Greetings all, I know this topic was discussed previously on the PB, but I am still struggling in my heart over the nature of Christ's temptations. I have been teaching from Luke for the past six months and finally have arrived at chapter 4—the three final temptations of Christ. In the two previous weeks, we looked at the Incarnation in some depth, stressing that Jesus was a real man who lived his life in dependence upon the Holy Spirit like other men, with one major difference—that he was not given the Spirit by measure. (John 3:34) I am utterly convinced that the doctrine of Christ's impeccability is the only correct position. The very thought that the Second Person of the Trinity could even possibly (theoretically) sin is horrendous to me. The idea almost makes me ill. For Christ to sin would turn the reality of God on its head. It would prove him to be less than God and our faith futile. But at the same time, I believe we must accept that Christ's temptations were real and severe to the nth degree. I do not think I need help with the simple fact that both things are true, but I want to "feel" his temptations as deeply as a flawed man can. I need your help. Below is the text of an email I sent to the class members in preparation for next weeks lesson: =============== Dear Group, Some food for thought as we look forward to our next meeting: What do you think of this? I think it is wrong to believe that Christ’s divine nature made it impossible for his human nature to sin. —R.C. Sproul To me, it is interesting that RC attributes sin to a human nature. Natures do not sin—persons sin. And Jesus' person was that of the Son of God. Here's a definition that I hope you will consider over the next two weeks: IMPECCABILITY OF Christ The doctrine that the Lord Jesus Christ not only was able not to sin, but that He was not able to sin. Thus, not only did He not sin, He could not sin. “He was not only able to overcome temptation, but He was unable to be overcome by it” (Shedd, Dogmatic Theology, 2:330). Christ had a human nature, and human nature is, considered in itself, capable of falling. But the human nature of Christ was personally united to the eternal Word, or Son of God, who was incapable of falling. It never had any existence apart from this union with the Word. Thus, when speaking of the theanthropic person,* it is both inconceivable and unscriptural to say that the God-man could have sinned. It is vain to say what the human nature of Christ could have done if left to itself. The fact is, it was not and could not be left to itself. The complex person of Christ could do nothing that was detrimental to the glory of the infinitely holy Son of God. The divine nature could never be a party to sin. It is frequently urged that if Christ could not sin, His temptations were meaningless. But this does not follow. As Shedd points out, “Temptability and peccability may be in inverse proportion to each other, and this proves that the two things are entirely distinct and diverse.” It takes a stronger temptation to assail a virtuous person than a debauched person. The principle is clear: the less peccability, the greater the temptation’s force. Thus in the case of the most virtuous person of all, the God-man, temptation would have reached its highest degree. The Scripture teaches the impeccability of Christ. Hebrews 13:8 says He is immutable. That could not be, if He had been capable of falling. Hebrews 4:15 says, “Christ was tempted in all points like as we are choris hamartias.” Choris hamartias means “apart from sin,” or “sinlessly” (compare the use of choris in Heb. 7:21; 9:18; 9:22). Christ’s temptations were unlike ours in that while He was assailed from the outside, there was nothing in Him to desire to embrace that outward temptation. He said, “The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me” (John 14:30). Shedd and Berkhof defend the truth of Christ’s impeccability, though, sadly, no less a theologian than Charles Hodge repudiated it. Cairns, A. (2002). In Dictionary of Theological Terms (pp. 224–225). Belfast; Greenville, SC: Ambassador Emerald International. What do you think?