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Could Jesus Christ Have Sinned?
A great point of debate throughout the past two millennia since Jesus Christ
came in the flesh is the question of whether or not He could have sinned. It
is understandable that those who do not believe in His Divinity would debate
that point, supporting the argument that He could. If He is not God, then why
would it not be possible for Him to sin? Even angels sin, as Jude and Peter
“And those angels not having kept their first place, but having deserted
their dwelling-place, He has kept in everlasting chains under darkness for
the judgment of a great Day” (Jude 1:6 MKJV).
“For if God did not spare sinning angels, but thrust them down into
Tartarus, and delivered them into chains of darkness, being reserved to judgment” (2
Peter 2:4 MKJV).
Jesus was never under sin’s power,
so the temptation did not affect Him.
One of the arguments of those who believe Jesus could have sinned, besides
the premise that He was not God, is that there would have been no point in
being tempted, if it were not possible for Him to sin. If it were not possible,
the whole exercise of His being tempted, they say, was a farce or sham. They
refer to this Scripture:
“For we do not have a high priest who cannot be touched with the feelings
of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted just as we are, yet without
sin” (Hebrews 4:15 MKJV).
This argument is unreasonable and can be countered by many examples we experience
every day in the natural realm. If I am enveloped in water for hours on end,
without artificial means to counter my circumstances, I will drown. Place a
fish in the same circumstances, and it thrives. It is a matter of difference
On the point of temptation, one may try to tempt me with a cigarette
and it would not faze me, while someone who has been under its power not
long ago may struggle, if not succumb though wishing not to do so. Jesus Christ,
the Scriptures testify, was without sin. He was never under sin’s power,
so the temptation did not affect Him, as a cigarette would an addicted or recently
addicted smoker. A pig would be tempted to roll in a mud hole made available
to it, while a sheep would steer clear of it. Dogs will go swimming while cats
will not, though the water is presented to each of them.
Though Jesus Christ was
tempted, He could not sin.
Because litmus paper is used to test does not imply that the substance tested
will bring certain results. So it is with Jesus Christ being tempted with sin.
All men are sinners; though Jesus was made in the likeness of men and found
in fashion as a man (Philippians 2:5-8), Jesus was no mere man. Though Jesus
Christ was tempted, He could not sin. His nature was such that the temptation
held no attraction. It was not in Jesus Christ to sin any more than it is in
a cat to go swimming or a sheep to go wallowing in the mud. He is the Holy
One of God. Even the devils knew it:
“Now in the synagogue there was a man who had a spirit of an unclean
demon. And he cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Ah! What have we
to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You
are--the Holy One of God!” (Luke 4:33-34 EMTV)
He is the Sinless One:
“In hope of eternal life which God, Who cannot lie,
promised before time itself” (Titus 1:2 EMTV).
And: “No one who has been born of God practices sin, because His seed
abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God” (1
John 3:9 EMTV).
God and those born of God cannot lie; they cannot sin.
He demonstrated His Divine Nature as very different
from human nature.
Not only by raising Himself from the dead did Jesus prove He was God in the
flesh. He also proved He was God by not sinning, though being tempted as men,
who succumb, are tempted. He demonstrated His Divine Nature as very different
from human nature. He passed the litmus test as our only bona fide Savior,
God Almighty. James declares:
“Let no one being tempted say, I am tempted from God. For God
is not tempted by evils, and He tempts no one. But each one is tempted by his lusts,
being drawn away and seduced by them. Then when lust has conceived, it brings
forth sin. And sin, when it is fully formed, brings forth death” (James
The conclusion that one is potentially vulnerable to a temptation stems from
the assumption that desire is always aroused in the one tempted. This is a
false assumption. When using the word “temptation,” the Scriptures
do not mean to convey the idea that one is persuaded to do evil but only that
evil is presented to one. A man or woman can and will be presented with the
opportunity to eat that which they ought not or to steal or lie, and can be
enticed or persuaded to succumb because of their sinful natures. Jesus Christ
did not succumb. He said why:
“I shall no longer speak many things with you, for the ruler of this
world comes, and he has nothing in Me” (John 14:30 MKJV).
All would be lost if He were the only potential Savior
A person who says that Jesus could have sinned is openly declaring that he
or she contemns the Lord Jesus Christ, His nature, and His power of God to
forgive and to overcome sin. Consider where we would be if Jesus Christ had
sinned. We would be without the only hope the Scriptures teach we have. All
would be lost if He were the only potential Savior and failed.
How could we possibly be fully justified to put our complete trust in Him
if it was possible for Him to let us down? Of logical, reasonable necessity,
there would always be that lingering doubt within the breast of every man.
There would be no possibility of absolute, immutable hope. What a sorry mess
that would be! But I am thankful that we can be absolutely sure.
“Before Abraham was, I AM,” said Jesus. “Destroy this temple
and I will raise it up,” He declared to His detractors with absolute
conviction and authority. He said what He meant and meant what He said. How
be so sure if there was the slightest possibility of failure?
Jesus was not practicing the power of positive thinking, as false teachers
like Robert Schuller and son declare, as though He could fail if not practicing
a proper mental attitude to the proper degree, every second of time. God forbid
that we place our trust in such as have the frailty and “dispotential” of
fallen man, or even that of unfallen man, as Adam, who fell when temptation
came. Jesus Christ, unlike the first Adam and his progeny, was and is God Almighty,
Who alone determines what He will, and does as it pleases Him. Of Him it is
“And this is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to
you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5
True assurance can only exist with that which is absolutely
Jesus Christ was the Manifestation, the Representation, the Incarnate Substance
of the Law of God. Of that Law the Scriptures declare:
“If He called those gods with whom the Word of God was, and the
Scripture cannot be broken, do you say of Him Whom the Father has
sanctified and sent into the world, You blaspheme, because I said, I am the
Son of God?” (John
“The law of the LORD is perfect; it gives new strength. The commands
of the LORD are trustworthy, giving wisdom to those who lack it” (Psalms
Jesus Christ is the Law:
“For Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness for everyone who
believes” (Romans 10:4 MKJV).
How shall the Law of God fail or implode on itself? It cannot. The Law of
the Lord is perfect, without weakness or vulnerability. It is written:
“These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome
for He is Lord of lords, and King of kings…” (Revelation 17:14).
“The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit Thou at My right hand, until I make
Thine enemies Thy footstool” (Psalms 110:1 KJV).
These statements express perfect assurance. True assurance can only exist
with that which is absolutely failure-proof.
That Jesus could have sinned is certainly the opinion of those who do not
believe, or have not believed, on Him, not knowing Him for Who He is:
“For they, being ignorant of God’s righteousness and going about
to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves to the
righteousness of God” (Romans 10:3 MKJV).
“Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist,
who denies the Father and the Son” (1 John 2:22).
If Jesus was not God, He could have sinned, for we believe, and the Scriptures
testify, that only God is without sin. If Jesus could have, He would have sinned,
being He had a sinning (sinful) nature, and therefore would not have even bothered
to try to save us. He would not have cared – that is what a sinning nature
is all about.
True believers believe
in God our Savior, and not in a hero.
There are those who acknowledge Him as our Savior, yet say He could have sinned,
but what kind of savior are they talking about? Do they know Him as He is?
It seems to me they suppose Him to be a hero, a man or creature however little
less than God, who is capable of magnificent accomplishment by his own merits.
Such is not the Savior true believers have, or in which they believe. We believe
in God our Savior, and not in a hero. Those who worship heroes do so to maintain
a hope or notion, if even of the faintest form, that they are themselves somehow
capable of such accomplishment, and need only look to an excellent role model,
if they indeed deem a role model necessary at all. This is a denial of the
need for God’s grace; it is a denial of the Divinity of Jesus Christ;
and it is a denial of the fact that Jesus Christ could not have sinned. These
denials are express declarations of self-righteousness. They are manifest repudiation
of the Maker as necessary Savior.
Heroes are made to be emulated. If they can be emulated or duplicated, then
they are not entirely saviors, for those patterning themselves after a hero
manifestly declare that they can save themselves. That is why they choose to
worship heroes. Hero worshipers tacitly declare that they are their own saviors,
thus denying Jesus Christ as He truly is. They would, and even do, worship
Jesus Christ as a hero so that they might escape the sinner’s acknowledgment
and confession that He alone is Lord and Savior without any help from us, but
in spite of our utter corruption and helplessness.
Another Scripture misinterpreted and misunderstood to “prove” that
Jesus Christ was capable of sinning is this:
“For He hath made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might
be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21 KJV).
But proper understanding of this verse is found more easily in other versions,
without contradicting the other:
“Christ never sinned! But God treated him as a sinner, so that Christ
could make us acceptable to God” (2 Corinthians 5:21 CEV).
“How? you say. In Christ. God put the wrong on Him Who never did anything
wrong, so we could be put right with God” (2 Corinthians 5:21 MSG).
He did not sin; He sacrificed Himself
as the antidote for sin.
Indeed, Jesus was the Lamb that, contrary to His own will and liking, waded
into the mud hole to redeem those enveloped and overcome by mud with no hope
of escape. He was the Cat that, against His own will, dove into the water,
unto drowning, to save those that were drowned. Before the Great Sacrifice
of the history of mankind, He said, speaking of His imminent death on the cross
by the will of His own people, whom He came to save by His death:
“Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me. Yet not My will,
but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42 MKJV).
And what was the Father’s will? Isaiah says:
“Yet, it was the LORD’S will to crush Him with suffering. When
the LORD has made His life a sacrifice for our wrongdoings, He will see His
descendants for many days. The will of the LORD will succeed through Him” (Isaiah
Of Him, Paul writes:
“For let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, Who, being
in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself
of no reputation, and took upon Himself the form of a servant, and was made
in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself
and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians
He did not sin, and He was not capable of it. What He did do, however, was
sacrifice Himself as the antidote for sin. In His love for man, He paid the
price we owed, which we ourselves could never pay. That is how He was “made
to be sin.”
For the undeniable, Scriptural proof of Who Jesus Christ really is, read Jesus
Christ, Almighty God.
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