Does God make men sinners?

Before getting into this highly difficult subject I want to tell you the practical conclusion on salvation. The fact is that God knew that all would sin except Jesus Christ, and that man would not be able to save himself from either the guilt or the power of sin. That is why it was established before the foundation of the world that Jesus would be sent by God the Father to come as a man and die on the cross to take the punishment, guilt and power of sin upon Himself. It is only through the cross we can be saved. But to be saved from the power of sin, we NEED the Holy Spirit and we also need to practically fill our hearts and minds with the Word of God. We are too weak to do the right thing consistently without the power of God working in us.Wisdom then is to seek the Holy Spirit daily and learn to yield to God daily. If you don’t do this you are on dangerous ground no matter what your theology.

Now onto the really Difficult Stuff

This is material that raises unanswerable questions for many. The subject is really too difficult to be fully understood. And people waste their time on the internet arguing about a lot of these issues when in fact a more humble approach would be to seek to be obedient to God in daily living through God’s help, and seek the eternal and temporal welfare of others through acts of loving service done in the power of the Holy Spirit. But if obedience is NOT nearly so important to us as the belief that “we have the right ideas” then perhaps we have failed to understand a lot of important things in the Bible.

So Why Talk about it?

I am going to create some blog entries on this because every now and then I am hearing the voice of accusation against the justice of God – that God cannot be righteous in making people who He knows must and will sin, and then condemning them for it.

Do I Have the Answers Yet?

No I don’t. I am just asking questions and trying to affirm what Scripture says. There are two sides to all of the issues here and you can try to avoid them by presenting only one side. But if you do that you must ignore a lot of other Scriptures. There is a tension that may be impossible for us to resolve intellectually this side of eternity. God commands us to do justice, to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8).

Does God Make Sinners?

Firstly, we can see that the Scripture teaches that God made us, and not primarily our parents.

“Know that the LORD, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves”. Psalm 100:3.

Of course it COULD be argued that the next verse limits this because it says, “We are His people and the sheep of His pasture”. (Psalm 100:4). Not all men are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Jesus said to some of the Jews,

“But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” (John 10:26,27).

But other Scriptures tell us that the wicked are made by God.

“The Lord has made all things for himself; yea even the wicked for the day of evil.” (Proverbs 16:4, KJV).

The question is, were they wicked when God made them? Or did they become wicked through their own choices and by yielding to evil influences?

There are Scriptures that seem to say that God makes people upright.

Solomon writes in Ecclesiastes:

“Truly, this only I have found: that God made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes.” (Ecclesiastes 7:29).

Poor Solomon, if this is all he found out after so much study, learning and God-given wisdom, and it actually turns out that he was WRONG in this one thing!

Most of the church throughout history has taught the doctrine of original sin, which is that when Adam fell into sin, all his descendants fell with him, and are born with the sinful nature of Adam.
That is one issue, and seems to fit Scripture and experience well – although the phrase “sinful nature of Adam” is not in the original text anywhere, similar words are used which could easily be interpreted that way.

Some go on from there to say that all babies are born sinners. Can one be a sinner without sinning? There are different kinds of sin according to the bible. Words like iniquity, transgression, evil, wickedness, sin, lawlessness, ungodliness and unrighteousness all mean slightly different things. In the sense that sin is to “miss the mark” or to “fall short of the glory of God” then yes even babies have missed the mark since they fall short of the glory of God, even though they have made no moral choices.

Some calvinists and also roman catholics even teach that babies are deserving of hell from the moment they are born, or possibly even beforehand. For calvinists, there is some assurance that such babies will not go to hell if they are part of a believing family, which is in covenant relationship with God. Roman Catholics see it more in terms that the baby needs the sacrament of (infant) baptism to purge his little soul of original sin – lest the baby perish in the fires of hell eternally because of the sin of Adam.

If those holding the latter view are right, too bad for all the aborted fetuses who were denied a chance to live and must now suffer eternal fires of hell because of Adam’s sin!

How many of these interpretations of the Bible consistent with the One who inspired these verses:

“The soul who sins will die. The son shall not bear the guilt of the father, nor the father bear the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.” (Ezekiel 18:20) ?

Its interesting to read the entire chapter of Ezekiel 18. None of the context seems to mitigate against the plain meaning of verse 20, rather it all seems to reinforce it.

I am not being dogmatic on these issues. I do not think there are easy answers. But I find it hard to see the justice in God creating something evil and helpless and then condemning that person for being who God made it, or for not being spotless or perfect in a world full of demons, corruption and evil systems beyond that person’s capacity to overcome. Is it “just” just because some theologian says that “God is just” and that God does this?
If our systems of law punished people for what their ancestors did, then the whole world should be locked up and put in jail. But who would be there to do it?

God says in Ezekiel 18 that children are not accounted guilty for the sins of their fathers. Does that include the sin of Adam or not?

One thing I am sure of. Whether we were born sinners or not, we all have definitely chosen to do wrong at times when we could have chosen right. There may have been times when we had no way of escape from certain sins before we were in Christ. But there were also times when we could have chosen right, and still we chose wrong. We have all resisted the leading of the Holy Spirit, both before and after believing in Jesus. Therefore God is righteous to judge us. Its just that if we have accepted God’s Work in Christ, and applied it to our lives, the righteousness of Christ is applied to us just as if we had never sinned, even as believers. That is my position.

What do YOU think?

comments

About Michael Fackerell

The Christian faith is about Jesus. He came to save the lost. About Jesus Christ, Bible teaching, Testimonies, Salvation, Prayer, Faith, Networking.

Comments

  1. Michael P McGarry says:

    I am responding to your Questions:

    Who created the tares? Was it God or the enemy?

    Does God only sow good seed, or does He sow evil seed as well?

    Does God make men sinners, or do people corrupt themselves?

    God Created the tares,
    Col 1:16-29 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all [things] he might have the preeminence. For it pleased [the Father] that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, [I say], whether [they be] things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in [your] mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and [be] not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, [and] which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church: Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; [Even] the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what [is] the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.

    The Dragon(enemy) Not God, sows bad(evil) seed.
    Matt 13:24-28

    God Makes men sinners, and allows them to corrupt themselves.

    Rom 1:12-32 That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me. Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles. I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise. So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed [it] unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

  2. Michael P McGarry says:

    Michael, you say “The fact is that God knew that all would sin except Jesus Christ, and that man would not be able to save himself from either the guilt or the power of sin.”. I am guessing you belive that God is above time, or greater than time, that time has no effect or affect with God. Maybe that God is Looking down on a “Time Line”, and he can see from beginning to end. It sounds to me that perhaps, you also believe that God through foresight and foreknowledge spoke the future to the prophets and apostles of the bible.

    Again in the first paragraph above you mention, “That is why it was established before the foundation of the world that Jesus would be sent by God the Father to come as a man and die on the cross to take the punishment, guilt and power of sin upon Himself.”. So by this statement are you implying that God the Father and Jesus the Son, before the foundation of the world were watching the history of man unfold? What do you think they saw? When God sent Jesus as a man what was he before that, and when he died and rose from the dead, was he in a new body or did he revert back to what he was before God had sent him.

  3. Hi Michael-

    I applaud your passion to rise up to the defend the Lord against accusers. Accusers are driven by agendas, so I am not certain that challenging their agenda is like to make impact. These might consider themselves the master of their opinion but we know the true author. However, accusers aside, many believers struggle with the Scriptures relating to God massaging the direction of the “wicked”- so it is worth writing a piece for them.

    I will add discussion points as I re-read the sections.

    I will comment as I read through your posts.

  4. Michael Shelton says:

    Yes. The Word of God clearly says that God is the creator of all things. He also upholds all things by the Word of His power, He causes even the wicked to exist, and He will cause them to exist forever so that He can show His wrath and eternal hatred against wickedness to reveal His glory to all creation, and show to all of His creation that He is God and there is no other.

    • is that you have GOD making something that He hates, just so that He has got something to show wrath and eternal hatred against.

      In addition to the ones quotes above, I don’t think this fits in with the following Scriptures:

      1Jn 1:5 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.

      Jas 1:13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.
      Jas 1:14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.
      Jas 1:15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.
      Jas 1:16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.
      Jas 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

      • Michael Shelton says:

        that Word of God says in Proverbs 16:4 The Lord has made all things for Himself: Yes, even the wicked for the day of evil. Also Romans 9:21 shows that God has His hand in the forming of both the wicked and the good, but scripture no where implies that God does evil, and I have not said that. The Lord is good and His mercy endures forever. But He does hate all those who are workers of iniquity just as king David sang in Psalm 5:5.

        • This is interesting. I think it must be that God both loves and hates people at the same time, because almost everyone, especially those who are not regenerate, are “workers of iniquity”.

          Would you say that God hates 99.9% of the population of the world then? Does He love them also, or only hate them?

          Rom 3:9 What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin.
          Rom 3:10 As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one;
          Rom 3:11 There is none who understands; There is none who seeks God.
          Rom 3:12 They have all TURNED ASIDE; They have together BECOME unprofitable; there is none who does good, no, not one.”
          Rom 3:13 “THEIR THROAT IS AN OPEN TOMB; WITH THEIR TONGUES THEY HAVE PRACTICED DECEIT”; “THE POISON OF ASPS IS UNDER THEIR LIPS”;

          I maintain that God made men upright but men corrupted themselves. Note the phrases “turned aside” and “become”. But you maintain that God made men evil. In other words, God makes the bad tree, and commands it, on pain of eternal damnation, to produce good fruit. And this, you are pleased to call “GOODNESS”.

          In your view, did God make them evil because it pleases God to cause Himself pain to Himself and others or because He finds that the creation of evil people is the best way to glorify Himself?

          I believe there are other ways of understanding God from the Bible, ways that are consistent with the idea of God being actually GOOD in a meaningful sense. Unless you want to say that GOD is GOOD only because He declares that He is good and that the word “GOOD” has no rational correspondence to what we normally understand by the word. Is “good” then defined as “whatever God is” or does it have some intrinsic meaning that gives us extra information when we make the statement “God is good”?

          • Michael Shelton says:

            God does hate people, and He also loves them. Malachi 1:2-3 says “I have loved you,” says the Lord. ” Yet you say, ‘In what way have You loved us?’ Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?” Says the Lord. “Yet Jacob I have loved; but Esau I have hated, and laid waste his mountains and his heritage for the jackals of the wilderness.” 1 Peter 3:10-12 says For he who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tounge from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit. Let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.
            It is very simple those who believe the Word of the living God, and obey Him have life, but those who do not, have the wrath of God abiding on them, and unless the Lord Jesus saves them they will surely perish.

          • Michael Shelton says:

            The Lord is good and whatever He does is good and right, and just because a mere mortal disagrees with His judgement doesn’t even matter. Take a look at what king Nebuchadnezzar said after the Lord caused him to eat grass like an oxen. In Daniel 4:34-35 Nebuchadnezzar says And at the end of the days I Nebuchadezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured Him that liveth, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom is from generation to generation: and all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing and He doeth according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay His hand, or say unto Him, “What doest thou?” (Romans 9:20-24 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel for unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew His wrath, and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy which He had afore prepared unto glory, even us whom He hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?) Jesus Christ is the only Potentate King of kings and Lord of Lords, and men are but dust. His mercy is beyond comprehension, and the power of His anger who can understand?

          • Romans 9 is about chosen nations and not chosen individuals. The whole context is about the promises of God made to Israel AS A NATION. Until people understand that, they paint a picture of an arbitrary, capricious and reprehensible God who is only “good” in the sense that He has power to define Himself as good. Because in fact, every evil thing that ever happened happened because it was God’s will for it to happen, according to the theology of some. Under this scenario, if someone gave birth to a child, abused it, mentally twisted it, gave it to evil men to abuse, demanded it be perfectly well behaved and then on the first sign of disobedience slowly roasted it over a fire they would be KIND by comparison with the abominable concept that is portrayed by some as the Sovereign Lord of Creation. Of course the true God is nothing like this.

            We are not qualified to judge God but we better be qualified to judge interpretations of the Bible which portray God as ANYTHING BUT merciful, kind, gentle, patient, holy and good-willed.

            1Ti 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
            1Ti 2:4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
            1Ti 2:5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,
            1Ti 2:6 who gave Himself a ransom for all,

            I have to say that the God portrayed by SOME of the followers of John Calvin, who himself had a very dirty character as serious research will reveal, is not the God of the Bible.

          • Michael Shelton says:

            of Paul to the Romans from start to finish without consulting commentary or opinions of men? Have you ever read the gospel of John from start to finish without consulting commentary or opinions of men? By the way I do not disagree with my brother Paul the apostle who taught Timothy in 1 Timothy 2:4-6. I also believe God desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth, that is why He commands His sheep to preach the Word of God to all creatures, and He commands all men everywhere to repent and believe the gospel. Also Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the whole world. He truly died on the cross at calvary for the sins of all of the descendants of Adam. I earnestly warn you to take heed to scripture, and not the commandments and doctrines of men who corrupt the truth in unrighteousness these who are like brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed.

          • Yes, I have, many times. But the fact of the matter remains, that all of us have been affected by the sermons we have heard preached. I was brought up in conservative evangelical churches all my life. I thank God for the good things I received there. But at the same time, the doctrine they preached was heavily rooted in the ideas of John Calvin and Augustine, and I tended to just gloss over all the Scriptures which did not fit in with the received systematic theology.

            No one can safely assume that they are untainted by the “doctrines of men” that are not according to truth. We need to grapple with all parts of the Scripture and I have mentioned some verses in my original article plus in my comments which you have not until now attempted to deal with or take seriously.

            I guess its hard for the human mind to intelligently grasp ideas like “God hates you and he loves you. God made you to be destroyed but he’d also like you to repent.” Then if you believe in Calvinist doctrine, “Jesus may or may not have died for your sins – depends if you are elect”. “You have no free will but you are totally responsible for your choices”.

            Have a read of this parable:

            Mat 13:24 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field;
            Mat 13:25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way.
            Mat 13:26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared.
            Mat 13:27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’
            Mat 13:28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’

            Questions:

            Who created the tares? Was it God or the enemy?

            Does God only sow good seed, or does He sow evil seed as well?

            Does God make men sinners, or do people corrupt themselves?

          • Michael Shelton says:

            God created the tares. God only sows good seed, and the devil sows evil seed. God makes men sinners and men also corrupt themselves.

  5. I like your blog .I have also been studying this thing about original sin . Our church may discuss it some Saturday morning or at least the men.

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