For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin. (NIV Hebrews 4:15)
the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me (NIV John14:30)
Jesus had free will, but not the ability to sin, that is considered impossible by many Christian leaders around the world. The fact is there are two sides to this interesting question. Both sides agree that Jesus did not sin, so I suppose this debate is only theoretical, but its all about whether theoretically he could have sinned. Those who hold to “impeccability” believe that Jesus could not have sinned. Those who hold to “peccability” believe that Jesus could have sinned, but did not.
I think when you think about it one must fall for the “impeccability” belief because it alone can maintain the idea of the God-Man. To assert peccability we are basically denying the scripture that says:
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (NIV Hebrews 13:8)
Jesus would no longer be infinitely unchangeable in his nature if He sinned. The problem is that when God assumed human nature into His own person forever, God could never be separated from the man Jesus. The Christ was both God and Man to separate them would be to destroy both God and Man, which is impossible. Free will does not require absolute freedom to sin, but the divine nature does require absolute inability to sin, even though God has the most free will of all.
The question therefore is almost like saying could God send himself to hell, for that is the theological conclusion of the God-Man sinning. It would mean God sinned himself for Christ was not just man, but God.
Of course Jesus could have never sinned otherwise He could no longer be said to be God. Jesus’ human will would have had to be ‘infinitely powerful’ and opposed to God, or opposed to Himself, in its supposed ability to sin for if he had sinned he must suffer eternal hell, but if he was also God than God would also suffer eternal hell. The whole notion is ridiculous.
The cause of the confusion is we often exaggerate how much free will we have as humans. In various was we have very limited free will. The Bible has a different view. In fact it says that although Adam did have a unique aspect of free-will that no other man has ever had, being that He was specifically tested to choose life or death in the garden of Eden as a federal head of humanity, humans are born sinners with no such free will.
A sinner is born a slave to sin without the free will of living holy. This can’t happen until they are born again in Christ and become slaves to righteousness. In fact I heaven we will no longer be free to sin, just as Christ never could because He has become the source of our life and we will not be able to reject our own life, just as Christ was not able to reject His.
But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. (NIV Romans 6:17-18)
Of course we are not fully slaves to righteousness until we enter heaven, but as believers we no longer have the freedom to allow sin to control our lives for our life is Christ who lives in us and who can’t sin.
It is not that difficult to show this belief in the Impeccability of Christ has been a common belief held by mainstream Protestant leaders, for example John Owen was one of the leading theologians and academic administrator at the University of Oxford in teh 1600s, he said:
We are tried and tempted by Satan, and the world, and by our own lusts. The aim of all these temptations is sin, to bring us more or less, in one degree or other, to contract the guilt of it. Of times in this condition sin actually ensues, temptation hath its effect in us and upon us; yea, when any temptation is vigorous and pressing, it is seldom but that more or less we are sinfully affected with it. It was quite otherwise with our high priest. Whatever temptation he was exposed unto or exercised withal, as he was with all of all sorts that can come from without, they had none of them in the least degree any effect in him or upon him; he was still in all things absolutely “without sin.” Now, the exception being absolute, I see no reason why it should not be applied unto sin with both the respects unto temptation mentioned. He neither was tempted by sin, such was the holiness of his nature; nor did his temptation produce any sin, such was the perfection of his obedience. (Owens Works Volume 20, P528)
There are various good theologians that reinforce this doctrine, I have not read this article but it seems good from what I could tell. “The Impeccability of Christ” By Arthur W. Pink