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Without Blemish And Without Spot

Those who live in close communion with God are deeply conscious of personal sin.

The believer enjoying fellowship with God is aware of having inherited a fallen nature. Paul realized that there was conflict raging in the arena of his mind - the flesh lusting against the Spirit. The tension was so great at times that Paul cried out, 'O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?' (Rom. 7:24). For God's children, full deliverance will come when the Lord returns. All believers will then be released from the presence and effects of sin. In the meantime the power of the Spirit of God is available to those who desire to overcome the dominion of sin in their lives.

A unique life

The Lord was unique among men. Throughout His life on earth there was no trace of sin. There was therefore no guilt of which to be conscious; no need to request the forgiveness of either His Father God or men and women. He had no occasion to retract a word or regret an action. All the days He lived, there being over 22,000 of them, He never touched a lower level than absolute spiritual and moral perfection. Not only were there no sins of commission, there were no sins of omission. He fervently 'loved righteousness and hated lawlessness' (Heb.1:9).

A necessary prelude to His sinless life was His virgin birth. Mary of Nazareth was the chosen vessel for the incarnation of the Son of God. Mary was not sinless; she was assured by an angel at the commencement of her pregnancy: '"The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God"' (Luke 1:35). Through His conception by the agency of the Holy Spirit and His birth of the virgin, the Lord was without any taint of the sinful nature, which without exception, has passed down to all who are 'born of the will of the flesh'.

The Lord passed through childhood and what, for many, are the turbulent teenage years without a sinful thought. At the commencement of His public ministry, John the Baptist described him as, '"the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!"' (John 1:29). The Passover lamb and the sacrifices of the flock and herd were to be, so far as the human eye could see, without spot or blemish. But the Lamb of God was subjected to the searching scrutiny of His God and Father who declared, '"This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased"' (Mat.3:17). Only God's sinless Son and righteous Servant was worthy of the Father's complete approbation.

The Lord's great purpose in coming into the world was to make atonement for sin. Only a perfect Man could be the sacrifice for others' transgressions. We should exercise great care in reading and expounding Romans 8:3 where, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, Paul wrote of God '... sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh'. Paul did not say 'in sinful flesh', because the flesh of Christ was absolutely sinless; nor did he say 'in the likeness of flesh', because the flesh of Christ was real. He did say, 'in the likeness of sinful flesh'.

A threefold cord

Scripture records the testimony of three apostles to the sinlessness of Christ. Two of them companied with Him during His public ministry and observed Him at close range. Peter, the man of action, echoing the words of Isaiah 53:9, wrote about his Lord: '"Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth"' (1 Pet.2:22). The apostle John, who had a special place of nearness to his Master, and was aware of the inner beauties of His character, wrote: 'you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin' (1 John 3:5). Paul wrote: 'God... made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him' (2 Cor.5:20,21). 'To be sin for us' is interpreted as meaning 'made sin offering for us'. Those who companied with Him were not the only persons to testify to His moral uprightness and integrity. The Roman Governor Pontius Pilate was compelled to concede: '"I find no fault in this Man"' (Luke 23:4). The centurion in charge at the crucifixion exclaimed: '"Certainly this was a righteous Man!"' (Luke 23:47). During His public ministry the Lord could challenge those who opposed Him: '"Which of you convicts Me of sin?"' confident that they would be unable to dispute the challenge (John 8:46). Our Saviour is indeed a 'patient, spotless One'.