“But God made the earth by his power; he founded the world by his wisdom and stretched out the heavens by his understanding. When he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar; he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth. He sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses” (Jeremiah 10:12-13).
If God is all powerful, then why must people suffer in this life? Why did Jesus have to die on the cross to save us from sin? Why doesn’t God just make everything alright? After all, God is all powerful, right? And the answer is yes, God is, indeed, all powerful! “But God made the earth by his power; he founded the world by his wisdom and stretched out the heavens by his understanding. When he thunders, the waters in the heavens roar; he makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth. He sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses” (Jeremiah 10:12-13). The problem is this way of thinking misses the point entirely. “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts'” (Isaiah 55:8-9). We cannot think of Almighty God within the context of our own human limitations; that is a place reserved for idols. Therefore, joking about whether or not God can create a rock heavier than even He can lift may score a few laughs, but it is no laughing matter.
I’ve been doing a little reading this morning, and there is a long answer to this most perplexing question, but I will present the short answer here. Unless God changes His mandate, this blog is about sharing my walk with the Lord, not presenting an in-depth theological examination. God can do nothing inconsistent with Himself, i.e. God cannot sin; otherwise, He would cease to be God. There is a wrong way and a right way; there is an easy way and a hard way; and unlike us, humans, God doesn’t take shortcuts. “When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed” (James 1:13-14). James goes on to tell us, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows (17). It may be difficult for us to recognize in the midst of our greatest sorrow and tragedy, or in the face of unthinkable evil, but ours is a love story between God and His children.
I found this brief consideration on Got Questions:
Question: “Can God sin? If God cannot sin, is He truly omnipotent?”
Answer: To answer this question, we must first consider who God is. The human mind, however, cannot adequately grasp who He is if it were not for the special revelations He has given us. One avenue of revelation is through God’s creation (Psalm 19:1-6). Creation’s complexity, design, and order lead us to acknowledge there is an awesome Being who brought it into existence and maintains it.
Another avenue is through God’s written Word. From Scripture portions, we may ascertain the attributes, or qualities, that are inherent in God, thus giving us a glimpse of His character. One theologian states that His attributes are “His perfections.” Some of them are: His eternality (Psalm 90:2); His immutability, or unchanging quality (James 1:17); His love (1 John 4:8); His omnipotence, or being all powerful, the Almighty One (Revelation 1:8); His omnipresence, or being everywhere present at all times (Psalm 139:7-11); His holiness, absolute purity and separation from evil (Habakkuk 1:13); His righteousness, or justice (Psalm 11:7); and His truth (Titus 1:2).
This is a brief picture of God who manifested Himself in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and the attributes, or perfections, are true for each member of the Godhead. Because God is holy, righteous and true, and He can do nothing inconsistent with Himself, we come to the conclusion that God cannot sin. Since holiness, righteousness, and God’s other perfections are who God is, if God were to sin, He would cease to be God. The fact that God is “holy, holy, holy” prevents Him from doing anything that is unholy, i.e. sinful.
We cannot close, however, without realizing the amazing fact that our holy God involved Himself in mankind’s sin. He sent His one and only Son to this earth to die to pay sin’s penalty. “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God” (1 Peter 3:18). “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His wounds you have been healed” (1 Peter 2:24). “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in His blood” (Romans 3:23-25).
Think about Christ’s temptation in the wilderness. According to the concordance I am reading, the Greek word translated “tempt” or “test” has two meanings: first, to test or prove (John 6:6; 2 Corinthians 13:5; Hebrews 11:17); and second, to solicit to evil. The Holy Spirit tested or proved Jesus; whereas, Satan sought to lure Him to do evil. See the difference? The purpose of the wilderness was not so much to see if Jesus would sin, but to demonstrate that even under such unimaginable pressure Jesus could do nothing other than what He saw the Father doing (John 5:19), and it is inconceivable that Jesus would ever see the Father sinning. Let’s not forget that He and the Father are one (John 10:30). Unlike us, Jesus could not be tempted from within Himself, that is no sinful lusts or passions could originate in Him (John 14:30), yet scripture states that Jesus was tempted in every respect, yet He did not sin (Hebrews 4:15). Some may be skeptical of Hebrews 4; they might wonder whether Jesus could have ever truly been tempted. But I found an excellent analogy in my concordance that addresses such skepticism: if you put gold to the test, the test is no less valid, because the gold is pure. Therefore, rejoice that your God is pure and righteous in every respect! He loves you enough to bear alongside you in your struggles, your trails, and your pain, without ever partaking in your sin; that’s pretty amazing if you ask me! God tests us just as He was tested; God proves us just as He was proved; God is conforming us into His own image; the image of His Son! (Romans 8:29). Powerful stuff!
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