Is it possible for a protestant to avoid mortal sin for their entire life?


Considering Romans 3:23 and 1 John 1:10, is it possible for a protestant to avoid commiting a mortal sin with full knowledge and consent for their entire life? This thread establishes that protestants can not claim to be ignorant of moral law since it is written on their hearts. If protestants have knowledge of moral law, then is it possible that they can avoid commiting a mortal sin for their entire life? Will they not covet, disobey their parents, etc. at some point in their life?


It’s possible for anyone to avoid committing mortal sin.

Catholic, protestant, or other…

God will judge each person, their objective actions, and their subjective intents and knowledge.


How can a portestant avoid mortal sin without the sacraments to help him? Are you saying that the Eucharist is not needed to avoid mortal sin? Also, have you ever meet a person that claims to have avoided breaking a ten commandement with full knowledge and consent for their entire life? I have never meet such a person. All the protestants I know freely admit that they have broken ten commandments with full knowledge and consent. They point to Romans 3:23 as evidence that all people will break the moral law at some point.


A protestant (who is baptised) has at least one sacrament to help them.

But…the sacraments are not the only means of grace. God’s grace is available to everyone, to help them live in comformity with the moral law, as best they can.

Breaking one of the ten commandments does not mean subjective mortal sin has occured. It needs to be serious (grave matter), and done with full knowledge and consent. Only God can judge each person; it is not for you or me to say, except with respect to our own sins.


Yes, it is possible. Theoretically at least. God gives sufficient Grace to everyone, because of the merits of Jesus Christ.


No I do not believe it is possible. I have not heard of one person, other than Mary and Christ who has lived their lives without committing a mortal sin.

I think the only question lies in the Protestant’s culpability regarding it.

For example most Protestants think its nothing at all to miss church on Sundays for any reason. The culpability for that sin would be low because they are instructed its ok to miss church.


I think we need to make sure everyone understands exactly what “mortal sin” means. According to the CCC, a mortal sin destroys charity in the heart of man and turns him away from God (paragraph 1855).

As has already been stated, it must first be a grave matter, done with full knowledge and consent (paragraphs 1857-1859).

Most sins, however, fall into the category of “venial sins.” We commit venial sin when we fail to live up to the moral law, or when we commit a mortal sin without knowledge or consent. These sins weaken our relationship with God and with others, but they do not rob us of the sanctifying grace.

Understanding these definitions, it is possible for someone to live their entire life without committing a mortal sin. It is highly unlikely, but still possible. If we remove the word “mortal” from the question, then no it would not be possible.


Everything is always possible, but not very likely. To avoid a mortal sin is easier then to avoid a venial sin, which is almost impossible. The problem is that some mortal sins are not sins you do but what you think about, like lust, and no matter how hard we try our thought will take us to places we don’t want to. To avoid mortal sin that you do is possible, but…


I once followed a similar line of inquiry, even to the point of opening an online poll to discuss the question.

To my surprise, (disregarding the “I don’t know” responses), the poll came down by more than seven to three that it is “easy” for a person of good will to completely fulfill all three requirements of mortal sin (I defined “easy” as “easy to make the willful and informed decision to commit mortal sin,” not “easy to commit something that might be considered a mortal sin itself” (which is, agreeably, very easy)).

I was of the minority opinion. On this Forum, I have since been accused of being someone who claims that “nobody can ever commit a mortal sin.”

Alas. If my own protestant grandparents, and my wife’s protestant parents, are in greater danger of hellfire than most Catholics, simply because they were not Catholic (though all received valid Christian Baptism), then I am not optimistic for the fate of MANY Catholics, MOST of whom seriously neglect Sacramental Confession, and practice their Faith on a far less regular basis (and I’m not just talking about going to Sunday services. although many Catholics are lacking in this obligation as well).


I think it is possible for people besides Jesus and Mary to not commit mortal sin. Jesus and Mary never committed ANY sin, and I think there are saints out there who never were separated from God by mortal sin. St. Therese the Little Flower seems a likely candidate. I pray daily that my children never commit a mortal sin (they are not of the age of reason yet) and I pray that I may never again commit a mortal sin.


Isn’t this the wrong question??

Shouldn’t the question actually be - Is if possible for a protestant to be forgiven their Mortal sins??





To be justified is to declared legally righteous. It is a divine act where God declares the sinner to be innocent of his sins. It is not that the sinner is now sinless, but that he is “declared” sinless. The sinner is not made righteous in that his soul is changed or that his soul is infused with God’s grace. Instead, justification is a legal act of imputing the righteousness of Christ to the believer (Rom. 4:11; Phil. 3:9). This justification is based on the shed blood of Jesus, “…having now been justified by His blood…” (Rom. 5:9). When God sees the Christian, He sees him through the sacrifice of Jesus and “sees” him without sin. This declaration of innocence is not without cost for it required the satisfaction of God’s Law, “…without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness,” (Heb. 9:22). By the sacrifice of Jesus, in the “one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men,” (Rom. 5:18, NASB). In justification, the justice of God fell upon Himself–Jesus. We receive mercy–we are not judged according to our sins. And grace is shed upon us–we receive eternal life. This justification is a gift of grace (Rom. 3:24), by faith (Rom. 3:28) because Jesus bore our guilt (Isaiah 53:12).


The belief that a person can refrain from sin for a lifetime through their own will is commonly considered the heresy called Pelagianism.

Here’s some more


Its not possible to avoid mortal sins or other sins for that matter, and especially not for protestants. They dont care if they sin, becouse they think that we are redeemed from all sin by believing in Jesus. So understanding that we are sinners and need Jesus is enough to be saved. All sins are forgiven regardless of size.

With that view on the matter its impossible not to commit mortal sins frequently, dont you think? (at least I did very often)

Besides, Catholics do also commit mortal sins from time to time even though we try to avoid them.

I personally look forward to confess all the sins that I have committed in the course of my life. I must have committed many mortal sins which it will feel extremely good to do penance for.

God Bless you all !


You are right to be concerned about the eternal fate of many Catholics. Despite the instant canonization at funerals, the church teaching is clear on what happens if you die outside a state of grace…


I fully disagree, its heresy! Do you really mean that ordinary people can live as sinless as Jesus and Mary? That one can even declare themselves sinless based on their on limited knowledge of sin? Its preposterous.


Is it possible? Sure.

But it is probable?


:twocents: I was raised a Protestant and was an Evangelical as an adult. I think Catholics forget that we are told as Protestants that there is no mortal sin that all sins are the same. So Protestants never recognize their serious sins as mortal ones, just perhaps as a sin or perhaps a mistake.

I am pretty sure that I fell into mortal sin as a Protestant. It took me a long time to accept or recognize that it was a serious sin and that I actually had a problem with God. So life is easier with the Sacrament of Reconciliation.


I am sorry to hear that you have accepted this very dangerous heresy.

God is separated from sin. He cannot commingle with it. Therefore we must BE MADE RIGHTEOUS by Christ’s transforming power at death. It is this same transformation that allows us to have no more pain and no more tears because we will no longer be capable of sin.

2 Cor 5:21

He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Hebrews 12:22-24

But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to** the spirits of the righteous made perfect,** 24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

We must be made perfect to be in God’s presence. It is sin that separates us, and the sin MUST be removed. When we are in heaven we are not wearing a white robe over filth. Instead Christ cleanses us and transforms us into his righteousness.

Rev 21:3-4

3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’** or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Rev 21:27

24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. 25 On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. 26 The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. **27 Nothing impure will ever enter it, **nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s

Further Christ is clear he judges our actions.

Matt 7:21-23

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

Matt 25:31-46

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

There are many more verses we can look at. As a Biblicist I thought you would know these. It appears you are not truly a Biblicist as you will now “explain away” what is plainly written to support your preconceived beliefs and traditions.**


To not commit mortal sin does not mean one is sinless. I never said anything about venial.

At some point, I committed my first mortal sin. Had I died past the age of reason but before that first mortal sin, I would not have been sinless like Mary, but I’d have committed no mortal sin. Your response is illogical.

Show me where it is heresy to believe one can refrain from mortal sin. I truly hope to never commit another mortal sin (as we all state in an Act of Contrition), and frequent Confession of venial sin keeps us in check. God can give us the grace to not commit another mortal sin, so why couldn’t he give the grace to not commit the first one?

Heresy is a big accusation. Do you think mortal sin is the only kind of sin? Your response leads me to believe that. Nowhere did I state that people can live as “sinless as Jesus and Mary”. We can try, but we still will likely fall into venial sin.

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