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“Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people” (Heb. 2:17)

The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, the pride of life-these tendencies to sin are in the flesh, drawing upon us. In this is the temptation. But temptation is not sin. Not until the desire is cherished is there sin.

But as soon as the desire is cherished, as soon as we consent to it and receive it into the mind and hold it there, then there is sin. And whether or not that desire is carried out in action, the sin is committed. In consenting to it we have already done the thing so far as the mind itself goes. All that can come after that is simply the sensual part, the satisfaction of the flesh.

Therefore the only place where the Lord could bring help and deliverance to us is right in the place where the thoughts are, at the very root of the sin, the point where the sin is conceived, where it begins. Consequently, when He was tempted and tried as He was, when He was spit upon, when they struck Him in the face and on the head, and in all His public ministry when the priests in their iniquity were doing everything they could to irritate Him and get Him stirred up-when He was constantly tried thus, His hand was never raised to return the blow. He never had to check any such emotion, because not even the impulse was ever allowed. Yet He had our human nature in which such impulses are natural.

Why did not these emotions manifest themselves in our human nature in Him? He was surrendered to the will of the Father. The power of God through the Holy Spirit worked against the flesh and fought the battle in the field of the thoughts. Under all these insults and grievous trials our human nature in Him was just a calm as when the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove overshadowed Him on the banks of the Jordan. Now “let this mind be in you.”

Jones, General Conference Bulletin, 1895, p. 348

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