The classic hymn, Before the Throne of God, which has seen a revival in modern-times in church worship services, goes like this:
Because the sinless Savior died,
My sinful soul is counted free;
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.
Today, I’d (Darin) like to focus on the phrase “sinless.” We use it often as we celebrate Christ’s birth and communicate the basic truths of the Gospel (1 Cor. 15:1-4). But what are we really saying when we declare that our Savior was sinless?
1 Peter 2:22 (ESV): “He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth.”
Jesus was the Lamb "without spot and without blemish" (2 Pet. 3:14). In becoming man, he was uncontaminated, contracting none of the defilement of sin (1 Pet. 2:22). His humanity was "holy" (Luke 1:35). Jesus was "holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners" (Heb. 7:26). "In him was no sin" (1 John 3:5), therefore, he "did no sin" (1 Peter 2:22) and "knew no sin" (2 Cor. 5:21). "He is pure" (1 John 3:3). Because Jesus was absolutely pure in nature, his motives and actions were always pure. "I seek not My own glory" (John 8:50) sums up the whole of his earthly career.
Jesus’s perfection / sinlessness is the consistent testimony of scripture:
- In John 8:46, Jesus' sinlessness was so irrefutable that he did what no other sane person would dare to do—he bore witness to His own perfection even before His enemies and asked, “Which one of you convicts me of sin?”
- In Matthew 17:5, God says, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
- Matthew 26:59-60 says, “Now the chief priests and the whole council were seeking false testimony against Jesus that they might put him to death, but they found none, though man false witness came forward.”
- In Matthew 27:4, Judas said, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.”
- In Luke 23:47, a Roman soldier said, “Certainly this man was innocent!” Christ committed no sin. More than sinless, Christ was impeccable. He who did not sin could not sin.
- 1 John 3:5 says, “You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin.”
Christ's enemies testify to His sinlessness: Pilate was warned by his wife, “Have nothing to do with that righteous Man” (Matt. 27:19). Even as Pilate condemned Christ he confessed, “I find no guilt in Him” (John 19:7).
HOW DOES THIS APPLY TO US TODAY?
Biblical truths should always lead us to worship and obey this amazing God
- Let’s be thankful that Jesus is the only Savior of the world. No one else was born of a virgin. No one else lived a sinless life. No one else died bearing our sins. No one else was raised from the dead. No one else is seated at the right hand of God.
- We should marvel at the perfect obedience of our Savior. Athletes try for perfect games, scores, and wins. And sports fans celebrate their achievements. How much more should we gaze at the Jesus wasn't born just to die. He was born to live perfectly sinless fulfilling all his law, preach his gospel, make disciples, then die. And he did it perfectly as the God-man!
- Praise God that our acceptance before him is not based on our obedience. If we could keep the law, Jesus wouldn't have had to keep it for us. If we could be sinless, Jesus wouldn't have had to die for our sins. The gospel is not a program, but a person, Jesus Christ--virgin born, sinless, died for sinners, raised, exalted, & coming again.
- We are not just forgiven of our sins – but we are now sons and daughters of God (Gal. 4:4-6)! Our failures are our failures, but they are not our identity— and our problems are our problems, but they are not who we are. By grace, we are the sons and daughters of the Most High God by faith in this sinless Savior!
- May we never find our identity in anything other than our sinless Savior. The Bible says that our real problem is that every one of us is building our identity on something besides Jesus. Why would we look to others for our identity when Jesus has purchased our acceptance as a child of the Father? If you're God's child, you don't have to search for identity, your identity is eternally secure in the Lord Jesus Christ.