HOT TOPIC: God's Nature vs His Character

michael_legna's picture

In another thread we veered off ending up discussing the Nature of God esepcially His omniscience and omnipotence.

I hold that God is ALL powerful and ALL knowing and He just chooses not to do somethings and to not know certain things when it suits His plans.

The other side of the argument is that there are certain things God cannot do, like sin. That it is not just Him choosing to not sin but that He is completely incapable of sin, that it is an actual limit to His omnipotence and omniscience.

This thread is meant to give all an opportunity to present arguments for either side.

I will begin by posting a few responses to the last few posts of one other poster in the previous thread.

JeffLogan's picture

JeffLogan said - The

JeffLogan said -
The foundation for this position addresses the question, "Is God Righteous, or does He merely refrain from sinning?"

ML said -
You misunderstand the definition of righteous if you think it requires the inability to sin. If one is capable of sinning and then completely refrains from sinning they are righteous. The reason no man is righteous is not because they are capable of sin, but because they actually sin. If man could refrain from sinning they would be righteous.

Jeff replies -
I don't misunderstand at all. Man is capable of sin, as is every created being. We have the evidence in Adam and Lucifer. So your definition of righteous does pertain to man. But God is neither man nor a created being. God is the Source of righteousness. He is the vine from which all men draw. He is the good tree of Jesus' parable which cannot produce bad fruit. Man is the bad tree which cannot produce good fruit. God cannot even be tempted with evil and that is why Jesus took upon Himself the likeness of our sinful flesh--so he could be tempted in every way as we are tempted. Yet, He did not sin.

But remember. Sin happens in the heart. It doesn't require and outward act. Your wording in your definition leads me to believe you are speaking only of sin which manifests itself outwardly. But you yourself contended in another post, where you argued concerning the moral law, that one can keep the intent of the law even though one breaks the letter of the law. As you reasoned there, sin happens in the heart. It doesn't require an outward behavior.

NIV Matthew 5:28 But I can guarantee that whoever looks with lust at a woman
has already committed adultery in his heart. ...

So this seems to contradict how you define righteousness here if you imply that a man can be sinful inside as long as nothing spills out.

But if I take it another way, then we have a man who is capable of sinning yet refrains himself in both thought and deed. But this is impossible. Man cannot refrain from sinning because his nature is unrighteous. Unless that man is partaking of the Source of righteousness, which is Christ, he has no righteousness.

But in either case, man's righteousness is drawn from God. We are not righteous in and of ourselves. We are only righteous as we partake of God's righteous character.

NIV 2 Peter 1:4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

But, again, since Christ says that no one is good but God, and that He Himself is the Truth. Then since He is God and He is sovereign it must also be that whatever God says is truth and whatever He does is right. Even if God does something you think is wrong it is still right because He is God. And even if God says something you think is a lie it is still the truth because He is God.

God proclaimed of Himself that He speaks no idle words but whatever He says comes to pass.

AV Isa 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper [in the thing] whereto I sent it.

Since God is sovereign He gets to define what is truth and what is right. He has chosen to make Himself the standard. And, He reveals Himself to mankind in word and deed so that all may judge. And the judgment will be, "Thou are worthy...Holy, Holy, Holy!"

Isaiah 16:4-5
The oppressor will come to an end,
and destruction will cease;
the aggressor will vanish from the land.
In love a throne will be established;
in faithfulness a man will sit on it—
one from the housea of David—
one who in judging seeks justice
and speeds the cause of righteousness.

_______ _______ ______ ______ ______

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you."