How Could Jesus Live a Sinless Life?

Caitlyn ScaggsBy Caitlyn Scaggs6 Minutes

Our world is broken by sin and temptations abound. It may leave some scratching their heads, trying to make sense of how Jesus could come to earth and live a sinless life. Some might assume that because Jesus is fully God He simply avoided sin because He never experienced temptation. But that would be an incorrect assumption.

The Bible is incredibly clear that while Jesus was fully God he was also fully man and in his personhood he wrestled with temptation. This is important for Christians to acknowledge and celebrate! Jesus provided a framework for how we can also fight temptation in our own lives.

Jesus Overcomes Temptation

Within Matthew 4:1-11 we witness Jesus being tempted by Satan. In this account, we learn that the spirit led Jesus into the wilderness, knowing that Jesus was going to experience temptation. The temptation came after Jesus had already fasted for 40 days and 40 nights. It was also prior to Jesus launching his public ministry. There was much hanging in the balance and Jesus went toe to toe with Satan.

Satan presented Jesus with three compelling temptations. Jesus is tempted by the physical things of this world (food, when He is commanded to fast), to force God’s hand (throw Himself off a mountain because God would surely save him) and to practice idolatry (worship satan rather than the one true God).

In the exchange we witness between Jesus and Satan, we see how Jesus resisted temptation and therefore continued to live a sinless life. In each interaction, we see that Jesus used scripture to rebuke Satan and resist temptation.

Follow the Model of Jesus

As we live in this world – but not of this world – as followers of Jesus Christ it is so important that we follow His model. When we find ourselves tempted to give into sin, we need to be reminded of what God’s word says. Ephesians 6:17 emphasizes this by calling the Word of God the “sword of the spirit.” He is very clear that we are to use scripture to fight spiritual battles, like temptation. This is what Jesus did when challenged by Satan and this is what we can also do in our own lives.

Jesus Prioritizes Time with the Father

While we can learn so much from the confrontation between Jesus and Satan, there are numerous other places in scripture that help us understand how Jesus lived a sinless life. One beautiful example is in Mark 1:35, “And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.” Jesus took time to be with God before His day began. As Jesus affirms in John 5:19, “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” Like Jesus, staying connected to God allows us to be much more mindful of His voice and will for our lives, as we seek to honor His ways.

Jesus Prays Against Temptation

Not only did Jesus fight temptation by His deeply rooted relationship with God the Father. He also fought it through the way that He prayed. When asked by one of His disciples how they should pray he answered with what is often called, “The Lord’s Prayer.” One line, found in Luke 11:4 and Matthew 6:13 is “lead us not into temptation.” Jesus is showing us that part of the way He lived a sinless life was by calling upon God for deliverance.

The Significance of a Sinless Life

Jesus lived a sinless life through using scripture as a sword of truth, walking in intimacy with God, and praying for deliverance. We need to move beyond simply recognizing this reality into a place of gratitude for all that it represents. The ability of Jesus to live a sinless life means that we are able to receive salvation through Him because He was a perfect sacrifice. He was blameless, white as snow, and willingly died a criminal’s death for us. In doing so, He allowed us a way to enter into a right relationship with God. It is hugely significant for you and for me that Jesus was able to live a sinless life.