The Sinlessness of Jesus
Updated: Nov 3, 2020
Notes compiled by Marty Zide and Steve McAtee
The human nature assumed into union with the Son was miraculously sanctified, so as to be sinless and perfect.
Every single human being struggles with sin all throughout their life. The only exception to this is the Lord Jesus. He never sinned, even one time. He was often tempted but never gave in. He has always been completely sinless.
A. The Meaning of Sin and Sinlessness
In order to help us understand what sinlessness means, it will be helpful for us to understand what the Biblical meaning is of sin.
Sin is any failure to conform perfectly to the holy character, standard, and will of God. It is a transgression of the law of God and is at heart, rebellion against God.
I John 3:4 - Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.
Sin can manifest itself as wrong attitudes, thoughts, feelings, desires, emotions, and actions, etc. It can also manifest itself in what we don’t do. If there is an opportunity for us to do good and we don’t do it, it is sin.
James 4:17 - Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.
So when we say that Jesus was sinless, we conclude that He always conformed Himself to and did the will of God. Neither did He possess the sin nature that would have naturally put Him at enmity with God. He never had a wrong thought, or feeling towards anyone, or anything, nor did He ever perform a wrong action.
B. Evidences of His Sinlessness
We see throughout the Word of God, that it teaches that Jesus was sinless in every area of His life.
His sinlessness was foretold
The angel Gabriel who was sent to foretell the birth of the Messiah to Mary stated that the child would be a holy child.
Luke 1:35 - The angel answered and said to her, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.
Every human being that is born since the fall of man is born in the likeness of Adam (Gen. 5:3) and in Adam, all die. We are born in sin as it states in Ps. 51:5.
Ps. 51:5 - Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.
Jesus claimed that He was sinless
Jesus put out a challenge for anyone to prove that He was guilty of sin. This is something that would be impossible for a person who was not sinless to do.
John 8:46 - Which one of you convicts Me of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me?
One of the ways in which Jesus sought to prove that He was sinless was by calling Himself the Light of the world.
John 8:12 - Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.
John 9:5 - While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.
This is one of the characteristics of God the Father and it states that because God is light, there is no darkness, or sin in Him at all. The same would also be true of Jesus.
I John 1:5 - This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.
People hated Jesus because of His sinlessness. Light manifests darkness and that’s exactly what Jesus did everywhere He went. Sinners hate the light and they hate the one who is the light of the world.
John 3:19-20 - This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.
Job 24:13-17 - Others have been with those who rebel against the light; they do not want to know its ways nor abide in its paths. The murderer arises at dawn; he kills the poor and the needy, and at night he is as a thief. The eye of the adulterer waits for the twilight, saying, no eye will see me. And he disguises his face. In the dark they dig into houses, they shut themselves up by day; they do not know the light. For the morning is the same to him as thick darkness, for he is familiar with the terrors of thick darkness.
Believers will also be hated by the world as we seek to reflect the light of Jesus in this dark and perverse world.
John 15:18-19 - If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.
I John 3:13 - Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you.
Others claimed that Jesus was sinless
Testimonies of others about the sinlessness of Jesus abound in
Scripture. There are statements from believers and non-believers that bear witness to the fact that Jesus could not be charged with ever committing a single sin.
We have examples of this in the Word of God from John, Peter, the writer to the Hebrews, Paul, the thief on the Cross, Pilate and others.
I John 3:5 - You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin.
I Pet. 2:21-23 - For you have been called for this purpose, since Messiah also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth, and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously.
1Pet. 1:18-19 - knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Messiah.
Heb. 4:15 - For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.
Heb. 7:26-27 - For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens; who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.
1Cor. 5:21 - He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Luke 23:41 - And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.
Matt. 27:23 - And he said, Why, what evil has He done? But they kept shouting all the more, saying, Crucify Him!