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Temptation and desire


copyrighted http://duncanlong.com/art.html used with permissionWas just over at Theologica this morning and a post there got me going.  Here is what I replied.

Haven’t been to Theologica in awhile and it looks like you may have stopped discussing this issue? But just in case, is there not agreement on
1. Full deity and humanity of Christ
2. Jesus was tempted and yet without sin

I thought the original question was about the nature of temptation and how did Jesus actually experience temptation if he had no sinful nature. Seemed to be some discussion as to whether or not Jesus had a sinful nature.

I am sort of recapping here for my own benefit–thinking out loud
1. Jesus had a full human body as in flesh (sarx) but he did not have a flesh (again sarx) as in flesh being life lived apart from the will of God and sometimes translated old nature.
2. Temptation is “to endeavor or attempt to cause someone to sin” (Louw and Nida) and in this sense Jesus was tempted but did not sin. Heb 2:18 says he suffered when he was tempted (peirazo)
3. Jesus was tempted in the same way we were (same likeness of temptation) (homoiotes) yet without sin.
4. As someone mentioned Rom 8:3, the Father sent Jesus in the likeness (homoioma) of sinful flesh. Here sarx is modified by sin (hamartia).
5. Temptation arises from our own desires (epithumia). Seems to me the key is understanding these desires. Desire is not sinful in and of itself (Luke 22:15, Phil 1:23, 1 Thes 2:17) but most of the 37 times they are desires of the flesh (sarx), desires of Satan, coveting desires, deceitful desires, unclean or evil, foolish and harmful, youthful, ignorant, wage war against the soul, contrasted with will of God, corrupt, ungodly. Jesus did not have any of these disordered desires.

But Satan and the world enticed him to get his good desires met by not following God’s will. As a result, he suffered. He understands what it is like to suffer when we say no to temptation even if he did not have disordered desires.

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