All Have Sinned



Q. This passage in scripture clearly eliminates any possibility that Mary was without sin.

Romans 3:23...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

And also as seen in

Acts 4:10-12-12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”.

A. I would like to address the second verse submitted first. It is unclear why, since you gave no explanation for it in the context of the immaculate conception of Mary but I will take a stab at what you may have been getting at.

As a Protestant the sinlessness of Jesus was emphasized as being very bound up in salvation itself. Only one without sin could have been the savior of the world. And that is very true. But it is not true that sinlessness makes one automatically a savior. But that is the conclusion to which many jump when they hear that we believe Mary was without sin. It sounds blasphemous! As if we are making her a goddess–a member of the Trinity…uh quadrinity?Another Savior!

That is not what is taught in the Catholic Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. I even had a good friend question me after my conversion as to why Jesus had to die on the cross.

“Why didn’t God just have Mary crucified if she was sinless?”

My friend was serious because in the minds of many Protestants: Sinless=Savior. Or sinless = Divinity.

They forget that both Adam and Eve were created without sin. Most of the Angels did not sin and people in Heaven do not sin and that does not make any of them God. So sinlessness is a human trait that God desired. Mary is human. Her sinlessness makes her special but not divine in any way. And she is the mother of our Savior she is not a savior.

And further Mary needed a savior as well to save her from the stain of original sin. Jesus saved Mary from sin BEFORE she sinned rather than AFTER she sinned.

Is it not fitting that the God the Son would create His mother PERFECTLY PURE for His indwelling of her womb?

Now, as for the “all have sinned” passage. This does need some explanation for the Protestant.

First: If all means absolutely all, no exceptions then in order for Jesus to be fully human He would have sinned. But we all agree that Jesus’ humanity is an exception to the rule. But, if there is one exception, why not two? or three? Nothing in scripture specifically says Jesus is the only exception. In general it is certainly true that most people, nearly all people have sinned. But the passage does not state that there are absolutely NO EXCEPTIONS.

Second: “All”certainly does not necessarily always mean absolutely every single person without exception. In normal everyday speech we say things like, “Everyone was there.” The whole town came to the game.” “All the other kids have one.”

These are hyperbolic uses of “all” and “everyone” and “the whole town”. I don’t think Paul was being hyperbolic however. I believe he was making a generalization without mentioning exceptions.

Third: “All have sinned” cannot mean absolutely all, because babies and small children have not sinned. Until the age of reason they are unable to choose to sin. They may possess a sin nature, a fallen nature and be subject to sin but they have not actually committed sin of their own free will. Therefore they have NOT sinned. So, at any given moment in time there are thousaands of human beings who have not sinned….yet.

Therefore, the Catholic Faith teaches us and has taught us from the very beginning of Christianity that Mary was without sin.

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7 Responses

  1. Question 1.
    There are so many religion in the world. If we select the ones which produces a good/better person, is God now looking at the religion itself or the good/better person produced?
    Question 2.
    In spiritual learning, is listening to what is preached or written is more absolute than what was experienced?
    Question 3.
    A Family in the deepest jungle living from generations to generations without exposure to Religion and modern world, know only to care lovingly of their youngs with great morality. Without their any knowledge of R.C., are they to be to be put to hell or purgatory? Being a God to the people is probably like being a Parents to their children dont u think. Being a parent, never in my deepest heart would I want to send my children to hell due to their wrongdoings. As jesus would say, “Lord forgive them for they dont know what they’re doing”. If a soldier abused a person as he was ordered to do so, does he know what he’s doing? If a person force his freewill upon other person freewill for control, does he knows what he’s doing?

    Thanks for the great informative website.

  2. *bfhu* (First: If all means absolutely all, no exceptions then in order for Jesus to be fully human He would have sinned. But we all agree that Jesus’ humanity is an exception to the rule. But, if there is one exception, why not two? or three? Nothing in scripture specifically says Jesus is the only exception. In general it is certainly true that most people, nearly all people have sinned. But the passage does not state that there are absolutely NO EXCEPTIONS.)

    1 Peter 2:22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:

    2 Corinthians 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

    Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

    Nothing is scripture points to anyone other than Jesus being sinless, and to use the justification that the Bible doesn’t say there aren’t exceptions to the rule as your logic is ridiculous. Jesus is God and God is Jesus. God is perfect and has no darkness that dwells within him which means that Jesus doesn’t as well. As for you second point, I don’t believe that God has been noted for using slang or hyperbolic language. If God were to be general with the point of sinlessness, then we can argue that God was being general with, well, everything. God is either solid and concrete in his meaning or he isn’t at all. With your third point, although accurate that babies/children are not counted as guilty in the eyes of God, He has also set a precedent for children to obey their parents. Children under the age of accountability are therefore not held accountable and if they live past that age will then be classified as “all”.

  3. Yes, I see your point about taking God absolutely literally at His word in scripture. You can do nothing else because all you have for your authority is scripture and your interpretation of it. The Protestant Faith tradition is in so many ways cut off from Historical Christianity.

    The Catholic Church on the other hand maintains the continuous connection to the Christian Faith as it was believed, practiced and discussed ever since the Church was founded. So we have historical precedence regarding when to take certain scriptures absolutely literally and when to understand them as being hyperbolic, poetic, etc.

    But Sola Scriptura Protestants have no choice but to be literal about nearly everything. But I think you have forgotten when you say,

    I don’t believe that God has been noted for using slang or hyperbolic language.

    That Jesus did use hyperbole on occasion. So, even Protestants don’t interpret EVERYTHING down to the ground literally. Because,
    I haven’t noticed too many Protestants walking around with their hands cut off or their eyes gouged out in literal obedience to Christ in Matthew.

  4. Edwin I have responded to your questions HERE

  5. **bfhu***They forget that both Adam and Eve were created without sin. Most of the Angels did not sin and people in Heaven do not sin and that does not make any of them God. So sinlessness is a human trait that God desired. Mary is human. Her sinlessness makes her special but not divine in any way. And she is the mother of our Savior she is not a savior.***

    The point not taken here is that ALL of the beings you reference, Adam/Eve, angels, people in heaven have the ability to choose sin or not. Adam/Eve sinned, angels sinned against God’s will, people in heaven sinned while they were on this earth. Mary sinned for she was human. Sinlessness is a trait of God not of humanity, You stated how God would have wanted a perfect vessel for his son to be born. If you continue with this logic, than how would God want Mary conceived? Into sinfull parents and then her vessel would not have been pure. And what about her grandparents? And their parents and you can see how this need for perfection grows exponentially which means somewhere in history there is an entire race of sinlesss beings. Mary was endowed with grace by God, because she was good, not perfect.

    **bfhu**But Sola Scriptura Protestants have no choice but to be literal about nearly everything. ***

    Christians have the ability to interpret scripture with guidance from the Holy Spirit. There is a general 4 part process in doing so. 1.) Word focus in which we need to understand the etymology of a word and more importantly to note the usage of that word historically in scripture. 2) Word Relations, syntax, understanding how words are related to the words around them. 3)Context, immediate context, book context and Bible context. 4) Culture, social, tempral and geographical.

    **bfhu**You can do nothing else because all you have for your authority is scripture and your interpretation of it. The Protestant Faith tradition is in so many ways cut off from Historical Christianity.***

    The word of God is my only authority. I may be persuaded one way or another by the Holy Spirit. I may be convicted about walking with Christ through the urgings of the Holy Spirt. If for one moment what I sense does not line up with the word of God, it is not of God but of Satan who masquerades as an angel of light. If “historical christianity” is RCC, I couldn’t be far enough away from it.

    I am beginning to see a circular trend with your arguments. I am beginning to debate issues that I have already addresses. I truly hoped that you would lift the veil from your eyes are return to the true gospel of Christ. It is apparent that you have brainwashed and God has now hidden his truth from you. I will continue to pray for you.

    Matthew 10:14 And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet,

    Luke 9:5 And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them.

    Matthew 7:6 “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.”

    2 Cor. 4:1 Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, [7] we do not lose heart. 2 But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

    Read Bishop Strossmayers speech at Vatican. A doctor of theology educated by the Catholic seminary who denounces the papacy and calls the hierarchy unbiblical.

    I have prayed about this discourse. I have never felt a moment of doubt. I did pray to God for his guidance, and I prayed that if I was wrong, and was persecuting his church like Saul did to blind me as he did Saul. God has left my vision very much the way it has always been. Do you see that if I believe so strongly in the false teachings of RCC that I would give my eyes to be in line with God that it is not my faith that is false, but the Catholic faith. God loves you and desires a relationship with you, not with your false religion. He will not wait forever. Repent of your sinful ways and return to His truth. His arms are open. You just need to believe that He is enough, and that when the Word became flesh in the form of a man his death was sufficient to propitiate the wrath of God.

    Peace be with you……..

  6. My response is HERE

    Kyrie Eleison…

  7. Sarah says…” He will not wait forever. Repent of your sinful ways and return to His truth. His arms are open. You just need to believe that He is enough, and that when the Word became flesh in the form of a man his death was sufficient to propitiate the wrath of God.”

    My question to you is why do you think that a Catholic does not believe that HE is enough? He will not wait forever for what? Why do you believe that anyone of the Catholic faith don’t “repent of their sinful ways”?
    Just a question…..

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