Was Mary Sinless?
by Dr. Ken Matto

One of the most common doctrines taught by the Roman Catholic Church is the tenet of the perpetual sinless state of Mary. In 1854 the Immaculate Conception of Mary was proclaimed and since then it has been taught that she was without sin. Now with any teaching of any church whether it be Catholic or Protestant, it must be held up to the scrutiny of Scripture. The Bible is the final authority and if we are to come to truth, we must consistently compare what is being taught to see if it harmonizes with Scripture and if it doesn’t, then we are refute it and disbelieve it. God is the one who establishes truth and not a church, no matter how long they have been established on earth. Length of time is not a criteria for truth. Judaism has been around since the 5th Century BC which would place it about 800 years older than the Roman church and still denies that the Lord Jesus Christ is both God and Messiah. Let us attend to the words of Holy Scripture to test the teaching of the sinless state or perfection of Mary.
Was Mary Sinless?
When we look at the genealogy of Christ in Luke 3, which is the genealogy from Mary’s side, we see that God takes Mary’s genealogy all the way back to Adam which means she, like every human being, was a descendant of Adam which carries the sinful Adamic nature. Does the Bible bear this out? Let us see how many (pre-salvific) righteous people there are in the world.
(Rom 3:23 KJV) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;


Notice the term which God uses in this verse, "all have sinned." God is not saying some or a few or even the majority, He is definite in His usage of "ALL." This means that Mary was part of that "all." Below in 1 John 3:4 we see the biblical definition of sin which is the transgression of God’s law. There is no division of sin into either venial or mortal classifications but only one class and that is sin. (James 2:10 KJV) For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. Since Mary was part of the human race at that time, she was guilty of sin as every other human being was.
(1 John 3:4 KJV) Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
Since Mary was born before Jesus (obviously) we should also look for confirmation of the fact of universal sin and how everyone is affected by it, no matter who we are.
(1 Ki 8:46 KJV) If they sin against thee, (for there is no man that sinneth not,) and thou be angry with them, and deliver them to the enemy, so that they carry them away captives unto the land of the enemy, far or near;


Here we see this verse included in a passage of Scripture detailing Solomon’s dedication of the temple which puts this verse about 900 years before Mary’s birth. God is also detailing the fact that there is not one who does not sin.
(Psa 14:1-3 KJV) The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. {2} The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. {3} They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.


See also Psalm 53:1-3


Here we have Psalm 14 which is another OT proof that God’s assessment of all humans is the same, that there is none that does any good or no one which does not sin. The Bible has a uniformity on this matter doesn’t it?
(Psa 58:3-4 KJV) The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies. {4} Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: they are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear;


Here is a verse which details when human beings start to sin. It informs us that we begin to sin as soon as we are born. This means that Mary did not have an immaculate conception, rather, she was subject to the same sinful nature everyone else was and that right from the womb.
(Rom 3:10-20 KJV) As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: {11} There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. {12} They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. {13} Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: {14} Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: {15} Their feet are swift to shed blood: {16} Destruction and misery are in their ways: {17} And the way of peace have they not known: {18} There is no fear of God before their eyes. {19} Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. {20} Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.


Here is probably the most succinct description of the entire pre-salvific human being. God takes the quotes from Psalm 14 & 53 and brings it into the New Testament because He wants to show that just because we live on the New Testament side of the cross does not mean we are exempt from sin and its catastrophic effects. God re-emphasizes the fact of universal sin but also includes how heinous that sins makes a person in His sight and why salvation is needed so badly. People who think they are good in God’s sight are brought back to reality when they read this revealing passage. Mary too was part of this description of the human race since she was part of the human race.
(Gal 3:22 KJV) But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.


We will take this verse as our final verse in this section showing that the entire human race was plunged into sin because of Adam’s sin. This verse does not reveal any exceptions to the universality of sin.
Mary Needed A Savior!
(Luke 1:47 KJV) And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.


Here is an extremely revealing verse taken from her magnificat. If Mary was born without sin, then she would have been able to fulfill the demands of God’s holy law without the benefit of a substitutionary atonement. In essence, she would have no sin and therefore would be perfect before God. That is not what the Scriptures are teaching, they are telling us that Mary needed a Savior which means she was under the curse of sin with the rest of the world and had to be atoned for before she could even consider going to Heaven, never mind, carry the Lord Jesus from a Holy Spirit conception.
Mary is not a mediatrix!
(1 Tim 2:5 KJV) For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;


Those in the Roman Catholic Church teach that Mary is a mediator between Jesus and us. This teaching is erroneous because the Bible teaches that Jesus is the ONLY mediator between God and man. The Bible does not teach anywhere that the redeemed of God in Heaven have any intercessory authority or ministry for those still remaining on earth.
Mary Was not a Perpetual Virgin!
(Mark 6:1-3 KJV) And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him. {2} And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands? {3} Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.


(Mat 13:54-56 KJV) And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works? {55} Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? {56} And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?


Another teaching which the Roman Church teaches is that Mary remained a perpetual virgin. The Bible refutes this in the two passages which I have listed here. The Bible teaches that Jesus had brothers and sisters, and if Mary was the mother of Jesus, then these men and women named in these Scriptures were from the same woman, namely Mary. Notice how God specifically names Mary as their mother. The perpetual virginity of Mary is a fallacy which does not exist in history nor the Bible. If someone chooses to believe in the perpetual virginity of Mary, they must do so in opposition of Scripture, a dangerous place to be.