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#56562 Sat Jan 16, 2021 3:21 PM
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Tom Offline OP
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I would like to visit the subject of whether it was possible for Jesus to have sinned.
Reading most Reformed theologians on the subject, they believe it was not possible for Jesus to have sinned. This however is not a subject that all Reformed theologians agree on. RC Sproul for example as well as many others believed that Jesus in His human nature could have sinned.
I favour Sproul’s understanding.
However, it appears most of my Reformed friends completely disagree with it and go as far as to say that the view that says Jesus could have sinned is “gross error.”
The problem they seem to have basically is that you cannot separate God’s divine nature, with His human nature. Jesus is one person not two.
The following is also something that is also fairly common among those who believe Jesus could not have sinned.
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I received this question via email from SC:
Was Jesus capable of sin but it was just easy for him to choose not to? Or was he incapable of sinning altogether because he’s perfect?
And do you know why Angels are capable of sinning and falling? Are they not exactly perfect?
I’m trying to better understand how perfection corresponds to free choice of sin. I was also told there’s a difference between perfection and innocence. That Adam and Eve were innocent (ignorant of evil) but not perfect like God (all knowing) before they ate the fruit. Which honestly makes sense to me.
I hope I made sense.
Thank you in advance.
Though many disagree, it is clear that Jesus was unable to sin. Here are two reasons why. First, God cannot sin (Titus 1:2; Heb 6:18; Jas 1:13). Jesus was and is God in the flesh. Thus He cannot sin. Second, perfect humanity cannot sin. Jesus was and is perfect humanity. Thus He could not sin in His perfect humanity or in His deity.
Also:
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Although Jesus is fully human, He was not born with the sinful nature that we are born with. He certainly was tempted in the same way we are, in that temptations were put before Him by Satan, yet He remained sinless because God is incapable of sinning. It is against His very nature (Matthew 4:1; Hebrews 2:18, 4:15; James 1:13). Sin is by definition a trespass of the Law. God created the Law, and the Law is by nature what God would or would not do; therefore, sin is anything that God would not do by His very nature.

To be tempted is not, in and of itself, sinful. A person could tempt you with something you have no desire to do, such as committing murder or participating in sexual perversions. You probably have no desire whatsoever to take part in these actions, but you were still tempted because someone placed the possibility before you. There are at least two definitions for the word “tempted”:
As well as:
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Jesus had one nature, human, but Jesus had two, human and divine. Two natures, one person inseparable. Jesus Human nature did not die.
Any thoughts on these issues, would be helpful.

I would like to add a few.
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Another problem with the view that Jesus could have hypothetically sinned; is the fact that you cannot separate the divine and human natures of Jesus. Just like both the human and divine nature died on the cross, it is equally true that to say that in Christ’s human nature he could have hypothetically sinned, that this would not have also included Christ’s divine nature. Jesus is God and God cannot sin.
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It does not follow, that just because Jesus could not have sinned that the temptations etc.., that Jesus experienced were not real.



Tom


Last edited by Tom; Sat Jan 16, 2021 5:20 PM.
Tom #56563 Sat Jan 16, 2021 7:38 PM
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Let me go backward on this one...

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Jesus had one nature, human, but Jesus had two, human and divine. Two natures, one person inseparable. Jesus Human nature did not die.
If Jesus human nature did not die and we know that the divine nature cannot die, then who died on the cross, was buried and was raised from the dead? scratch1 I'm going to assume that the above quote was a typo?

Now, this subject has been thoroughly discussed many times over going back, I'm guessing over 15 years ago. The very early discussions probably are not included in a search due to a problem in transferring the database over to a new server. But the remainder did transfer over. My position is the same and would therefore agree with R.C. Sproul, John Gerstner, and others. Simply put Scripture teaches and the Chalcedon Creed echoes that teaching that the Son of God took upon Himself human flesh; Jesus of Nazareth who was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. That one person consisted and continues to consist of two natures; divine and human. These two natures cannot be separated but neither can they be confused (intermixed). For example, the Son of God (divine nature) is Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent, He being God of very God. The human nature did/does not have any of the divine attributes so as a man he had to learn and experience all of that which is common to man, e.g., he 'learned obedience' (Heb 5:8), he submitted himself to those over him, he experienced sorrow, pain, suffering, mourning, etc. He did not know when the Son of Man was going to return to gather the Church, he hungered, thirsted, grew tired, etc., etc. He was sorely tempted [b]in all ways such as we are[b], yet without sin. Thus his temptations were real and not as if he was a machine. His perfect life was merited because he chose not to sin by depending upon God for all things.

Secondly, Jesus the Christ was the "second Adam" (1Cor 15:45) whose entire life was set upon one goal, to redeem the elect of God by accomplishing that which Adam failed to do. That accomplishment consisted of a perfect righteousness (active obedience) and a forensic vicarious substitutionary atonement to satisfy justice (passive obedience). God the Father thus imputes that righteousness to those who believe and account of the sacrificial atonement, are declared justified.

Okay, enough for me...... errors are mainly separating the two natures or confusing the two. Now in my old age, I don't get involved in such discussions any longer as they are rarely resolved. igiveup


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Tom Offline OP
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Pilgrim

Just to be clear, I know the Highway has had some lively discussions on this subject before. In fact, I check them out before I posted mine.
When I did my search, I did not notice the aspect (though I might have missed it.), so I thought I would start a new discussion.

What I noticed quite a bit in studying this matter, when you visit Reformed sites (such as Ligonier) and other sites on this subject, you do not find all that much agreement. In fact, most Reformed sites including Monergism.com take the opposite side as Sproul. Others like Pink, Joel Beeke, Jones, and I believe guys like Warefield also help to Impeccability.

Tom

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God cannot sin because as Gordon Clark says, sin is a violation of a law, and there is no other God he must obey. Jesus is God.

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Hello???????? The discussion is NOT whether GOD can sin. With very few oddball exceptions, the true Christian Church has for centuries confessed that GOD cannot sin nor is He the author of sin. Impeccability vs Peccability (not capable to sin vs capable to sin) in this discussion is focused upon the incarnate Son of God; Jesus the Christ Who was one person with two distinct natures; divine and human. Thus the disagreement has always been whether the human nature of the Lord Christ was capable of sinning. The underlying issue, which I believe is beyond the ability of any human being to fully comprehend or appreciate is the glorious mystery of the exact relationship between the two natures. The Creed of Chalcedon expresses what GOD has revealed to man quite adequately:

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Creed of Chalcedon

This creed was adopted at the Fourth Ecumenical Council, held at Chalcedon, located in what is now Turkey, in 451, as a response to certain heretical views concerning the nature of Christ. It established the orthodox view that Christ has two natures (human and divine) that are unified in one person.

Therefore, following the holy fathers, we all with one accord teach men to acknowledge one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, at once complete in Godhead and complete in manhood, truly God and truly man, consisting also of a reasonable soul and body; of one substance with the Father as regards his Godhead, and at the same time of one substance with us as regards his manhood; like us in all respects, apart from sin; as regards his Godhead, begotten of the Father before the ages, but yet as regards his manhood begotten, for us men and for our salvation, of Mary the Virgin, the God-bearer; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, recognized in two natures, without confusion, without change, without division, without separation; the distinction of natures being in no way annulled by the union, but rather the characteristics of each nature being preserved and coming together to form one person and subsistence, not as parted or separated into two persons, but one and the same Son and Only-begotten God the Word, Lord Jesus Christ; even as the prophets from earliest times spoke of him, and our Lord Jesus Christ himself taught us, and the creed of the fathers has handed down to us.


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Tom #56567 Sun Jan 17, 2021 7:50 AM
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When I did my search, I did not notice the aspect (though I might have missed it.), so I thought I would start a new discussion.
And what is "the aspect" you didn't notice? As stated before, I have lost interest in getting into discussions of this nature especially with those make such issues a 'hobby horse', going around trolling forums and social media causing angst with their combative demeanors. What should be agreed upon is that Jesus the Christ DID NOT SIN and thus infallibly secured the perfect righteousness demanded by God for all those whom the Father gave Him. BigThumbUp


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I just posted a portion from Calvin's Commentary on Hebrews 4:15 which may be of interest to you on this subject. Click here to read


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Not all those who wander are lost
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by frost.
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How could Jesus sin being God? Your reply is about Jesus sinning, which is impossible since he is God.

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Originally Posted by 042Dave
How could Jesus sin being God? Your reply is about Jesus sinning, which is impossible since he is God.
I have to conclude, based upon your immediate response, that you are either incapable of comprehending the actual question/issue, or you have chosen to simply ignore the complexity of the matter? shrug Jesus was truly God in the flesh, but the human nature was not morphed into something divine, but remained truly human, and of necessity and fortunately for us humans, that was the case. So the issue still remains, could the human nature of Christ have sinned IF He had chosen to do so? We know He did not sin, but there is a disagreement as to WHY He did not sin. Simply stating that He was God does not address the issue. nope


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You are judging me and that is a sin.

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THIS QUESTION—“Is it right to judge?”—is one that puzzles many sincere Christians. A careful and open minded study of the Bible makes it clear that concerning certain vital matters, it is not only right but a positive duty to judge. Many do not know that the Scripture commands us to judge.

The Lord Jesus Christ commanded, “Judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24). He told a man, “Thou hast rightly judged” (Luke 7:43). To others, our Lord asked, “Why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right?” (Luke 12:57).

The Apostle Paul wrote, “I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say” (1 Corinthians 10:15). Again, Paul declared, “He that is spiritual judgeth all things” (1 Corinthians 2:15). It is our positive duty to judge.

Read here


The Chestnut Mare
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by frost.
- - - -JRR Tolkien "Lord of the Rings"
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It is sin to insult people and judge their motives.

042Dave #56577 Sun Jan 17, 2021 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by 042Dave
It is sin to insult people and judge their motives.
No one has insulted you nor even hinted at judging your motives. Such replies not only have no merit, they do not contribute to the topic under discussion. [Linked Image]


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Sorry if not intentional. But it came off that way.

042Dave #56579 Sun Jan 17, 2021 11:35 AM
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Annie Oakley
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Welcome to The Highway, Dave. Glad that you have made your way here. I have been a member on The Highway for many years and was slow at first to enter into the discussions. Since that time, I have made up for that with posts. However, I have learned that online posting has its limits as we cannot see each other or listen to the tone of voice. Patience and humility go a long way to peaceably carrying on a discussion here. Where there are touchy subjects, we do not avoid them but urge great caution in approaching those so that we do not set fire to dry tinder and destroy all hopes of constructive discussion. I do not wish to lecture you. I merely am passing on my observations from having been a member here for many years.

James 1:19-20 (ASV) 19 Ye know [this], my beloved brethren. But let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: 20 for the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.


The Chestnut Mare
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by frost.
- - - -JRR Tolkien "Lord of the Rings"

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