Could Jesus have sinned?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Hardsheller, Apr 21, 2003.

  1. Hardsheller

    Hardsheller
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    This question came up recently among a group of Baptists that I'm a part of.

    Some of the answers were less than satisfactory to me.

    Could Jesus have sinned?

    I say "Not"

    Why - Because although he was fully God and fully man he was not man in the same sense we are. We have "inherited a nature and environment inclined toward sin" (SBC Baptist Faith and Message Statement of 2000). Jesus did not inherit a nature and envionment inclined toward sin because he was born of a virgin. His nature is more similar to that of Adam before the Fall than it is to our nature.

    Older Baptists said that "We believe that man was created in holiness, under the law of his Maker;but by voluntary transgression fell from that holy and happy state; in consequence of which all mankind are now sinners, not by constraint, but choice; being by nature utterly void of that holiness required by the law of God, positively inclined to evil; and therefore under just condemnation to eternal ruin, without defense or excuse." (New Hampshire Confession of Faith 1833)

    Jesus' humanity obviously doesn't meet that criteria either.

    What say ye? and why?
     
  2. Jim1999

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    If Jesus the Man, could not sin, by choice, then what do you make of the temptations? Were they a farce? Were they unreal temptations and hence meaningless? And what make you of Hebrews 4:15 "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin."?

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  3. Hardsheller

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    The question is not was Jesus tempted. That is a Biblical fact. The question is - Could Jesus Sin?

    There is nothing in the Baptist Confessions of Faith that even hints at that possibility.

    And more importantly there is No Scripture that I'm aware of that definitively confirms that possibility.

    What was the purpose of the Temptation?

    Certainly not to strengthen Christ's resolve but rather to serve as an example to his followers that they too with the Spirit's help can withstand temptation.

    And also his temptation served as a clear message to Satan that the Sovereign Throne of the Kingdom was off limits and beyond Satan's control.
     
  4. Doubting Thomas

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    I'd say in His Humanity, He could have sinned.
    In He's Divinity, He could not have.

    However, since both natures exist together in the One Person, I'd say "No, Jesus the Person could not have sinned".
     
  5. NateT

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    I'm not exactly sure where I come down on this issue. Saying that, I don't want this to be an attack. However, with your above statement, how can I have assurance that it is possible for me to withstand temptation, when the One setting the example has no chance of succumbint to temptation (its either physically or logically impossible)?
     
  6. Hardsheller

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    Jesus as a man is not like we are as post-fall men and women. His humanity
    is of the same nature as pre-fall Adam's nature.
    As one person put it in a former church of mine, Jesus is more human than
    any of us are. He was not born into a fallen state like we
    were.
     
  7. Hardsheller

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    Jesus was God on a mission to earth - a mission that held no possibility of failure. This was not an "IF Jesus will not sin....Then I will Saved My people through His Crucifixion and Resurrection" type proposition.

    Jesus knew before He left Heaven that He wouldn't sin

    The Idea that Jesus could or would fail or sin and thwart the salvation of man was never a consideration in the mind of Holy God.

    Therefore He could not sin.
     
  8. Hardsheller

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    I'm not exactly sure where I come down on this issue. Saying that, I don't want this to be an attack. However, with your above statement, how can I have assurance that it is possible for me to withstand temptation, when the One setting the example has no chance of succumbint to temptation (its either physically or logically impossible)? </font>[/QUOTE]How can you have assurance that it is possible for you to withstand temptation?

    Because God's Word says you can.

    1 Cor 10:13
     
  9. Preacher Nathan Knight

    Preacher Nathan Knight
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    There is no way possible that Jesus could have sinned. He is 100% God and 100% man. God cannot sin.
     
  10. Daniel David

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    The role of the temptations was to prove he could not sin.

    For the possibility to exist of him actually sinning, he could not be omniscient (thus not knowing the source or level of temptation), he could not be omnipresent (thus not being fully aware of whatever scheme it was to trap him), he could not be omnipotent (thus he would fear some level of the temptation).

    In an effort to make Jesus fully man, many try to make him the fully (fallen) man. For a quick example, see the thread on whether Jesus feared anything or not. Classic example of people just wanting to feel better about themselves at the cost of Christ.
     
  11. All about Grace

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    This does not contribute to your defense. Pre-fall Adam obviously had the capability to sin.

    In the end, the peccability/impeccability question is unanswerable. The mystery of certain elements of the Incarnation go beyond our finite understanding.

    The most important answer to the question is not whether he could or couldn't. The most important response is that he did not.
     
  12. Caretaker

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    God incarnated could not commit sin, but He did bear the sins of all:
    Heb. 9:28: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.


    A servant of Christ,
    Drew
     
  13. Harald

    Harald
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    W E Best has said wisely:

    Religious institutions that embrace the doctrine that Christ was peccable (capable of sinning) are Laodicean organizations. Like the Laodicean Church of Revelation 3:14-22, they may be rich, increased with goods, and feel they have need of nothing. But they are spiritually wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked. They are Laodicean because they have closed the door to the impeccable Christ of Holy Scripture. Hence, the impeccable Christ of the Bible is standing at the door of those religious institutions knocking for entrance. Christ’s knocking is not at the door of unregenerate hearts but upon the door of regenerate hearts to repent and come out as witnesses against the apostates—those who have turned their backs on the Biblical truth of Christ’s impeccability. It is absolutely unthinkable to imagine that the Holy Spirit who regenerates the elect would lead the regenerated to embrace a peccable Christ. No one can have a true conversion experience by believing in a peccable savior. Jesus Christ comes into and has fellowship with only those who embrace Him as the impeccable Savior. (from "Christ Could not be tempted")


    I say AMEN!

    Harald
     
  14. Hardsheller

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    Harald,

    Amazing we agree on something! :eek:
     
  15. HankD

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    James 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:


    Why was Jesus allowed to be tempted?

    It is a paradox.

    To prove that He indeed could not be tempted with evil.

    HankD
     
  16. Harald

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    The book of Best from which I quoted is one of the very best books dealing with the impeccability of Christ Jesus the Lord, and refuting the heresies of those who affirm He could have sinned, i.e. that he was peccable. As for me the crux of the matter is that Jesus the Nazarene was absolutely impeccable and also intemptible in His humanity. He was the object of satanic temptation hurled at His glorious person from the outside, but He never ever experienced inward temptation to sin. He said Himself that the prince of this world is come and has nothing in me. That speaks of absolute impeccability and intemptibility. Those who believe in a Christ who may have yielded to temptation manifestly have another jesus.


    Harald
     
  17. tyndale1946

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    If Jesus could not have sinned would not that make Adam who did sin an impossibility?

    Was not Adam without sin before he disobeyed?... If Jesus as the God/Man didn't have the ability to sin would that not make him a robot?... I believe Jesus could have sinned but didn't and that is what makes the story more remarkable.

    Hebrews 5:7-8... I pose a question to each of you if Jesus could not sin how could he save us who did?... Brother Glen [​IMG] & [​IMG] Sister Charlotte [​IMG]
     
  18. Johnv

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    Could Jesus have sinned?
    Could he? Yes.
    Did he? No.
     
  19. stubbornkelly

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    Yes and no.

    It has already been asked, "What is temptation if the tempted cannot succumb to it?" It is not temptation at all. Was Jesus tempted? Or was it just an attempt at temptation on Satan's part? If Jesus was actually tempted, then it had to have been possible for him to sin.

    But perhaps we have to look at the whole concept of transitive verbs.

    If I try to tempt you, and you are not tempted (which has nothing to do with whether or not you succumb to that temptation), then I have not succeeded in tempting you. If we say that I did succeed in tempting you, only that you did not succumb, then we're wrong. The two are very different. Not succumbing to temptation does not imply not being tempted. And one can only be tempted if the possibility is there that one will succumb.

    Was Jesus tempted or wasn't he? If he was not, then the answer to "could Jesus have sinned?" is simple. But if he was, in fact, tempted (and I think we have said on this board before that he was), then we have to work through the paradox.

    Which is why I also answer "no." Do we believe that God cannot sin? If we do, why? Is it because God cannot break His own rules? Well, certainly he can. But He does not. Further, we could say that whatever God does is not sin, simply by the nature of God's having done it. So, if Jesus had sinned, it would have been against the existing rules, but if you're the one setting the rules, can you not change them? That's where the "no" comes in.

    We know that Adam could sin before the fall. It wasn't the fall that made humans capable of sin - it was the human capacity to sin, and then the humans' succumbing to temptation that caused the fall.
     
  20. Daniel David

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    1. No, that would make him God.

    2. Just another evidence that primitive theology has come full circle into actually being hyper-arminianism. Classic.
     

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