When we speak of ’s sinlessness we generally refer to His humanity. It is unnecessary to plead the sinlessness of ’s , as by our definition cannot and does not sin. The of ’s sinlessness has been free of any fundamental controversy. Even the most crass in history have not denied this of Christ.

The sinlessness of Christ does not merely serve as an example to us. It is fundamental and necessary for our salvation. Had Christ not been the “ without blemish” He not only could not have secured anyone’s salvation, but would have needed a Himself. The multiple sins Christ bore on the cross required a perfect sacrifice. That sacrifice had to be made by one who was sinless.

Christ’s sinlessness had negative and positive aspects to it. Negatively, Christ was completely free of any . He broke none of ’s holy law. He scrupulously obeyed whatsoever commanded. Despite His sinlessness, Christ even obeyed law, submitting to , , and even the system of sacrifice. Positively, Christ was eager to obey the law; He was committed to doing the will of His Father. It was said of Him that zeal for His Father’s house consumed Him ( 2:17) and that His meat was to do the will of His Father ( 4:34).

One difficulty concerning the sinlessness of Christ is related to Hebrews 4:15: “For we do not have a High who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” If Christ was tempted as we are, how could He have been sinless? The problem becomes even greater when we read 1:14–15: “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has , it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.”

James describes a kind of temptation that arises from sinful desires within us. These desires are already sinful in nature. If was tempted as we are tempted it would seem to suggest that He had sinful desires. Yet this is precisely the point of the qualifier “yet without sin” in the book of Hebrews. had desires. But he had no sinful desires. When He was tempted by Satan the assault came from the outside. It was an external temptation. Satan tried to entice to eat during His period of . surely had ; He had a desire for food. Yet there was no sin in being hungry. All things being equal, Jesus wanted to eat. But all things were not equal. Jesus was committed to obeying the will of . He had no desire to sin.

It was by His sinlessness that Jesus qualified Himself as the perfect sacrifice for our sins. However, our salvation requires two aspects of redemption. It was not only necessary for Jesus to be our substitute and receive the punishment due for our sins; He also had to fulfill the law of God perfectly to secure the merit necessary for us to receive the blessings of God’s . Jesus not only died as the perfect for the imperfect, the sinless for the sinful, but He lived the life of perfect required for our salvation.


  1. The sinlessness of Christ is necessary for our salvation.
  2. Jesus made as the Lamb without blemish.
  3. Christ was not tempted by sinful desires.
  4. By His perfect obedience Jesus supplied the righteousness (merit) we require to be saved.

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