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Featured Is temptation, in and of itself, sin?

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by public hermit, Apr 7, 2021 at 4:49 PM.

  1. Clare73

    Clare73 Blood-bought

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    Yes, that was good. . .but his full Biblical explanation in the power of the Word.
     
  2. public hermit

    public hermit social troglodyte Supporter

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    I think that's right. For Calvin, temptation is only possible for a depraved nature. Well, he says as much in the OP quote. This is why I say his position on temptation creates problems If he believes Jesus was tempted in every respect as we are. Or, perhaps he doesn't see that as a problem.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021 at 9:15 PM
  3. public hermit

    public hermit social troglodyte Supporter

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    So, in a sense, Aquinas agrees with Calvin in that an internal desire towards the object of temptation is a sin. Am I reading that right?
     
  4. Clare73

    Clare73 Blood-bought

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    Jesus said the desire to sin is sin.

    Jesus was sinless.

    He had no desire to sin.
     
  5. zippy2006

    zippy2006 Dragonsworn

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    No, that would be a false inference. Only certain kinds of internal desires are sinful (namely those that involve the will).

    Aquinas would say that non-volitional acts cannot be sinful (although his understanding of volition is very nuanced). So if Christ--or anyone--experienced a nonvolitional internal desire towards sin, it would not be sinful. It would only become sinful once the will becomes involved. But Christ never even experienced those sorts of nonvolitional internal desires. :D

    I tried to tease this out when I said, "I would phrase your objection this way..."
     
  6. GDL

    GDL Well-Known Member

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    Makes sense. This is why I ended up looking with interest at His request of the Father to remove the cup from Him in the Garden. This seemed internal, and being a request, coupled with an affirmation of doing God's will, whatever the response, it's really not giving in to temptation, but it does show a severe test of His obedience, which He seems clearly to have struggled with, and He identifies the struggle with the weakness of flesh. In this way He can speak to our weaknesses, knowing full well what they are in every respect - meaning having knowledge of the sin problem and experience with the flesh and tests.

    Romans 7 at minimum.
     
  7. public hermit

    public hermit social troglodyte Supporter

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    I agree, it's hard to know where to draw the line. If we keep it fuzzy and say he experienced the desire towards the object of temptation but didn't dwell on it ("set his heart on it") that makes some sense. But to try to get a fine grained demarcation between the two is difficult. Or, we could take the route that Thomas seems to take and just say the temptation was purely objective, and forego any subjective experience for Jesus, in terms of desire for the object of temptation.
     
  8. zippy2006

    zippy2006 Dragonsworn

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    Right, and I think Aquinas and Calvin would agree that Christ did not experience internal desires to sin.

    Catholics would say that concupiscence is disordered but not sinful in the culpable sense. We would also say that a large portion of concupiscence is a result of previous sin. For example, if I have often committed the sin of fornication I am going to have a lot more sexual concupiscence to deal with. The OP gets really tricky when we get to human nature, Original Sin, and the hypostatic union. That's what I don't want to touch. :D

    In a pastoral sense it is important to note that whether concupiscence is seen as sin a la Calvin or disorder a la Aquinas, it should certainly be seen as problematic, both because it leads to volitional sin and because growth in holiness should lead to less concupiscence. That is, sanctification and concupiscence are inversely related in a general sense.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021 at 9:07 PM
  9. public hermit

    public hermit social troglodyte Supporter

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    That's what I was getting at in that they agree. And, that lack of internal desire is what makes the claim that he was tempted in every respect as we are a bit suspect. But perhaps "every respect" is in reference to all objective forms of temptation (and not in reference to internal experience).

    Right. I don't know how to navigate those difficulties. But, as @Pavel Mosko pointed out earlier, it can tend towards Apollinarianism to exempt him the internal experiences common to other humans, perhaps.
     
  10. chilehed

    chilehed Veteran

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    Culpability for a sin requires some consent on our own part, and so by definition it cannot be a sin to experience a feeling which arrives unbidden. Being tempted is one thing, and consenting to temptation is another.
     
  11. Llewelyn Stevenson

    Llewelyn Stevenson Well-Known Member

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    All temptation is sin, but not all temptation should be imputed to the one who is being tempted.

    There is a temptation that comes from without and a temptation that comes from within That which is from without cannot be imputed to the tempted, but that which comes from within comes from the heart, as Jesus said, and this is imputed to the tempted for they tempt themselves and are not tempted of another.

    Lust is an example of temptation from within.

    Scriptural examples of temptations from without would be Joseph, tempted by Potiphar's wife; or Job tempted by his wife to "curse God and die". Neither Joseph nor Job were defiled by such temptation for they resisted it by the will of God.

    Scriptural examples of temptations from within would be Esau desiring Jacobs stew; Samson desiring Delilah; David on his rooftop desiring Bathsheba. All these were defiled by their temptation.

    It is to this temptation to sin that Christ refers when he gives his statement about adultery, "Whoever looks on a woman, to lust after her, has committed adultery in his heart already."

    Greediness, coveteousness, envy, lust. All these are temptations from within and are sin. Those who commit such things need to repent and be cleansed of them.

    To desire to look at pornography (from within) is sin. To be confronted by a prostitute or wanton woman is not, except you go with her, for it is from without. Likewise a woman who is so tempted by a man.

    To desire riches is sin but not necessarily to have it for God blesses one this way and another that. Let all things be wrought by God.

    To covet your neighbour's goods or to envy what they have is sin.

    To lust for things you do not have is sin.

    All we, who believe in Jesus Christ, should not be tempted from within for we have died to sin in Christ Jesus. Sin should not reign within us. We have received the nature of Christ and the Spirit of God who cannot sin nor commits sin.

    Concerning sin's rule within, we are at war, and, "The weapons of our warfare are not physical but are the power of God to the pulling down of strongholds [those areas sin controls within you] and casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God captivating every thought to obey Christ and being ready to avenge all disobedience once you have obeyed."

    What is this saying? It is saying we must learn of Christ. If we sin we should confess our sin [in all readiness to forsake it] for God is faithful and just for giving our sin and cleansing us of all unrighteousness. He that is cleansed ought not to get dirty again.

    It is all a matter of looking forward; of growing up into him and not looking back desiring those things we had before.

    I do not know if this is what Calvin had in mind because I do not follow his teaching but I hope it helps you to understand when temptation is sin [that can be imputed] and when it is not.

    Concerning sin that is within, if I may quote, "The axe is laid to the root of the tree." This is the place to deal with it. Do not tempt yourself by dwelling on it.
     
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  12. Sabertooth

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    It was probably more like Adam & Eve when they did not [yet] have a predisposition to sin, that we now have. (I don't think that He must have that predisposition to relate to us.)
     
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  13. chilehed

    chilehed Veteran

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    So in being tempted in the desert, Jesus sinned?
     
  14. Taodeching

    Taodeching Well-Known Member

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    No I don't believe it is. Temptation is not just a spiritual thing it happens in many aspects of life. Like one sees a prime steak on for a sweet price at the store, they might be tempted to buy it. That's temptation is not a sin. You get tempted to rob a bank because you need money to get a life saving operation for your child or spouse. That temptation is not a sin. All temptation is neutral, and all temptation is inevitable it is how we respond that matters
     
  15. chilehed

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    Another thing: to tempt is to attempt to persuade another to do something. By definition when that streetwalker tried to get me to buy what she was selling I was being tempted, even though I hadn't the slightest desire to do what she wanted and it happened completely without any initiative on my part.

    So no, to be tempted does not imply a desire for the thing presented.
     
  16. Sabertooth

    Sabertooth Repartee Animal: Quipping the Saints! Supporter

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    "Remove your way far from [the adulteress],
    And do not go near the door of her house,
    Lest you give your honor to others,
    And your years to the cruel one;..." Proverbs 5:8-9 NKJV
     
  17. Jaxxi

    Jaxxi Well-Known Member Supporter

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    No unless we are the tempter. If Satan tempts us however we cannot control that. ALL we can do is resist him, but we cannot control what he does. ,,but say that Satan tempted me to flirt with a married guy, I should be able to discern this and ward him off, but if I was unaware of enemy tactics and I fell for it and flirted? Yes I would be guilty of sin. Even if nothing happened, I would know he is married, would have ill intentions, and would know it was wrong and though it's not one of the 10 commandments, I would be considered as playing the harlot and that is sinful.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2021 at 12:20 AM
  18. GDL

    GDL Well-Known Member

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    Apart from these matters, which are surely important (???), what if we just look at Jesus's life from a few things we can see:

    NKJ Isaiah 50:4-6 "The Lord GOD has given Me The tongue of the learned, That I should know how to speak A word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear To hear as the learned. 5 The Lord GOD has opened My ear; And I was not rebellious, Nor did I turn away. 6 I gave My back to those who struck Me, And My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard; I did not hide My face from shame and spitting.

    NKJ Luke 2:40 And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him....42 And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast. 43 When they had finished the days, as they returned, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. And Joseph and His mother did not know it;...46 Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers... 49 And He said to them, "Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be (speaks of necessity) about My Father's business?"

    NKJ John 3:34 "For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure.

    NKJ John 8:26 "I have many things to say and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I heard from Him." 27 They did not understand that He spoke to them of the Father. 28 Then Jesus said to them, "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. 29 "And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him...." I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father."

    Point being, what an extraordinary upbringing Jesus had and with the Spirit promised to Him as Abraham's Seed. Taught by God. The strong spirit/filled with wisdom at age 12. The resolve at 12 to speak of the necessity of being about His Father's business. He speaks the Father's words and always does what pleases the Father. The knowledge and resolve to handle the adversary's tests in the wilderness. The resolve to handle the cross in obedience to our Father.

    I've studied the matters you speak of. I sometimes wonder why we don't just focus on how He was brought up, taught, trained, and the knowledge and resolve He had developed within Him to be about His Father's will above anything and everything else. The thought of ever going against His Father was just foreign to Him.

    In concept this is a similar upbringing we have in Christ by His Spirit. The older I get and the more time I redeem learning and pondering these things, the more I understand the mindset of desiring never to be out of our Father's will and only do and say what pleases Him. What's the point of existence if not this?

    Not able to sin. Able not to sin. I don't know if I really care anymore. Didn't sin. Learned obedience. Saving us from our sins, so we can live a life to God. We don't know who and what we are yet, but when we see Him we'll be like Him.... Sin's disgusting. Functioning at such low capacities we were not designed to have to function at is horrible. Watching this world destroy itself is tragic. Learning of the mindset developed in our First-Born Brother by our Father and how He always remained in our Father's love is amazing. I think we self-limit how much we - a new creation in Christ Jesus - have available to us.
     
  19. Taodeching

    Taodeching Well-Known Member

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    And?
     
  20. Llewelyn Stevenson

    Llewelyn Stevenson Well-Known Member

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    No, Jesus never sinned. If you read my full post you should have understood.

    Jesus was not tempted from within and, indeed, could not be because there was no sin in him.

    The temptation was sin, because it bade him to disobey God and to distrust him, but it came from without.

    Some thoughts are from without and not from within.

    Look at Christ's first temptation. It says that he hungered.

    He was hungry, but he did not lust or covet what he could not have.

    Satan used the weakness of the flesh to tempt him and the temptation came from without. Because there was no sin in Christ he was able, by the word of God, to resist that temptation and remain without sin.

    Satan first tried with a need o the flesh and then turned to sinful desires of pride, lust, greediness, covetousness, and the like but these were not in Christ and he could not be tempted by them.

    Do not be confused. You will soon learn to define which temptations come from within and which without. Resist both of them by Jesus Christ and you will be truly free.
     
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