An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 7 - Doctrinal Truth - Page 244 of 297
Christ' (1 Pet. 1:7).  Here, 'that' is 'in order that'; 'trial' is to
dokimion, 'the proof after testing', and the result of the trial, 'praise and
honour and glory' at the appearing of the Lord.  It is utterly impossible to
import temptation to sin into 1 Peter 1:6.  It is the trial of faith that is
in view.  If it were needed, the fullest confirmation of this interpretation
is contained in 1 Peter 4:12:
'Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to
try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice,
inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when His
glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.  If ye
be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye ... let none of you
suffer as a murderer, or as a thief ...' (1 Pet. 4:12-15).
This passage is so eloquent in the distinction which it makes between
temptation as a test, and temptation to sin, that we add no word of our own,
except to say that the trial here, which is called 'fiery' and is partaking
of Christ's sufferings (not at all being led away by evil things), is the
translation of the Greek word peirasmos.
The only other reference is that of 2 Peter 2:9:
'The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations'.
The context of this statement speaks of the deliverance of 'just Lot',
who escaped the overthrow of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha, which
overthrow was an ensample of the fate that awaits the ungodly.
It is clear by this examination that the epistles of the circumcision
use the word 'temptation' consistently, and always in the sense of trial; not
in the sense of enticement to sin.
The word peira, which lies at the root of the words translated 'tempt',
'temptation', 'try' and 'prove', means a point, or an edge, or, as we would
call it, a 'probe'.  It is a well-known phenomenon in language for 'b' and
'v' to be interchangeable, consequently we are not surprised to learn that
the verb 'to prove' comes from probare, 'to test as to its goodness', which
in turn comes from the word probus, 'good'.  So we find such words as
'probable', 'probate', 'probation', 'probity', all coming from the same root,
and having the basic meaning of 'testing for goodness'.
The word 'probe' means either an instrument, or the act of searching,
exploring and trying.  In the great majority of the passages where 'tempt'
and 'temptation' occur in the New Testament, the meaning is just this
'probing to discover whether goodness is present', and only in a few passages
can the popular idea of 'tempting to commit sin by solicitations, and an
appeal to evil desire within' be discovered.
We return, therefore, to the original verse that caused this
examination, and rejoice to know that in all the 'probing' and 'testing' that
must be undergone on the way to glory, we have both the sympathy and the
succour of Him Who was tested in all points like His brethren, 'sin
excepted'.  Where temptation issues in sin, not sympathy, succour and
infirmity, but forgiveness and restoration are needed, and forthcoming, but
in such experiences the Son of God can have no part.  He needed not
forgiveness, He was never deflected, He needed not to be restored.