by Angela Moore
I was thinking about this question the other day, when I went shopping with a friend and was tempted to purchase a few items that would not have been in our family’s budget... like this really cute crinkle skirt that was 50% off from Christopher and Banks. It even matched the shirt & sweater I was wearing at the time! But, I resisted. Didn't even try it on, because I knew I would love it. So, I walked away.
Then we went to lunch here: Galo's Italian Grill. If you've never been before, you're missing out!
The food was delicious. So delicious in fact, that I was also tempted to eat another piece of yummy bread that had a deliciously flavored oil to dunk it into...yet after already eating 2 or 3 pieces of it (I had lost count at this point in my delirium), and feeling full, I said ‘no,’ although my flesh was clearly screaming for more.
We all know that our Lord Messiah, Jesus, was tempted by the devil to sin, out in the wilderness, right after he was baptized. Matthew chapter 4 (if you wanna look it up for yourself) tells us that Jesus was 'led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil.' Jesus was victorious, as he resisted temptation, and did not sin. (yay, Jesus!)
But, for some of us who like to go a little deeper, it begs to ask the question, "But, COULD he have sinned?" Jesus did NOT sin, but was he able to sin? Could he have failed this test?
Jesus is called 'the last Adam' in I Corinthians 15:45 and the Apostle Paul compares the two (Jesus and Adam), and how the first Adam got it wrong (and sinned) and the last Adam got it right (and was obedient to His God, to the point of death). He writes, "For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also comes through a man. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive." I Corinthians 15:21-22.
They were both men, who were uniquely created by God, without inheriting the sin nature from an earthly father. They were both placed in a very unique position to either pass down death or life, to the generations which followed them.
"Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens; Jesus the Son of God; let us hold fast to the confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin." Hebrews 4:14-15
I believe Jesus could have sinned, and that's why God exalted him so highly. Because Jesus "humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death - even death on a cross. For this reason, God highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name." Philippians 2:8-9.
End of story, right? Well, not for Trinitarians. This whole subject creates a huge problem for them, because they believe Jesus IS God or "God the Son," and the Scriptures tell us in James 1:14 that "... God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone."
If Jesus was tempted, but he is God, who cannot be tempted... we have a conflict!
Their answer is very confusing. A typical answer goes something like this:
“First, the devil was obviously tempting Jesus for the purpose of causing Him to sin—to act contrary to the will of His Father. Satan knew that God couldn’t sin, neither could He be tempted with evil (James 1:13). He had fully known the character of God prior to his own fall. But now God had become a man in the person of Christ, and the devil had already proven that man was peccable. When man was tempted to sin, he had succumbed to the evil. Satan had seen it in the Garden of Eden and he had observed it thousands of times in Adam’s posterity. At this point then, the devil thought God had weakened Himself by the Incarnation - the union of a human nature with the divine nature. So, he tempted Christ with evil. It was the first use of “peirazo.” ... So, even though Christ felt the full force of Satan’s temptation in His human nature (which is peccable), He did not and could not sin because He was also God (which is impeccable). The temptation was real but the ability to overcome it was infinite. As a Person therefore, He was definitely impeccable. The temptation was not a roll of the dice in the wilderness to see who would win—Satan or Christ. It was a demonstration of Christ’s power as the Son of God to be our adequate Savior. Satan meant it for evil but God meant it for good—the two uses of “peirazo.” (taken from http://www.awordfromtheword.org/tempted.htm).
In other words, Trinitarians will introduce the "dual nature" that Jesus allegedly had. They will tell you that his "man nature" was tempted, but his "God nature" wasn't. Just like when he died on the cross. His "man nature" died, but his "God nature" remained alive and eternal. (found in the Bible....uh, where???)
Could he have sinned when tempted in the wilderness? Their answer would be a resounding 'no' because he wouldn't be able to sin, because He was God. The eternal Godhead, dwelling as the 2nd person of the Trinity in flesh temporarily, would not have been able to sin!
Does anyone else have a problem with this answer?
If Jesus was God, and he was tempted to sin (although it was impossible for him to sin) then why reward the guy? Big deal. So what, if "God the Son" resisted temptation and did not sin? According to Trini's, he couldn't have sinned, even if he had wanted to, because he was God. I see absolutely no overcoming needed here, by this "2nd person of the trinity" and this "god-man" gives me little hope or example of how I can possibly overcome my sin in my life! How can he understand what it's REALLY like to be tempted, when he knew that he wouldn't sin? I find it becomes a bit of a joke, a farce, a huge lie even!, (that someone recently accused me of being blasphemous about when I poked fun at the Trinity dual nature theory (that by the way, is not found ANYWHERE in the Bible). I find this theory of dual nature extremely insulting and blasphemous to the one and only living God and extremely insulting to the amazing work that His Son, Jesus did on our behalf. It minimizes the effort it took for Jesus to resist temptation and to die for our sins, if he was merely stopping by earth as God to play a man for awhile.
I personally, do not think it was such a 'done deal,' but believe that just like Adam, Jesus had the potential to mess it up, once again, for mankind. He could have sinned, like Adam had done, when tempted by Satan! But, thankfully, he did not, and we now have a Savior to redeem us from our sins; a high priest who completely gets what it's like to be tempted in every way, yet encourages us that we, too, can overcome temptation and not yield to sin; and a mediator, between us and our God. (not a triune god who came to earth to save us himself.).
If you believe Jesus is God, my friend, I don't mean to offend you, but I do pray that you will take a closer look at this theory which tries to explain who God and Jesus are, and see the holes that it has. This should be a gigantic red flag for you! The Bible should not have holes and conflicts, and if what you are believing has those things, then you must be honest with yourself, and take the time to carefully re-examine what you have been taught. It may be false teachings. It may not... who am I? Maybe I'm wrong. Don't take my word for it. Grab your Bible and ask yourself, "Could Jesus have been tempted to sin? Can God be tempted to sin?" and then use the brain that God has given you, to understand the simple message that He has revealed to you through Scripture, that Jesus is His Son, the Christ.