February 25, 2009

Free Will, Continued

Jesus from his birth had restricted dependent thought as Adam. Like Adam he was tested in like manner, only he suffered extreme hardship. Adam was in Eden, Jesus was in a rugged wilderness. Adam had excellent nourishment and a pleasant environment all provided by a caring creator. He enjoyed clarity of thought without duress. Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit for the express purpose of testing and complied with the discipline of fasting. He struggled with clarity of thought under extreme duress.

The temptation of Christ was an attempt to cause him to act as a representative of God from his dependent thought. He was tempted to act independently of the Father. To surrender to this would make Christ another god like Satan himself. The argument given by Satan to Eve was quick and obvious, she should have known to resist this temptation. This temptation of Christ was perhaps lengthy with confusing principles few if any humans could understand. All this under duress.

Christ had not the benefit of counsel through the temptation only the mastery of the Word of God faithfully given through Jewish law; parents, friends, family and synagogue teaching. Dialogue with temple officials formed his understanding. The Holy Spirit was his constant companion through all this insuring he understood the truth.

Many evangelicals today sadly do not understand Satan's offer to Christ. He had to maintain his divinity as an incarnate son of man. He had to be both priest and sacrifice in order to accomplish redemption and that entailed being both God and man. The Word of God taught to the simplest individual was sufficient to combat the devices of Satan. Christ had to live by the Word of God, not tempt God, worship only Him and be His exclusive servant. He passed the test! Heavenly host were watching to see that he would succeed and angels came to minister to His needs.

Many religious leaders would try to tempt him during His three years of ministry. He had to have a clear understanding of who He was. He was not a god independent of the Father, that would make him a representative of God, acting independently. He was God equal to the Father, and not subordinate to Him. As man he surrendered this status to be subordinate to the Father and act dependently on the Father. From the cradle to the grave He was one of us, God the Son humbly obedient to God the Father. He as God died for the sins of the world. From the grave to the throne He sits exalted at the Father's right hand exalted as God and redeeming lamb and priest.

There is a connection to us asserting our free will and frustrating the divinity of Christ. Satan is the author of this confusion. The assertion of free will is a serious violation of Scripture, one which Christ avoided on earth! It is the most common failure of men to violate this. Anyone, even the simplest and humblest of men can comprehend this as demonstrated by Christ, himself. As Christ said to the religious leaders, "I tell you the truth and you believe me not."
This is the hardest truth to be heard by anyone holding to free will. You do not understand this because you are blinded by Satan from this truth, whether you sit in the pew or stand behind a pulpit.

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