A few years back the film industry came out with a lot of productions showing the "humanness" of Christ, ignoring any pretense or hint to the fact of His deity as the Son of God. This would be expected of the lost world, but such tripe has a continuing negative effect on the natural man. Of course Satan loves it! He loves to picture Jesus as simply a "natural" man rather than "very God"!
Definition of the word Impeccability
Webster's Dictionary says impeccable is a word that comes from the Latin: impeccabilis. The word means "not liable to sin, incapable of sin."
Theological Definition of Impeccability
Impeccability is a theological term and not a biblical word. But it is meant to convey a true theological concept, i.e. Christ was unable to sin, though evil could be placed before Him in the form of a normal temptation, but by His very nature, He could not and would not succumb to it. Christ could have certain physical limitations of weariness (John 4:6), hunger (Matt. 4:2; 21:18), thirst (John 19:28), tiredness (Matt. 8:24). "But at every stage of His life, infancy, boyhood, adolescence, manhood, He was holy and sinless." (Ryrie, Basic Theology, p. 303)
Testimony of those who observed Christ
Interestingly, those who were unbelievers or even to a degree enemies of Christ, admitted to His sinlessness. They could see nothing in His actions, mannerisms, attitudes, that would reflect evil or unrighteousness. Judas who betrayed Him told the elders and the chief priests, "I have sinned by betraying innocent blood" (Matt. 27:4). Pilate's wife had a dream that conveyed to her the fact of Christ's righteousness. Because of the dream she said to her husband: "Have nothing to do with that righteous Man; for last night I suffered greatly in a dream because of Him" (v. 19). Though pressured by the Jews to slay the Lord Jesus, Pilate had to admit to the Jewish leaders: "I am innocent of this Man's blood" (v. 24). Pilate caved into the Jewish leadership and had Christ crucified and yet he realized that He had done on wrong! The centurion seemed to realize this truth when he uttered at the close of Jesus' life: "Truly this was the Son of God!" (v. 54). One of the thieves who died with Christ appeared to understand something of the sinlessness of the Lord: He said to the cursing thief: "We are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong" (Luke 23:41).
While it could be argued that the testimonies mentioned above could, in context, simply be saying that Jesus was not a public evildoer, there seems to be more in what these witnesses are saying. If they had anything against Christ, it seems doubtful they could have uttered these words of His innocence without some kind of qualification about the imperfections of His life. The above may not be the strongest evidence for the Lord's impeccability, still it is evidence that can be considered in the overall discussion on the subject.
The Nature of the God/Man
Christ is the eternal Son of God, and yet He has two natures, the divine and the human, when He was born into the world of humanity. Jesus always spoke of Himself as One person, a single being, not two. He did not have a split personality. It must be that in conception the sin nature is passed down from the father and somehow not through the mother. While the Bible does not address this issue it would explain the "why" of the virgin birth. Christ's human nature came through Mary and His divine emplacement in her womb came through the Holy Spirit. Some may question this explanation of the virgin birth but this seems to be a logical conclusion.
Paul Enns rightly argues:
Christ's peccability could relate only to His human nature; His divine nature was impeccability. Although Christ had two natures, He was nonetheless one Person and could not divorce Himself of His deity. Wherever He went, the divine nature was present. If the two natures could be separated then it could be said that He could sin in His humanity, but because the human and divine natures cannot be separated from the Person of Christ, and since the divine nature cannot sin, it must be affirmed that Christ could not have sinned. (Enns, Moody Handbook of Theology, p. 237)
Christ could be Tested but could not be Tempted as to fall
In order to testify and demonstrate the sinlessness of Christ, He was led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit in order to undergo a tempting (peirazo) by the devil (Matt. 4:1). This happening was not to see if Jesus would fall into sin and listen to the words of Satan. It was to prove to us that the Lord could not and would not succumb to the devil's tempting thoughts. Francis Schaeffer argued that Christ could be tempted to actually sin yet He did not. Looking at all the evidence this is not a biblical conclusion.
God will have the victory over sin because of the perfect holiness of the One who died for us. The victory is sure. "The same is true of the temptation of Christ. One may attack a battleship with a canoe. The outcome of the attack is already certain, even though the attack is real. Even though gold may be subjected to a test and will always pass the test, the test is still valid. Jesus was tested, and He passed the tests victoriously." (Mal Couch, gen. ed., Ed Hindson, Matthew, p. 40)
The Holy One of God
The resurrection of the Messiah is predicted in Psalm 16:10. "For You will not allow Your Holy One to undergo decay." This is repeated and applied to Christ in Acts 2:25-28, 31; 13:35-39. "Holy" (chaseth) is better translated as "devout, faithful." Peter quotes Psalm 16:10 and for the word we translate "holy," he uses the Greek word hosios. This word can be translated undefiled by sin, free from wickedness, pure, holy. The Lord is therefore sinless. The Jews hearing Peter speak did not contest this meaning though they had other reasons for denying Christ.
Peter adds that David, who wrote Psalm 16, "looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ. … This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses" (Acts 2:31-32). Putting these verses together one would get the sense that the Messiah is not simply One who from time to time does righteous deeds, but instead, He is One who is holy and righteous innately. This is His very nature. This is why He could go to the cross for sinners. He was not dying for His sins but for the sins of others.
The Holy Child ("Thing")
At His birth the Lord would be given a special designation by the gospel writer Luke. The angel said to Mary, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you and for that reason the holy offspring shall be called the Son of God" (Luke 1:35). This is a powerful verse that is more understandable when translated. The word "offspring" (some translations say "thing") is a Present, Passive, Participle, nominative, singular, neuter, from the Greek word gennao. By using the neuter gender, the point is the entire process of the birthing, the birthing process, now being performed in Mary's womb; it is a total holy happening! The Spirit is causing a holy birthing process that will activate conception and bring forth the Holy Son of God!
The passage is emphasizing the fact that the very work of the conception of the Christ child, the Son of God, is a holy work. He is Holy by His nature from the starting point of His earthly life.
The Spotless Lamb of God
The sacrificial lambs in the Old Testament all point to the coming of the true substitutionary Lamb of God for sin, the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ! In the New Testament Christ is called "the Lamb of God" (John 1:29, 36). Peter puts it this way: We are saved "with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ" (1 Pet. 1:19).
The sacrificial lambs were to be kept in a pen in order to test if they were blemished or sickly. This pictures of course the holiness, the sinlessness, of the Messiah who did not die for His sins, but for the sins of the world. That the sacrificial lamb was to be spotless is mentioned often in the Old Testament. For example: Exod. 29:1; Deut. 17:1; Ezek. 41:22; 43:23; 46:13; Heb. 9:14.
Righteousness comes through Christ who is the Righteous One
Paul points out that when we were helpless, because of sin, at just the right time Christ died for us, we who were the ungodly (Rom. 5:6). In contrast, Christ was the godly One! God loved us as sinners by sending Christ to die for us (v. 8). Because of Him "the gift of righteousness reigns through the One, Jesus Christ" (v. 17). He could not impart righteousness unless He Himself was, and is, righteous! By the obedience of Him, the One, "the many will be made righteous" (v. 19). If Christ was a sinner He would be dying for His own sins and not ours!
The Major Passages of Scripture
The New Testament continues this theme of the holiness of Christ. It points out the fact He was innately sinless, but also, that He practiced no sin in His life.
2 Corinthians 5:21. This verse tells us that God made Christ sin, He who knew no sin, on our behalf, "that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." Our sins were placed on Him. Christ was not innately a sinner but the Father placed on Him our sins so that He could be a substitute, carrying our sins under the wrath of God. In exchange, we receive the righteousness of God through and because of Him, placed on our account. He takes our sins; He gives to us His righteousness! This transaction does not make Him a sinner. He simply became a sin bearer. Being One without sin, He could die for others. He was not dying for His sins!
Hebrews 4:15. Christ could sympathize and understand us as sinners because He was also tempted "in all things as we are, yet without sin." Christ could not sin because He was the Holy One of God! He never responded with sin. Sin was not part of His constitution! "Sin had nothing in Him; He was free and separate from it." (Alford's Greek Testament, p. 89)
Hebrews 7:26-27. Jesus was "a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens." He was not like the earthly high priests who had to offer sacrifices for their own sins as well as for the people. He did not die "first for His owns sins, and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself." Verse 26 looks at the Lord's character, His nature-holy, innocent, and undefiled. He could not be lumped with the rest of mankind which was sinful. He was separated from them, though a part of them in His humanity but not with a sinful nature.
Hebrews 9:14. By the eternal Spirit of God, Christ offered up Himself, and His blood, as a sacrifice; He "offered Himself without blemish to God." Like the unblemished sacrificial lamb of the Old Testament offerings, Jesus was sinless and holy. As people examined His life they could find no flaw, from a sinful nature, and as well could not accuse Him of any sinful acts! This idea is repeated in 1 Peter 1:19. Christ offered Himself "with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ."
1 John 3:5. The purpose of Christ's first coming was "in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin." This verse is not focusing on sinful acts but on the fact of the essence of sin, the sin principle that controls all human beings. Christ was part of the human race but the sin principle was not part of His character or nature. The Lord Jesus was sinless in every way and that is why He could substitute for sinful people under the wrath of God. God's judgment fell on Christ because He was carrying our sins. He was a substitute though innocent, just like the sinless and innocent sacrificial lambs in the Old Testament.
"Christ was manifested to take away all sins, being Himself sinless. He came in the flesh to take away by one act, and entirely, all sin. Sin is altogether alien from Christ. He became incarnate that He might blot it out. He has no stain of it on Himself. He took away our sins by bearing them Himself." (Alford, pp. 464-65) Christ's sinlessness is one of the key proofs of His deity. He is not an ordinary man; He is the God/man, holy and perfect, and therefore able to die in our stead under the wrath of God. When we belief in that redemptive sacrifice, and trust in Him, we are given His righteousness, and receive eternal, unending new life!