Stylos is the blog of Jeff Riddle, a Reformed Baptist Pastor in North Garden, Virginia. The title "Stylos" is the Greek word for pillar. In 1 Timothy 3:15 Paul urges his readers to consider "how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar (stylos) and ground of the truth."
Image (left side): Decorative urn with title for the book of Acts in Codex Alexandrinus.
Thursday, November 01, 2012
The Vision (11/1/12): Transferable and non-transferable lessons from Christ's temptation
It seems there are some lessons here that are
transferable (that relate to the
pilgrimage of all believers as we follow the pattern of Christ) and some that
are nontransferable (that uniquely
apply to understanding Christ alone).
First, the transferable:
The devil is a real and formidable
adversary.In 1 Peter 5:8, the apostle
Peter admonishes us:“Be sober, be
vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he
may devour.”If he tried to attack our
Lord, he will try to attack us.If a
predator in the wild goes after a mature prey, will he not also attack the weak
He likes to come up against us by sowing
doubt as to the sure and precious promises of God’s Word.So, he asks, “Is the Bible really reliable?”“Is Jesus really the son of God?”Does it really matter how I live my
life?”He will even try to twist the
Scriptures to justify his perversions.
He comes against the believer with a fury,
particularly when he sees that he is losing his prey.He likes to attack us when we are weak and
vulnerable.This might be when we are
physically or emotionally or spiritually worn down.
He brings a variety of temptations against us
just as he did against Christ.He will
tempt us to make our physical desires to become our god.He will tempt us to seek do good through
merely temporal or worldly means. He will tempt us to make our religion rotate
around our own self-preservation as the ultimate good.
We learn from Christ how we are to respond to
temptation.Our most valuable weapon is
the Word of God.We are to have it at
the ready to use as a weapon against Satan.This means not merely the citation of verses in and of itself but the
concept and principles are to be so imbedded within us that we know how to
divide truth from error.This means we
must be motivated to read, memorize, meditate upon, and hear the Word of God.
Second, the non-transferable:
Here we see Jesus growing into his full
maturity as a man and that includes knocking down the objections of the devil
to his calling to be the Suffering Messiah.
Here is illustrated what Hebrews 4:15
declares, that he “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”
He did not do as Satan suggested, try to set
up a worldly kingdom.Instead he chose
the path given him by God the Father.He
would strike at man’s root problem, his sin problem, by dying on the cross for
sinners and setting up an invisible kingdom.
He did not shrink from the suffering of the
cross, but he embraced it.And by his
stripes we are healed.Here we see
Christ passing through the school of trial and we are the beneficiaries.