This blog gains its name from the book Steele's Answers published in 1912. It began as an effort to blog through that book, posting each of the Questions and Answers in the book in the order in which they appeared. I began the project on Dec. 10, 2011. I completed it on July 11, 2015. Along the way, I began to also post snippets from Dr. Steele's other writings — and from some other holiness writers of his times.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

How Could Jesus Be Tempted?

QUESTION: Could Jesus be tempted in all points like as we are tempted without a sinful nature?

ANSWER: Exegetes disagree about the limitation of the phrase "without sin." Some say the temptation left Christ without sin; others say it found him without any inclination to sin and left him sinless. They say this phrase "without sin" is an expressed exception to the words "all points." Jesus was tempted, as we are in all points save one, having inherited no evil inclination. Yet his temptation was real because he was human, possessing those susceptibilities, which pure in themselves, may without the resistance of the free will, be incited to sin.  If this is objected to because it implies the possibility that the Son of God might have sinned, we reply that it was certain that he would not sin, just as certain that God will never sin. There is a great difference between certainty and necessity. God is a free agent. He has a conscience which discerns the distinctions between right and wrong, and he invariably cleaves to the right. This brings us to the ground of moral obligation. He who says God does a thing because it is right stands on the foundation of James Arminius. He who says that a thing is right because God does it, that his will is the ground of right, and that he is a law unto himself, and that he can reverse the ten commandments, if he pleases, takes his stand with John Calvin.

— From Steele's Answers pp. 34, 35.