How could Christ be tempted by sin since He is God?

How are we to reconcile the truth that Christ is God and Christ is Man, in one Person, or rightly to estimate what belongs to each?

Again, how could our Lord be tempted in all points, like as we are, sin apart, if, as we believe, sin had no appeal to Him, as it has to us?

It is noticeable that when our Lord affirms that “no one knoweth the Father save the Son,” He at once adds, “and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal Him.” Why did He not, when affirming as he had just done, that “no one knoweth the Son but the Father” add “and he to whomsoever the Father will reveal Him”? Is it not that there are mysteries in the Union of the two Perfect Natures, Divine and human, in the One Person of our Lord Jesus Christ, which the Father nowhere promises ever fully to reveal? Not only are they too deep for us (we do not even understand our own tripartite being), but it is unnecessary for us thus to analyse His Being. One thing we aught never to forget, our Lord was not a dual personality, that is two Persons, Divine and human, but ONE DIVINE Personality, in equal relation to His two perfect natures. “The Word was God. . . the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” (John 1:1, 14).

The Modernists, and alas, they have their representatives everywhere to-day, will not brook to be told that there are things their highest powers cannot grasp, and they so attempt to reconcile what has never been out of harmony, and explain what they ought rather to believe.

To some persons a glib bad answer, seems preferable to saying “I do not know.” As we read the Gospels under the influence of the Holy Spirit, it is not like chemists, with our test- tubes and reactives analysing all the mysteries of Christ, or like physiologists with our instruments dissecting His Personality, but as disciples and as worshippers.

The human sympathy of Christ is not a mere theory, which we must make real to ourselves by a certain manipulation of His Person to satisfy the logical deductions of some shallow minds, but a blessed reality, which He makes true in our experience when we embrace Him by faith. The effect of this wrought by the Spirit in our souls, will not be some philosophical demonstration that after all “He is altogether such an one as ourselves—sin apart,” but the adoring cry of Thomas, “My Lord and my God.” The question of the temptation of our Lord is not after all so far beyond our grasp, if we remember that temptation is used in two distinct senses in the New Testament: of allurement—’ ‘Every man is tempted when he is drawn aside of His own lust and enticed” (James 1:14), and of testing —“He was tempted (or tested) in all points,” according to the similitude, “apart from sin.” (Hebrews 4:15).

When we read that “God did tempt Abraham” (Genesis 22:1) it was in this latter sense. He put him to the test. So Christ was tested by Satan in the wilderness, and proved to be the Son of God; but He was never tempted in the sense of being “drawn away of lust and enticed,” for He had none—He was “holy, harmless and undefiled” (Hebrews 7:26). “He did no sin” (1 Peter 2:22); “He knew no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21); “In Him is no sin” (1 John 3:5).

I am sadly Convinced that the attempts of modernist teachers to emphasise the humanity of our Lord, on the plea of establishing His power of sympathy with us, is for the most part quite unreal; for, taken as a class, they are a self-sufficient, self-satisfied type of man; but rather, unconsciously to themselves it may be, and we trust it is, they “cast Him down from His excellency,” through undermining His Divinity.

W.H.