Did Jesus Really Live a Sinless Life?
By Sharon Houk
It seems impossible for any person to live a sinless life as even the smallest wrongdoing would disqualify us from the “sinless” category. We are correct in concluding it is impossible for a person to be sinless, unless that person was also God.
Jesus claimed that he was equal to God, that he gave life and resurrection, and that he had the authority to judge and forgive sins. John the Baptist and others witnessed his deity through miracles. Jesus received worship due only to God and referred to himself as the “I AM” (see John 1:18, 5:17-36, 8:58, 9:35-38, 10:30).
He was tried, convicted, and received the death penalty for these claims—he was God. Jesus was also fully man.
The Bible teaches that he grew in maturity, he knew hunger, he knew thirst, he needed sleep, and, eventually he died. He was a complete and perfect man who had physical limitations like all humans have. The difference, however, is that he was born of a woman, but supernaturally conceived of God (Matthew 1:18, Luke 1:35, 36).
This birth, the “virgin birth” allows Jesus to be sinless. This is of great significance in that it was the first man, Adam, who sinned and caused all humanity to be stained with the sinful nature through the male seed (Romans 5:12). Without human male participation in the conception, Jesus was born sinless, or free of the sin of Adam. But why was this necessary?
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). Furthermore, “…Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. ‘He committed no sin and no deceit was found in his mouth’” (1 Peter 2:21-23, emphasis added). Jesus ultimately suffered and died a death he didn’t deserve. However, he was the only sinless one qualified to pay the sin debt that Adam introduced into humanity which initially caused the separation between man and God. Because Jesus was sinless, he lived a sinless life. Once we recognize that we each carry the “sin debt” and that Jesus died to pay the debt, our sins can be taken away too.
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