Q. I was not raised a Christian and have only recently began seeking God’s truth. I believe in God and am trying to understand Christianity. It is my understanding that Jesus’ death washed away original sin introduced by Adam and Eve. With this in mind, could someone be immortal if they lived a truly sinless life? My idea comes from the quote “for the wages of sin is death.” Does this mean that death can be avoided by a truly sinless individual? I understand that this seems impossible, but is interesting from a theoretical perspective. Does it also follow that Jesus could have been immortal had he not taken our sins for us?
A. The concept of original sin is a tradition of the Catholic Church and is not Biblical. Since the Fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden, every human is born with a sin nature meaning that sinning is our natural way. This tendency to sin is not counted against us until we’re old enough to understand right from wrong, but from that time forward we’re held accountable for our behavior. When Jesus died on the cross He paid the penalty for all the sins of those who choose to believe in Him. (John 3:16)
Because of our fallen nature, living a sinless life is not even a theoretical possibility for man. Sinning is as natural to us as breathing. If living a sinless life had even the remotest of possibilities, the Lord’s death would not have been necessary. He had to die because we can’t avoid sinning and He didn’t want us to be lost. If in your heart, you have accepted His death as payment in full for all your sins, then you will escape the punishment for them, which is death, and will inherit eternal life.
Jesus, being God in the form of man was and is immortal. He set His immortality aside in order to restore ours. In John 10:17-18 He told us that He had the authority to lay down His life and the authority to take it up again.
You should also understand that there are two forms of death. There’s the physical death, where our bodies break down and stop working, and there’s the spiritual death, which is a final and irreversible separation from God in a place of torment. The spiritual death is the punishment for those who refuse to allow the Lord’s death to pay the penalty for their sins. Accepting the Lord’s death as payment for your sins allows Him to reverse the effects of physical death by giving you a new eternal body which means you will never experience spiritual death.