Is it a sin to consider if you should sin?


Satan tempts Jesus in the desert. Does Jesus consider Satan’s offer of becoming ruler of Earth, but then decide to follow God instead, or does he not even think about accepting the offer for a second?


He was not tempted!

We on the other hand are tempted easily. We are not perfect. Jesus was totally perfect and without sin.


That is incorrect. Scripture tells us in Hebrews 4:15 that Jesus WAS tempted but did NOT give in to that temptation …

[FONT=Verdana]For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

… Jesus was tempted by Satan, and was in fact tempted in all the ways that we are tempted today. Yet He did not sin. The reason Jesus is our perfect high priest is because he can sympathize with us. He knows how it felt to be tempted.


To answer the question in your headline:

To consider a course of action is not inherently sinful. If one determines that a particular course of action issinful, one must reject it. If one embraces it or continues to ponder it as an alternative, one is perhaps sinning in one’s heart, even if one later rejects the action.

Regarding your question about Jesus:

Because, as was pointed out in another post, Christ was fully human, He was surely tempted – and probably not just in the example you provided. He did not sin, however, because he rejected those temptations.

Remember: it is not a sin to be tempted – it’s part of our reality.



Christ was offered a temptation. To say he was tempted in His will would be in error as His will was perfect. So yes, Satan tried to test Christ, perhaps to see if this incarnation of God was as strong as the one he left in Heaven…who knows? Christ didn’t have to ponder His response to the devil.

Were we in His shoes and were offered all the kingdoms of the world…we might give it a second thought? We get tempted away from God for far fewer things every day.


I don’t know if I’d put it that way, but point taken. Christ was certainly tempted; we have to remember that he was fully human as well as fully divine, and was ***hungry ***when tempted by Satan.

Certainly, I agree that he had no inclination to give into the temptation, but Satan also knew what to tempt him with, knowing the frailities of the human condition.

I think we’re on the same page here, though, in terms of the original post. :thumbsup:


True, Christ was a Divine person incarnated into a human body. He certainly knew hunger, thirst, sleepiness…all of which are biological realities of the human body. But could this divine person feel enticed to do wrong? For if He could, then it leaves open the possibility that Christ could have said yes to Satan. I would posit that possibility didn’t even exist due to Christ’s divinity.

It’s interesting that the Latin Vulgate uses the root temptare in this passage (Matt 4:1), which in English means to test, to try, to urge. If what was intended was today’s understanding of temptation to mean to entice to do wrong by promise of pleasure or gain, the author might have been better served using the word scandalizare which is closer to tempting to evil.

Then again, I’m a weak Latin scholar at best. :slight_smile:


Christ’s human will was human. Otherwise, Christ was not fully human. Uniquely, though, the human will of Christ was 100% in conformity to the will of God the Father. In that situation, there is no contradiction at all if a temptation fully enters this human will, is examined by that will which is fully in conformity with the will of the Father, and rejected.

The perfect and complete conformity of Christ’s will may well have made the temptation futile, but it need not have made it any less real.




I agree His will was 100% in conformity to the will of God. As He’s part of the Trinity, it would seem impossible for it not to be. My concern I suppose rests in what might best be described as a psychoanalysis of Christ in us confidently saying that He felt everything we feel. Perhaps an analogy to the Eucharist might better explain it. Christ’s body, blood, soul, and divinity are present in the bread and wine, though their accidents don’t change. Would it be correct to use this same transubstantiation model only instead of coming in bread and wine, Christ came to us in the flesh of the human body? If that were the case, then can we really say that something as subjective as feelings came as part of the deal? Christ was free of any sin, and though His un-resurrected body was subject to the natural process, can we really say that his conscience bore the same resemblance to ours which are formed in a fallen state?

I don’t know the answers, but would enjoy others comments.


:thumbsup: :thumbsup:

If His temptation was not as real as ours, then He is totally irrelevant. He becomes an onlooker, a spectator Who is protected against what we have to put up with :(. How is that sort of God “God with us” ?

If He was fully human, then His temptations must have been not less acute than ours, but more so; we are coarsened by sin - & He was without sin. He was after all not yet glorified, but, in the state of humiliation which He had freely assumed for our sake.

ISTM that we are, strictly speaking, sub-human - He by contrast was fully human (as fully as one can be in a sinful world in which one is sinless andholy and God; bearing in mind that the Incarnation was “economic”, for a special purpose).


Mary could have sinned, but we have no evidence she did.

Bear in mind it just was something I felt at the moment to say, not at all taking away from Christ- God.

Simply noting how Christ does not become less for being fully man, fully God.

Not comparing Mary to Christ either.

Just noting the free will acceptance she gave to the call of her Father.


A few problems with that:

First off, the premise tends to subtract from the full humanity of Jesus Christ. He came to us fully human, full stop, not just in the accidents of the flesh.

And the human conscience is indeed fallen, but it was not first formed in a fallen state. We, born after the fall, must not lose sight of the fact that our first parents were not created as we were. They chose, by their free will, to set their will before God’s will, rather than keep it in harmony with it. Christ’s human will functioned not in some extraordinary and unheard of way, but in the way the human will was intended to, and the way it did before the fall.

(This is in line with the miracles Jesus performed. He may, for instance, have had trees bear fruit, or wither away, but doing that was in their nature. What he never had them do was, say, write letters. The human mind of Jesus functioned as the human mind was intended to do.)

This goes along with Christ being the “second Adam,” though there’s more to that than this, as St. Paul explored in his letters.




Ah, so we are the ones who are not fully human in the sense of not being the way humanity was initially created by God due to our fallen nature brought about by the sins of our first parents, Adam and Eve. Christ being fully human then becomes the measure to which we strive. Not that we’re sub-human…we’re simply fallen humanity. So with that understanding any temptations the Satan could have thrown at Christ would have been wasted effort on the devil’s part.

So the statement that Christ was just like us isn’t completely accurate for if we were just like Him, then we wouldn’t have needed redemption, yes? He faced the same temptations as we do, but His response to those temptations was that of a fully human person in full communion with His Father. Where our response is that of fallen people who know what our Father wants, but we still struggle to do the will of God versus our own free will.

So in Gaudeum et Spes, where the Church affirms that Christ “has truly been made one of us, like us in all things except sin.” That “except sin” part is a huge deal. I know it may seem like I’m stating the obvious there, but I get a little frustrated sometimes when folks take an almost casual approach to it similar to saying *“Christ was just like us, and, oh yeah, he didn’t have any sin.” *To me that casual approach, …and I’m not saying anyone in this thread has done that…really diminishes the incredible gift of love God has shown.

God creates man in the image and likeness of God. Man freely gives away that communion with his Creator in favor of sin. So out of love, God enters history in the image and likeness of man to provide a means for man to return into full communion with Him.

*Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.

  • [RIGHT]Phil 2:5-8

Sorry to ramble on. Thanks for everyone’s input.


"What then? are we better than them? No in no wise: for we have proved both jews and Gentiles they are all under sin, as it is written, there is none righteous, no not one: there is none that understands, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable, there is none that doeth good, no, not one.’ Romans 3:9-12


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