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He was “tempted in all things as we are” (Heb. 4:15). Discuss and relate to counseling theory and practice by Leecedar


									Please note: I am posting the answers to the NANC Theological Examination essay questions so that I can both benefit the Kingdom and so that the others can offer wisdom, support and insight. Please feel free to send me critiques and comments. If you wish to quote this document, please give proper attribution and author credit. Sincerely, Lee P. Esbin, Christology – Question 2: He was “tempted in all things as we are” (Heb. 4:15). Discuss and relate to counseling theory and practice. Our human life is wrought with difficulty. The Bible explains clearly the source of our difficulties, especially in terms of our basic dissatisfaction and our ineptitude in controlling our desires to overcome that dissatisfaction. 1 The apostle James says that because we covet and yet don‟t satisfy that covetousness, all kinds of strife and hurt come to pass. Even the apostle Paul could not control his sinful desires and actions, even after his conversion. He bemoans his sorry condition and internal conflict in Romans 7:15-23, wherein he bemoans his failure to achieve his desires for good thoughts and actions, and his equal failure in his desire to deny evil thoughts and actions. Jesus was faced with temptation that would incline a “normal” human to sin, but he remained sinless despite the temptations. Jesus‟ temptation is detailed in the book of Matthew, Chapter 4 2. Being that Satan did not have hold in the heart of Jesus, the evil one took the matter directly into his own hands, so to speak. He offered Jesus temptation to satisfy His bodily needs. 3 Then he tempted Jesus to lose His faith and to see if God the Father really would save him from danger. 4 Then he tempted Jesus with power and dominion over all the earth. 5 In all of these, Jesus battled temptation by relying on God‟s Holy Word. He lived the very instructions we see in James 4:7, to whit, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Many have argued, “How can you say Jesus is God? God can‟t be tempted, and Jesus was tempted. Therefore, since he sinned like all of us, He‟s „only human‟, not God.” There are two misconceptions there. The first is that God cannot be tempted. The second is in thinking

1 2

James 4:1-7, Romans 7:15-23 Also see Mark 1, Luke 4 3 Matthew 4:3-4 4 Matthew 4:5-7 5 Matthew 4:8-10

that being human and sinful are one and the same, and therefore, Jesus‟ humanity defines Him as sinful. Temptation, like anger, is not a sin in itself. 6 The heart or flesh acting in support of the wrong choice is the sin. When we choose not to sin, we have let God conquer sin in us. 7 God was tempted to destroy Israel completely after their denying Him in the desert, and yet showed mercy and let them live. 8 When Israel became dissatisfied with God‟s provision of food for them and craved something different, 9 He was once again “Put to the test” 10 or tempted toward destroying them for their disobedience. Yet, God showed mercy and only inflicted disease upon them. Jack Cottrell points out that, Jesus came “in real flesh, but only in the „likeness‟ of sinful flesh11… His body was fully human in the truest sense, but it did not have any of the corruption caused by sin. Sin is not natural for human beings; God made us as free-will creatures who are able to sin, but are also able not to sin… Jesus, who never participated in sin, is the only one who has a truly perfect human nature.” 12 Jesus was tempted, and in fact lived a life which was subject to all of our humanly trials (and many more besides. He set an example that we can follow. As our leader, we know he is not some supercilious Pharisee, or some unfeeling tyrant. He has lived our life and can sympathize with us. His sinless humanity qualified Him to be the sacrifice in our stead before God the Father. 13 His Godhood qualifies him to be our spokesman before God the Father. 14 His gift of the Holy Spirit within us enables us to follow his lead. 15 The benefit to the counselee is to realize that although “We are tempted in all points, but so was Christ. We are tempted in every way, but so was the Apostle and High Priest of our confession. We are tempted in every respect, but, more importantly, the Savior was too. We are tested in every way, but so was our Forerunner, who has now entered into Heaven itself to make

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Ephesians 4:26 Romans 7:6 8 Exodus 32:9-14 9 See Numbers 11 10 Psalm 106:13-15 11 Romans 8:3
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The Faith Once for All – Bible Doctrine for Today, Jack Cottrell, College Press Publishing Company, 2002

1 John 2:2, 1 John 4:10 Romans 8:34 15 John 16:13, John 14:26

intercession for us.”16 In other words, whatever the counselee is going through, Christ has gone through it, can relate, and can guide us through it to God‟s glory.


"Christ, Tempted in All Things and in All Points," Albert G. Stoner, Jr.

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