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Christ Suffered, Being Tempted

For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham . Heb. 2:16.

We need not place the obedience of Christ by itself, as something for which He was particularly adapted, by His particular divine nature, for He stood before God as man's representative and was tempted as man's substitute and surety. If Christ had a special power which it is not the privilege of man to have, Satan would have made capital of this matter. The work of Christ was to take from the claims of Satan his control of man, and He could do this only in the way that He came--a man, tempted as a man, rendering the obedience of a man.

Would that we could comprehend the significance of the words, Christ "suffered being tempted" (Heb. 2:18). While He was free from the taint of sin, the refined sensibilities of His holy nature rendered contact with evil unspeakably painful to Him. Yet with human nature upon Him, He met the arch apostate face to face, and singlehanded withstood the foe of His throne. Not even by a thought could Christ be brought to yield to the power of temptation.

Satan finds in human hearts some point where he can gain a foothold; some sinful desire is cherished, by means of which his temptations assert their power. But Christ declared of Himself, "The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me" (John 14:30). The storms of temptation burst upon Him, but they could not cause Him to swerve from His allegiance to God.

All the followers of Christ have to meet the same malignant foe that assailed their Master. With marvelous skill he adapts his temptations to their circumstances, their temperament, their mental and moral bias, their strong passions. He is ever whispering in the ears of the children of men, as he points to worldly pleasures, gains, or honors, "All this will I give you, if you will do my bidding." We must look to Christ; we must resist as He resisted; we must pray as He prayed; we must agonize as He agonized, if we would conquer as He conquered.

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