. These were divinely appointed and, when given man, were pure and holy. But men’s natural appetites have been perverted by indulgence. Through unholy gratification, they have become fleshly lusts which war against the soul.” What are these fleshly lusts that war against the soul? They are our natural, God-given inclinations and appetites, which were originally pure and holy, but through unlawful indulgence have become perverted and sinful. Which did Christ have? He had the natural inclinations and appetites that were pure and holy. He did not have the appetites that were perverted by indulgence that would be called fleshly lusts, which war against the soul. Those are a part of the sinful propensities from which he was exempt.

Here’s another insight that we can gain regarding these fleshly lusts. It’s found in Adventist Home, page 127: “The lower passions have their seat in the body and work through it. The words flesh or fleshly or carnal lusts embrace the lower, corrupt nature. The flesh of itself cannot act contrary to the will of God.” Did Christ have a lower, corrupt nature? Listen.

Testimonies, volume 2, page 508: “He was unsullied with corruption, a stranger to sin, not possessing the passions of our human, fallen nature.” He did not, then, have what? A lower, corrupt nature. But I ask again, Does that mean that he did not have a lower nature? It doesn’t. There’s a difference between having a lower corrupt nature and having a lower nature. Sinless Adam had a what? A lower nature. And it had appetites and passions, but they were sinless and holy because they were under perfect control of the higher faculties of his mind. But he could still be tempted to unlawful indulgence in those areas, couldn’t he? Those temptations came from where? From within, stirred up by whom? By Satan. Yes.

Christ had a lower nature, but he did not have a lower corrupt nature. He had human appetites and passions, but not perverted appetites or sinful passions. But–and here’s an important question: How could Christ with unperverted, sinless appetites and passions, know what it is like to be tempted in all points like as we are, who are tempted with sinful appetites and passions? We have fleshly lusts that war against the soul. How does he know what it’s like to have to overcome such temptations when he didn’t have such, when he was not a man of like passions, as inspiration so clearly states?

Here is the answer. By submitting himself to divinely ordained circumstances that would so augment and intensify his sinless, unperverted appetites and passions until they became at least the equivalent in both type and intensity to that which the most depraved and enslaved of the human race could ever experience. Only thus can he be tempted in all things like as we are. Remember our word “like.” This is the same word that we studied when we looked at that phrase: “in the likeness of men, and in the likeness of sinful flesh.” That word “like” has aspects of sameness and it has aspects of difference, as well. He was tempted in all things like as we are, in aspects of sameness, in that his sinless appetites and passions were brought to a condition where they were just as powerful and just as difficult to overcome as the most perverted appetites and passions that any depraved human being is ever called to overcome.

These principles are clearly brought out in our discussion of the wilderness temptations that will be part 2 of this study. When Jesus–just as an insight, to plant a seed in your mind. When Jesus came to be tempted in the area in appetite, with these perfectly sinless and normal human appetites, before he was ready to be tested in that realm, before he was ready to know what it was like to be tempted in all things like as we are, with our perverted, sinful appetites and passions, what did he have to do? He had to go for forty days and forty nights without eating. Only then could his perfectly sinless and normal human appetites be so artificially intensified as to enable him to experience the full equivalence of the most perverted appetite that any depraved human being might be required to overcome.

He is tempted in all things then, how? Like as we are. In the area of sameness, he knows both in type and intensity exactly what it’s like. But in the area of difference, he didn’t come to that experiential knowledge by that which was innately his, namely, a perverted, sinful appetite. He came to that experience by having that which was innately his, so stressed by circumstances that it was equal to the most perverted appetites and passions. And by the way, as the servant of the Lord says, if we can overcome appetite, what have we got the victory over? Every other besetment. Do you see why appetite was such an acid test for Jesus Christ? And his overcoming there was a clear evidence that he could overcome any other, should he be required to face it.

He knows, then, what it is like to be tempted as we are, not because he experienced exactly the same temptations we do, but that in type and intensity, he experienced the equivalency of all our temptations. Is that clear? He is tempted in all things like as we are, not that he experienced each particular temptation that the most depraved might experience, but he’s tempted in all things like as we are in that in type and intensity, he experienced the equivalency of our temptations. Please, follow me on these points. To come to experience our temptation, not only that he might be a sympathetic Elder Brother, but a valid Example, as well, as to how we can be overcomers. He covenanted with his Father to be tempted under the following conditions. Note. We’ll be considering these further, Lord willing, in our next study.

The following conditions:

1. He will assume all the infirmities and weaknesses of degenerate humanity, that is, the deteriorated faculties of mind, body and spirit, of fallen man.

2. As a man, in this deteriorated condition, he will be subjected to providential circumstances that will so stress his human powers and augment the natural appetites and passions of his sinless human nature as to enable him to experience firsthand, in all three categories of temptations, the full extent of man’s weakness and inability to overcome in his own strength and the maximum intensity and strength of the perverted appetites and passions of man’s sinful nature, to induce him to yield to temptation.

3. In overcoming all these temptations, he will depend upon only those resources that by grace are available to every man.

4. He will experience all this with a consciousness of guilty through the imputation of man’s sin upon him.

All of those, he covenanted with his Father to do, and to be tested under all those conditions, so that he could know what it’s like to be tempted in all things. How? Like as we are. Yet, at the same time, himself be without sin. Do you see that? Without sin.

Where was the test administered? In the wilderness. Oh, how profoundly significant, brothers and sisters, is that event to us. For there our Lord proved beyond controversy that, with enabling grace, we may overcome any hereditary or cultivated tendency to evil. He proved it, because he experienced the most intense hereditary or cultivated tendency that we can experience, and he overcame it, under the same conditions that we must overcome it, and depended upon nothing that is not available to you and I to overcome it with.

So he has proved that even fallen man, by his enabling grace, can be an overcomer. We, too, may conquer, brothers and sisters. And if we do not overcome, we are without excuse, for he has proven that it is not a necessity for fallen man to sin with the provisions that are his in his Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Thus by his example he has condemned sin in the flesh. He has proved that it is not a necessity, that it can be overcome.

Bible Commentary, volume 7, page 929: “The Lord Jesus came to our world, not to reveal what God could do but what a man could do through faith in God’s power to help in every emergency. Man is through faith to be a partaker in the divine nature, and to overcome every temptation wherewith he is beset.” Overcome how many temptations? Every temptation. Brothers and sisters, he became a partaker of our nature to overcome, as our Example, so that we by becoming partakers of his nature might follow his example and overcome as he overcame. And having complied with all the conditions and passed the test, what does he tell us? John 16:33: “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” And what is in the world? The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. And he what? He overcame them all, brothers and sisters. Be of good cheer, he says, I have overcome the world.

Desire of Ages, 122: “In our strength it is impossible for us to deny the clamors of our fallen nature. Through this channel Satan will bring temptation upon us. Christ knew that the enemy would come to every human being to take advantage of hereditary witness, and by his false insinuations to ensnare all whose trust is not in God. And by passing over the ground which man must travel, our Lord has prepared the way for us to overcome. It is not his will that we should be placed at a disadvantage in the conflict with Satan. He would not have us intimidated and discouraged by the assaults of the serpent. Be of good cheer, he says, I have overcome.” And we, too, brothers and sisters, may overcome, by trust in the same power that enabled him to overcome. He relied upon nothing that is not available to us.

And here is a precious thought regarding his victory. Signs of the Times, June 18, 1894: “Through the righteousness of Christ, our Substitute and Surety, our obedience to God’s commandments is made acceptable. Christ clothed his divinity with humanity and endured the test upon the point of appetite, ambition and love of the world, thus making it possible for man to keep the commandments of God through his imputed righteousness.” Praise God for the victory in the wilderness. It was not only gained by our Example, but it was gained by our what? Our Substitute. For everything that he did for us as our Example, he did for us as our what? Our Substitute. And everything that he did for us as our Substitute, he did for us as our what? Our Example.

And brothers and sisters, as we follow his example, his perfect accomplishment will be imputed to us to compensate for those unavoidable deficiencies due to our fallen, limited, sin-restricted condition. With such a God for us, who can be against us? With such gracious provisions, how can we fail? Only by unbelief. My Lord says, Lord, I believe; help thou my unbelief. And I am determined, by grace, through faith in Christ, that I, too, shall overcome, even as he overcame. Is that your commitment. Let us pray.

 

Quotes from the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy as used in this lesson for your reference 😉

 

Heb 4:15 “For we do not have a High Priest, who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted, as we are, yet without sin.”

ST May 29, 1901 “In the fullness of time He was to be revealed in human form.  He was to take His position at the head of humanity by taking the nature but not the sinfulness of man.”

YI June 2, 1898 “Christ is called the Second Adam.  In purity and holiness connected with God and beloved by God, He began where the first Adam began.  Willingly He passed over the ground where Adam fell, and redeemed Adam’s failure.”

Letter 8, 1895 “He was assailed with temptations in the wilderness as Adam was assailed with temptations in Eden.”

1BC 1083 “In what consisted the strength of the assault made upon Adam, which caused his fall?  It was not indwelling sin, for God made Adam after His Own character, pure and upright.  There were no corrupt principles in the first Adam,  no corrupt propensities or tendencies to evil.”

1 John 2:16 “The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.”

DA 116,7 “The test upon appetite, upon the love of the world, and upon the love of display which leads to presumption, these were the temptations that overcame Adam and Eve, and that so readily overcome us.”

1 SM 279 “Christ knew that Adam in Eden, with his superior advantages, might have withstood the temptations of Satan and conquered him.. He also knew that it was not possible for man, out of Eden, separated from the light and love of God since the fall, to resist the temptations of Satan in his own strength.”

1SM 253  (ST June 9, 1898) “Christ came to the earth, taking humanity and standing as man’s representative, to show in the controversy with Satan that man, as God created him, connected with the Father and the Son, could obey every divine requirement.”

ST Jan 16, 1896 “Satan declared that it was impossible for the sons and daughters of Adam to keep the law of God, and thus charged upon God a lack of wisdom and love.  If they could not keep the law, then there was fault with the Lawgiver.  Jesus humbled Himself, clothing His divinity with humanity, in order that He might stand as the head and representative of the human family, and by both precept and example condemn sin in the flesh, and give the lie to Satan’s charges.  He was subjected to the fiercest temptations that human nature can know, yet He sinned not, for sin is the transgression of the law.” (1 John 3:4).

5BC 1131 “He (Christ) came as a representative of the human family before heaven and earth.  He was to live the life of humanity in such a way as to contradict the assertion that Satan had made that humanity was his everlasting possession and that God Himself could not take man out of his adversary’s hands.”

RH May 7, 1901 “Possessing our nature, though unstained by sin and tempted in all points like as we are, Christ kept the law, proving beyond controversy that man also can keep it.”

Heb 4:15 “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses (NKJ) (which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, KJ) but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”

RH Jan 7, 1904 “The Saviour came to the world in lowliness and lived as a man among men.  On all points except sin, divinity was to touch humanity.”

Manuscript 113, 1902 “Adam had the advantage over Christ in that, when he was assailed by the tempter, none of the effects of sin were upon him.  He stood in the strength of perfect manhood, possessing the full vigor of mind and body.  He was surrounded with the glories of Eden and was in daily communion with heavenly beings.  It was not thus with Jesus.  When He entered the wilderness to cope with Satan, 4000 years the race had been decreasing in physical strength, in mental power, in moral worth, and Christ took upon Him the infirmities of degenerate humanity.  Only thus could He rescue man from the lowest depths of degradation.”

YI June 2, 1898 “Christ was tempted by Satan in a hundredfold severer manner than was Adam, and under circumstances in every way more trying.”

RH Feb 10, 1885 “He was made like unto His brethren, with the same susceptibilities, mental and physical.  He was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin.”

RH July 28, 1874 “Christ bore the sins and infirmities of the race as they existed when He came to the earth to help man.  In behalf of the race, with the weaknesses of fallen man upon Him, He was to stand the temptations of Satan upon all points wherewith man would be assailed.”

1 John 2:16 “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”

DA 116,7 “With the terrible weight of the sins of the world upon Him, Christ withstood the test upon appetite, upon the love of the world, and upon the love of display that leads to presumption.  These were the temptations that overcame Adam and Eve and so readily overcome us.”

RH Sept. 8, 1874 “All are personally exposed to the temptations that Christ overcame, but strength is provided for them in the all-powerful name of the great Conqueror. And all must for themselves individually overcome.”

Evangelism 557 “Where the precious seeds of truth finds lodgment in the heart, through the workings of the Spirit of Christ, the receiver will discover the sinfulness of human passions.”

2T 202 “He is a brother in our infirmities but not in possessing like passions.  As the sinless One, His nature recoiled from evil.”

5BC 1130 “He possessed all the human organism.  His necessities were the necessities of a man.  He had bodily wants to be supplied, bodily weariness to be relieved.”

HP 155 “Though He had all the strength of passion of humanity, never did He yield to temptation to do one single act which was not pure and elevating and ennobling.”

2T 509 “He was a mighty petitioner, not possessing the passions of our human fallen natures, but compassed with like infirmities.”

Rom 6:12 “Therefore let not sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey it in its lusts.”

Manuscript 47, 1896 “Often Satan conquers us by our natural inclinations and appetites.  These were divinely appointed and, when given man, were pure and holy.  But men’s natural appetites have been perverted by indulgence.  Through unholy gratification, they have become fleshly lusts which war against the soul.”

AH 127 “The lower passions have their seat in the body and work through it.  The words “flesh” or “fleshly” or “carnal lusts” embrace the lower, corrupt nature, the flesh of itself cannot act contrary to the will of God.”

2T 508,9 “He was unsullied with corruption, a stranger to sin…. not possessing the passions of our human, fallen nature.”

7BC 929 “The Lord Jesus came to our world, not to reveal what a God could do, but what a man could do, through faith in God’s power to help in every emergency.  Man is, through faith, to be a partaker in the divine nature, and to overcome every temptation wherewith he is beset.”

John 16:33 “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

1 John 2:16 “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.”

DA 122 “In our own strength it is impossible for us to deny the clamors of our fallen nature.  Through this channel Satan will bring temptation upon us.  Christ knew that the enemy would come to every human being, to take advantage of hereditary witness, and by his false insinuations to ensnare all whose trust is not in God.  And by passing over the ground which man must travel, our Lord has prepared the way for us to overcome.  It is not His will that we should be placed at a disadvantage in the conflict with Satan.  He would not have us intimidated and discouraged by the assaults of the serpent.  Be of good cheer, he says, I have overcome.” (John 16:33)

ST June 18, 1894 “Through the righteousness of Christ, our Substitute and Surety, our obedience to God’s commandments is made acceptable.  Christ clothed His divinity with humanity, and endured the test upon the point of appetite, ambition, and love of the world, thus making it possible for man to keep the commandments of God through His imputed righteousness.”

😉

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