He faced the same tests but Christ did not give in

Pastor Jeff Struecker

This Christmas season, we’re talking about Jesus becoming a man and this big theological topic about Jesus’s salvation. How could a perfect God rescue imperfect people from sins? 

And this is where the theological word “impeccability” comes in. This word talks about sin. Impeccability comes from the Latin word impeccabilis, a combination of the Latin prefix in-, meaning “not,” and the verb peccare, meaning “to sin.” And there are these phrases that I’d like to remind people about. 

If God is morally perfect, then God is above temptation, which means God cannot sin. God is not possible to be peccable. He cannot sin regardless of the disease of sin that has infected you and me. We inherited this from our parents, who inherited it from Adam and Eve. All of us have been tempted by sin, and the Bible says in Romans chapter three that we have not just been tempted; we have all given into that temptation, which means we’re incapable of not sinning. But Jesus is different. He’s both God and man because he’s God; he’s born separate and different from all of humankind. He’s born of a virgin. He doesn’t have an earthly father, and he has an earthly mother. 

The Holy Spirit placed this embryo in the Virgin Mary’s womb, and she gave birth, which means Jesus didn’t inherit the sinful nature you and I have, but he was really a man. So while he was on earth, he was very much tempted, just like you and I have been tempted, and without using his divine supernatural power, he didn’t give into that temptation, which means Jesus is the only one who’s ever walked on earth that could have sin but didn’t sin. 

And the word impeccable means he didn’t sin, even though he could. The only other guy that ever had that option and failed was Adam, who was created special, holy, and perfect by God. He was created without sin. And God gave Adam one instruction, but Adam gave into sin. The Christmas season is about God and how He loves humanity and is willing to rescue humanity by sacrificing His only Son. And this verse will drive this point home. It comes from Hebrews chapter four; here it is: 

Memory Verse

You see, a priest in the old testament was supposed to stand between a Holy God and sinful people by making a sacrifice, and he was supposed to ask God for forgiveness on behalf of the people. Well, Jesus is described as our great high priest. And the Bible wants you to know something about the way that Jesus was our high priest. And Jesus is not so far removed that he can’t understand or doesn’t care what you’re going through. In fact, Hebrews is trying to say that he was so tempted that when you say Jesus, I’m struggling with this today, he says, I know exactly what that’s like because I was tempted like that.

When you say Jesus, I’m really wrestling with this or Jesus, I messed up yesterday, and I gave into this temptation, he would say, I know what that’s temptation is like because I went through that temptation, I never gave into it, but I went through that temptation to which means I can understand where you’re coming from. That’s the kind of God that we worship.

The Christmas season is a reminder that we still need a savior. Thanksgiving starts the holiday season in the United States, and we thank God for all the gifts he gave us. But the greatest gift ever given was actually not wrapped in a box with a bow. It was wrapped up in strips of cloth and laid in a manger when God gave His son as a gift when Jesus gave up his life. This is the literal language the Bible uses while he was hanging on the cross and gave up his spirit; that’s the greatest gift ever given, and this holiday season, as you focus on gifts as gifts become so big of a deal that it dominates all of the attention during this holiday season. I want you to take half a step back.

I want you to remind yourself of Jesus’s impeccability, of Jesus’s temptation. When you pray to Jesus, you can be honest with him, and you don’t have to hide anything because he’s been tempted in every possible way. Not just those three ways we read about when he was in the desert, but in every way a woman or a man could be tempted. So now, here’s my challenge.

A Challenge

What’s that secret thing that you’re going through? And I hope the obvious answer is nothing, and instead of running away from him when you give into temptation, I hope that you would run to him and that you would lay it at his feet and you would ask him to help you deal with this struggle and to give you the power to be victorious over your temptations.