What would have happened if Jesus had sinned?


My understanding is that since Jesus was man, he was capable of sin.

Yet he was also God. So was it possible for him to sin? God cannot truly disobey himself. I’m assuming that it was at least possible for him to have sinned, so what would have happened had he? Would he have ceased to be God?


Sin is going against God’s will. As it is God’s will, whatever He did or does, it is not a sin.:confused: :thumbsup:


A lot of people tend to think that the ‘natural’ condition of human beings is to sin.

But Adam and Eve were created ‘without sin’.

Sin (original sin now, to us) is actually UNNATURAL. We now are predisposed to it because Adam and Eve fell, but this was not the way ‘in the beginning’.

This is why we refer to Jesus as the New Adam and Mary as the New Eve. . . two human beings who were likewise ‘without sin’ in their being (Jesus) and conception (Mary) and who, while capable of being tempted, ‘naturally’ did NOT sin.

Even now, every single one of us is capable of choosing ‘not’ to sin again. Hard? Yes. (Impossible, indeed, without God’s help --but with his help. . .we can do it).

So rather than assume (wrongly) that Jesus in His “humanity” was pretty much ‘bound’ to sin (rather than being, simply, ‘capable of being tested’ and thus as free to choose GOOD as evil), let’s consider rather that He and His mother, ‘human’ beings who freely chose to reject sin, should be our role models in life.


We don’t understand this because we are capable of sin, but for Jesus to sin is as illogical as for light to be no light, or something else completely illogical. It’s impossible.


If it’s impossible for Jesus to sin, then can you really say he chose to die for us? There doesn’t seem to be any free will here. He cannot sin, therefore, he was predetermined to be sacrificed.

I intend no offense, this is just a thought experiment.



Jesus has two wills - a human will and a divine will. I suppose that it was technically possible for his human will to be in opposition to His divine will (that is what satan tried to do). But Jesus is perfect, and His human will is in perfect uniformity with His Father’s will. Jesus is like us in all things but sin. Since Jesus’ will is in perfect uniformity with His Father’s, we can speak that it is impossible for Jesus to sin.

Sin is not human nature, it is the antipode of human nature - as Augustine noted: You have created us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You. Sin is a perversion of who we are and for what we were made.


Jesus was fully God (the Second Person of the Trinity) and fully human (born of the Virgin Mary). He is one Divine Person with two natures: divine and human. Because He was fully God, he was sinless, both in original sin and personal sin. He was completely incapable of sin.

Having two natures means He had a divine intellect and divine will, and a human intellect and a human will. His human will was always in line with His divine will. He freely chose to die on the cross. Remember, being human He was dreading the forthcoming torture of the cross and asked God if it were possible to take this cup from Him; but His human will was in line with His divine will – He said Not my will be done, but yours.

This demonstrates the depth of God’s love: He humbled Himself to become human, one of His own creation; and He suffered and died to redeem us. God didn’t have to do this. He created His plan of salvation, He freely chose to do this out of His infinite love for us.


My understanding is that Jesus’ will was one with His Father, which we all have free will–and we should align it to God’s will.


What is point in speculating about something that did not happen. That’s just a waste of time. Its like asking what would have happened if Adam was not tempted or if Mary had said no to God. All of these things are pointless speculation.


I"m not so sure that asking if Christ could sin is pointless speculation. The Scriptures state that Jesus was tempted in all ways as we are. It is comforting to know that He understands our weaknesses and temptations from a first-hand view.

However, I ask you then, how was he “tempted” if He was not capable of sin? If I have absolutely no desire, let’s say for alcohol, how could I be tempted into drunkeness? I couldn’t be. It would be a mute point. No desire, no possibility for sin. So then now let’s look once again at our Lord. It must have been possible for Him to sin or else how could the Scriptures say that He was tempted in every way that we are? But, He overcame those temptations and did not sin. That comforts me to know that. It makes me realize that all is not lost - that I too can be an overcomer by the power of God in areas that are totally corrupt in my life. It gives me encouragement that yes, Jesus could have sinned, but yet He didn’t. Not to be misunderstood, I am not saying that I am like Jesus, only that we are called Christians (Christ-like-ones).

I fear I am rambling a bit, but it only makes sense that in His human self He had the same capacity to sin as we do. Afterall, He walked this earth as fully God AND fully human. I think that’s all part of the mystery.


I tend to agree with you and have wondered the same thing. Indeed, the simplest conclusion is that if Jesus could not actually sin, then he could not actually be tempted either-- which raises some interesting paradoxes.

I confess that I have no simple answers to this question but nonetheless give thanks to God that Jesus (and his mother) were indeed without sin and never succumbed to sin’s temptation either.

I think, in a sense, we could fall into a kind of hyper-Calvinism if we claim that Jesus could never sin-- because it would seem to mean that his temptation was nearly a sham. Yet, since he is true God and true man, it does seem to be that he truly could not have sinned either.

I simply have no concrete answer on this paradox, only that he was like us in every way and yet without sin.


Of course Jesus could never sin. First of all, He was divine, and God certainly can not sin. Second of all, as a human conceived by the Holy Spirit, He was born without original sin; no original sin means no fallen nature; no fallen nature means no personal sin. Jesus was not capable of sin.

I found this on a helpful but non-Catholic website, so I won’t post the link, but it is enlightening:
“Christ’s temptations were every bit like ours yet they could not bring out any desires. He was tempted from without but not from within, there was no internal reaction to the outward temptation. James 1: 14: “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin and sin when it is full grown, brings forth death.” We can see where sin begins, we have a desire from within by an influence from without. We then act on it, first by entertaining the thought then by doing the deed. Jesus was dead to sin on the inside. Jesus was called the 2nd Adam as a man, but had perfect humanity in even a greater way than Adam. While Adam had a choice Jesus could only do what His nature would allow. He was deity and cannot sin. God by his nature is infinite, Holy, righteous, perfect always, at all times. It is impossible for him to do evil.”

I also read on another website that the experience of devil tempting Jesus, a futile endeavor to tempt someone incapable of sin, just proves that Jesus was God. See, how God brings good out of evil.


If Jesus had sinned, he would not have been the messiah.


So were Adam and Eve without original sin… :shrug:


God was fully man and fully God, not half and half. Therefore, I conclude that it was impossible for Jesus to sin because He is God.


Unless that is what Jesus came to do.


He wouldn’t have ceased to ne God. He wouldn’t have been God to begin with and therefore He could not have obtained the posibility of salvation for us.


I don’t think the question arises - to be that man Jesus at all, is to be sinless & alien to sin. It’s like asking whether God can sin - AFAICS.

I’m not sure, but I don’t think that God could be other than He is - & ISTM this would affect the Incarnation.

To answer your question would require a far fuller knowledge of God; & with this question, we are faced with a whole crowd of mysteries :slight_smile:


Granted and that answers half of the issue. What about the “fully man” part? Also, how can there be temptation if it’s not possible to sin. It had to be possible. He just chose not to. If He would have sinned, then He wouldn’t have been fully God. It’s a paradox, a mystery and we are not able to understand it. We are called to accept it in faith. Our puny, little, finite minds will never completely understand God. His ways are not our ways. His ways are higher than our ways and there are just somethings we just have to trust and believe by faith.


Perhaps a help:


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