Was Jesus sinless?
The teaching of the New Testament is clear that Jesus was and is perfect and without sin. Hebrews 4:15 provides a chief example of what the New Testament writers communicated about the sinless nature of Jesus: "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin."
The sinless nature of Jesus is eternal. He is eternal and dwelt in perfection with the Father before coming to earth (John 1:1; Colossians 2:9). Jesus's birth was supernatural. He was born of the virgin Mary, meaning He avoided inheriting the sin nature apparently passed through an earthly father. His life was marked as being perfect and without sin, despite much temptation (Matthew 4:1-10). Even on the cross, Jesus could claim, "It is finished!" After His death and resurrection, He lived on earth for a forty-day period without sin and then ascended to the Father where He now lives once again in sinless perfection. The Bible is clear that for eternity future, Christ will reign as Lord and will never once sin (Revelation 22).
Why is it important that Jesus was without sin? Many reasons could be mentioned, but perhaps most significant is the fact that Jesus had to be sinless to prove He was divine. If God is perfect and never sins, then if Jesus sinned He would not be God. Since Jesus overcame temptation and proved Himself to be blameless, it provided ample evidence to His claim as the Messiah, the Son of God.
In addition, Jesus had to be perfect and sinless to serve as a perfect substitute for the sins of all humanity (Hebrews 7:27; 10:10). The only hope for people to be made right with God is through a mediator who can connect imperfect humanity with a perfect, holy God. Jesus offered a way through coming to earth as a human and paying the price for sin on the cross. First Peter 1:18-19 makes clear, "you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot." Colossians 1:21-22 declares, "And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him."
As fully divine, Jesus could not and did not sin. Yet His human nature could be tempted. The sinlessness of Jesus paid the price for sin and offers all people eternal life (John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9). He is not a way to eternal life, but claims, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). Further, there is no other option for salvation. Jesus is the only name under heaven through which people can be saved (Acts 4:12). Only a sinless, perfect Jesus could both pay the price for sin and offer others forgiveness and eternal life.
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