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Is temptation, in and of itself, sin?

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by public hermit, Apr 7, 2021.

  1. Cormack

    Cormack “I bet you're a real hulk on the internet...”

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    And words can be confounded by deferring to Augustine, John Calvin, John Piper and other theological humps who shall remain nameless in order to shed light upon the “whole council” of God. :heart: Preachers that equip the masses to insert large alien theories like the two wills of God into Deuteronomy aren’t shedding light, much rather spreading dark.
     
  2. Cormack

    Cormack “I bet you're a real hulk on the internet...”

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    I don’t mean anything as dramatic as moral evil, just plumb dark ignorance. It’s not wise to put a philosophical grid over scripture, then to defer to the “whole council” because they’ve clearly misused part.
     
  3. GDL

    GDL Well-Known Member

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    Understood and point well-taken. Ultimately I agree with you. But we're getting into another fuzzy area (like Sovereignty vs. Free Will) IMO that seems to possibly have some resolution in dimensional reasoning and hierarchal thinking.

    It may be semantics, and it may just be some of His thoughts and ways being so vastly above ours. I'm familiar with the desire vs. allow thinking and have stuck with it so far.

    In the Law example I mentioned: God actively desires that we oppose His will re: X under certain conditions and He has built this into His Law, so His Law and we can function at a higher level for human good.

    I think there is a depth to His Law and will that we barely comprehend. I spent some time studying it and still do. One of the opening statements in a book I enjoyed on the topic was essentially a disclaimer that basically said no one knows and understand God's Law - then with that said the author wrote 300-400 or so pages on God's Law.

    At the end of the analysis at this point, agreed, He doesn't will us to be out of His will, but are we always out of His will where and when we think we are? Jesus showed the lawyers of his time that they weren't as smart as they thought they were re: God's will.

    Again, I go back to Moses and others in the O.T. God expressed His will. Moses and others at times questioned it and offered alternatives. Was it God's will to be questioned? Did He ever relent and change His expressed will? Was it His will to be questioned, so He could change what He expressed He was going to do?

    As some have said, if He wanted robots, He could have made them.

    When it comes to God willing vs. allowing evil, what do we do with this:

    LXE Isaiah 45:7 I am he that prepared light, and formed darkness; who make peace, and create evil; I am the Lord God, that does all these things.

    This doesn't say He allows evil. Ultimately He is perfectly righteous and just. But this doesn't mean we have a handle on precisely how He thinks and functions. And He most certainly does not fit into, nor have to fit into the boundaries we make.
     
  4. Clare73

    Clare73 Blood-bought

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    By "vs." I was not requiring contradiction, although there seemingly is some.

    Matthew 24:36; John 21:22; Act 1:7; Romans 11:33; 2 Corinthians 12:4; Revelation 10:4, etc.
    God's will was secret to Pharaoh.
     
  5. GDL

    GDL Well-Known Member

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    Yes I do. Poor wording on my part. The James verse still needs to be sorted out. Remember sorting out James?!
     
  6. Clare73

    Clare73 Blood-bought

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    It's not two wills, it's one and the same, some of it revealed, some of it not.
     
  7. Clare73

    Clare73 Blood-bought

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    Nah me!
     
  8. fhansen

    fhansen Oldbie

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    Maybe Hebrew could handle it...
     
  9. fhansen

    fhansen Oldbie

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    Yes, thank you. I just have a really hard time thinking that, when God commanded Adam not to eat of the fruit, He secretly wanted him to.
     
  10. fhansen

    fhansen Oldbie

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    Here I think we can say that He actively foreknew that we would oppose or disobey His will, just as He knew Adam would, but also that each case would serve as a stepping stone in His plan, in man's formation, in his education, aimed at ultimately bringing man into alignment with His perfect will.
    I'd only say that I wouldn't build a theology on a single verse or passage of Scripture, especially without taking the rest of Scripture into consideration, and in light of the fact that the bible was never intended to be a precisely worded catechism or theological treatise, a fact that doesn't serve to offer much aid in resolving the many disagreements over its meanings. And, yes, God and his thoughts are bigger'n us, much bigger, a concept that many use to support whatever their thoughts happen to be. :)
     
  11. throughfireytrial

    throughfireytrial Truth-Lover Supporter

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    14 But each person is tempted when he is dragged away and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin. And sin, when it is full grown, gives birth to death.
    (James 1:14-15, NIV2011)
    I believe this passage gives insight and governs...from these passages it would seem that technically the desire is not sin itself...we do have a sinful nature, but we must not sow to please that sinful nature, but rather sow to please the Spirit within us. If one entertains evil desires one is playing with fire.
     
  12. Thomas White

    Thomas White Well-Known Member

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    A sin cannot be committed until the person commits the sin. Temptation involves no actual commitment of an act; therefore, it is not sin.
     
  13. throughfireytrial

    throughfireytrial Truth-Lover Supporter

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    I just posted the James verse in the post above you (#191) which seems to indicate what we be both conclude as Truth. I just returned to post again after recalling the following verse...
    27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery, 28 but I tell you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:27-28 EHV)
    I believe we can say that in God's eyes these evil thoughts and desires are indeed sin while they are extending from the human nature while James seems to be saying it is full-born sin when we act upon these impulses.
    Jesus in Matthew is in my view pointing out that we cannot of ourselves and our own works come to God in holiness...we are born in sin and are desperate for Jesus.
     
  14. Thomas White

    Thomas White Well-Known Member

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    Lust is different from temptation. If we lust, we're giving into the temptation and letting g our thoughts wander.
     
  15. throughfireytrial

    throughfireytrial Truth-Lover Supporter

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    News to me!
     
  16. GDL

    GDL Well-Known Member

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    Don't really see the entire connection, but re: His foreknowing and ultimate goal, I think we are certainly in agreement. How He gets this whole mess where He wants it to go is beyond fascinating. Trying to imagine His capacities is mind-numbing.

    Nor can we throw out a verse if it doesn't fit our thinking. Certainly agree re: building a theology and that Scripture can be [wrongly] used to support eisegesis. All basics. This is why I asked what we do with the Isaiah verse, because it doesn't seem to fit the "allow" theology, which we apparently both have. I would also look at the potter and the clay concepts from Paul, which tie back to Isaiah (and Jeremiah).
     
  17. GDL

    GDL Well-Known Member

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    There are some interesting pieces to a puzzle - a thread within a thread - coming out of this thread for me. I'm going to flag some of you and briefly (not my strong-suit, which I'm sure will be displayed again) and highlight why:

    Agreed as I also brought up in #98 and responded to in #156.

    #1. Point being Christ's humanity and our first-born brother (Romans 8) raised by our Father.

    Essentially agreed and responded to in #176 and others.

    #2. Point being from Hebrews 4:15 the "similarity" of Christ's humanity, but not the same as ours, as He did not have sin. The virgin birth.

    Agreed and never responded to by me.

    #3. The Point: Jesus humanity and our humanity: "we are changed, given a new heart, by Him"
    Defining "temptation" as brought up by fhansen.

    My question back to public hermit in #153 was whether or not "temptation" was ever spoken of in Scripture as being related to the heart. So far unanswered by any of us.

    #4. The Point: Jesus humanity and our rebirth with a new heart.

    (Also to public hermit, once again: good thread! Thanks!)

    Agreed. Personally I always appreciate when fhansen chimes in and how he remains in a focus of God's love. As his posts quote: "It is love alone that gives worth to all things." Teresa of Avila

    #5. The Point: The "interplay between God's will and man's will within [the humanity of] Jesus."

    Agreed and appreciated how succinct is the statement "The request itself is subordinated in obedience." I and others stated in several posts how Hebrews 5:8 talks about Jesus having learned obedience.

    #6. The Point: obedience - "it provides a helpful model for us." And "God's love."


    There have been several other good posts, but I'll stop with these for now.

    Firstly, to answer the OP: Temptation is not sin. Jesus was tempted. Jesus requested a change in God's will. None of this was sin, as Jesus was sinless. Temptations become sin when our desires bait us, catch us, drag us away, conceive, and produce sin (James 1:15). No tempting/baiting of Jesus ever succeeded in catching Him and dragging Him away.

    And this is where this post begins:

    What prompted this post this earlier a.m. was something that came out of a discussion with Clare73:

    Some rambling thoughts based upon all the above input and context of what I see as a thread within a [good] thread:

    1 # 2: Jesus was given a human body that was not the same as ours, but similar enough to: provide for Him the ability to remain without sin; learn obedience through sufferings against temptations; experience the weakness of flesh breaking down in an effort to assert itself against His mental agony in spirit to complete our Father's will; and qualify to accomplish what God, in love, wanted/needed to do to accomplish our salvation.

    #1 - 2: Jesus is our first born brother to whose likeness we are being conformed (Romans 8:29). Shouldn't we be focusing on Him not only as our Lord, but just as much, on Him being our first-born brother, and the new creation/humanity (2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15) we are in Christ and thus be focusing much more on what we're supposed to be becoming?

    If He, the "last Adam" (1 Corinthians 15:45) was given a humanity that was similar enough to ours to qualify and accomplish as He did, then what in turn is this new birth we've been given and how vast is its similarity to the humanity of Jesus Christ? He is our model. He is our brother. Our same Father is involved in raising us. We interact with the same Spirit of God. We have the same will and standards of God excepting some things that have been fulfilled and changed in Christ.

    #3 - 4 What is this new heart of flesh we've been given, coupled with having been given God's Spirit? I know a few things for certain: God can and is writing His Law on new hearts of flesh vs. hearts of stone, so we can obey Him (the (Ezekiel 11:19-20; Ezekiel 36:26-27; 2 Corinthians 3:3; Jeremiah 31:33; etc.). And our consciences are being perfected under the new Great High Priesthood as never before His being in this position (Hebrews 9).

    Was this the heart Jesus had? As a young boy (Luke 2:43) Jesus had been raised by our Father waking Him each morning and teaching Him (Isaiah 50:4-6). By the age of 12 He was spiritually strong / filled with wisdom, His knowledge and understanding amazed the teachers of Israel, and He was focused on the necessity of being in the things of His/our Father (Luke 2:40-49). Even in His sinless body He learned obedience, suffered, and experienced the body of flesh tugging at Him to do what comforted it. What can and is God doing with such a new heart He's given to us? What are we distracted from and not getting for the past 2,000 years? Can this new heart tempt us? What is the power of this new heart in us in Christ indwelt by Him / with His Spirit?

    #5 - 6: The interplay of God's will and our will has been modeled successfully for us by our elder brother and Lord in a humanity similar enough to ours to show us it can be done. At the end of the analysis it's all about learning obedience, which is love for God (1 John 5:3; John 14:15, John 14:23-24), required of us for loving one another (1 John 5:4), directly associated with Faith (Luke 6:46 and many others), directly correlated to being born from God (1 John 3:9) and being God's children (1 John 3:10) and to several other vital words and concepts of our Faith.

    Hebrews 10 is definitely worth a read again: He was given a body prepared for Him when God no longer wanted sacrifices for sins, and so He could do God's will - God took away the sacrifice system to institute the do-His-will system and:

    NKJ Hebrews 10:10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

    Sanctified/Set apart for what?:

    Hebrews 10:16-17 "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them," 17 then He adds, "Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more."

    And verses 10:24-31 in this context, explain why we're to be assembling and paying attention to one another (10:25-26 have been thrown at me too many times to get me to come to assemblies that are not doing much of any of the context here and who don't want to consider what the context and reason is for assembling).

    FWIW: I think the similarity between Him and us in Him is way more than we think it is. I think we're way behind the curve given 2,000 years of this. I think Cormack nailed it when stating this: "Christ’s humanity goes largely unexplored by the mainstream" and I think my earlier linked comments were in agreement. I think the bulk of this thread has been very productive and it's refreshing to know that there are solid thinkers among my siblings and His. It reveals that His Ekklesia is alive and well and interspersed among denominations and locales, which all makes Scriptural sense.

    There are some interesting things going on out there stemming from the persecutions against free speech, and business as usual in things called "church." Maybe at some point we get it and start becoming what we're created to be and in this defeating the temptations/testings pressured against us no matter where they emanate from, or what they are. Assembling to literally "irritate" one another to love and good works might become the norm.

    Hitting Post Reply before I change my mind. Your thoughts have been very refreshing and indicative of what we should be able to do in assembling. Calvin, Aquinas, and all those who pondered all these things are valuable, but it's not done, and all of us should be considering and working on why this is.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2021
  18. Mark Quayle

    Mark Quayle Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well, yes, actually, you rather DO mean moral evil, I think. You can put makeup on a pig, but you still think it is a pig. (Haha, see what I did there --now you're not sure if I'm criticizing your opinion or leaving you to decide which is the pig!) What you claim is being done is in fact adding to Scripture, not just spreading ignorance, but that sword swings both directions --be careful.

    I'm curious how you think the Bible can be studied objectively --i.e. without presuppositions, your "philosophical grid". We all have a worldvieew. We do our best, but it is still impossible to shed all presumptions.
     
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  19. returntosender

    returntosender EL ROI

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    It isn't a sin if you don't act on it. What would life be like if we had no temptation? We also need it to prove our strength and faith. JMO
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2021
  20. returntosender

    returntosender EL ROI

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    It isn't a sin if you don't act on it. What would life be like if we had no temptation? We also need it to prove our strength and faith. JMO
     
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