Question #21: Is God the author of sin? Explain your answer.
Answer: Absolutely not! Sin originated in the universe by Lucifer. He introduced it to earth through the serpent, that old dragon! Unfortunately, man followed suit and sinned. God cannot be pinned down with the accusation of authoring sin. Scripture, nonetheless, is explicit that He controls it. “The problem of theodicy [problem of evil and sin] is left on the note that God in his omnipotence and omniscience can and does use secondary means to bring about his higher and perfect purposes. One such purpose in Job’s suffering is to humiliate the Accuser, proving Job’s devotion to God is pure.”1
There is no contradiction that an all-powerful, all-knowing and all-loving God should exist with the reality of evil. Evil is no respecter of persons. It affects both believers and unbelievers. Both type of people will have to wrestle with its reality. In fact, all of humankind is responsible to make right choices in submission to the perfect and loving will of the God of the Bible. Hear what Downing states that:
God is absolutely sovereign over both natural and moral evil, and uses evil for his own glory and the highest good—is the only view that can be consistently aligned to the teaching of Scripture. Every other view, deriving from sinful [incapacitated by the noetic effects of sin and willful rebellion against God and his truth] humanistic reasoning, and so calling God and his actions into question, seeks to point out an incoherence in the Christian system. These views either deny God and evil, or limit God and seek to bring him down to the finite level and destroy his moral self–consistency—and thus any sufficient or consistent basis for morality (emphasis in original).2
Ultimately, God does have the greatest solution to the problem of evil. He sent His only begotten Son to correct the wrong of the first Adam. He lived a perfect sinless (and you could say “evil-less”) life. He died a brutal death on the cross to pay for the sins of Adam and his descendants. Then He was buried. But He rose again to defeat the greatest evil of all–death.3
Mankind can overcome evil as well if they but put their trust in the person and work of Jesus Christ. “For He [that is, God] made Him [that is, Jesus Christ] who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”4
When a person realizes and repents of his sins (evil thoughts, deeds and words), and puts his/her trust in the full payment that Christ did, God will treat Christ as if He had lived in substitution of the person’s evil life and then will also treat the person as if he or she had lived Christ’s perfect sinless life–that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. This is the beginning of man’s ultimate defeat over evil.
1 Elmer B. Smick, “Job” In , in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Volume 4: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, ed. Frank E. Gaebelein (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1988), 859.
2 W. R. Downing, The Problem of Evil, (Morgan Hill, CA: Pacific Institute for Religious Studies), 9.
3 1 Cor 15:20-26.
4 2 Cor 5:21 with my emphasis.
One-Minute Theology with Chaplain T features the question and answer portions of the Systematic Theology courses that were part of my seminary work at Piedmont Baptist Graduate School. I will be posting one Q & A everyday until my ordination council meeting set for February 2014.
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