03 The Temptations of Jesus From Within

By John Thiel, Godly Affections That Motivate Series, mp3

Scripture reading: 2 Corinthians 5:14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: 15 And [that] he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

There are many motivating aspects for a Christian to believe and to obey God. When you study prophecy there is something there that gives you a motivation to believe that God is right, as you see prophecy fulfilling. When you study the Bible and you see heaven, it motivates you; you want to be there. When you study the health-giving messages of God’s word you know that you want to be healthy, that you want to do what God says. When you study the Bible and you see the intelligent mind that is behind it, this motivates your intellect; it gives you confidence that you can give yourself to such a mind. There is also a negative motivation: the threat of destruction. This motivates people to run away from destruction and flee to protection.

More than Knowledge

Prophecy, heaven, health, Bible intelligence, and the threat of destruction – this collection of motivations may reach the intellect, and we intellectually say, Yes, I want to follow the one behind all that. But to persevere through the ever-challenging and trying aspects of life, when we get to some real difficult circumstances in life where everything folds down around us, we often discover that those motivations fail us. As it is written, prophecy will fail, many things will fail; but what doesn’t fail? We need a deeper motive than just this intellectual understanding. We need more than that. We need something to reach our heart and affections.

It is not merely to convey information, nor to convince the intellect. The preaching of the word should appeal to the intellect and should impart knowledge, but it should do more than this. {GW 152.1-2}

Our intellect needs to be reached, prophecy is important, the knowledge of heaven is important, health is important, Bible intelligence, and the threat of destruction – these are all important; but the preaching should do more than impart knowledge.

The minister’s utterances, to be effectual, must reach the hearts of his hearers. {Ibid.}

The heart should be reached – our affections.

The faith that is unto salvation is not a casual faith, it is not the mere consent of the intellect, it is belief rooted in the heart, that embraces Christ as a personal Saviour, assured that He can save unto the uttermost all that come unto God by Him. To believe that He will save others, but will not save you is not genuine faith; {1SM 391.3}

Just to know information of how God will save people is not enough. It has to be very personal. It has to be my personal heart affections.

It is God that circumcises the heart. The whole work is the Lord’s from the beginning to the end. {1SM 392.1}

The heart must be reached. And how true this is when you stop to realise that you might have a wide-ranging knowledge of God’s word, and everything makes good sense, yet when you meet severe experiences in your life, that all withers away; it doesn’t matter anymore. My emotions are severely affected by my circumstances. I have been puzzled about this for years now. Intelligent men, men of high standing, can grovel around in the dirt of alcoholism. I looked after them in hospital; they were intelligent men, but they had lost it. Their emotions and affections were shattered; and therefore all their intellect came to no value. So it is with all of us. If I am just intellectually convicted that something is good and right, it will not carry me through the most severe circumstances of my life.

Because God’s ways are not our ways we need something that is potent to help me to conquer the battles with my thoughts and feelings. I need something very potent. How important to understand that my own ways are not God’s ways. Why is this information so important?

Isaiah 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 8 For my thoughts [are] not your thoughts, neither [are] your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9 For [as] the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

The things that are important to us – our ways and our thoughts – are not God’s thoughts. When our ways and our thoughts are shattered, we have nothing to live for anymore, because everything that we have relied upon is falling down around us, and what have we got left? This is why many people give up. Everything they had hoped for comes to nought. Because God’s ways are not our ways, therefore for us to change our ways to His ways we need more than prophecy, and more than all those other motivating aspects that we have already delved upon.

We who are in the natural human state of being, with our ways, discover that God’s ways cannot really satisfy that natural heart. And when everything goes astray we fall apart.

1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God:

What does the natural man feel in reference to God’s ways?

1 Corinthians 2:14 …they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned.

So if I am going to obey God, if I am going to remain faithful to all of those things that my intellect tells me I need to be faithful to, I need to change something deep inside of me. Prophecy is not going to suffice. My desire for health is not going to suffice. My desire to be in heaven is not going to be enough. Even as I see the great Mastermind of the Bible, it still isn’t enough.

It is not enough to believe the theory of truth, to make a profession of faith in Christ, to believe that Jesus is no impostor, and that the religion of the Bible is no cunningly devised fable. {AA 562.3}

It is not enough.

If we abide in Christ, if the love of God dwells in the heart, our feelings, our thoughts, our actions, will be in harmony with the will of God. The sanctified heart is in harmony with the precepts of God’s law. {AA 563.1}

This is what our exercise of mind is about. The motivation that is needed is more than the motivation of the intellect; it is where my heart is, where my affections lies. If the love of God, if Christ, is abiding and dwells in my heart, my feelings, my thoughts, my actions will be in harmony with the will of God. You see, to be in harmony with the will of God it must have to do with my affections, my feelings, my love toward God. Jesus said it very well when He was speaking to His disciples, If ye love Me, keep My commandments. He understands the human fabric very well.

What Is Missing?

Let us contemplate some heavenly material which enters into our affections, so that it will render us willing to arise above our temptations and earthly desires, above our natural man. Because the natural man will not find it easy when things go wrong to really follow his intellectual knowledge that God is right. This is reality. You might even examine it in your own life, where you came to some very severe temptations in your life and you thought, “What’s the use?? I might as well give up.” And things are not going to get better on this planet. So as they get worse and worse, people give up what they once have believed sincerely. Haven’t we seen this by many people amongst us? They gave up what they once testified so powerfully about. Things got too much for them and they gave it up. There was something missing. And we are not safe unless we understand what the word of God is saying here.

The Bible announces something to us that is needed for us to be truly in tune with God and survive and come through in salvation to the very end. These are announcements. An announcement is good information, but it is not necessarily the answer to my need:

Philippians 2:12 …work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

This is part of the equation of salvation. But what is most important?

Philippians 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of [his] good pleasure.

I need more than my convictions; I must have God working in me to want to do, because the natural man does not see God’s ways as important. So it must be God working in me both to will and to do of His good pleasure. This is an announcement; it tells you here that it must be God. And we might say, Well, God, please, work in me! Do something! How long it took me to realise that God doesn’t do magic in my heart. It took me a long time. I was waiting for God to do something in my heart. But it wasn’t happening.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

We are looking at affection-motivated obedience. It says that we are God’s workmanship, created where? “In Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” To be obedient to God’s will is the workmanship of God. We are here getting a little indicator. Where? Created in Christ Jesus. What does that mean? The problem is that we have been affected by magical religion, and we don’t really understand what this means.

The Motivation of Affection

What is the motivating power which has to do with the words that we are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto those good works?

2 Corinthians 5:14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: 15 And [that] he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

Here is the introduction for us to understand how God works in us. It is the love of Christ that constraineth us. This is another word for impelling us, motivating us. What is it that motivates us and generates within us a desire and a willingness to submit to God? As I look at Jesus who died with my sins, and His love, I realise, Why did He die for? Because we are all dead. We are heading to absolute, hopeless death, with really no purpose for living. This is why many are taking their lives today – they can see the futility of life.

And he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves – the natural man lives unto himself. But as we look at Jesus in whom God is creating us, we behold something which causes me to realise something. What? I am destined to a horrible death, and Jesus took that destiny, and He Himself died that death? And now He generates in me something. We look at Jesus and we see how He was suffering with us in our death; and our hearts are affected. We are moved upon by this amazing love. My affections begin to work inside of me, so that I am not going to live for myself anymore. We all live for self. I want to be comfortable where I am and in what I am doing; and God wants me to do things which are not necessarily comfortable for me.

You just want to test it. You just want to read some statements. We have done that in times past. I have gone into the subject of dress. Oh no, we don’t want to dress the way God says, we want to dress the way we like to dress. It is uncomfortable to dress like God says. This is just one example. People hated me for coming up with dress all the time. But I didn’t come up all the time with it; I came up with many other things as well. The fact is that whatever God directs for us to engage in, it is always outside of our natural comfort zone, always, because God’s ways are not our ways. So something has to be generated inside of me so that from henceforth I will not live for myself! My affections need to be reached, and God creates something in me, in Christ Jesus. As I look at Jesus there is a creation of doing His will instead of mine.

Do you want Him to work in you? Do we want Him to work in us to be His workmanship? We want to be saved, don’t we? My intellect tells me I want to be saved; I want to be in heaven. Then let us be His workmanship. And where is it to be found? In Christ Jesus.

If our affections will be drawn out to Him, then we will be happy to get out of our comfort zone, because my affections are centred upon Him. We behold Jesus. What was He? He was numbered with the transgressors. He was struggling, dying as the transgressor must die. I see Him struggling beside me in my struggles. And as I behold Him like that, this affects my love. He loves me so much that He is struggling with my hopelessness? My affections are drawn to Him. He became one with us in our sin which generates our death. So when we meet the condemnation, the horrible, hopelessness and separation from God because of our sin, we watch and follow His example. He was there separated from God because of my horrible sinfulness, He suffered the same, and how did He affect me so that I would then follow His example? Here He is, hanging on the cross, in the darkness of my sin, crying out, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me? because sin causes us to feel forsaken.

Amid the awful darkness, apparently forsaken of God, Christ had drained the last dregs in the cup of human woe. In those dreadful hours He had relied upon the evidence of His Father’s acceptance heretofore given Him. He was acquainted with the character of His Father; He understood His justice, His mercy, and His great love. By faith He rested in Him whom it had ever been His joy to obey. And as in submission He committed Himself to God, the sense of the loss of His Father’s favor was withdrawn. By faith, Christ was victor. {DA 756.3}

The darkness dispersed. He remembered what the Father in heaven was like. The wrong concept that we have of God is that God is full of justice and He can’t accept me because I’m a terrible sinner. But here is Jesus, made to be sin together with me; and how does He reveal what a sinner will do if He will be saved? He remembers that God is not a vindictive, arbitrary destroyer of the sinner. If the sinner comes to the Father, as Jesus came to Him, and says, Father, I am confessing to You all the guilt that is upon me, and I am giving myself to You, I trust You; what does the Father do? He accepts His Son, He accepts you and me. He forgives us. He has provided Jesus to show that. As we grapple with our condemnations, our hearts are filled with affection as we see what God is like; and we follow Christ’s example because He is there beside me and He casts Himself upon God’s love, and God removes the sense of the condemnation.

Tempted from Within

If this warms our affections so that our hopelessness and our condemnation is removed, what will touch our hearts and provide me with momentum for my affections to conquer the feelings during severe temptations? We are now affectionately drawn to Him because of the death of Jesus (and there is no more condemnation to them who are Christ Jesus), but what about when I am tempted? I am tempted by feelings from within. Do I have an affectionate picture of Jesus in that circumstance? Every time I am tempted and my natural, internal feelings overpower me, how can I stop failing in the temptation? This is another dimension that we need to study. And why do I use the word “within”? Can we see something in Jesus that is going to affect me to conquer temptation within? Do we see Jesus with us also in this form of temptation? The world and Satan come to us on the outside and attract us to things outside, and we can often say, No, I don’t want to do that. But there is something inside of me that really craves in temptation.

You who mourn your spiritual dearth, do you seek to know and to do the will of God? {CE 116.3}

We have spiritual dearth, I have something inside of me that is dead.

Are you striving to enter in at the straight gate? There is work, earnest work, to be done for the Master. The evils condemned in God’s word, must be overcome. You must individually battle against the world, the flesh, and the devil. The word of God is called “the sword of the Spirit,” and you should become skillful in its use, if you would cut your way through the hosts of opposition and darkness. {Ibid.}

The hosts – the world, the devil, and what else? The flesh. This is the one which is the most difficult to conquer. We must understand something to overcome the flesh, the temptations within.

To renounce their own will, perhaps their chosen object of affection or pursuit, requires an effort, at which many hesitate and falter and turn back. {AG 321.4}

We are really getting down to some nitty gritty details now. What is it? I am called to renounce my own will, perhaps my chosen object of affection or pursuit. My affection is really bound up with something that I enjoy doing, and God says, But no, I don’t want you to do that; or a pursuit: I am pursuing something that I really enjoy! but God says, No, that is not My way. Oh… What is required now? This requires an effort, at which many hesitate and falter and turn back. I don’t want to turn back, I want to be saved; well, this is what I am going to falter over.

Yet this battle must be fought by every heart that is truly converted. We must war against temptations without and within. We must gain the victory over self, crucify the affections and lusts; and then begins the union of the soul with Christ. {Ibid.}

Then, as we conquer this together with Christ,

After this union is formed, it can be preserved only by continual, earnest, painstaking effort. Christ exercises His power to preserve and guard this sacred tie, and the dependent, helpless sinner must act his part with untiring energy, or Satan by his cruel, cunning power will separate him from Christ. {Ibid.}

Although we might be converted, this struggle goes on. We have to deal with the temptations from within, as well as from without. Christ exercises His power to preserve and guard this sacred tie. This is what we want to understand and explore more fully – the power that Christ exercises to help me to conquer that internal temptation from within.

Conquering Temptation

Those who would be victors should contemplate the cost of salvation, that they may be subdued by the love of Christ, that their strong human passions may be conquered, and their will brought into captivity to their Redeemer. {BEcho, December 1, 1892 par. 4}

What must we do? Those who would be victors should contemplate the cost of salvation. We are contemplating Jesus Christ because there is going to be a power that will give us the power to conquer our strong human passions, the temptations from within, from the flesh.

The Christian is to realize that he is not his own, but that he has been bought with a price. {Ibid.}

I need to discover that my affections have been bought. Where will my strongest temptations come from? From Satan? From the world? No.

His strongest temptations will come from within; for he must battle against the inclinations of the natural heart. {Ibid.}

As it says, The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God. So although we are converted we still have a natural heart, a natural human condition.

The Lord knows our weaknesses; yet He has valued man, even though finite and incapable of any good in and of himself, at an infinite price. “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” {Ibid.}

There are natural inclinations that we have to struggle with; and that is the greatest force of our temptations.

There must be a power working from within, a new life from above, before men can be changed from sin to holiness. That power is Christ. His grace alone can quicken the lifeless faculties of the soul, and attract it to God, to holiness. {FLB 96.5}

What is it? The power of Christ, the study of Jesus – there is a power there that will affect me. There must be a power working from within, a new life from above, because the strongest temptations that I have to meet are the temptations within, so I need something within me. It is the power of Christ. So we say, I’ve got to live with Jesus within; but we don’t understand fully what that really means. This is why we want to explore it in all its impact.

Apart from divine power, no genuine reform can be effected. Human barriers against natural and cultivated tendencies are but as the sandbank against the torrent. {MH 130.5}

Do you understand what this is saying? Do we understand this terrible, internal thing that is like a torrent? If you get a torrent of flooding water, what does it do to a sandbank? It just overflows it. Haven’t you experienced this? You’ve determined in your mind that you are going to be perfectly obedient to one of God’s expectations in your life, but every so often you discover, I’ve just failed miserably; because in this internal struggle I am actually being swept away into the disobedience to what God is wanting me to do. So for a genuine reform I need a power that works within, because it is within that I have this struggle.

Not until the life of Christ becomes a vitalizing power in our lives can we resist the temptations that assail us from within and from without. {Ibid.}

I need something from Christ. What is it? A power. Let us really understand this struggle within and what is involved here. What is this power within?

Our foes are within and without. We are assailed by temptations which are numerous and deceiving, the more perilous because not always clearly discerned. {14MR 294.3}

You want to clearly discern what you falter over?

Appetites and Inclinations

Often Satan conquers us by our natural inclinations and appetites. These were divinely appointed, and when given to man, were pure and holy. It was God’s design that reason should rule the appetites, and that they should minister to our happiness. {Ibid.}

Isn’t it true? You can’t enjoy food if you haven’t an appetite. God has given us appetite. So what we eat tastes good in our mouth, and we love it, and it does us good. God doesn’t want me to just eat like if I were eating cardboard, to eat food that is doing me good but that doesn’t taste good. He has given me appetite, and then He has given me food that tastes nice. You take that appetite in regards to eating to all the other appetites that God has given us, whatever you want to think about. These appetites to enjoy life were divinely appointed. But now because of sin, what has happened? They have been polluted.

It was God’s design that reason should rule the appetites, and that they should minister to our happiness. And when they are regulated and controlled by a sanctified reason, they are holiness unto the Lord. {Ibid.}

This quotes absolutely swept me away when I first read it. Those appetites and inclinations that God in His divine way had installed into our being, if they are under the control of reason, are holiness unto the Lord. But because of sin they have been polluted. So now that which God had put into there becomes a very powerful force which Satan uses to assail us – foes within. They are foes which at first were not put there by God as foes. This is what we need to understand. The temptations from within are a foe of our natural inclinations and appetites originally installed by God but which have been twisted by Satan.

What can we gain from Jesus in this struggle? Mark how the word of God explains an internal struggle that we can find the answer for in Jesus Christ. It is important that we pick up these answers. There is here an announcement that tells us that, in this struggle of temptations Jesus also partook with us:

Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as [we are, yet] without sin.

He was in all points tempted like us. And remember, the most severe temptations are the internal ones.

Hebrews 2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto [his] brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things [pertaining] to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. 18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

Where are my temptations coming from? From without and within. But which one is the most severe? The ones from within. Jesus was in all points tempted like we are, and He suffered being tempted, because He was made in all things like unto us. Did He have sinful flesh or holy flesh? If He had sinful flesh, then what temptations would He be suffering? The temptations within, by the flesh which had been perverted by sin.

We are ever to walk with God and learn of Jesus Christ, who has overcome every temptation wherewith we are beset. He was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin. {CTr 53.2}

The Lord draws people close to His side, to walk with them, to work with them, to teach them how He overcame every temptation in humanity, and how, therefore, they may overcome through the provision the Lord has made. With every temptation there is a way of escape, by walking humbly with God. Without faith, ever increasing faith, it is impossible to please God. {CTr 53.3}

This is our purpose, to please God, and we want to know how. It is given to us in Jesus. It is Jesus who not only is with us in sin at the cross, but in every temptation, and especially in the most severe, the temptations that come from within. He came here to help us to watch Him, so that we can conquer the strong urges of the natural appetites and inclinations within. He came close to our side, to walk with us, overcoming every temptation in humanity. And I have to look at Jesus; I have to watch Him so that I can get the power.

Jesus in Our Experience

The exalted Son of God in assuming humanity draws Himself near to man by standing as the sinner’s substitute. {Con 46.1}

He comes right down to us in our own experience.

He identifies Himself with the sufferings and afflictions of men. {Ibid.}

What are the afflictions? The foes deep inside. He identifies with that.

He was tempted in all points as man is tempted, that He might know how to succor those who should be tempted. Christ overcame on the sinner’s behalf. {Ibid.}

We are told that Jesus did it in all reality. He took upon Himself a human nature that was in all points made like unto us, and in His flesh there were those inclinations and appetites that were natural but had been perverted by sin. Watch Him in His temptations, and let your affections spring afresh within. Because if we don’t look at this we don’t have the internal thing to conquer the internal conflict. So powerful was His experience in temptation that He suffered being tempted. As He was being tempted, what did He have to go through? As you behold Him, remember your own experience. And when next you meet the experience, look at it. This is why it says we are to keep on looking at Jesus. By beholding we will be changed.

Hebrews 5:7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; 8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; 9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

Can you comprehend what this is saying? If my mind is befogged I can’t comprehend what this is saying. In the days of Christ’s flesh He was being tempted in all points like I am tempted with my flesh. What sort of flesh did He have?

Romans 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh,

My internal temptations are more severe than all the others, the law was weak through the flesh, but

Romans 8:3 …God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and as a sacrifice for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Let us behold Jesus in the days of His flesh. What sort of flesh was it? The likeness of sinful flesh. What did this mean? What did the flesh do to His pure mind? It came up to Him and said, I want. He had to conquer the natural inclinations and appetites that were in His flesh, in the same flesh that you and I have. And how did He do it? He was crying with strong crying and tears, He was struggling with this struggle of the terrible corruptions of temptation.

Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered – why did He go through that learning? Because I have to learn by watching Him. But if I am not watching Him, will I learn? This is the biggest problem with people – they don’t know where the power comes from; they expect God to do some sort of magic in their hearts. No, look at Jesus. This is where we are created unto good works. I need to follow Christ’s example whenever my comfort zone is being challenged and God says, This is My ways. Now you may say, But I want this way! I love it! But no; the flesh loves it, but my heart is being drawn to God as I look to Jesus.

Jesus came in the likeness of sinful flesh and condemned sin in the flesh. He condemned the flesh that tempted Him.

Romans 8:5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh;

Jesus didn’t want to follow that; He conquered it, and He gave us the example. He is able to help us. What did this actually mean inside of Himself? Sr. White here talks about some of God’s people who are praying, and as they do,

Satan casts his dark shadow between them and the Lord Jesus, their atoning sacrifice. They say, It is useless for me to pray. My prayers are so mingled with evil thoughts that the Lord will not hear them. {HP 78.3} 

Here are people who are praying to God, but as they are praying there is an internal thing, thoughts and feelings arising inside of their mind, and they say, My prayers can’t be heard! There’s this terrible thing going on inside of me!

These suggestions are from Satan. In His humanity Christ met and resisted this temptation, and He knows how to succor those who are thus tempted. {HP 78.4}

What was the temptation? That as I am praying, all these evil thoughts are coming up inside of me and I am tempted to believe that God will not hear me. Did Jesus feel that temptation? All temptations. He went through this temptation so that we might know from Him how to deal with that. And as I look at that, as the evil thoughts want to crowd in upon my mind, I watch Jesus, and what was He doing? With strong crying and tears He would cry, Father, help Me here! I’m suffering under these terrible thoughts! As the thoughts and feelings come upon you, remember Jesus, the One who was altogether pure, suffering with your thoughts and feelings. Doesn’t this affect your affections? Doesn’t this warm your heart? Here is something that gives you strength from within! Jesus inside of me!

Beside Me

Stepping a little aside from them, the Man of Sorrows pours out His supplications with strong crying and tears. He prays for strength to endure the test in behalf of humanity. {AG 346.3}

He is doing it on behalf of me. He is right there beside me, doing it for me. So keep on looking. And when the temptations from within are so severe, remember, Jesus is right there, suffering with you. And He is there as my High Priest right now, remembering every experience.

That He might by His own example condemn sin in the flesh, He took upon Himself the likeness of sinful flesh. {TMK 131.3}

By His example where did He have to condemn sin? In the flesh. He took upon Himself the likeness of sinful flesh so that He could do that. So the likeness of sinful flesh simply means He had the same one that I have, so that He could give me an example of how to conquer that sinful flesh.

We cannot appreciate our Redeemer in the highest sense until we can see Him by the eye of faith reaching to the very depths of human wretchedness, taking upon Himself the nature of man, the capacity to suffer, and by suffering putting forth His divine power to save and lift sinners up to companionship with Himself. {TMK 287.3} 

He is in companionship with us so that we can conquer as He conquered. You must go and study this at home. You must make it your own. You must explore what I am sharing with you. Because I explored that for my own salvation, and I am sharing it with you so that you can get the answer! Without this I would be lost. And many people walk past this message and argue with me on the subject, when they’re missing the very point that is going to help them as it helps me. This meditation, this beholding of Jesus suffering with me with strong crying and tears so that He could help me in my internal temptations, is there for one purpose – to give me power.

We must hide self in Jesus Christ, and let Him appear in our conversation and character as the One altogether lovely, and the chief among ten thousand. Our lives, our deportment, will testify how highly we prize Christ and the salvation He has wrought out for us at such a cost to Himself. {TMK 287.4}

What did it cost Him? Suffering.

While we look constantly to Him whom our sins have pierced and our sorrows have burdened, we shall acquire strength to be like Him. We shall bind ourselves in willing, happy, captivity to Jesus Christ. {Ibid.}

Your affections have been captivated as you look at Jesus like that. So if you still have struggles with really obeying God in every detail that you read and study in the Spirit of Prophecy for us today, and you are struggling with this, and it gets so deep, so personal, remember Jesus. Gaze upon Him. And when you next come across a direct requirement of God that cuts right across your comfort zone, gaze upon Jesus, and let your affection for Him bring you into perfect submission. This is the answer to victory over our temptations.

Amen.

Posted on April 5, 2017, in Divine Service Sermons, Godly Affections That Motivate Series, Sermons by John Thiel and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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