Trials are Adventures, Temptations are Opportunities
There arises that constant question of our formerly sin-conscious selves: What about sin and temptation? This is where the revelation of there being no human nature but only the two deity natures (we having been formerly Satan-I but now Christ-I) answers our questions. The key is that temptation becomes asset instead of liability, just as James leads off his most practical of letters by saying, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into diverse temptations [trials is the same word].” How can that be? Because we are now loosed from that former suspicion that temptation is sin, and that therefore my responses to it are sin. Both are false.
The temptation question is plainly settled by that invaluable letter to the Hebrews where we see Jesus in His full human nature, particularly in chapters 2 through 4 with the one outstanding word in Hebrews 4:15, “Jesus… the Son of God… tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin.” Perfect Jesus, perfectly tempted. And sinless. Thus temptation is a necessary part of human living. The reason is obvious. We live in a world which is shot through with every form of self-sin solicitation, as we have said, so that in our mortal bodies we remain as light in a dark world, for we meet the same flesh-world assaults as all do. But we know how to turn them into assets and can show the way to others.
The vital difference is found in our new-mind consciousness. We used to mistake temptation for sin and were also suspicious of apparent sinful tendencies in our flesh. We rapidly took condemnation with every “drawing” of temptation on us (James 1:14). Actually, the “lusts” are just the normal strong desires (the correct meaning of that epithumia word in the Greek) by which the universe, on all levels, surges forward all the way from Einstein’s equation which proves that all mass is really energy (e=mc2), right up to the love-drives of personhood in God and man. So temptation is merely by whatever form our human desires of mind and body are excited to respond by the drawings of the deity spirit through our flesh (depending on which spirit). The philosopher Spencer rightly said, “Life is response to environment.” We say, “Which environment?”
Now with our renewed mind—knowing that all humanity (flesh) was created “very good” by God and has no negative or positive inherent pull in it, but responds without condemnation to what draws it–we by infinite grace have been drawn to God (John 6:44). Equally, we often are drawn in our present life in the world by the lusting Satan-spirit, but the vital point is that we take no condemnation for such negative sin drawings. We live in the no-condemnation reality of Romans 8:1. If Satan can get us into taking condemnation for temptations or get us to believe again that we are independent selves, then what we believe holds us. But if, instead of being tricked into such negative believings, we accept temptation as Satan’s right by all his emissaries of people and things (for we are within his camp to rescue his captives), we then do not deny or oppose any forms of temptation. We recognize that they do not issue from our flesh, but from the sin-tempter of our flesh, and then we take no condemnation.
By this we are able to pull Satan’s teeth, and he becomes a roaring but toothless lion (1 Peter 5:8)–unless we give him teeth by responding by fear or condemnation. We “agree with our adversary quickly” as Jesus said in Matthew 5:25, or he will imprison us. If we agree with his right to attack us, we have well blunted his sword. By thus freeing Satan to exercise his rights, we are equally now free to exercise our own. We answer his assaults by affirming who we are, Christ, in us/as us, which really is practicing the daily death-resurrection process of 2 Corinthians 4:10. The light, of expressing ourselves as Christ, (light through lamp) swallows up the darkness. Where we are tempted to hate, we love with God’s love, including enemies. Where tempted to fear (which is really negative believing in evil), we have the faith of God for the situation: anxiety with assurance; depression with affirmation of Him as our joy, though soul feelings may last. We “resist the devil,” as James says (James 4:7) by submitting to God, and in that affirmation, that coward of a devil flees.
We replace all negatives (without condemnation for feeling the pull of them, and thus accepting Satan’s right to pull) with the positives of Christ as us, and we as expressions of God as love, power, peace–recognizing who we are, Him as us, and we loving as He loves, walking as He walks, overcoming our world as He did by faith, just as John says in his letter. We even turn an infatuation for someone into a positive faith action so that, instead of being overwhelmed with condemnation that we should not have such an infatuation, we by faith see Christ, forming Himself in that one. Depressions, tensions, compulsive jealousies, hurts and bitterness–perhaps going back a long time ago into our earlier life are all transformed when they are not resisted with false condemnation (as if we were independent selves) but rather are received as temptations meant by God and which we therefore “count” (though we do not feel) as “all joy” (James 1:2). We deliberately replace all negative reactions by seeing them as His set purpose (we will later see how God “means” all things). We meet them by reversing our negative believing–and affirming that He works all things after the counsel of His own will (Eph. 1:11) and that there is no power but God.