Posted On October 25, 2021

Isaiah 7, a Child, and Impeccability

by | Oct 25, 2021 | Theology

Play

When discussing the humanity of Jesus Christ, impeccability is the word Christians use to describe that Jesus was unable to sin. This is a disputed topic even among Reformed™ brethren. There are some who teach that it was, in fact, possible for Jesus to sin, yet he did not. Impeccability is the word we use to say that it was impossible for Jesus to sin. If you aren’t familiar with the various arguments a quick search on the internet will yield some results where you can hear both sides. I affirm Christ’s impeccability, personally.

Impeccable Child

Bible in foreground with out-of-focus Christmas tree in backgroundFor this post, I just wanted to share my thoughts on the topic of Christ’s impeccability based on my reading through Isaiah. In Isaiah 7:14 we find a well-known verse about the coming Messiah:

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

This is a clear reference to the coming of Jesus Christ! Matthew quotes this verse in Matthew 1:23 as referring to Jesus, in case you don’t believe me.

But the verses that follow are the ones I want to focus on here. The verses following the promise of the son of the virgin are:

Isaiah 7:15 He shall eat curds and honey when he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good.
16 For before the boy knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land whose two kings you dread will be deserted.

Now let me tell you what came to mind as I meditated on these verses. It struck me that the boy—Jesus—would have a time when he didn’t know how to refuse evil and choose good. In fact, this “state” is mentioned twice in these two verses. Isaiah is telling us something true about Jesus’ humanity. That is, Jesus really, truly became a human, including all the infirmities and difficulties of being an infant and a toddler.

In other words, Jesus had a time when he was not fully developed in his thinking. I suppose we could say, when he was a child…he thought like a child and reasoned like a child (1 Cor 13:11). Now, my point is this: for Jesus to remain sinless even in this state would have been terribly unnatural had he been peccable or able to sin. I wouldn’t call this a nail in the coffin of the “impeccability argument,” but it makes more sense to me that Jesus, being born in the likeness of man, was not born only in a state of innocence from where he had even the slightest ability to fall. But rather, Jesus, being unable to sin, endured the affliction and infirmity of being a helpless child with sinless perfection because of His very nature as the sinless Son of God and Son of man.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that if Jesus had even the remotest possibility of sinning when confronted with temptation, then when he was a child who did not yet know how to refuse the evil and choose good (as God describes him, not me), this would have been a time that it would have nearly been excusable for him to fall. Yet He did not. Not even once, and He didn’t even come close.

We have a perfect high priest. Rest and rejoice in that fact today, brethren.


For more discussion on Jesus’ humanity and what that really means, I recently talked about that during a Zoom meeting through Hebrews that I am teaching. I’ll commend the episode to you here. Feel free to reach out to me at Michael (at) ThingsAbove.us if you’d like to join us in that study.

Related Posts

Reformed Systematic Theology – Vol 3: Spirit and Salvation (book review)

Reformed Systematic Theology – Vol 3: Spirit and Salvation (book review)

Joel Beeke and Paul Smalley’s Reformed Systematic Theology Vol. 3: Spirit and Salvation is another theologically rich entry in what has already become a modern classic series. As with the previous volumes, the authors effectively balance academic theological precision with pastoral and devotional care.

Book Review: How Can We Rescue Those Being Taken Away to Death?

Book Review: How Can We Rescue Those Being Taken Away to Death?

Brett A. Baggett, Dusty Deevers, and James Silberman: Rescue Those: How Can We Rescue Those Being Taken Away to Death? Copyright 2021  Rescue Those INC. You can order copies here. These booklets are given away for free. I suggest Christians who benefit from this work...

Church Discipline is for Restoration

Church Discipline is for Restoration

Below is a teaching outline that I've used to train others concerning the process and purpose of church discipline. In short, church discipline is for convincing the wayward of their sin and restoring them. I pray it would be beneficial for your congregations....

Book Review: Ann Judson: A Life of Self-Denial

Book Review: Ann Judson: A Life of Self-Denial

Chapel Library’s booklet, Ann Judson: A Life of Self-Denial is the perfect length. It gives just enough information to make someone interested in reading a larger work about this dear saint, yet also gain an appreciation for Ann and learn from her life without a large investment.

5 Deceitful Schemes Seeking to Ruin Churches

5 Deceitful Schemes Seeking to Ruin Churches

In Ephesians 4:14, Paul desires that local churches “…may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.” In this post, I want to give you 5 examples of deceitful...

Thou Shalt Not Steal

Thou Shalt Not Steal

Here are some of my thoughts on the eighth commandment from my final sermon on Exodus 20:15. Stealing is the taking of something that isn’t yours or the using of something that isn’t yours without the owner’s consent and approval. Giving Remember that the opposite of...

1 Comment

  1. Joan Nortell

    I enjoyed reading this. It was a new concept for me that I had never considered before. I can understand where the debate might arise from, but your defense of Jesus’ impeccability puts an end to it logically and Scripturally. Thanks!