Did Jesus die a sinner? ( I say No! But a pastor I know says Yes.)

Santos

Puritan Board Freshman
Please help. I am a simple layman and the statement above seems not only incorrect but heresy.
I heard 2 sermons recently where the preacher made the following statements.
  • Jesus died guilty of sin
  • Jesus died a sinner
  • Jesus deserved to die
  • Jesus deserved God's wrath
  • Jesus needed saving (because of the reasons mentioned above)
I would say that Jesus died without spot or blemish (1 Peter 1:19). That He was fully God and fully man so, due to His fully God nature He could not die a sinner. And He would not have been an acceptable sacrifice if He had been guilty of sin. I would say that He was no more a sinner than the mercy seat was when the blood was sprinkled on it by the high priest during the Atonement. Is this correct?

Is the thought that Jesus died a sinner, was guilty of sin, deserving of death/God's wrath, and needed saving because of all this, simply wrong or is it in fact heresy?
 

RobertPGH1981

Puritan Board Sophomore
Jesus died without sin but was punished for sin. So he didn't have sin in him but took on the punishment for the sin. It would be like a criminal being found guilty (us) but Jesus agrees to take on the punishment for the crime even though he is innocent. He not only takes on the punishment but also pays the debt too.

*** EDIT ***: It's very problematic for somebody to say that Jesus had sin in him.
 

Andrew35

Puritan Board Sophomore
Maybe he's trying to be provocative for effect, but the language is highly concerning.

If it means what it sounds like at first blush, it's absolutely heresy.
 

dhh712

Puritan Board Freshman
Please help. I am a simple layman and the statement above seems not only incorrect but heresy.
I heard 2 sermons recently where the preacher made the following statements.
  • Jesus died guilty of sin
  • Jesus died a sinner
  • Jesus deserved to die
  • Jesus deserved God's wrath
  • Jesus needed saving (because of the reasons mentioned above)
I would say that Jesus died without spot or blemish (1 Peter 1:19). That He was fully God and fully man so, due to His fully God nature He could not die a sinner. And He would not have been an acceptable sacrifice if He had been guilty of sin. I would say that He was no more a sinner than the mercy seat was when the blood was sprinkled on it by the high priest during the Atonement. Is this correct?

Is the thought that Jesus died a sinner, was guilty of sin, deserving of death/God's wrath, and needed saving because of all this, simply wrong or is it in fact heresy?
Santos, what kind of church is this? Is this one that you attend or have attended? I would possibly be considering talking to the elders there if there is such a position occupied in that church.

The only thing that appears biblical to me (in my understanding) is the second point that Jesus died a sinner but only in that he became sin for us. In essence he *did* die a sinner but only because he *took upon* himself the sins of his people; though perhaps the more correct wording would be "sin bearer" and not "sinner".

The others in my understanding are entirely unbiblical. He was not guilty of any sin, did not deserve to die since the wages of sin is death. If he *did* deserve to die, then death would have held him and he would not have been capable of rising from the dead. I just listened to a sermon in which this was stated as proof that Jesus did *not* sin because death could claim no hold on him. Thus he broke the bonds of death because the wage which would have been earned by sinning were not there.

He did not deserve God's wrath because he did not sin and he definitely did not need saving because by his perfect sacrifice he was able to accomplish the salvation of his people.

I just really have a hard time understanding how this pastor was able to preach this from the pulpit. Now, it may be that I have an incorrect understanding because I am very new to the faith. Yet it just strikes me in my current understanding as absolutely unbiblical for the majority of those statements. It seems pretty heretical to me.
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Senior
The only thing that appears biblical to me (in my understanding) is the second point that Jesus died a sinner but only in that he became sin for us. In essence he *did* die a sinner but only because he *took upon* himself the sins of his people.
I don't think Jesus' becoming sin is the same thing as saying Jesus died a sinner.
 

jw

Administrator
Holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners is what I’ve read (and believe).
 

dhh712

Puritan Board Freshman
I don't think Jesus' becoming sin is the same thing as saying Jesus died a sinner.
Okay, yeah it does seem different. That was the only point I could make from the original post where it might not be entirely unbiblical. I did point out later that I think the correct term would be "sin bearer" and not sinner. Yet I can see where the two ideas might be a bit fuzzy to some people.

Would it not be correct to say however that Jesus died *as* a sinner and *as* a person guilty of sin and deserving of God's wrath? Perhaps this is where the pastor got turned around. The manner of Jesus' death would definitely be inferred, if looked on by someone not knowing anything of the situation, as, "Of course, this man is a sinner, guilty before God, deserving of his wrath and needs saving!" Maybe that was what the pastor was trying to say and it just somehow didn't come out that way.
 

De Jager

Puritan Board Sophomore
He was himself sinless. Through believers being united with Him, He bore real sin on the cross but it was none of his own.

If you took each individual sin Christ bore on the cross and categorized it into columns, none would fall under the column "committed by Jesus of Nazareth". Many would fall under the column "committed by Izaak".

Jesus surely did not die "guilty" for any sins, any more than the lambs that were sacrificed were guilty of sins. He didn't deserve to die any more than the lambs deserved to die. To suggest that Jesus was guilt of sin is a pretty horrible thing and directly contradicting the scriptures.
 

Santos

Puritan Board Freshman
Maybe he's trying to be provocative for effect, but the language is highly concerning.

If it means what it sounds like at first blush, it's absolutely heresy.
Maybe he's trying to be provocative for effect, but the language is highly concerning.

If it means what it sounds like at first blush, it's absolutely heresy.
I think that you are right about trying to be provocative. However, I don't see that as one of the qualifications for being an elder.
It doesn't seem like being a provocative is at all the humble shepherd an elder should be. Especially not in a day and age where false doctrine runs as rampant in the pulpit as it does online.
 

Gwallard

Puritan Board Freshman
  • Claim: Jesus died guilty of sin
    • Answer: Jesus said, "it is finished" before death, having endured the eternal wrath of God on the cross. His death was required (see 5th answer for "required"), but none of his people's sin was reckoned to his account at his death (i.e. it was imputed, not imparted or infused). Colossians 2:14 says it well: "by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross." Sin was - so to speak - "left" on the cross.
      • This is my theory from the Biblical evidence, but I can't cite a Systematic Theology which puts it in these words.
  • Claim: Jesus died a sinner
    • Answer: This could be taken many ways, all of them wrong. The first is to take it as Jesus died having sinned in his life, this is impossible (2 Corinthians 5:21). The second is that Jesus died with the sin of his people still upon him - see first claim for my answer.
  • Claim: Jesus deserved to die
    • Answer: It is plain in Scripture that Jesus himself did not deserve to die (Acts 2:23) - in that he was perfect - but the sin which was upon him (representing his people, who did deserve to die) did deserve death and punishment. But we have to be careful, "deserved" can be slippery as a term. Jesus "deserved" all glory and honor while on earth, but he was found in the form of a servant - yet if we only mean deserving in that the cross was the direct consequence of his choice to atone for the sins of his people, then he "deserved" to die. But this second way of speaking is not very specific, and in almost every way unhelpful.
  • Claim: Jesus deserved God's wrath
    • Answer: see answer 3 and discussion of "deserve."
  • Claim: Jesus needed saving (because of the reasons mentioned above)
    • Answer: This is the most problematic. It can be taken in a few ways: first, Jesus was a sinner in himself, and was in need of the same salvation that he desired to give to his people. This not only is impossible, but destroys the gospel: for Christ is not longer a perfect, atoning sacrifice (as Heb 10:11-14 states that he is). Second, the agency of the 2nd person of the trinity is taken away, and his authority and power to lay down and take up is contradicted (John 10:18; es.p John 2:19-21): Jesus raised himself. His people need saving, Jesus does not. For he came to seek and to save the lost, and to save sinners (John 19:10; 1 Tim 1:15). Third, to say "need" in this sentence could mean a great deal that is wrong. The need that was placed upon Christ was not one that was placed upon God outside of his will. Murray speaks about this in "Redemption Accomplished and Applied," and calls the necessity a "Divine Consequent Necessity" (if I'm remembering right), which is a "need" only after God determined freely to create the world in this manner. That is, he could have created the world differently, and therefore made the road to redemption different, BUT, since he created the world in the manner we see it made, he essentially Covenantally obligated himself to redeem - if he so chose to redeem - in the manner that Christ redeemed. God was under no obligation to save his people until he promised he would in Genesis 3:15, in other words.
An additional question: is this heresy or just error?
I would call this heresy. However, as said above, the person could simply trying to be provocative. If this is the case, then dig down into what they're trying to say and listen. However, anything that contradicts the explicit statement of Scripture about the nature of God - especially the lordship of Christ - is heresy. A very bad way of speaking, regardless of intent.
 
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Ethan

Puritan Board Freshman
Our sin was imputed to him, not imparted to him. Likewise, his righteousness was imputed to us but was not imparted to us. If you look at 2 Cor. 5:21 under the assumption that our sin is imparted to Christ then the conclusion is that his righteousness was imparted to us which is not the protestant doctrine of justification.
 

JTB.SDG

Puritan Board Junior
Is this your church? It seems in order to try to track him down and talk with him about the things he said.
 

SeanPatrickCornell

Puritan Board Sophomore
Anyone who even HINTS that Jesus was in any way guilty of having personally committed sins is, in fact, an arch-heretic.

I make allowance here for someone that has very poorly explained how our sins were laid upon Christ, but someone who actually believes that Christ himself sinned or broke the Law is someone who is treading very dangerous waters.
 

Santos

Puritan Board Freshman
Anyone who even HINTS that Jesus was in any way guilty of having personally committed sins is, in fact, an arch-heretic.

I make allowance here for someone that has very poorly explained how our sins were laid upon Christ, but someone who actually believes that Christ himself sinned or broke the Law is someone who is treading very dangerous waters.
Let me make clear that he did not say that Christ broke the law or sinned himself. But rather that Christ was guilty, a sinner, needed saving, and deserved to die because he became sin.
 

SeanPatrickCornell

Puritan Board Sophomore
Let me make clear that he did not say that Christ broke the law or sinned himself. But rather that Christ was guilty, a sinner, needed saving, and deserved to die because he became sin.

The parts I put in bold are extremely problematic to me, and the parts I left unbolded don't make me feel so well either.
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Senior
Let me make clear that he did not say that Christ broke the law or sinned himself. But rather that Christ was guilty, a sinner, needed saving, and deserved to die because he became sin.
This seems nonsensical to me. How can someone who never sinned be guilty, a sinner, need saving, and deserve to die?
 

Santos

Puritan Board Freshman
The parts I put in bold are extremely problematic to me, and the parts I left unbolded don't make me feel so well either.
I agree. That's why I am posting this question. The first time this was mentioned it was almost like a drive-by, you weren't sure what just happened. The second time it became very real and undeniable. I'm pretty sick about it.
 

JTB.SDG

Puritan Board Junior
Brother,

I didn't hear what was said exactly or in context. I think you are right to be concerned. I'm mostly concerned about the phrases "Jesus was a sinner" and that Jesus "needed to be saved." I'm not sure if I can work my way around these and construct them in a way that make sense biblically. Having said that, I believe the other things could be construed in a biblical way from the perspective of Jesus becoming our surety. This is what Thomas Boston writes in his View of the Covenant of Grace on this topic:

1) He became surety for their debt of punishment, which they, as sinners, were liable in payment of. . .That was the debt owing to the divine justice, for all and every one of their sins, original or actual. . .This was their debt of punishment; a debt which they themselves could never have cleared, though paying to the utmost of their power, through ages of eternity. But this their debt Christ became surety for. . .Here is a suretiship that never had a match! David, in a transport of grief for the death of his son Absalom, wishes he had died for him (2 Samuel 18:33); Reuben will venture the life of his two sons for Benjamin (Genesis 42:37); and Judah will venture his own son for him (43:9) while yet there was hope that all would be safe. But our Lord Jesus deliberately pledges his own life for sinners, when it was beyond all peradventure, the precious pledge would be lost in the cause, and that the death he would suffer, would be a thousand deaths in one. . .Now, in the second Adam's suretiship for the criminal debt of his spiritual seed, there was not an ensuring of the payment thereof one way or other only. . . but there was an exchange of persons in law; Christ substituting himself in their room, and taking the whole obligation on himself. . .And, in virtue of that substitution, Christ became debtor in law, bound to pay that debt which he contracted not; to restore that which he took not away (Psalm 44:4). For, becoming surety for them, to the end there might be laid a foundation, in law and justice for exacting their debt of punishment from him, their guilt was transferred on him (Isaiah 53:6, 'The Lord laid on him the iniquity of us all'). This was pointed at, in the laying of the hand on the head of the sacrifices under the law, especially on the head of the scape-goat (Leviticus 16:21). . .All the sins of all the elect were at once imputed to the Surety, and so became his, as his righteousness becomes ours, namely, in law-reckoning. . .He was indeed without sin inherent in him, but not without sin imputed to him. . .This relation of our sin to Christ, is necessary from the nature of suretiship for debt; in which case, nobody doubts but the debt becomes the surety's, when once he has stricken hands for it. And how else could the law have justly proceeded against Christ? How could our punishment have been, in justice, inflicted on him, if he had not had such a relation to our sin? If the law could not charge our sin on him, in virtue of his own voluntary undertaking, it could have no ground in justice to inflict our punishment on him." (pp49-51). Just food for thought; hope it helps.
 

De Jager

Puritan Board Sophomore
I don't really know what to make of the phrase "he became sin".

What I do know, is that it does NOT mean the following statements that were posted by the OP
  • Jesus died guilty of sin
  • Jesus died a sinner
  • Jesus deserved to die
  • Jesus deserved God's wrath
  • Jesus needed saving (because of the reasons mentioned above)
These are non-sensical. The last one is beyond absurd and essentially guts the entire gospel. In fact they all gut the gospel. This is a pretty serious issue, in my opinion, and you need to find out if the minister actually believes this, or is just an extremely poor communicator. Either way, it's pretty bad.
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
I don't really know what to make of the phrase "he became sin".

More explicit: God made him sin--the noun, not the verb. He "knew no sin" but sin was accounted against him:

2 Corinthians 5:21: For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
 

De Jager

Puritan Board Sophomore
More explicit: God made him sin--the noun, not the verb. He "knew no sin" but sin was accounted against him:

2 Corinthians 5:21: For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Yes, the noun - not the verb...but the phrase is an idiom, no?
 

rookie

Puritan Board Sophomore
So much wrong in these statements, but no need to add more. All the posts above have already made their points.
 

Guido's Brother

Puritan Board Junior
He's either a really bad theologian (who doesn't understand imputation), a really bad communicator (who can't communicate well the doctrine of imputation), or a heretic.
 

Ryan&Amber2013

Puritan Board Junior
Yeah, it sounds like the correct doctrine should be given to him, and if he rejects it, then that's a serious issue.

As of right now, maybe he's just teaching this because he is ignorant of the doctrine. I've meant quite a few pastors who don't really have a broad theological education, to where they haven't really studied other perspectives on doctrines. This is no doubt a problem on its own, but hopefully he just has a bad understanding and will be willing to change.
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
Please help. I am a simple layman and the statement above seems not only incorrect but heresy.
I heard 2 sermons recently where the preacher made the following statements.
  • Jesus died guilty of sin
  • Jesus died a sinner
  • Jesus deserved to die
  • Jesus deserved God's wrath
  • Jesus needed saving (because of the reasons mentioned above)
I would say that Jesus died without spot or blemish (1 Peter 1:19). That He was fully God and fully man so, due to His fully God nature He could not die a sinner. And He would not have been an acceptable sacrifice if He had been guilty of sin. I would say that He was no more a sinner than the mercy seat was when the blood was sprinkled on it by the high priest during the Atonement. Is this correct?

Is the thought that Jesus died a sinner, was guilty of sin, deserving of death/God's wrath, and needed saving because of all this, simply wrong or is it in fact heresy?

I wonder if he believes the inverse.

  • I live forever by being justified with perfect righteosness
  • I live forever perfectly righteous
  • I deserve to live forever
  • I deserve God's love forever
  • I don't need saving (because of the reasons mentioned above)
 

Stillwaters

Puritan Board Freshman
Please help. I am a simple layman and the statement above seems not only incorrect but heresy.
I heard 2 sermons recently where the preacher made the following statements.
  • Jesus died guilty of sin
  • Jesus died a sinner
  • Jesus deserved to die
  • Jesus deserved God's wrath
  • Jesus needed saving (because of the reasons mentioned above)
I would say that Jesus died without spot or blemish (1 Peter 1:19). That He was fully God and fully man so, due to His fully God nature He could not die a sinner. And He would not have been an acceptable sacrifice if He had been guilty of sin. I would say that He was no more a sinner than the mercy seat was when the blood was sprinkled on it by the high priest during the Atonement. Is this correct?

Is the thought that Jesus died a sinner, was guilty of sin, deserving of death/God's wrath, and needed saving because of all this, simply wrong or is it in fact heresy?
"Non Posse Peccare" ==> Christ was/is Impeccable. He was constituted to live the perfect life we could not, receive the imputation of the sins of His elect, endure the infinite wrath of God upon sin on the Cross, die to conquer death, take His life back up (resurrection), ascend, and ever live to make intercession for us to save us from our sin.

The Eternal Decree of God alone proves the Impeccability of Christ, and proves His "Human Will" was constituted immutable (not lapsible) for it was impossible that He could sin (for He was decreed the sinless Savior, and Lamb of God slain before the foundation of the world).

Only a spotless sacrifice without blemish could forensically be the SUBSTITUTIONARY Atonement to make propitiation for the sins of His elect.
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Senior
The Eternal Decree of God alone proves the Impeccability of Christ, and proves His "Human Will" was constituted immutable (not lapsible) for it was impossible that He could sin (for He was decreed the sinless Savior, and Lamb of God slain before the foundation of the world).
Jesus Christ is impeccable, but I don’t think it is because of God’s decree. God decreed that not a bone of his would be broken, yet that doesn’t mean that Jesus’ bones were unbreakable. They were very much breakable because he is a real human, with real human bones. It is better, in my opinion, to say that Christ is impeccable simply because he is the God-man.
 

Stillwaters

Puritan Board Freshman
Jesus Christ is impeccable, but I don’t think it is because of God’s decree. God decreed that not a bone of his would be broken, yet that doesn’t mean that Jesus’ bones were unbreakable. They were very much breakable because he is a real human, with real human bones. It is better, in my opinion, to say that Christ is impeccable simply because he is the God-man.
Hi,
There are many reasons why Christ was Impeccable.

This sermon discusses almost all of them.

This sermon also addresses the "Man Made Presupposition" the Peccabilists falsely apply.

It also addresses Christ's "Human Will" being immutable.

In the past 9 years that I have been researching the true Doctrine of the Impeccability of Christ, this is one of the absolute best sermons I have heard about it.

PLEASE KNOW that he quotes Wayne Grudem about some things.

FYI: I do NOT agree with Wayne Grudem's EFF/ESS, but that is not mentioned in this semon.

 
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