Bible Answer

In the wilderness, did Jesus have supernatural power to resist temptation?

During the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness (Matthew 4), Pastor Armstrong referred to Jesus as a "mere man". Is this to say that the Holy Spirit did not empower Him in any way to resist Satan? Was Jesus able to refrain from giving in to tempation based on the strength of His will alone?

As Pastor Armstrong taught, Jesus experienced the temptations in the wilderness as any human being would. The enemy tempted Jesus' flesh to disobey the Father by giving in to hunger and to pride to avoid the pain of the cross. He endured these temptations without sin. Only after He succeeded in withstanding these temptations did the Lord receive comfort supernaturally by angels in v.11.

The purpose of Jesus' temptations was to demonstrate that Jesus was worthy to be our "Second Adam." Adam consented to sin under much more pleasant circumstances, so Jesus was forced to endure much greater pressure to demonstrate that He was far more obedient and would not do as Adam did.  

For that reason, Jesus had to face temptation as Adam did: in His humanity without supernatural advantage. So although Jesus was led into the desert by the Spirit and though He is God at all times, in His humanity He did not receive the benefit of supernatural power to resist temptation. Scripture confirms that Jesus experienced this moment as we would:

Heb. 2:18 For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.
Heb. 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. 

The purpose of Jesus spending 40 days in the wilderness was to be tempted as we would be yet without sin. 

Moreover supernatural power was not required to withstand the temptations. Human beings can (and do) fast for 40 days, and we also depend upon Scripture to defeat the schemes of the enemy just as Jesus did. Likewise, though we too have the Spirit of God, He does not empower us supernaturally to resist temptation. We must resist as a matter of our will, which is the common experience Jesus shares with the rest of humanity:

1Cor. 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.

Therefore, there was nothing supernatural in the way Jesus confronted His situation. He struggles against the temptation to sin and yet never conceded to sin as a demonstration that He could accomplish what Adam did not (i.e., resisting the desire to disobey God) and as such, He could be our sinless Savior. 

For more information on Jesus' supernatural power working with His humanity, please read:
When did Jesus receive the Holy Spirit?
Did Jesus sin?