Last edited on 29/Jun/2020
The Bible’s Answer
Jesus Is Sinless
The Bible’s answer to this question is no, Jesus Christ never sinned. During his time on earth, the Lord Jesus lived a perfect life in full obedience to God the Father, something which no one else has ever done or is able to do (Romans 3:23). The Bible says:
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. (Hebrews 4:15)
The fact that Jesus faced temptations does not mean that he was born with a sinful nature; it simply means that he was a human being just like us. However, unlike us, he never succumbed to temptation. He always prevailed without sinning. When talking about Jesus, St Peter wrote in his first epistle:
He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. (1 Peter 2:22–23)
Even when Jesus suffered injustice and prejudice, he did not sin in response. He did not stoop to the level of his opponents who mocked and reviled him for no reason, but continued to proclaim the truth in love, because he knew that God was on his side. The reason why Jesus was—and still is—sinless unlike the rest of humanity is because he is God in flesh (John 1:1, 14; 10:30–33; 20:28–29), the second Person of the Holy Trinity, and although he could be tempted according to his human nature, he could never sin according to his divine nature, because God cannot sin (Hebrews 6:18).
Jesus Had to Be Sinless to Be Our Saviour
The Bible’s teaching on Jesus’ sinlessness is essential because if he had committed even one sin, he could not be the Saviour of the world. It was only possible for Jesus to be humanity’s perfect representative (the last Adam) and high priest because he fulfilled the Law of God by obeying it perfectly (Matthew 5:17). The Bible says:
But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. (1 John 2:1b)
Therefore, Jesus, unlike any other human priest, stands in God’s presence on our behalf to mediate and intercede for us now and forever (1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 7:25–26). He also had to be sinless so that he could offer up the perfect sacrifice to the Father to pay the full penalty for our sins as our substitute:
The animal sacrifices of the Old Testament had to be repeated regularly by the Levitical priests because they were not perfect sacrifices and only provided temporal atonement for the Israelites (Hebrews 10:1–4). Because Jesus, however, was sinless and perfect, he only had to offer up his body once and for all, which provides full atonement for everyone in the world (Hebrews 10:10–14).
We are saved only because when we are baptised into Christ, he clothes us with his perfect, sinless righteousness, making us innocent in God the Father’s eyes (Galatians 3:27; 2 Corinthians 5:21). Our salvation depends on the obedience of Christ alone (Romans 5:19). If Christ were not perfectly obedient, then we’d have nothing to stand on. We’d all be doomed to eternal punishment, the penalty we deserve for sinning (Matthew 25:46).