Can God Sin?

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Hi M____
It is good to hear from you. I’m glad you are enjoying the audios of the conference in Indianapolis, and I am especially pleased that God has given you eyes to see His sovereignty. I hope that this exchange helps to make God’s sovereignty even clearer in your mind.
You ask:
“Is it possible that God who created us as sinning machines must have sinned by creating us to sin and ultimately making events happen to cause us to continuously sin. It is hard to wrap one’s mind around the evil that occurs everyday especially when it happens to a child, but if it happened to a truly converted person’s child it would be one of the most devastating things for one to come to terms with that God caused it. I have heard several confessions from Christians who have turned from God when their child was taken from them in a brutal fashion.”
No, it is not possible for God to miss His own mark, that is to sin. Here is a scripture that bears specifically with your question.

Ecc 5:8  If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter: for he that is higher than the highest regardeth; and there be higher than they [ who pervert judgment and justice].

As you already know, God is not the least bit bashful about what He is doing. He confesses that it is He who creates evil:

Isa 45:7  I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
Pro 16:4  The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

If the Lord is “creating evil… even the wicked for the day of evil,” how then can He be sinning, when everything is right on target and right on time. To sin means “to miss the mark.” God is not missing the mark, He is right on the mark and right on schedule.
I do not minimize the depths of evil which we see displayed in this world. Neither do I pretend to be able to understand why God is doing what He is doing in the way He is doing it. I freely admit that I surely would not do things God’s way. I personally would find a much less stressful way of bringing all of mankind to myself if I were God, and that is exactly why I am not God:

Isa 55:8  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

I can do no better than the apostle Paul at explaining the mind of God. Paul speaking under the inspiration of God’s holy spirit tells us;

Rom 9:6  Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they [ are] not all Israel, which are of Israel:
Rom 9:7  Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.
Rom 9:8  That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.
Rom 9:9  For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son.
Rom 9:10  And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even] by our father Isaac;
Rom 9:11  (For [ the children] being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)
Rom 9:12  It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.
Rom 9:13  As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
Rom 9:14  What shall we say then? [ Is there] unrighteousness with God? God forbid.
Rom 9:15  For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
Rom 9:16  So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy .
Rom 9:17  For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.
Rom 9:18  Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.
Rom 9:19  Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?
Rom 9:20  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?
Rom 9:21  Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
Rom 9:22  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:
Rom 9:23  And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,
Rom 9:24  Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

“Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called” is a spiritual statement. In reality it has nothing at all to do with Abraham’s physical son, except Isaac’s physical birth was a supernatural birth which God Himself caused to happen after it was impossible for either Abraham or Sarah to conceive. Isaac’s supernatural birth, just like Christ’s supernatural birth, is a type of our own supernatural birth into the things of the spirit and into the spirit realm.

Gal 4:28  Now we, brethren[ Gentile Galatians], as Isaac was, are the children of promise. 
Eph 2:6 and rouses us together and seats us together among the celestials, in Christ Jesus,

We all read “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 we think that this is speaking of those who are predestined to be cast into the lake of fire. Well, it certainly does include that group, but this is as much a contrast with flesh versus spirit within each of us, as it is one group of humans being contrasted with another group of humans.
“We all… are children of wrath even as others,” and we will all come face to face with having to relinquish this “vessel of clay.”

Eph 2:2  Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Eph 2:3  Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

1Co 15:50  Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

God is using evil to bring forth good. He is using darkness to bring forth light. He is using the natural to bring forth the spiritual. The greater the evil, the greater the appreciation we will have for the good He will bring out of that evil. The greater the darkness, the greater will be our appreciation of God’s light, which is just another way of saying our appreciation of His ways being far above our ways.

Isa 55:8  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
1Co 15:46  Howbeit that [ was] not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.

No, God is not sinning because everything He is doing will be used to save mankind. Only God is capable of doing that. It is our inability to appreciate his ways that keeps us from giving Him the glory for both the good and the evil with which He is working to bring all to Himself.

Gen 50:20  But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it [ the evil, all evil]  unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.

2Sa 14:14  For we must needs die, and are as water spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again; neither doth God respect any person: yet doth he devise means, that his banished be not expelled from him.

If God were to fail to save “His banished” then He would indeed be a monster. But such is not the case. “As in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive.”
Here is just how premeditated all things of all time are:

Psa 139:16  Thine eyes did see mine unformed substance; And in thy book they were all written, Even the days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was none of them.

This is symbolic language which reveals that God knew, before we were ever born, “the days that were ordained for us, when as yet there was none of them.” This includes all of our evil as well as our righteous deeds, and it includes all of the evil and righteous deeds of all of mankind of all time.
This is not a sin, it is rather a perfect plan which is occurring  right on schedule and just as it was all planned and “written in thy book.”

Eph 1:11  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

I can understand how the flesh can question God’s means of accomplishing His will, but I must take exception to your words:

What makes a “truly converted person” is His ability to accept God’s will when God’s will is absolutely impossible for the flesh. It is not even possible for our flesh to love our enemies who have brutally abused our innocent children. It is absolutely impossible for our flesh to “resist not evil.” But “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.”

Mat 5:44  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Php 4:13  I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

We are all “vessels of wrath” before we become “the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory.” God’s wrath is poured out on “all unrighteousness and ungodliness,” and we have all been both, and we have all “held the truth in unrighteousness.”

Rom 1:18  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

“truly converted person” will say “not my will, but thine be done” even when it is humanly impossible to do so. That is why we are told that we are to “die daily,” and that is why we are told that many are called but few are chosen.”

1Co 15:31  I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

Mat 20:16  So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.

I hope this helps you to see that even the most brutal and atrocious actions of mankind are working good for the salvation of all, and that when God is finished, we will all be able to put this flesh and the suffering of this flesh in its proper perspective. That perspective is to understand that nothing in this life can separate us from God’s love for His creatures.

Rom 8:35  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? [ shall] tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Rom 8:36  As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Rom 8:37  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
Rom 8:38  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Rom 8:39  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

What a comforting promise! What assuring words for all whose prayer is truly “not my will but thine be done.” Such prayers are always answered, because that is what God is doing.

Your second question was:
“The other question I have is concerning Timothy being circumcised. In Act 15 there is great debate of Gentiles not needing to be circumcised, yet in Act 16 Paul has him circumcised because of the Jews knowing his father was a Greek.”
We have all been made aware of the shortcomings of the apostle Peter. It was always Peter who spoke up and often said things he was incapable of fulfilling. Things like “I will never forsake thee.”

Mat 26:33  Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.
Mat 26:34  Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.
Mat 26:35  Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.

All of Christ’s disciples said they would never leave Christ, and that is what we all believe just before we, too, forsake Him. In like manner Paul had just corrected Peter again for his hypocrisy in separating himself from the Gentiles when “certain men came down from James” to Antioch. Here is Paul’s account of that incident:

Gal 2:11  But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.
Gal 2:12  For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.
Gal 2:13  And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.
Gal 2:14  But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before [ them] all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?
Gal 2:15  We [ who are] Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,
Gal 2:16  Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
Gal 2:17  But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, [ is] therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.
Gal 2:18  For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.
Gal 2:19  For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.

Peter had caved under pressure, and Paul had called Peter into account for his duplicity. Now here we have Paul “building again the things which he had destroyed, making himself a transgressor.” Look at Paul’s own words in this reguard:

Rom 2:27  And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law?

And yet, as you point out Paul also appears to be caving under pressure:

Act 16:1  Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father [ was] a Greek:
Act 16:2  Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium.
Act 16:3  Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek.

Paul knew well that circumcision was of the heart, and that physical circumcision availed nothing, and yet he physically circumcised Timothy “because of the Jews which were in those quarters.” This was in accord with the letter, mentioned in the previous chapter, sent out by the church from Jerusalem. That letter allowed the Jews to continue to circumcise, but it also allowed the Gentiles to refrain from circumcision:

Act 15:23  And they wrote [ letters] by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia:
Act 15:24  Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:
Act 15:25  It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,
Act 15:26  Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Act 15:27  We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell [ you] the same things by mouth.
Act 15:28  For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;
Act 15:29  That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.

Later the holy spirit reveals to Paul that meats offered to idols are none the worse for food so long as the conscience of a weak brother is not defiled by seeing you eat meat offered to an idol. The reason given is “the idol is nothing.” It is also clear that in circumcising Timothy, Paul is not separating himself from the Gentiles and making them feel like second- class citizens. But later Paul also came to see that circumcision was not even needed for a Jew.

Rom 2:28  For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
Rom 2:29  But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

What conclusions are we to draw from this story? The first and most obvious thing is that revelation is a progressive experience in all of us. None of us can bear the pure unadulterated light of God’s Truth in its fulness, to begin with. God is merciful to not place on us more that we are able to receive.

Joh 16:12  I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.

The trend continues down through the generations:

1Co 3:1  And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carna l, even as unto babes in Christ.

1Co 3:2  I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
1Co 3:3  For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carna l, and walk as men?
1Co 3:4  For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

I hope this has all helped you to see that we are all “carnal… babes in Christ,” as we begin our walk. Peter and Paul also had to learn as they grew in Christ. God has just blessed us with some of the details of that growing process in our walk. Peter, and Paul are both you and me.
Your brother in Christ,

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