Jesus a Sinner?

A very interesting thing to note. The Council of Constantinople III condemned Pope Honorius for dishonoring the Church because he failed to condemn a heresy and may even have taught heresy himself.

In an important letter to the Patriarch of Constantinople in 634, he wrote, “We confess one will of our Lord Jesus Christ also because surely our nature, not our guilt, was assumed by the Godhead, that certainly which was created before sin, not that which was vitiated after the transgression. For Christ … was conceived of the Holy Spirit without sin and was also born of the holy and immaculate Virgin Mother of God without sin, experiencing no contagion of our vitiated nature.”

Several Comments:

  1. Perhaps the claim “one will of our Lord” is heresy. Perhaps not. Pope John IV contended that it was not heresy, and gave it a pious interpretation, namely, that Pope Honorius only taught that Christ’s human will was entirely at one with his Father’s, so that there were not two moral wills, as there are when one sins (See DS 496f). On the other hand, Constantinople III condemned him as a heretic. Agatho reproved him. And, as it seems, popes after that great council condemned Honorius as a heretic. I’ll leave this to the historians. At the very least, Honorius was a bad theologian.
  2. At any rate, he still issued teaching. And some of that teaching is part of the ordinary Magisterium. I want to draw attention to one very important thing: THAT CHRIST DID NOT ASSUME OUR GUILT, OUR SIN (CULPA).
  3. Nor is Honorius alone here. John IV teaches “He contracted no defect from the transgression of the first man” (DS 497). There are others
    1. “Or if anyone says that He offered the oblation for Himself and not rather for us alone, for He who knew not sin would not have needed oblations, let him be anathema” (D 122 – Cyril’s Canon 10 [DS 261]).
    2. Lateran Synod of 649: “without sin” DS 505
    3. Toledo 675: DS 539 “Who became for us sin, that is, a sacrifice for our sin”.
    4. Clement VI, Unigenitus Dei Filius year 1343, “Who, innocent, immolated on the alter of the cross, did not shed just a drop of blood, which on account of the union with the Word would have sufficed for the redemption of all mankind, but copiously … velut quoddam profluvium noscitur effudisse ita….” Goes on to call his merits infinite.
    5. Jesus Christ, “Who was conceived without sin, was born, and died.” (Decree for the Jacobites, at Florence, D 711)
    6. Pius XII, Mediator Dei “A Victim unspotted unto God,” art. 1.
    7. Gaudium et Spes, 22: “As an innocent Lamb, freely shedding his blood, he merited life for us.”
  4. Thus, we must hold it to be utterly false to say that Jesus became a sinner.
  5. But what about 2 Cor 5:21, that Christ became sin? What about Galatians 3? As you can see from the above, in this case the word “sin” means “punishment for sin,” not the guilt of sin. It was the heretic Luther, the heretic Calvin, who taught that Jesus became sin itself, a great sinner, or even the greatest sinner. But what on earth could that mean? That my own sinful action becomes his action? That my own guilt becomes his? Does God call the innocent guilty? Really? No. As the above show, the consequences due to us, there is a correct reading of 2 Cor 5:21, and it is not that Christ became sin.