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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Don Stewart :: What Everyone Needs to Know about Jesus

Don Stewart :: What Common Ground Do Believers Have with Respect to Christ's Ability to Sin?

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What Common Ground Do Believers Have with Respect to Christ’s Ability to Sin?

What Everyone Needs to Know about Jesus – Question 26

Whether or not Jesus Christ was able to commit sin has been an issue which has caused debate among Bible-believers. However, there is some common ground on which believers can agree with respect to the question of Jesus ability or non-ability to sin. They are as follows.

1. The Bible Is Silent on the Matter of Jesus’ Ability to Sin

The issue of Christ’s ability or inability to sin is not something about which the Bible directly comments. It is silent on the matter. Therefore any solution to the question of what He could or could not do has to be decided upon the totality of the biblical teaching upon the subject. In other words, we have to depend upon inferences rather than direct statements from Scripture.

2. Jesus Christ Did Not Sin

Whether or not Jesus could have sinned, the Scriptures make it clear that He did not. All Bible-believing Christians agree on this fact. There is no question that Jesus went through His entire life without breaking God’s law in any form. On this point, there is no doubt.

3. Jesus Christ Had Two Natures

The Bible also says that Jesus Christ possessed a perfect human nature as well as a divine nature. He was a real human being and was fully divine. This is one of the basic truths of the New Testament to which believers agree.

4. His Temptations Were Genuine

We can also conclude that the forty day temptation that Jesus experienced was genuine. Scripture makes it clear that He was fully tested by the devil during that difficult period. Again, the Bible states this in such a way that it is beyond all doubt.

5. He Is Able to Sympathize with Believers

Because the temptations were genuine Jesus is able to sympathize with believers through their temptations. Scripture says that Jesus can personally understand our sufferings and limitations because He went through it Himself.

These are some of things which Bible-believers can agree upon with respect to the various temptations that Jesus received by the devil during his forty days in the wilderness.

Summary – Question 26
What Common Ground Do Believers Have with Respect to Christ’s Ability to Sin?

Bible-believers do not agree as to whether or not God the Son, Jesus Christ, could have sinned while He was here upon the earth. There are good people on both sides of this issue.

While there is disagreement on this issue, there are a number of things that all believers can agree upon with respect to the temptations of Jesus which He received during His earthly life.

First, the Bible is silent on the matter on His ability to sin. The Scripture does not specifically tell us one way or the other as to what He could, or could, not do. Any conclusion which we reach will be from the overall teaching of Scripture. In other words, it is by inference, not directly teaching.

Second, whether or not He could have sinned the evidence is plain that Jesus Christ did not sin. This is something which everyone agrees upon. Nobody could truthfully accuse Him of sin.

Third, Jesus Christ had two natures, one human and one divine. He was fully human and fully divine at the same time. He was the God/man. All Bible-believers are in agreement about this crucial doctrine.

Fourth, the temptations that He experienced were genuine. He truly experienced hunger, thirst, as well as the offer of Satan to bypass the cross. They were real.

Finally, He is able to sympathize with believers because of His experience of being tempted. While His individual temptations may not directly correspond with each and everything which we experience, the totality of His being was subjected to similar testings as we experience. This allows Him to identify with us.

While we may not come to complete agreement among ourselves as to whether or not Jesus could have sinned, these five points are something which all Bible-believers can accept.

What Are the Usual Objections Brought Up against the Idea That Jesus Could Not Have Sinned? ← Prior Section
What Was the Purpose of Jesus' Temptation? Next Section →
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