Dr. R.C. Sproul has a new book out this past June with David C. Cook. It’s called The Work of Christ: What the Events of Jesus’ Life Mean for You. Here is part 2 of the interview we recently conducted. Keep reading to learn about a chance to get a free copy. (Read part 1.)
What are the similarities between the temptation of Adam and the temptation of Jesus?
The similarity is basically this: Satan attacked both of them at exactly the same point – the trustworthiness of the Word of God. In the Garden of Eden, Satan came to Eve saying, “Hath God said…?” and then he told her, “You will not die.” There’s a direct challenge against believing what God had said.
When Jesus was alone in the wilderness and Satan approached Him, it’s with the same tactic, “If you are the Son of God….” Remember, the last thing that Jesus heard before He went into the wilderness were the words from heaven, “this is my beloved Son is whom I am well pleased.”
The question is, does Jesus trust what the Father said or does He have to prove it by turning the stones into bread? That’s the same point of attack, the trustworthiness and reliability of the Word of God.
People often stumble over the question of impeccability, could Jesus have sinned? What’s at stake here?
Theologians debate this point. Some of them argue that because of the unique structure of the incarnation that the human nature of Jesus is in perfect union with the divine nature. That union would have prevented Jesus from ever sinning. So in that sense the temptation of Jesus was almost fraudulent, it wasn’t really authentic because Jesus did not have the ability to sin.
I think that’s wrong. I think if we’re going to have an authentic human nature for Jesus, and if He is the new Adam, He has to share certain things that Adam had. The posse peccare being at the top of the list, the ability to sin. If the human nature of Jesus did not have the Adamic ability, the possibility of sinning, then He wasn’t really a second Adam and He didn’t really pass a temptation in a probation and win the victory that Adam lost. I think it’s extremely important that we say touching His human nature; Jesus did have the posse peccare, the ability to sin.
What is the significance of Christ’s Ascension for Christians?
I don’t think there’s any event in Jesus’ life that’s more overlooked than the Ascension. The Ascension is of critical importance because it was then that Jesus rose and went to His coronation, His investiture as the King of Kings and not only that, He entered into the holy of holies of heaven as our great high priest.
Since the Ascension, we have our king who is also our priest and our priest who is also our king.
Thank you, Dr. Sproul, for taking the time to interact with us.
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