A couple of months ago, I posted a series of blogs that dealt with temptations and the deceitfulness of sin, which you can find here: https://121youth.wordpress.com/?s=Temptations+%26+The+Deceitfulness+of+Sin&submit=Search
Today I wanted to share some of my thoughts as it relates to the sovereignty of God and sin. Chapter 3 of the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith states, “God hath decreed in himself, from all eternity, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably, all things, whatsoever comes to pass; yet so as thereby is God neither the author of sin nor hath fellowship with any therein; nor is violence offered to the will of the creature, nor yet is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established; in which appears his wisdom in disposing all things, and power and faithfulness in accomplishing his decree. ( Isaiah 46:10; Ephesians 1:11; Hebrews 6:17; Romans 9:15, 18; James 1:13; 1 John 1:5; Acts 4:27, 28; John 19:11; Numbers 23:19; Ephesians 1:3-5 )
As marvelous as this doctrine is, there is a danger included in it for those who affirm God’s sovereign eternal decrees. Sin is so deceiving that it can take this doctrine of God’s sovereignty and distort it to justify sinful actions that we deliberately choose to commit. It can sound something like this, “God decreed my marriage but since I’m having problems with my spouse, then God has probably decreed that this marriage will end in divorce.” This cannot be any further from the truth!
God is never to be blamed for evil or for our sinful choices. (James 1:13-15) It is true that God sovereignly decrees whatsoever comes to pass, but that should never be a reason to justify our sinful choices. In page 103 of Louis Berkhof’s Systematic Theology we read this statement by Berkhof, “There are other things, however, which God included in His decree and thereby rendered certain, but which He did not decide to effectuate Himself, as the sinful acts of His rational creatures. The decree, insofar as it pertains to these acts, is generally called God’s permissive decree. The name does not imply that the futurition of these acts is not certain to God, but simply that He permits them to come to pass by the free agency of His rational creatures. God assumes no responsibility for these sinful acts whatsoever.”
God’s permissive decree comes to pass through secondary causes, thus fulfilling His ultimate plan inspite of the sinful choices of man. God commands us to live in obedience and righteousness. When we sin, we experience his divine discipline for our actions. But even when we sin, God uses that to accomplish what He has already sovereignly decreed what would come to pass. The danger lies when we use God’s decree as an excuse for our own sinful behavior. Since sin is so deceiving, it is quite easy to obscure the beauty of God’s sovereignty and its compatibility with human freedom. May we find rest and comfort in knowing that God is in complete control, but may we never fall victim to a fatalistic philosophy that makes God the author of sin.