Presumptuous Rashness and Intelligent Faith

There are many who fail to distinguish between the rashness of presumption and the intelligent confidence of faith. Satan thought that by his temptations he could delude the world's Redeemer to make one bold move in manifesting His divine power, to create a sensation, and to surprise all by the wonderful display of the power of His Father in preserving Him from injury. He suggested that Christ should appear in His real character, and by this masterpiece of power, establish His right to the confidence and faith of the people, that He was indeed the Saviour of the world. If Christ had been deceived by Satan's temptations, and had exercised His miraculous power to relieve Himself from difficulty, He would have broken the contract made with His Father, to be a probationer in behalf of the race. Con 84.3

It was a difficult task for the Prince of Life to carry out the plan which He had undertaken for the salvation of man, in clothing His divinity with humanity. He had received honor in the heavenly courts and was familiar with absolute power. It was as difficult for Him to keep the level of humanity as for men to rise above the low level of their depraved natures and be partakers of the divine nature. Con 85.1

Christ was put to the closest test, requiring the strength of all His faculties to resist the inclination, when in danger, to use His power to deliver Himself from peril and triumph over the power of the prince of darkness. Satan showed his knowledge of the weak points of the human heart, and put forth his utmost power to take advantage of the weakness of the humanity, which Christ had assumed in order to overcome his temptations on man's account. Con 85.2

God has given man precious promises upon conditions of faith and obedience; but they are not to sustain him in any rash act. If men needlessly place themselves in peril, and go where God does not require them to go, and self-confidently expose themselves to danger, disregarding the dictates of reason, God will not work a miracle to relieve them. He will not send His angels to preserve any from being burned if they choose to place themselves in the fire. Con 85.3

Adam was not deceived by the serpent, as was Eve, and it was inexcusable in Adam to rashly transgress God's positive command. Adam was presumptuous because his wife had sinned. He could not see what would become of Eve. He was sad, troubled, and tempted. He listened to Eve's recital of the words of the serpent, and his constancy and integrity began to waver. Doubts arose in his mind in regard to whether God did mean just as He said. He rashly ate the tempting fruit. Con 86.1