"LET THERE BE LIGHT" Ministries
BEHOLD YOUR GOD, part 3 -
See Him In Sinful Human Flesh quotes
1) Did Christ live His human life on this earth in sinless or in sinful flesh?
"Therefore (David) being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne." Acts 2:30.
This verse reveals that Christ was born from the seed of David according to the flesh, and David could only pass on sinful flesh to all his offspring.
2) Jesus did not commit sin in order to obtain the sinful flesh of humanity, but He voluntarily took upon Himself the fallen nature and the sinful flesh at birth. He took the same “likeness of sinful flesh" (Romans 8:3) which all the offspring since Adam's fall possessed, including Abraham, David, and Mary.
"He was not only made flesh, but He was made in the likeness of sinful flesh." SDA Bible Commentary, vol 5, p 1124.
Having sinful flesh means that all humanity “must war against temptations without and within” (Amazing Grace, p 321). In order to have heaven as our home, we must “stand every test and to resist every temptation, whether from without or from within” (Mind, Character and Personality, vol 1, p 67). It is especially through these “temptations from within” that “Satan and his angels urge and coax” us to give in to and commit sin (Testimonies, vol 9, p 222).
3) Some believe, including the fallen churches of Babylon, that any temptations which Christ experienced were always from without, like Adam before the fall, and were never experienced from within, like all humanity experience since the fall experience, and this includes the SDA church.
"Of course, Jesus was born different. He had a sinless human nature, the same as Adam had before his fall...Therefore it was natural for Jesus to be good. I was born with a sinful nature, and it's natural for me to be bad...Jesus had the absolute, perfect, sinless nature of Adam before he fell....Jesus never had to go through the sinner's struggle [of overcoming temptation and sin]..." Salvation by Faith and Your Will, p 86, 93, 96.
"Although born in the flesh, He [Christ] was nevertheless God, and was exempt from the inherited passions and pollutions that corrupt the natural descendants of Adam. He was without sin, not only in His outward conduct, but in His very nature." Questions on Doctrines, p 383.
"Because His humanity was sinless, Jesus could not experience the inner... urgings of sinful humans....
"He [Christ] knows the human struggle in temptations...because of His unique divine nature rather than from an identical human nature." Adventist Review, February 1, 1990, p 21-22.
These uninspired passages reveal that the SDA church teaches that Christ’s humanity was different from you and me, and therefore He did not have to struggle with the inner urgings of sinful flesh towards sin. But God's inspired word declares just the opposite!
"For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh" Romans 8:3.
This verse reveals that Christ chose to live in sinful flesh so that He could condemn sin IN His flesh.
4) Christ was tempted from within, exactly how every human being since the fall experiences temptation.
"Adam was tempted by the enemy, and he fell. It was not indwelling sin that caused him to yield; for God made him pure and upright; in His own image. He was as faultless as the angels before the throne. There were in him no corrupt principles, no tendencies to evil. But when Christ came to meet the temptations of Satan, He bore ‘the likeness of sinful flesh.’" Signs of the Times, October 17, 1900 (vol 4, p 153).
"He (Satan) told his angels that when Jesus should take fallen man's nature, he could overpower Him." Signs of the Times, January 30, 1879 (vol 1, p 85).
These inspired passages reveal that when temptation came to Adam before the fall, there was no inward urging or natural desire for him to sin, because the temptation was only from the outside, not within. But when Christ came to this earth, He had both the fallen nature and the sinful flesh of mankind, which meant that He was tempted from within, and this is why the Devil believed he could overpower Christ.
5) Why couldn't Christ have lived in sinless flesh and yet still have saved us?
"...God cannot be tempted with evil..." James 1:13.
This verse reveals that God, who possesses an unfallen and sinless nature, cannot be tempted with evil. Yet the Scriptures tell us many times that Christ was tempted to do evil (see Matthew 4:1; Hebrews 4:15). This means that Christ did not live in the nature of His Godhood, or even as Adam before the fall, but instead chose to live on earth as a human being in the fallen nature and sinful flesh.
6) "But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed." James 1:14.
The Greek word for “lust” used here is “epithumia”, and it translates and means "desire, lust" (Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, word #1939). Every human being is tempted when they are drawn away by their own lust, or are drawn away by the naturally occurring inward desires and inclinations that originate from the fallen, sinful human nature and sinful flesh, and then they are enticed or urged to give in to these inward desires and to commit sin. Enticement to sin comes after we are drawn away by these inward, natural desires or inclinations.
7) Did Christ also have to resist these natural occurring desires and inclinations that originate from the fallen nature and sinful flesh which He took upon Himself every time Satan tempted and enticed Him to sin?
"The enticements which Christ resisted were those that we find it so difficult to withstand. They were urged upon Him in as much greater degree as His character is superior to ours." Desire of Ages, p 116.
It was only by taking man's fallen nature and living in sinful flesh could Christ rescue you and me from sin. But Christ never once Himself committed sin; He Himself did not have any sinful desires of His own making like we do. He hated all forms of evil, and had nothing in common with the Devil. But in consequence of voluntarily taking our sinful flesh and fallen nature upon Himself, Christ experienced all the strength of these naturally occurring inward inclinations and desires which Christ continually had to deny these tendencies of the fallen nature. This is because "the fallen nature of Adam always strives for the mastery." Adventist Home, p 205.
The fallen nature which Christ took upon Himself, and the sinful flesh which He chose to live in, always strove for the mastery in His life. But Christ never once gave in to these downward pulls and inherited tendencies to sin!
8) What happened when Christ denied these inward tendencies toward sin and condemned sin in the flesh?
"For it became him (the Father), for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings....For in that he (Christ) himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted." Hebrews 2:10, 18.
But why would temptation cause Christ suffering? Because He always resisted it and never committed sin. Temptations originating from within the flesh of Christ through the natural inclinations of the fallen nature and sinful flesh pulling towards sin, caused Christ suffering when He resisted these natural inward feelings, and the stronger the inward temptation meant the greater suffering Christ felt when resisting it.
9) Did Jesus really feel these inward downward pull from these natural inclinations and desires of the fallen nature and sinful flesh that all human beings feel?
“It was on this point that Satan thought to overthrow Christ. He thought that in His humanity He could be easily overcome. ‘The devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; and saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me’ (Matthew 4:8, 9). But Christ was unmoved. He felt the strength of this temptation; but He met it in our behalf, and conquered. And He used only the weapons justifiable for human beings to use--the word of Him who is mighty in counsel–‘It is written’ (Matthew 4:4, 10).” Selected Messages, book 1, p 255.
“The God of the universe has given our cases in the Judgment into the hands of his Son, one who is acquainted with our infirmities, and knows that we are but dust. He has taken our nature upon him, and has himself felt the force of our temptations.” Bible Echo, January 15, 1889 par 9.
Christ “has himself felt” the strength and “force of our temptations”! For Christ to feel the strength and force of OUR temptations meant that it had to occur from within! It also indicates that there had to be something within that allowed the temptation to become strong and forceful. This can only mean that Christ had these natural inclinations and desires toward sin which originated through the fallen, sinful flesh and nature He took upon Himself, and when He was tempted He did indeed experience all the strength and force of these natural inward feelings. But by always denying and resisting these natural inclinations in order to perform the Father’s will, then it caused Jesus internal suffering, just like the internal suffering we feel when we deny self under temptation.
“Christ was suffering as the members of the human family suffer under temptation...” Selected Messages, book 3, p 129.
Since Christ suffered under temptation “as the members of the human family suffer” then He felt these same natural inward inclinations towards sin which we do!
10) This internal suffering of Christ signified that He chose to do the will of His Father, and this surrendering of His will to God denied self which caused the suffering.
“I delight to do thy will, O my God; yea thy law is within my heart.” Psalms 40:8.
"Jesus Christ is our example in all things. He began life, passed through its experiences, and ended its record, with a sanctified human will. He was tempted in all points like as we are, and yet because he kept his will surrendered and sanctified, he never bent in the slightest degree toward the doing of evil, or toward manifesting rebellion against God." Signs of the Times, October 29, 1894 par 7.
“For our sake He exercised a self-control stronger than hunger or death.” The Desire of Ages, p 117.
“Satan finds in human hearts some point where he can gain a foothold; some sinful desire is cherished, by means of which his temptations assert their power. But he could find nothing in the Son of God that would enable him to gain the victory. Jesus did not consent to sin. Not even by a thought could he be brought to the power of Satan's temptations.” General Conference Bulletin, February 25, 1895 par 6.
These inspired passages reveal that it was by denying these inward natural tendencies towards sin, by never allowing any of these natural inward desires to be cherished in His heart, by exercising strong self-control over His will and surrendering it to do the will of His Father, that Jesus gained the victory over that temptation. It was this victory over every temptation which made and kept His character perfect and without the slightest spot of sin. Thus Satan never could find any foothold to gain an advantage in the heart of Jesus.
11) “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; Called of God an high priest..." Hebrews 5:8-10.
This verse reveals that no matter how strong these inward temptations were; no matter how powerful these natural feelings and desires of the fallen nature and sinful flesh were, Christ always resisted this internal force to instead do God’s will at all times.
“[Christ was] touched with the feelings of our infirmities...[and] was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15.