Skip to comments.Why wasn't Mary's sin passed on to Jesus?
Posted on 07/29/2013 7:55:48 AM PDT by Gamecock
A non-Christian asked if we teach that Jesus was sinless because he did not have a human father, wasn't his human mother, Mary, sinful? Why wasn't her sin passed on to her son, Jesus?
You ask an important question about the sinlessness and perfection of Jesus Christ.
As you suggest, if there is any way in which Christ partakes of sin, he is disqualified from being the only redeemer of Gods elect (Westminster Shorter Catechism, Q. 21). The testimony of Scripture about this is clear. Hebrews says that Christ was tempted in all points as we are, yet without sinning (Heb. 4:15). Christ challenged his adversaries to prove that he had sinned and they could not (John 8:46). As the apostle Paul put it, For our sake he made him [Christ] to be sin, who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:21, cf. 1 Pet. 2:22, 1 John 3:5). He is a high priest unlike any other who is holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens (Heb. 7:26). His title as the Lamb of God (John 1:29) also draws our attention to his innocence.
The early church thought deeply about this as it formulated clear statements about Jesus Christ having two natures, a divine nature and a human nature, yet being one person. Christ unites in himself uniquely and in an unrepeatable way, this union (called the hypostatic union) of the human and the divine. This is the mystery of the Incarnation that the creeds of the church confess.
The way in which God answers your question is in the mystery of the virgin birth. The Scriptures begin from, what one theologian terms, above (Donald Macleod). John 1 or Philippians 2 show this movement from the eternal Son of God to the incarnate Son of God. This is how the Westminster Shorter Catechism summarizes it:
Christ, the Son of God, became man, by taking to himself a true body and a reasonable soul, being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the Virgin Mary, and born of her, yet without sin. (Q. 22)
As Matthew described it, Mary was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit (1:18), and then the angel explained it to Joseph: that which is conceived in her [Mary] is from the Holy Spirit (1:20). The explanation to Mary herself, in response to her How will this be, since I am a virgin? (Luke 1:34), leaves any human agency out of the incarnation in the normal way of conception, for the angel tells Mary, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore, the child to be born will be called holythe Son of God (Luke 1:35). Without further description of how this would occur, the Bible testifies that the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary (the same idea as the cloud which overshadowed the Mount of Transfiguration) in such a way that she indeed became the bearer of the Holy One of God (Gal. 4:4); and her offspring, Jesus Christ, remained without sin. God does not specify in greater detail than this how the conception of Jesus by-passed Marys own sinfulness to preserve Christs sinlessness, but the rest of Scripture, as I indicated above, affirms that Christ did not inherit our sin nature. He came to be the Second Adam (Rom. 5) who could forgive sins because he himself was both the One offended and himself sinless.
The glory of the grace found in Jesus Christ is that though he was without sin, yet he had pity upon sinners so as to die in their place while we were enemies, ungodly, and sinful (Rom. 5:6, 8, 10). We need a Savior who is fully human to bear patiently with us, yet is able to atone for our sin as the final and perfect sacrifice. The sinlessness of Christ makes a passage like Isaiah 53:911 so marvelous in that Christ had no deceit in his mouth and by his death he made many to be accounted righteous.
I hope this is of some help.
Because she was full of grace.
A wonderful read void of any of the hocus-pocus found in Brand-X.
But we have lovely parting gifts.
or was Jesus the son of a Roman soldier ?
I do disagree with you.
That’s crazy talk!
Why weren’t Mary’s parents’ sin passed on to Mary?
Mary was the Immaculate Conception. Born without Original Sin. Not Jesus. He was born Divine. And I don’t want to hear different from people on who to Close Cover Before Striking Illinois based “Theology” schools.
So do the angels and Luke’s Gospel.
Jesus is sinless because he is God. Not having a human father has nothing to do with it. "Brand Y" is confused, muddled, and dabbling with heterodox Christology, as usual.
Shouldn't that read: "Mary was the product of the Immaculate Conception"?
The angels are pure spirits.
Thus the Catholic concept of “Immaculate Conception”.
(often misconstrued as meaning Mary conceived without having relations with a man, actually refers to the fact that she herself was conceived without sin)
This is a great way to spend time
Talking about things we CAN’T POSSIBLY KNOW as if it makes a difference
“Mary was the Immaculate Conception.”
I don’t recall reading anywhere about anything special about Mary’s conception.
Mary herself is believed to have been conceived without sin. That is the immaculate conception.
what is Immaculate Conception for $300, Alex
I hate when people over think things
So, from the Reformed perspective, there is no explanation.
It just is.
It's not, really, since it fails to answer the question. The question was "Why wasn't Mary's sin passed on to Jesus?"
While this exposition of scripture accurately reflects basic christian doctrine, it would be wholly unsatisfactory an answer to any non-christian.
The only answer to the question one can draw from this is "because it wasn't."
It’s still BREATHTAKING!
There is no biblical basis for the immaculate conception of anyone other than Jesus. In fact, in her beautiful song of faith, the Magnificat, she says, “And my spirit has rejoiced in God, my Savior.” Were she without sin, she would not need a savior.
Mary’s “grace” was not the issue. Mary was a virgin .. which was key.
However, the reason Jesus was “sinless” at birth was because of the “BLOOD” flowing in his veins.
It is a medical FACT that the blood of the FATHER is passed to the child. Therefore, Jesus blood was of his FATHER, and not of his mother.
If you go back and look at the history of Jewish sacrifices, you will note that it was always the “blood” of the animals that was important .. meaning that the animal had to be pure and spotless or their blood was not considered pure enough for the sacrifice.
Jesus is our “sacrifice” .. and therefore his BLOOD had to be pure and spotless.
I was talking about it from a “spiritual sense”.
Maybe she didn't know that...
I agree though I have heard it theorized that Mary was used as a surrogate (a vessel) to hold the Holy Child until birth and literallly contributed no genes since he was Holy and she was not.
The Christological problems with many of the FR Prots shows its head again. Christ is eternally begotten of the Father, hence His Divine Nature by definition is sinless. He was incarnate of the Virgin Mary so Christ the Eternal Word of The Father is incarnate of the Virgin Mary and becomes Man. THus in that context, we now understand Christ, the 2nd Person of the Most Holy Trinity as a 1) Divine Person with 2 Natures. These 2 Natures are 1) Divine, which is sinless as Christ is Truly God and 2)Human Nature, which he received from Mary, thus the question now remains, how was Christ the perfect Man with respect to his Human Nature.
Christ as the 2nd Adam is the perfect man, his human nature is what God wanted for Man before the Fall. Thus, God in his infinite wisdom chose Mary as the perfect ark or vessel through which Christ would become incarnate. The Immaculate Conception thus speaks of “GOD” acting in a power way in Mary’s life and giving her an abundance of Grace as the Old Douay Rheims translation puts is “And the Angel said to her: Hail Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed are thou among women......Fear Not Mary, for thou has found Grace with God” [cf Luke 1:28-30].
So in what context does Mary have God’s grace before CHrist’s passion, death and resurrection, it is because God can work outside of time and the benefits of CHrist death and resurrection were given to Mary so that her will conformed to God’s will and she became God’s instrument in the plan of salvation in that Christ became incarnate of her. Mary’s being in a state of Grace if why Christ “human nature” was not tainted with original sin and the author of Mary being in state of Grace is God working in a mysterious way to provide Mary with said Grace.
Lots of Nestorian heresy here among the FR Protestant brigades.
“...no biblical basis...”
The fact that Mary is full of grace is in the bible. Jesus required an immaculate (sinless) vessel for his Divine Nature. Mary required a savior - she was “saved” in advance so her vessel was pure - she is prefigured by the ark of the covenant in the OT.
The state of being full of grace = having been saved.
The two angels who visited Lot and his family were incarnate.
But still, angels are pure spirits.
“...contributed no genes...”
The hypostatic union means that Jesus has two complete natures, one fully human and one fully divine - his genes are from Mary.
Various corruptions and misunderstandings of the true nature of Christ have led to many heresies, including such as Mormonism, Jeohvah witness, Islam, etc., that do not recoginize Jesus’ divine nature. The Arian heresy was one of the first to get this wrong - and then Mary’s role is misunderstood when Christ’s nature is not understood correctly.
But Bible is “quiet” about that aspect, about the blood.
I read your statement as "only" spirit. And you mean they are "pure" in spirit.
And that is true except for the Fallen Ones.
While I certainly agree with the IC, and agree that it was entirely fitting for God to have caused Mary to be conceived immaculately, any argument from *necessity* fails immediately and simply. If Mary's human nature had to be sinless so that Jesus' human nature could be sinless, why didn't Mary's parents also have to have sinless natures, etc.
If God could create a sinless human nature for Mary without doing so for Joachim and Anna, then he could have created a sinless human nature for Jesus without doing so for Mary.
The argument for the IC is from fittingness, and backwards from the commandment "Honor thy father and thy mother", not from any constructed "necessity" that God had to circumvent anyway. God isn't bound by "necessities" or "rules" except insofar as he chooses to bind himself.
The sin nature is passed from the fathers to the children (Romans), presumably in the act of conception. Since Jesus was conceived without normal sexual relations ... the sin nature was not passed to him from a human father ... and He could be born of a human woman without the sin nature.
That is ridiculous on its face. Jesus is the only sinless one born (technically Adam and Eve weren't born) to claim otherwise is to deny that
all have sinned (Romans 3:23) — so you are obviously rejecting scriptural truth & authority [of Romans] by claiming Mary is without sin, are you not?
This I know.
For the Bible tells me so.
The scriptures repeatedly speak of the sins/iniquities of the father being passed on to the children, but I don’t remember reading that the sins/iniquities of the mother being passed on. Paul says Eve was deceived but Adam sinned.
2Cr 11:3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
Rom 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
The idea of Immaculate Conception (of Mary) is non-Biblical and in conflict with the Scriptures (All have sinned and come short . . ). IF God could make Mary sinless in her birth - why not everyone else? Why did Jesus have to come to die for our sins IF God could make us all sinless at birth? The answer is that He cannot. He cannot and be true to His Way and Laws. We have sinned (through Adam)and that requires a blood sacrifice from an unblemished Lamb. The Mary adoration from “Brand X” is also un-Bilical and is a diversion from Jesus.
For those who believe no explanation is necessary. For those who don’t believe no explanation is possible. I believe God is the second person of the God Trinity and his mother was without sin.
So .. Mary’s sins were “spiritual” - So were the sins of every other human being on the earth. Adam and Eve - after eating of the apple - DIED SPIRITUALLY. Therefore, Mary was not sinless (because no human born after the fall of Adam and Eve could be sinless) - it’s that simple.
Mary was pure in the sense that she had never been with a man .. because if she had, no blood would have been shed (by way of the breaking of the hyman). That act, of a husband and wife, is considered a covenant of marriage. Mary’s virginity was important for that reason; God was making a covenant with humanity .. plus, Mary not only believed in God, she loved and trusted Him.
I put these sorts of questions in my basket of questions I hope to ask God one day. I have a hard enough time working on not sinning so much myself that I try to spend little or no time dealing with the sins of others...
As was St. Anne born sinless, to carry the sinless Mary. And Anne’s mother was ALSO sinless, to carry Anne’s sinlessness, as was HER mother before her, and her mother before her, and on down the line to the very beginning, when all of Mary’s female ancestors were born without sin to carry each of their successive sinless mothers, to carry THEIR successive sinless mothers, until Mary.
They didn’t even need Jesus’ redemption, since only SOME of the human race was born sinless!
That’s where that foolish logic leads.
The Church teaches explicitly that Mary’s sinlessness is in view of the merits of Christ, not apart from it, so your objection falls apart.
The short and true answer is that Mary was selected to be the mother of God before she was born. Her mother St. Anne was blessed by the Holy Spirit in order than the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary be immaculate. Hence the immaculate conception.
Unfortunately many Catholics believe that the immaculate conception has to do with the birth of Jesus Christ.
The physical body (one’s members/the flesh) is not made sinless the moment one receives God’s gift of salvation through Christ. The believer is still capable of sin. Sin is the result of the “old nature” and those sins come about by the actions of the flesh (the physical/mental/emotional state of the believer). Paul, in Romans 7 bewails this fact, “Who can deliver me from the body of this death?”
The one who accepts Christ as Savior is delivered from the penalty of sin (”There is, therefore, no condemnation to them that believe...”, from the power of sin (it can no longer render the believer [eternally] dead), but we are not delivered from the presence of sin (our full salvation) until the day we are “ever with the Lord” in eternity.
Christ, and Christ alone, is the only One ever referred to in Scripture as being “full of grace [and truth]” - John 1:14.
bump for later digestion