Man incapable of sin

February 27, 2023 | 29 comments

One of the revolutionary teachings of Christian Science is that man is created a spiritual child of God, made in the image of perfection, and not subject to sin, disease and death.

The human mind works overtime to counter this truth. In its false beliefs of life in matter, it argues for sin and suffering. But no amount of error will ever change the truth.

Mary Baker Eddy wrote, “Man is incapable of sin, disease and death. The real man cannot depart from holiness, nor can God, by whom man is evolved, engender the capacity or freedom to sin” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 475).

Man made in God’s likeness is incapable of sin. As a spiritual being, we are sinless. We reflect God’s sinless nature.

I find this truth incredibly empowering when walking through life’s experiences. I do not have to accept sin as my master. I can master sin with an understanding of my spiritual truth with God. It helps me understand that I am not a weak enslaved mortal. I am a spiritually empowered immortal who knows the right thing to do and is happy to do it.

As a child of God, I am not inclined to sin. My natural inclination and desire are to do right.

God governs me, not sin!

29 thoughts on “Man incapable of sin”

    1. Thank you for sharing this article, Martine. I particularly like where it says,
      “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you; not as the world
      giveth, give I unto you” and … “I can do all things through Christ which
      strengtheneth me”. To my understanding, Christ, Truth ascends the
      limitations that matter would constrict us to.
      Recently the fuel oil company I thought had made a delivery without
      my calling them, which was odd. I kept expecting a bill from them which
      never came and then I thought perhaps they had mistaken me for someone
      else. Of course, I would not feel it honest to not let them know, but then I
      discovered that the driver must have realized the mistake, because the
      gauge had not shown an increase. At the cost of fuel oil theses days, I am
      grateful I wasn’t even tempted to not pay, if it had been actually delivered,
      but billed to someone else.
      Truth, Divine Love shows us the way.

  1. Hi Ayaji Grace,
    on Friday you told us about a good lecture you heard where you live.
    Would you be so nice and let us know the name of the lecturer who gave that lecture, please? Thank you, dear Grace!♡

  2. I think the word sin is often misunderstood. I’ve heard that it means ‘to miss the mark’ or the target of perfection that we are aiming for. I looked it up in the Merriam Webster dictionary and one definition was, “A weakened state of human nature in which the self is estranged from God.” Everything in that statement is false. God does not leave His child in a weakened state, He didn’t give us a human nature but a spiritual nature, and we don’t have a separate self that can be estranged or separated from the One who created, maintains, guides and loves us.

    As Evan said, even when error is ‘working overtime’ no amount of it will ever change the truth, or as I often have to remind myself -Nothing can change the facts of Being. Thanks for this comforting reassurance.

    1. Maybe if we use the word FEELS separated from God it will be more accurate. And that is what I have heard is the Sin of Separation..S.O.S As Evan has indicated, we can’t BE sparated from God, but we do have to recognize the suggestion that we are, for if we accept it, it IS a sin.

    2. Rose from New York – thank you for the definition of sin from Websters – that
      is an excellent definition, and your thoughts on it very helpful.

      When I work on “Ways that are Vain” by MBE, when I get to the bit , at the
      end of where it describes animal magnetism, it talks about “the sum total of sin”.
      I always think of sin as “S illy I nsignificant N othingness”, and this helps me to
      see it in its true light – especially after studying that particular passage.

      1. Hi Maggie, thanks for mentioning Ways That Are Vain. I was not familiar with it, but now I read it (in Miscellany p.210-213). It shows how important it is to root out unseen, hidden error/mental malpractice.

        Also liked:

        and from Brenda:
        S.O.S- Sin Of (belief in) Separation

        and from Desert Girl:

        Thanks all for your contributions!

  3. Years after the fact, someone told me that it had been revolutionary, changing their life, and had totally changed their perspective and behavior when they heard me say, “I am not a thief. I am not tempted to steal. I enjoy being good and honest; it’s my nature.”

    Before then they had felt tempted and self-justifying in feeling self-pity that they did not have what they thought they deserved, and blaming someone else whom they could resent and retaliate against by taking things. They kept telling themselves they were not good enough, and could not handle it. They first told themselves that what they took were small and would not be noticed or the stores expected them to take them so charged too much anyway, or that the suckers deserved it for being so stupid and reckless. And taking just one or a few would not matter. If candy or cash was left out, they’d take some. But they could never have enough money or nice things or wrongly-gotten fans or jobs to feel satisfied.

    Until they repeated to themselves what I had said, and acted accordingly. Then they learned to trust themselves, and to feel secure and confident. Then more grateful, and satisfied with more self-respect. I can attest that they now are much more relaxed and confident and positive. They think more clearly, and are more liked, and they’ve earned the trust of people who now stay on their lives longer. And unlike those years before, they are quick and easy to laugh and express affection. Those of us who knew them before, did not trust them, or want to be around them, and now they have earned our trust, and our comfort and appreciation.

    That is what happens when we discipline our thinking, and acting to align with our true self. Years ago around the time I told that to them, my thought had also been changed, when I thought of them with the hymn: “Thou art Truth’s honest child of pure and sinless heart; thou treadest undefiled, in Christly paths apart.“.

    I had to keep singing that over and over in my mind when I would think of them. To my knowledge at that time, and for years around then, other people felt my same unease around them, But now I feel happily looking forward to spending time with them, and I feel comfortable and loving when I am with them, and I’ve noticed that others no longer feel less guarded around them

    I try to avoid looking at screens, and so I will close my eyes and dictate into the phone, and later, then peek to check the words are correct, or go back and correct them, but later discover that the voice to text was garbled and my iPhone again changed what I said or typed. Sometimes changing to words that don’t even sound or grammatically fit. But it was interesting that Siri changed the word “paths” to “Paz”, which means peace. Refusing to sin— indulge self-justification, self-pity, lack or inadequacy, injustice, helplessness, resentment, scapegoating, ingratitude, contempt, coveting, neglect, laziness, apathy, vandalism, theft, cruelty…— and replace that sin with good thinking and acting, gives us peace and joy, and everything that the lying temptation falsely promised us, plus better. So if you want to feel good, be good and do good.

  4. In Genesis Chapter 1 there is no mention of a mortal man, no mention of matter or evil either, but there is light, goodness, heaven, abundance, rule and blessing.
    Thanks Evan for your wonderful lift this morning.
    Sierra Madre, CA

  5. Thank you, Evan,and Rose and Maggie. Love your definitions. Here’s another that is helpful to me. S-I-N “the claim of a Separate Individual Nature.” An impossibility as Evan has pointed out! See the wonderful definition of Man in Science and Health page 475. Love to all!

  6. Good day all. Thank you Evan. This is reality. Man is always overwhelmed at error, but it is not real. Man is sinless, spiritual and perfect. What a joy to know and live a life governed entirely by God. This is the Kingdom of heaven come to earth as Jesus said, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand’. Let’s not think of sin, a lie, no thing. Let us rejoice that we are sinless.
    To my friend, the name of the lecturer is James Paschal Bikai C.S.B. from Cameroon.

  7. I am uncomfortable with today’s topic.
    I am a follower of Christian Science teachings but have trouble understanding that if man is a spiritual child of God not capable of sin why was Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross necessary? Couldn’t there have been a less dramatic & tortuous way of seeming death leading to resurrection and demonstration of life eternal? And also….with so much apparent sin in the world and if man doesn’t can we feel good about this truth? And then….who is responsible for this ?
    Can anyone help me out so I can explain to my family & friends who are “conventional” christians.

    1. I’ll give it a go William. First, I love the definition of “sin” as “to act without love.” God, the divine Mind is only loving, so to act contrary to that, is called a “sin”. – And, the only reason I have from reading Mrs’ Eddy’s works, as to why Jesus’ death was necessary, is to prove that what he taught was true, even in the most violent of deaths. There are a lot of apparent acts without love in this material world. But, if God is truly all there is, (which you can reason out: God is divine Mind, limitless, so God’s creation is Spiritual, not material.) What we see as bad and sinful; mortal, material; is within our own misconceptions, When we realign our thinking with understanding the purity and goodness of all creation, “healing happens” as our friend Evan says. We look for the spiritual truth in front of us, rather than dwelling on the “sins”. I do hope that helps some. It takes a while until you get enough understanding for the needle to tip.

    2. Hi William,

      You bring up many common questions. To understand the post above, it helps to understand the difference between the spiritual man written about in Genesis 1, made in God’s image, and the mortal written about in Genesis 2. Adam.

      Adam is not the first perfect man made in God’s image, fallen into a state of imperfection. Adam is a mortal, material, finite way of looking at man. Adam is made of the dust–mortal belief. Adam was not made in God’s image.

      Christian Science teaches that the true man of God’s creating, is the spiritual man, recorded in Genesis 1. A mortal acting out sin is not God’s man. It’s an error about man that needs to be corrected with spiritual truth. As the error is corrected, sin conquered, the true man of God’s creating surfaces in its place.

      God’s man is sinless. Man made in God’s image!

      Jesus Christ came to save humanity from the Adam-view of man. Jesus Christ came to save us from the belief that man is a born sinner, made of the dust. His life reveals to us our true nature made in God’s image, in Spirit. “That which is of the flesh is flesh. That which is of the spirit is spirit.”

      Jesus Christ was able to resurrect because sin could not end his life–which was Spirit. In Truth, sin is powerless to change our eternal spiritual truth, which is what he proved. A material sense of life “died” on the cross, and the spiritual man continued to be glorified through Jesus’ resurrection and ascension. And he has left his example for us to follow.

      That is a lot of explanation, but hopefully helps!

  8. Accepting the Truth that man is made in the image and likeness of God, Spirit, Soul is something we must accept to perceive the real man and his relation to the infinite of all experience. We are so challenged with the human here and now that it is so easy to forget that we depend daily on concepts that have no basis in material means and never will. That is, how many gallons of gas does your auto take to get a full tank of gas? 10, 14, 35? what is 0? or really any mathematical term? Those terms do not exist anywhere in matter, they are strictly mental concepts that refer to material organization or sortings. But there are more than just the mathematical examples discussed here. Where is love? Where is any conceptual thought of what could be in an builder’s plan for that construction? It comes first in thought before it is ever achieved in material means. This is just a clue to how much we ignore the real for the grasping of stones as real. Yet physics says there is more space than matter in matter. Where will you put your trust the rock or in the concept that the perception of rock may create. All must first appear in the Mind before it can exist anywhere in experience. All is in reality, spiritual, beyond the stage that matter presents. Is the truth in the stage or the performance exhibited upon that stage? Without the performance the stage can become meaningless.

    1. I’ll give it a go William: First, I love the definition of “sin” as “to act without love”. It’s so easy to understand. Then, the only reason I can see, from reading Mrs. Eddy’s writings, that Jesus’s death happened as it did was to prove that his teachings are true, no matter how violent or terrible the death might be. And then, yes there seems to be an awful lot of “sin” out there in the material world, but truly, God is All there is, (and you can reason that out: divine Mind is limitless, and only creates after God’s own likeness, then life is Spiritual, perfect and good.) Any seeming sin, problem, or disease is in our own misconceptions. When we re-align our thought with God’s, look past the material problems, see creation as Spiritual, “healing happens” as our friend Evan says. That’s why Evan calls this blog “Spirit View”. I hope that helps a little.

  9. Thank you all for your contributions.
    How more beneficial to our eduction and mental développement
    It taught early in school and also more profitable in a long run to our society.

  10. Dear Evan, I am again aware that we all reflect the ONE omnicient Mind. Your wonderful today`s SpiritView meets so lovingly and exact a special need of mine. It often bothered me that people say instead of bye bye, do good or, do right, and I ask myself what did I not do good enough and I did not feel good with it. But that is mortal mind!
    What Evan says is very comforting and healing, namely that I am not a weak enslaved mortal but rather a spiritually empowered immortal who knows the right thing to do and is happy to do it. And I am very grateful for the comforting truth Evan gives us, namely as a child of God I am not inclined to sin. My natural inclination and desire are to do right! God governs me, not sin! Evan, I thank you very very much for assuring us of these wonderful divine truths and which are so enlightening and healing!

  11. Sincerest thanks Paula, Josef and Evan for your comments to my searching for help in understanding that the seeming prevalence of sin in the world to be an unreal material illusion, that God does not recognize and it does not, can not, nor ever can, challenge God’s omnipotence.

    And please accept that there is not any suggestion of skepticism or cynicism in this response.

    1. William. I did not get any sense of cynicism in your deeply stated question or your response above. Your question is a sign of your growth towards true spiritual understanding which we all are hopefully on that path. It is a fair question and by the responses, I questions like yours help us grow and discuss what needs be discussed. I think MBE understood this and realized that spiritual thinkers will help others gains spiritual understanding which for me is tantamount portion of healing and the understanding of our wholeness in Spirit.

      1. Thank you Josef for giving the true meaning and I think so, too!
        Thank you William for your question. All the answers to your comment shed divine light on it!

  12. I am a day late in replying to this, but wanted to speak directly to William about his heartfelt questioning about sin, and particularly why Jesus had to suffer such a terrible death on the cross. When I took class instruction many years ago, my teacher explained that the reason Jesus had to be crucified was so that his death, that is, his physical death of a mortal body, would never be doubted, would never be questioned. It was a public execution witnessed by many. Therefore, his resurrection, his proof that true life is immortal, would not be in question.
    Today’s topic is a tricky and uncomfortable subject. But I do love to think that we cannot sin, really, because we cannot be separated from God, ever!
    I’ve learned a great deal from today’s conversation, and I am so very very grateful for everyone’s loving contributions. We are all students, working and studying and praying to understand more deeply, our true relationship with God.
    Loving you all!

  13. To all. I found much enlightment on this subject we have been discussing by reading “The Saviour’s Mission” in Unity of Good, page 59.

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