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Theologians like to argue things down to a fine point. If you’ve never heard of it, there is a debate over Christ’s impeccability. The question over whether or not Jesus could have sinned when He was incarnate.
One side argues that if He couldn’t have sinned, then His temptations meant nothing, and aren’t a source of comfort for us in our temptations.
The other side argues that if He could have sinned, you have one member of the Trinity sinning, and how could that be?
We won’t wade into that debate today. What we will observe are 2 things: 1 – He didn’t sin. That is far more important. And 2 – Scripture tells us in Hebrews 2:5-18 to look to Christ for help in our hour of temptation because He’s been there.
That’s enough for me.
I’ll let the egg-heads sort out the “what ifs?”
So we’ll take an oh so brief look today at Jesus’ help in our temptations on Through the Word in 2020. I’m Reid Ferguson.
Our whole slate of readings today include Luke 15:11-32, Ecclesiastes 12–Song of Solomon 2:7; Psalm 119:97–104; Hebrews 2:5–18 and Proverbs 15. If you can, on your own, linger long over the Hebrews portion sometime today. It is over the top with powerful realities in Christ.
But as I said, I want to focus on this one aspect of what’s revealed there. It’s put masterfully for us in vs. 18: “For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”
No matter how you resolve the impeccability debate, the reality is, Jesus WAS tempted. His temptations are something the text says He suffered. That His temptations were real and vexing. And that because He has been there, He is able to help you and me as we face our temptations.
And when I read that I am drawn to cry out – Praise God, praise God, praise God! What a wonderful Savior!And this – for 3 chief things:
1. Where is Christ when I am being tempted?
The text says – Standing ready and able to help.
2. Where is Christ when I have been tempted and failed to resist?
Standing ready and able to help.
3. Where is Christ when I am contemplating how to resist the next temptation?
Standing ready and able to help.Compassionate.
Understanding. Sympathetic. Equipping. Leading. Sustaining.
If we would only turn to Him at all times.
Where did Adam fail? He didn’t run TO God in his hour of temptation. Where I fail so often too.
And what did Adam do when he did fall? He ran FROM God. What I still am so prone to do when I fail.
What did Adam need to do going forward? Look to God as the One who would supply the sacrifice for his sin, clothe him in righteousness not his own, and promise the indwelling Spirit to illumine and strengthen in the days to come. Just what you and I need to do today.
If you are stinging from your latest failure, and fearing the next test – then repeat this verse over and over to yourself until it becomes a part of your uninterrupted thought process: Because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
He never forsakes His own.
What a Savior!
God willing, we’ll be back tomorrow.