The Gospel of Matthew #7

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This entry is part 7 of 40 in the series The Gospel of Matthew

Do you believe that it was possible for Jesus to sin? Oh, I know that Jesus did not sin—that is not even a question—but was it possible for him to sin? The devil came to him and tempted him on three separate occasions. The description of it is all there in Matthew 4, where he tried to get Jesus to follow him or fall down and worship him and Jesus refused. But could he have? Or, on the other hand, do you believe it was impossible for Jesus to sin?

There’s a very good change that you’ve never though about this at all, but it is actually a very old theological argument. The term is the impeccability of Christ. To be impeccable in this sense is to be faultless, flawless, and, most importantly, incapable of sin. You don’t have to think about this very long before you realize that a great deal here hinges on what you mean—is he incapable of sin because he can’t or incapable of sin because he won’t.

Jesus is God, and God cannot sin. But when Jesus was walking the earth in the flesh he was also human—and humans can sin. I guess the question is this: Was Jesus exposed to a toothless temptation? Was his temptation nothing but a showpiece or was he really at risk in this situation? Why is this important?

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Ronald L. Dart

Ronald L. Dart (1934–2016) — People around the world have come to appreciate his easy style, non-combative approach to explaining the Bible, and the personal, almost one-on-one method of explaining what’s going on in the world in the light of the Bible. After retiring from teaching and church administration in 1995 he started Christian Educational Ministries and the Born to Win radio program.

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