The Berean Expositor
Volume 41 - Page 180 of 246
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We have turned aside to consider the unfaithful of Israel and their forfeiture. We turn
again and see in Him the great Captain and Perfecter of faith, Who, for the joy set before
Him, endured the cross, despising the shame and is set down at the right hand of the
throne of God. An added reason for continuance is given in 4: 15, 16:
"For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched (sympathize) with the
feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, APART FROM
God never tempts a man to sin. Temptation is an essential feature in the record of
the race and the crown, but it is a temptation which is of the nature of trial and test.
Temptation which springs from our own sinful selves is another matter. James clearly
distinguishes between the two sorts of temptations in the first chapter of his epistle:
"My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations . . . . . blessed is the
man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life"
(verses 2 and 12).
That is the temptation of Hebrews and of Revelation. The other kind of temptation to
which Heb. 4: takes exception is next reviewed by James:
"Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be
tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man: but every man is tempted, when he is
drawn away of his own lust, and enticed" (1: 13, 14).
Just as Heb. 4: 14 looked back to 3: 1, 2, we find 4: 15 looking back to 2: 18:
"For in that He Himself hath suffered being tempted, He is able to succour them that
are tempted."
An example of the temptation that is intended here is found in Heb. 11: 17:
"By faith Abraham, when he was tempted, offered up Isaac."
Whatever the temptation may be through which we may be called to pass, it is a
comfort to know that He Who sits at the right hand above was made partaker of flesh and
blood, was tempted like as we are, apart from sin, and is "able to sympathize with our
"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and
find grace to help in time of need" (4: 16).
This question of temptation, and in particular the meaning of the words "tempted like
as we are yet without sin" were given a careful examination in chapter 3:, and the
reader is earnestly exhorted to acquaint himself with this exposition if for any reason its
study has been overlooked, as it is vital both to the understanding of the epistle, and for
the safe guidance of the pilgrim through the wilderness of this world.