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theopenlife
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Joined: 2007/1/30
Posts: 926


 In what way does God will sin?

This is a response to an objection raised by one reader, regarding the article by Thomas Watson entitled, "It plucks at the plumes of his pride."

May it bless you as it blessed me.

"In what way does God will sin?"
Michael Spotts:.

Perhaps you or someone you have known has said, "I don't for a minute believe it is God's will for man to have even one single sin, ever."

A distinction must be made here between God's eternal decrees and His revealed will. It is true that the bible emphatically asserts God does not approve of any sin, yet His omniscient nature requires that He knew beforehand not only that men would sin, but which specific sins each man would commit, and when.

In Ezekiel 11:5, the LORD declares, "I know the things that come into your mind, every one of them." Acts 15:18 echoes this statement with, "Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world." Therefore we conclude that for reasons known best to Him, God has chosen according to His sovereign wisdom at times to withhold His restraining hand.

An example of this is found in Acts 2:23, where Peter speaks of no small sin, the crucifixion of Christ,

"Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain."

This passage demonstrates that somewhere within the realm of eternity, God determined to deliver Christ into the sinful actions of men. Not only was this decision based upon foreknowledge of man's will, but also according to His determinate counsel. In the murdering of Christ, God acted in such a way as to not be the author of sin, yet fully ensuring that the killing of Christ by sinners would take place. The LORD did this by sovereignly arranging circumstantial events to coincide with the unrestrained sinful wills of men.

Philippians 2:13 gives insight into this. "It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." The natural bent of man is aimed at sin. Some men freely sin in ways more destructive, such as murderers, while others sin more domestically by worshiping themselves with each paycheck. When an unsaved man does what is less sinful, it is because God is restraining him from doing worse. The LORD needs only to remove His gracious hand, which is promised to no unsaved man, and men may be taken captive by the devil to do his wicked will.

2 Timothy 2:25-26 says, "In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will."

Another instance of this principle is contained in Genesis 45, where Joseph explains to his brothers how that what they intended for evil was predetermined by God to be used for good. God was neither suprised by their sin, nor did He approve of it; yet from eternity He had decreed within Himself to use it for His glory.

"I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt.
Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life...
So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt."

These brothers certainly sinned and Joseph does not exonerate them for their crime. Yet he assures them that their omniscient God ordained the whole series of events to work out for His purpose.

Let us turn our attention now to observe how this truth affects Christians. We will consider how God has commanded believers to never sin, and that it is God who gives us grace to obey. We will consider why God has decreed that at times, and of our own choice, believers do sin, and how this works to the purpose of God.

Clearly the believer is commanded never to sin. 2 Corinthians 7:1 says, "Having these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." As well, Paul warns in Romans that we should not do evil "so that good may come." (Romans 3:8) Sin is not an option for the Christian, no matter how tempting.

The scriptures also teach that God is sovereign and capable to restrain His children and subdue all their iniquities at any time. Micah 7:19, "He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea." Jude 1:24, "Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy."

Before the creation of the world God was omniscient of all that would come to pass, including all sins that would be committed by born-again believers. Ps.147:5, "His understanding is infinite." Isa.66:18, "For I know their works and their thoughts." The scripture brings us to only one conclusion, God sometimes permits men to sin. He does this by removing either His restraining or enabling hand of grace. One may object, saying, "doesn't this make God a party to sin?" The answer is firmly, No. Because the hand which restrains or enables is a hand of Grace, it is undeserved by any man. And because it is undeserved, God is in no way required to give it. When God does not give restraining or enabling grace, men freely do what they desire - and their desire leads them to sin.

James 1:13-14, "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed."

So why does God at times do this? Just as Thomas Watson said, "God permits this inability in His people--to humble us." When no temptation exists we may drink righteousness all day long. If we forget that even this thirst for righteousness comes from grace, God may permit temptation to appear and may withhold His hand from us for a time. Momentarily allowing us to have our way without grace, God shows us that our way is easily corrupted. This shames and frightens us for ever having forgotten the grace and goodness of God that enables us for every good work. As Watson wrote, it makes us flee to Christ, to answer for us all the demands of the law, and set us free in the court of Divine justice."

Romans 11:33, "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!"

Dear believers, may God help you to rest in His mercy to provide all grace for every good work, grace to strengthen us against every temptation. If we sin, it is our fault; yet if we do any good work, let us remember the words of our Savior,

John 15:5 "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing."

 2007/9/17 18:10Profile
Logic
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Joined: 2005/7/17
Posts: 1791


 Re: In what way does God will sin?

Quote:
theopenlife wrote:

"In what way does God will sin?"

In no way GoD wills sin.

 2007/9/17 20:14Profile
roaringlamb
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Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 1519
Santa Cruz California

 Re:

It is interesting to see that quite possibly the greatest sin committed in the history of the world was predestined by God to happen. I am speaking of the Crcuifixion of Christ.

We know that it was foreordained, yet it was done through the sinful desires of men unknowingly fulfilling prophecy and making a way for redemption.

Notice in this passage, the men who crucified Christ did so by wicked and cruel hands or sinful actions, however God uses it for His glory.

Act 2:23 Him(Christ), [b]being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God[/b], ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:

Act 4:27 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,
Act 4:28 [b]For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.[/b]

Interesting that God says He has determined things to be done, and they come to pass. This must mean He controls even the sinful desires of the wicked to use them for His plan just like He did with Pharaoh, with Babylon, with Assyria, and a host of others that He used as tools in chastening His people, or working His will.

He uses them in spite of themselves, as their hearts are set upon destroying Israel, while God stops them short of doing so. But it is important to see that their will is not violated at all, for they willed to destroy Israel. in the same way men will to commit sin, but God uses it for His purpose. The story of Joseph shows us this quite clearly.


_________________
patrick heaviside

 2007/9/17 21:18Profile
Logic
Member



Joined: 2005/7/17
Posts: 1791


 Re:

Quote:

roaringlamb wrote:
It is interesting to see that quite possibly the greatest sin committed in the history of the world was predestined by God to happen. I am speaking of the Crcuifixion of Christ.

It was determined before to be done because of sin.
God does not fight sin with sin.
How can you say that the Crcuifixion of Christ was a sin?. :-o :-? :-(
God din't for ordaine the sin of Cruifying Christ, only the act of the Cruifixion of Christ.

God may use the sin, but never wills, ordains or causes the sin.

 2007/9/17 21:34Profile
HopePurifies
Member



Joined: 2007/4/12
Posts: 181
Georgia, USA

 Re: In what way does God will sin?

Children of God do not assign sin to God.
If your theology makes God the author or enabler or willer of sin, YOUR THEOLOGY IS WRONG, and you are of the devil.


_________________
Melanie

 2007/9/17 21:49Profile
Nile
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Joined: 2007/3/28
Posts: 403
Raleigh, NC

 Re: In what way does God will sin?

Quote:
In what way does God will sin?


In no way does God will sin.

This is probably the most ridiculous things I've heard in my life - that God wills, that is to say, [b]God chooses that sin happens[/b]. This is just as ridiculous as saying God arbitrarily sends some men to hell and some men to heaven, regardless of the men themselves. The sad thing is that people believe that also.


_________________
Matthew Miskiewicz

 2007/9/17 21:57Profile
myfirstLove
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Joined: 2005/11/26
Posts: 496


 Re: In what way does God will sin?

Hi Michael,

Was the article for me? If it is, thankyou for thinking of me and wanting to help bring clarity and encouragement. But, I think this article is different from Watson's.

I disagree with Watson's understanding of Rom.7. I do believe very much that God uses trials to prune us and to make us depend on Him, helping us see we are nothing without Him (2cor.1:9-10, 1Peter4:12-13), but Rom. 7 is not about that. I did explain on the other thread what I believe it means.

God bless,
Lisa


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Lisa

 2007/9/17 22:26Profile
roaringlamb
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Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 1519
Santa Cruz California

 Re:

Quote:
This is probably the most ridiculous things I've heard in my life - that God wills, that is to say, God chooses that sin happens. This is just as ridiculous as saying God arbitrarily sends some men to hell and some men to heaven, regardless of the men themselves. The sad thing is that people believe that also.



Brother if men were good and innocent then God could be said to arbitrarily send people to hell. But since all have sinned, then He is just in sending all to hell. If He saved only one person, He would still be due our praise and adoration.


_________________
patrick heaviside

 2007/9/17 22:27Profile
myfirstLove
Member



Joined: 2005/11/26
Posts: 496


 Re:

And Michael, I do not think your the devil, but a brother who cares. I really do appreciate you taking the time to write me.

God bless you.


_________________
Lisa

 2007/9/17 22:37Profile
Logic
Member



Joined: 2005/7/17
Posts: 1791


 Re:

Quote:
roaringlamb wrote:
Quote:
This is probably the most ridiculous things I've heard in my life - that God wills, that is to say, God chooses that sin happens. This is just as ridiculous as saying God arbitrarily sends some men to hell and some men to heaven, regardless of the men themselves. The sad thing is that people believe that also.

Brother if men were good and innocent then God could be said to arbitrarily send people to hell. But since all have sinned, then He is just in sending all to hell. If He saved only one person, He would still be due our praise and adoration.

He was talikng about "Unconditional Election" or "particular redemption"
Where God arbitrarily chooses some people to be created for hell to the contraposition of created for Glory.
Elected to be sons of God to the contraposition of elected to be damned.
For-ordained to salvation to the contraposition of For-ordained to damnation.

 2007/9/17 22:37Profile





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