Friday, July 21, 2006

Could Jesus Have Sinned?


We are going through the book of James in my church and we came upon 1:13,14-"Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed."

The text clearly says that God does not tempt anyone and that God cannot be tempted with evil. So, I see this as he was not tempted in the wilderness as much as he was tested. I personally feel that he could NOT have sinned. We read of his temptation in the wilderness in Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12,13; Luke 4:1-13.

Theologians often like to call this "The Peccability versus Impeccability of Christ." The definition of peccability is that Christ COULD have sinned and impeccability is Christ could NOT have sinned. Keep in mind that a key phrase of peccability is that Christ was able not to sin where the key phrase of impeccability is that Christ was not able to sin.

Hebrews 4:15 also gives light in this area when the writer says "For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin."

Praise God that Jesus was sinless. He was able to be tempted (Matt. 4: 1-11), but not able to sin. I'm curious to hear your thoughts.

31 comments:

Exist~Dissolve said...

This is a good question.

I would say that Jesus was definitely able to sin, but that he didn't. The meaningfulness of Christ's death at the hands of sinful humanity is that in his life and even unto death, Jesus maintained fidelity to the will of the Father.

Pastor Ryan said...

Thanks exist-dissolve for your thoughts. Because Jesus did not sin it proves His deity. Either way you look at it Jesus did not sin.

Exist~Dissolve said...

Um, I don't exactly see how Jesus' not sinning "proves" that he is divine.

Justice said...

I would be interested to know what you think does prove Christ's deity.

Pastor Ryan said...

To say that He could not have sinned proves His divinity.

Pastor Ryan said...

By not sinning He is God.

Chris Hinton said...

E.D.

man is born with a sin nature. romans says that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. So then we can see that Jesus comes to earth and does not sin then that does prove that he is God. the only way to not have a sin nature is to be God.

Pastor Ryan said...

Another thing I was thinking is that because of His not sinning elevates His God-hood of deity. We should rejoice in it and know that we would have sinned in the Wilderness.

Chris, I am curious about something you said, what do you mean the only way to not have a sin nature is to be God? I have just never heard it put that way before. What exactly do we have? Just curious my brother.

Chris Hinton said...

Ryan

Christ was either God coming to earth in humane form or just a man.

If He were just a man then he would have a sin nature. This means that man when confronted with a choice he will always choose sin. For us to defeat sin in our life we have to have the power of God to do so. We now have the power through Christ to defeat sin in our lives. Unfortunately, that is still not enough to completely remove from our lives. John the Baptist was saved in his mother womb.

Luke 15 says; For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.

And even with that he sill confesses sin. At the baptism of Christ John, the Baptist said, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?”

And then there is always the problem of Adam’s sin being imputed to us in the garden. Even if we were able to live a sinless life it still would not be enough.

I conclude then that Christ was never able to sin and that is because He is God.

Man is sinful and is not God. The only way to be sinless is to be God.

Anonymous said...

Chris,

I am right with you that Christ was never able to sin; if He would have been able to sin He would have.

I think I know where you are coming from but do we have a sin nature?

Thanks Ryan

Chris Hinton said...

Ryan,

Yep

Pastor Ryan said...

Thanks Chris, I think you would agree that we have to keep our sin before us if we are going to be humble before Christ. Praise God that he has forgiven us our sins and we can declare sweet victory in Christ.

I pity the person that has never asked God to forgive them of their sins and have never been transfered from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light.

Pastor Ryan said...

One last thing I was thinking about Chris and comment if you wish; since Jesus did not have a sin nature that would say that sin was not imputed to him from Adam right?

Exist~Dissolve said...

nick--

I would be interested to know what you think does prove Christ's deity.

I don't think one can "prove" Christ's divinity. If finite, temporal beings could prove the infinite nature of the divine through phenomenological indicators, it would seem that the divine is exactly equivalent to that which is not.

Exist~Dissolve said...

Ryan--

To say that He could not have sinned proves His divinity.

I do not see how making a theological assertions about the potential of Jesus' sinning "proves" that Jesus is divine.

By not sinning He is God.

By this logic, the angels who have not sinned are also God, as well as humanity would Adam not have sinned.

Exist~Dissolve said...

chris--

man is born with a sin nature.

This is a theological assumption.

romans says that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. So then we can see that Jesus comes to earth and does not sin then that does prove that he is God.

I do not see why this is a logical or necessary conclusion. If sinning is based upon having a sinful nature (and not sinning is based upon not having one), then the only prerequisite for not sinning is not being born with a sinful nature. However, as God could have easily created a human without a sinful nature, the fact that Jesus doesn't have one in no way proves that Jesus is divine, only that he doesn't have (in your theological assumption) a sinful nature. Therefore, your argument is really only a tautalogical one and by no means "proves" the divinity of Jesus.


the only way to not have a sin nature is to be God.

Exist~Dissolve said...

whoops--

The last sentence on my last response is not mine--I forgot to delete it when I was responding to chris.

Thanks

Chris Hinton said...

Rayan,
You said
"One last thing I was thinking about Chris and comment if you wish; since Jesus did not have a sin nature that would say that sin was not imputed to him from Adam right?"

I agree with that statement. The reason that the virgin birth is so important is that it shows us that Christ did not have an earthly father and was not born with a sin nature.

Pastor Ryan said...

Thanks Chris, we have to praise God that despite being sinners that God would save us.

Chris Hinton said...

ED
If we are not born with a sin nature what exactly does this verse mean?
Psalms 55:5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.

Chris Hinton said...

ED you stated

"Therefore, your argument is really only a tautalogical one and by no means "proves" the divinity of Jesus."

I assume that you meant "tautological" and with that I fail to see how this is a valid assumption on your part. So if you would please explain I would like to know were you are coming from. (If "tautological" is the word, you meant to use.)

Exist~Dissolve said...

chris--

If we are not born with a sin nature what exactly does this verse mean?
Psalms 55:5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.


Textually, I'm sure it could mean any number of things (for me, I would say that is simply describes the cycles of sinful relationships into which we are all born). However, I see nothing within the text to lead one to the conclusion of the "sinful nature" as some within Christian theology think of it.

I assume that you meant "tautological" and with that I fail to see how this is a valid assumption on your part. So if you would please explain I would like to know were you are coming from. (If "tautological" is the word, you meant to use.)

Yes, I apologize for the spelling error. I didn't realize that the mistake of one letter would throw you so off track from the meaning that I intended.

As I explicated in my previous post (which included the claim of your tautological form of argumentation), your "proof" of Jesus' divinity is merely circular, relying upon presupposed values in order to substantiate the assertion being made. HOwever, as I showed in my last post, there is nothing inherent to your assertions, nor to the "fact" of Jesus' sinlessness, that objectively provide proof of his divinity.

Chris Hinton said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Chris Hinton said...

ED
Thank you for the clarification.

You stated
“Textually, I'm sure it could mean any number of things (for me, I would say that is simply describes the cycles of sinful relationships into which we are all born). However, I see nothing within the text to lead one to the conclusion of the "sinful nature" as some within Christian theology think of it.”

You say in your statement that “for me”. Whenever I see this i must ask, do you believe that this verse can have one meaning for you and another for someone else?

If you believe that scripture is authoritative than you must believe that it can have only one meaning intent and purpose. If you look at this text carefully you will see that there is only two possible meanings.

1) That David’s mother was committing sin (adultery) when she conceived her son or…
2) David was enveloped with a sin nature upon conception.

Since we know that he was brought up in a good godly home we know that it was the latter and that can be the only meaning for this verse.

I still do not see how the argument I give is circular. As stated above God doesn’t have a sin nature man does. Men sin God can not. I think that is that simple and I believe that to be a linear argument.

Exist~Dissolve said...

Chris--

You say in your statement that “for me”. Whenever I see this i must ask, do you believe that this verse can have one meaning for you and another for someone else?

No, I am saying that it does have one meaning for me and other meanings for others--this is the inevitable scandal of interpretation.

If you believe that scripture is authoritative than you must believe that it can have only one meaning intent and purpose.

Well, if this is so, we must conclude that the NT writers didn't believe the Scriptures were "authoritative," for they found several different meanings in the OT texts which they quoted in their apology of their faith.

That being said, I see no compelling reason to conclude that the authoritative nature of the Scriptures is based upon strict homogeneity of meaning.

If you look at this text carefully you will see that there is only two possible meanings.

1) That David’s mother was committing sin (adultery) when she conceived her son or…
2) David was enveloped with a sin nature upon conception.


What in the text necessitates this conclusion? The entire concept of a "sin nature" is a theological supposition that is hardly present in the text (and it would be curious if it was, considering the anthropological assumptions of the Hebrews).

Since we know that he was brought up in a good godly home we know that it was the latter and that can be the only meaning for this verse.

What?

I still do not see how the argument I give is circular. As stated above God doesn’t have a sin nature man does. Men sin God can not. I think that is that simple and I believe that to be a linear argument.

Yes, it is simple and linear, but it does not equate to proof of Jesus' divinity. According to your logic, anything that does not have a sinful nature is divine, as the lack of sinful nature (in your thinking) is what constitutes divinity. Therefore, we must conclude that angels, rocks, mosquitos, planets, and rainbows are divine, since none of them have sinful natures.

Justice said...

E.D.

You said:

I don't think one can "prove" Christ's divinity. If finite, temporal beings could prove the infinite nature of the divine through phenomenological indicators, it would seem that the divine is exactly equivalent to that which is not.

While I get that you are trying to make a philsophical assumption, you did not answer the question - unless you do not believe that Jesus was God in human flesh - What is your belief on who Jesus is?

Exist~Dissolve said...

nick--

While I get that you are trying to make a philsophical assumption

I don't have to "try" to make a philosophical assumption. We all do this; it's an inescapable part of having conscious grey matter.

you did not answer the question -

No, I did answer it. I don't think there is any way in which to prove the divinity of Christ.

unless you do not believe that Jesus was God in human flesh - What is your belief on who Jesus is?

I believe the Church's orthodox statements about the dual nature of Christ.

Pastor Ryan said...

E.D. could you expound on those please.

Exist~Dissolve said...

ryan--

Expound on what?

Pastor Ryan said...

The problem I see is that a person runs into problems when they try to explain Jesus Christ from the standpoint of a church and not from the Scriptures.

The Scriptures clearly tell us that Jesus Christ is God and did not sin.

Exist~Dissolve said...

ryan--

The problem I see is that a person runs into problems when they try to explain Jesus Christ from the standpoint of a church and not from the Scriptures.

Try to do this---you will find it is impossible. It is incredibly naive to think that one could arrive at the orthodox definition of Jesus' divine and human natures in hypostasis from "sola Scriptura."

The Scriptures clearly tell us that Jesus Christ is God and did not sin.

It's interesting that it took an entire ecumenical council to finally codify this belief--apparently, the Scriptures aren't as perspicuous in this regard as you would like to think. Check out Arius' "sola Scriptura" argument sometime--it will be illuminating for you.