Christology

What Don Lemon’s Declaration about Jesus’ Sinfulness Actually Reveals

"If you go on Twitter (enter at your own risk) you will see many rebukes of Don Lemon. Many Christians responded in shock at Don Lemon’s claims about Jesus’ imperfections. But I wonder if many stopped to think about what his declaration actually reveals about Christianity at large in America." - Cripplegate

540 reads

Was Jesus Tempted? Could Jesus Have Sinned? (Part 3)

Read Part 1 and Part 2.

What’s the Relevance to Us?

The questions I’ve raised above are not ivory tower speculations. I believe these questions are important to answer if we are to understand fully the implications Christ’s temptation as well as his victory over temptation for you and me. Consider the following three points of practical application:

(1) Unless the Jesus Christ had faced real temptations and successfully endured those temptations as a real man not yet glorified, He could not be our Savior from sin.

That’s pretty relevant, wouldn’t you say? Is that not the logic of Hebrews 5:8-9?

Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him (Heb 5:8-9).

In order to become “the source of eternal salvation,” Jesus had to be “made perfect.” And in order to be “made perfect,” Jesus had to “learn obedience through what he suffered.” In other words, He had to become like Adam. But where the First Adam failed, the Second Adam had to succeed. That is precisely what He did: “For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous” (Rom 5:19).

1191 reads

Was Jesus Tempted? Could Jesus Have Sinned? (Part 2)

The Temptation in the Wilderness - Briton Rivière

Read Part 1.

Could Jesus Have Sinned?

In other words, should we refer to Christ during his state of humiliation as impeccable or peccable? The terms “impeccable” and “peccable” do not, in this context, refer to the commission of sin but simply to the ability or susceptibility to sin. Thus, the question is not whether Jesus was born with a sinful nature. Nor is the question whether or not Jesus ever committed any actual sin. The Scriptures in no uncertain terms affirm the purity and sinlessness of Christ (2 Cor 5:21; Heb 4:15; 7:26; 1 John 3:5). The question is, rather, was the human nature of Christ able or susceptible to sin during Jesus’ earthly ministry?

I believe the correct answer is both “no” and (a qualified) “yes.” Let me explain.

1952 reads

Was Jesus Tempted? Could Jesus Have Sinned?

The Temptation in the Wilderness - Briton Rivière

The greatest battle ever waged on earth’s soil took place two thousand years ago in the desert of Palestine. There met the champions of evil and righteousness. Satan, the most intelligent and powerful creature ever made and who’d become the archenemy of God, stood toe-to-toe with the Promised Descendant of Eve, Jesus of Nazareth, the long-awaited Messiah and the Son of God. It was a conflict of cosmic proportions. And the final outcome of his battle determined the destiny of men.

Temptation or Test?

Each of the three synoptic Gospels refer to an event at the beginning of Christ’s ministry that’s commonly known as “the temptation of Christ.” Jesus is led by the Spirit into the wilderness for forty days where he was tempted by Satan (Matt 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13; Luke 4:1-13).

Some question whether we should refer to this ordeal as the temptation of Christ. After all, Jesus is fully God. According to James 1:13, God cannot be tempted. Moreover, the Greek verb πειράζω, commonly translated “to tempt,” can signify to examine or reveal the nature or character of something or someone by submitting it to a test. Hence, it is often translated “to test” or “to examine” (e.g.s., Gen 22:1 [LXX]; Exod 20:20 [LXX]; John 6:6; 2 Cor 13:5; Heb 11:17; Rev 2:2).1 Accordingly, scholars like Birger Gerhardsson prefer to view this ordeal as “The Testing of God’s Son.”2

1351 reads

Apostles’ Creed: Defending the Descent

"Despite being in the Apostle’s Creed, this doctrine is not universally believed. First, as the Catholic Church begin to drift more and more into sacerdotalism, the descent to the dead gradually morphed into a descent into hell. By the time of the reformation, Calvin rejected the doctrine as a Catholic hangover, assuming it was connected to the unbiblical concept of Purgatory, and today many evangelicals follow Calvin’s lead, and ditch the descent." - Jesse Johnson

360 reads

Christ Set Forth as a Propitiation

A sermon delivered on Good Friday morning, March 29, 1861, by the Rev. C. H. Spurgeon, at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

“Christ Jesus whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood” (Romans 3:25).

We commenced the services in this place by the declaration that here Christ shall be preached. Our Brother who followed us expressed his joy that Christ was preached herein. He did rejoice, yes, and would rejoice, and our friends must have observed, how, throughout the other services there has been a most blessed admixture not only of the true spirit of Christ, but of pointed and admirable reference to the glories and beauties of His Person. This morning, which is the beginning of our more regular and constant ministry, we come again to the same noble theme. Christ Jesus is today to be set forth! You will not charge me for repeating myself—you will not look up to the pulpit, and say, “Pulpits are places of tautology.” You will not reply that you have heard this story so often that you have grown weary of it, for well I know that with you, the Person, the Character, and the work of Christ are always fresh themes for wonder!

4200 reads

Could Christ Have Sinned?

We do a theology class for our congregation twice per month. We meet in the evenings for 90 minutes and discuss a few questions from the assigned reading. We use Grudem’s systematic theology. I’d prefer Erickson, but Grudem’s format is more user-friendly. This coming week, we’re discussing this question:

  • Do YOU think it is possible for Jesus to ever sin? If it isn’t possible, then how can Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-10 be true?

These are my preliminary reflections as I prepare for the class. They are not fully formed, but they point where I’m headed. To answer this question coherently, you need to competently pull together several strands of orthodox Christology. In short, this is a tough question.

First things first

We must understand two things up-front:

  1. Jesus never sinned
  2. Father, Son and Spirit decided that the incarnate Messiah would be a perfect representative man, so it is certain that He would not sin

But, if Jesus didn’t sin, can He really understand us? And if Jesus couldn’t have sinned, then isn’t the incarnation a farce?

1970 reads

Pages