A Query on Mary's State of Grace and Christ's Temptations


We know that Mary was conceived without sin. She was preserved from the effects of Original Sin.

This means that she has no inclination to sin, because of her grace, yes?

Then, because Christ was born of both her and the Holy Spirit, he must be born with grace as well - without the stain of original sin and inclination to sin, yes?

Yet, Christ was tempted… is this because as humans (a la Adam and Eve), we can be tempted anyway?

A further nit-pick, how can Christ, and subsequently the Church, say that He was truly human (and truly God), and sharing what we shared, if he did not sin?


Mary was tempted to sin just as Eve was tempted. If there was an inclination I don’t know - but both Mary and Eve had the free will to choose sin. Eve did sin. Mary did not. Eve lived in a perfect world. Mary had the harder life in a world reeling from the effects of thousands of years culmination of original sin, without the redeeming effects of Christ’s sacrifice.

Yes, Christ too was born without original sin. He also was tempted. In His human nature, He had free will to sin if He chose. But being God, He didn’t sin.

Christ is not human. Christ has a human nature, but is God.

As the Bible describes it: “Christ was like us in all things but sin.”


That is not correct. Christ was fully human and fully God.


This is a commonly misunderstood and very old heresy.
Let me clarify: Christ is not a human being, but has a human nature.

Christ is a divine person of the Trinity. Christ is God with a human nature.

Sounds like semantics, and definitely confusing! We may be saying the same thing.:shrug:


And thus, being God, He cannot sin nor be tempted to sin. Christ as a healer must have what He is going to share, i.e., must be fully, i.e., perfectly human and Divine or He could not heal us. He gives us the health, as it were, He has. If He did not have this health we, being sick, could not receive healing. So it is not Christ Who is not fully human, it is we, in our fallen state, who are not yet fully human. Only when we by His merits are conformed to Him by divine grace will our humanity be all that it should be. Christ is the Model and Goal for humanity, not vice-versa.

Christ has the fully human nature, i.e., one not wounded by sin. His humanity is therefore graced and in harmony with the Divine. For us to be tending toward sin is for us NOT to be fully human; therefore we are not the vantage point of healing of our wounded nature but He is. If follows that for Him to heal our infirmity He must bring health to our infirmity. We can’t give what we don’t have, so He must have this health of being fully human, i.e., in harmony with God in order to give it to us by grace. He therefore could not sin, which makes him perfectly human, not less human

It is abnormal for human nature to suffer and die. Our Lord chose to suffer and die; temptation for Him is not exactly the same as for us. The world and the devil would tempt Him from outside, but there was no concupiscence in Him that could pull Him towards sin within His humanity. What He experienced in the Passion is the natural repulsion of the flesh which ought not to die, is not supposed to die, to undergo that separation of body and soul.

Since He was fully human, He would have felt this separation and its preliminaries more than we do. Moreover, He would have felt the abandonment of His Father more than we do (since He was closer to Him than we ever were or could be). It is because He could not sin that when he undergoes this separation of death He experiences “temptation” in a way as we do. But in another way He doesn’t; He was not bent towards sin. He would not have experienced inordinate lust or greed, or gluttony, etc… His trials came from outside though they are experienced inside, e.g., suffering and death. While He has consciousness of being the Son, in His sacred humanity He is able to suffer from forces outside Himself (hunger, thirst, obduracy of others, etc.); and as Man He acquired sensible knowledge, had human emotions and thus could feel sorrow and fear; so He brings what He encounters in His Body to His Father because He is in relation to Him and is the Perfect Man at prayer, submitting His human will (Christ Jesus has two wills, Divine and Human) to the Will of the Father.


Yeow! I’m about as sharp as a bag of rocks today. I believe whatever the Church teaches.

Thanks FCEGM and thistle for the corrections/clarifications.

These two statements “Christ is fully human” and “Christ is not a human being” are both true. This incongruity caused my misstatement. Hope everybody is straight now.:doh2:


In my understanding, Christ was not tempted.

The word tempt has two meanings:

  1. persuade (meaning no.1)
  2. try to persuade. (meaning no.2)

Satan tried to persuade Jesus, but Jesus was not persuaded.

In other words, Satan tempted Jesus (meaning no.2) , but Jesus was not tempted (meaning no. 1).

Jesus, being God, cannot be tempted (meaning no.1) by evil (James 1:13).

When the Bible says that “Jesus was tempted” the implied meaning is the second one, not the first.

That’s the way I understand it.


“Original sin” is the inclination to sin. And Mary was without it. You’re right. She did not have an inclination to sin.

Is it required of a human to sin? Were not Adam and Eve without sin? And was it not the way God wanted them to be? Christ lived the life of a perfect human being. We have lived imperfect lives.


Temptation is not a sin, it is something external presented to the body.
The body then either accepts or rejects.
Like when he says it is not what enters a man that makes him impure but what comes from the heart of man is what makes him impure.


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