The Immaculate Conception and the Bible

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

Most of us have heard about the Immaculate Conception, but do we really know why it’s called that?


When we use the word “immaculate” we often use it to refer to something that is perfect or spotless, or without stain, so the word is used for something that has no blemish and no imperfections. It’s difficult to find anything in this world that’s perfect. In fact, I can’t find anything that I can actually call “immaculate,” so the use of this word, in my opinion, should be reserved only for those things or thing that has no imperfections. The very same word can be used for God because we know that the Apostle Peter said that we were ransomed by God, however “the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver” (1st Pet 1:18b), “but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot” (1st Pet 1:19). You can rightly state that Jesus as a Person is immaculate and without blemish, fault, or sin because He is God and God is altogether holy and above His creation…He is totally “other” in the sense that nothing or no one is like God, so God is immaculate in every way.

Jesus Christ alone was immaculate and without sin.


I don’t have to look very hard to find something, or really, someone that’s not perfect. I can start in the mirror and see imperfection galore. It’s abundantly clear in Scripture that none of us are really good at all. The Apostle Paul, in speaking of humanity, says “None is righteous, no, not one” (Rom 3:10), and “no one understands; no one seeks for God” (Rom 3:11), and that most certainly includes me and you. Scripture tells us that “All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one” (Rom 3:12). For the majority of the world, “There is no fear of God before their eyes” (Rom 3:18), even though “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23). I would say we’ve fallen short of God’s glory infinitely. It’s not even close. We are so far from God and His holiness that we need help in even being able to come near Him. That’s because my and “your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear” (Isaiah 659:2). What we need is a Mediator and He Who is our Mediator is Jesus Christ. The only way to perfection is through the Perfect God-Man, Jesus Christ. Paul tells us that it was “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2nd Cor 5:21). This doesn’t mean we’re immaculate before God, but that God imputes Jesus’ own righteousness on our behalf so when God sees us, He doesn’t see the sinful creatures anymore; He only sees Jesus’ own righteousness, and that’s reason to give Him praise, honor, glory, and worship.

Mary, the Sinner

Official Catholic doctrine says of Mary, the mother of Jesus, that “The blessed Virgin Mary to have been, from the first instant of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of Almighty God, in view of the merits of Christ Jesus the Savior of Mankind, preserved free from all stain of original sin,” so they believe that Mary was protected from original sin and did not have the sin nature that mankind has been cursed with and have been born into (Psalm 51:5). Rather, Catholics believe that Mary not only didn’t have a sinful nature, but she herself was sinless, however, this contradicts Scripture which says all have sinned; all have fallen short of God’s glory; and there is none that do good. It’s only because God is good that we can be seen as having Jesus’ own righteousness, and it has nothing to do with Mary. Even though Mary carried the Author of the New Covenant within her, she was just a woman in the sense that she too needed a Savior. Even so, some believe that Mary must be as equally sinless as her Offspring, Jesus Christ, but this is not what the Bible teaches. Rather, some believe that Mary had a superabundance of grace, rendering her sinless, and that’s why God chose her to bear His Son, but again, that’s not what Scripture teaches at all. For one thing, she and Joseph had other children, so she obviously didn’t remain a virgin, although she was certainly a virgin when she conceived by the Holy Spirit. Clearly her Seed, Jesus Christ, was sinless, so the fruit of her womb was the only perfect human ever born. Yes, Adam and Eve were perfect, but only for a time, and only until they disobeyed God and took from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

The Immaculate Conception

We can start with ourselves and know “there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins” (Eccl 7:20), and this most certainly includes Mary, the mother of Jesus. The immaculate conception is not taught in the Bible, nor does it ever say any one of us are immaculate, but rather Jesus was miraculously conceived inside Mary, who was a virgin at the time. Even Mary rejoiced at the news of Jesus’ coming birth through her but she still declared, “my spirit rejoices in God my Savior” (Luke 1:27), so here is Mary saying that God is her Savior, referring to Jesus Christ. If Mary had been sinless, she wouldn’t need a Savior, however, Mary, like the rest of us, needs a Savior, because like her, not one of us is without sin. It’s not humanly possible, even for Mary, to not sin. She needed the Savior just as much as we do.


The Immaculate Conception refers to the condition that the Virgin Mary was free from original sin from the very moment of her conception in the womb of her mother, but this cannot be true. Either this is right and the Bible is wrong, or Mary was a sinner like the rest of us which means she too needed a Savior. She said as much (Luke 1:27), so now that you know more about the Immaculate Conception, I hope you can understand what it means, but the way to being seen as being immaculate comes only through God’s bringing us to repentance and then putting our trust in Christ. There is no other way to be seen as being righteous than through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ Who alone was immaculate and without sin. All others, like you and me, fall infinitely short of God’s glory, so welcome to the club.

How can you put your trust in Jesus? Take a look here: Come to Jesus

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible : English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Loriss Aliass March 25, 2017 at 8:52 pm

Mary the mother of Christ is a saint now and she became the mother of all nations.


Jack Wellman March 25, 2017 at 9:08 pm

Hello Loriss and thank you for your comment. The Bible never says Mary is the mother of all nations. God is the Creator of all nations and Father to those who are His children, but we must stick to Scripture, and yes, Mary was blessed, but not blessed like Christ was. Yes, Mary is a saint, but so are all who believe in Jesus Christ.


Erasmus February 28, 2018 at 11:54 pm

Full of Grace is how the Angel Gabriel addressed Mother Mary, why is the question? Did anyone else got so much grace, so much favour from the Lord? I would say no. So of all humans she was choosen as the greatest by God”s grace if we regard Jesus as God himself.


Jack Wellman March 1, 2018 at 8:50 am

Yes, Mary was full of grace but it was not her grace but God’s grace because Mary was a sinner like the rest of us. She needed the Savior as much as a man in prison did.


rano spiteri January 31, 2020 at 7:15 am

you will never understand Mary because she’s full of Grace.
I will tell you why she’s incorrupt because of one word
“fetal microchimerism,”


Jack Wellman January 31, 2020 at 10:02 am

Hello Rano. Mary, like all humans, was not sinless. She needed a Savior too, so yes,she had the grace of God, but only Jesus was said to be full of grace and no human alive, Mary included. She was a sinner like all humans are.


rano spiteri January 31, 2020 at 5:48 pm

Mary had to be sinless from the moment of her conception, born without the stain of original sin. Because after all, if she was born with the stain of original sin, then her sinful cells could have entered into her unborn child, Jesus, through the placenta. Jesus’ body would have in turn received these sinful cells into his body. Of course all of Jesus’ cells were perfect and sinless, after all he is God Incarnate. So receiving such sinful cells is an impossibility – there is nothing sinful in God. Additionally, we know that Jesus received Mary’s DNA and he took on her genetic traits. In light of this she had to be free of sin. She had to be The Immaculate Conception so she could pass on purity to her son.


Jack Wellman February 1, 2020 at 11:08 am

NO, the Bible says all have sinned and all means all Mary was a virgin, but being a virgin doesn’t mean being sinless. If Mary were sinless, she and only Jesus would have never sinned, so you need to read verses about sin and see ALL have sinned…ALL have fallen short of God’s glory and not “all have sinned except Mary.” Mary, like you and me, are a sinner. Please see the error in your thinking. THe Bible does not teach what you believe about Mary.


Julie McDermott February 13, 2021 at 5:06 pm

I am defending Easter and the Resurrection to a person who doesn’t recognize Easter significance. Help please.


Jack Wellman February 13, 2021 at 8:07 pm

Hello Julie. Here is a Bible lesson that is about the Resurrection; Easter Sunday or Resurrection Sunday as some call it (either is fine). This one is a chronological story about the Resurrection.


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