God not Author of sin


Michael Jeshurun

Response to a ‘dry head Calvinist’ who argued that God was the Author of Sin!

Friend, unless you can show me a scripture which specifically says that ‘God is the Author of sin’ then your logical arguments are of no value.

You have labored much to quote a lot of scriptures which seem to ascribe sin to God. But all those verses speak of the evil which is a result of the sin within man and not sin itself. Adultery, murder, cannibalism etc are the result of sin which is evil.

We must first distinguish between SIN and EVIL. A simple distinction is that “sin” is the behavior of man in his relation to God. It is the transgression of the Law of God. It is an expression of man’s enmity against God.  While it may involve our conduct towards others (murder, robbery) it is the product of the wickedness in our hearts. A man does not become a sinner because he commits sins, but commits them because he is a sinner.

To say that God makes a man to sin and then judges and punish him for that sin, is both irrational and illogical. It is to charge the Almighty with injustice. The Scripture is plain concerning the punishment meted out to the unsaved wicked, that every transgression and disobedience received A JUST recompence of reward”! [Heb 2:2] It could not be ‘JUST’ if God was the author or infuser of their sin.

Even David confesses, “For I acknowledge MY transgressions: and MY sin is ever before me. Against You, You only, I have sinned and done what is evil in Your sight, So that You are JUSTIFIED when You speak And BLAMELESS when You judge”. [Psa 51:4] How can God be JUST or BLAMELESS if HE MADE David to sin?!

When Nathan confronted David concerning his sin, David’s confession was, “I have sinned against the Lord”. And this is something every man knows, that when he sins the onus is COMPLETELY ON HIM, i.e. that he sins of his own choice and is RESPONSIBLE for that sin!

The Bible always speaks of the sins of both the wicked and the elect as THEIR sins, and THEIR iniquities etc. Because God is neither the author nor the infuser of them, though he be the Governor and Sovereign who decreed them!

Incidentally even the righteous acts of the elect are spoken of in many places in scripture as THEIR righteous acts. But God is quick to remind us that, THEIR righteousness is of ME, saith the Lord”! [Isa 54:17]


On the contrary Scripture affirms, “Let NO MAN SAY when he is tempted (to sin), I am tempted of God: for GOD CANNOT BE TEMPTED WITH EVIL, neither tempteth He any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of HIS OWN LUST, and enticed”. [Jam 1:13,14]

God is the creator of the wicked not their wickedness! Even of Satan, it is written – “Thou wast PERFECT in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee”. [Ezk 28:15] Note the words –“till iniquity was FOUND IN THEE”; not created in thee as YOU suppose!

How God can decree and permit sin and not be the author of it is a mystery. And many sound theologians since the early Church have admitted this and have stayed within the bounds of God’s revelation in Scripture. Many who have been bold enough even to place all non-elect babies in hell have not been so presumptuous as to ascribe SIN to God!

It is only in modern times, that wackos like Vincent Cheung are running around the countryside telling us that God is the originator and first cause of sin. One has to always cautious of the so called ‘new revelations’. The Bible, Historic documents from the Reformed tradition – confessions, catechisms, and canons, and sound theologians and commentators ALL DENY that God is the author of sin!

Though ‘confessions’ and ‘catechisms’ or even sound theologians cannot be relied upon 100%. Nevertheless, if God is the Author and Infuser of sin, or the One who MAKES MAN TO SIN then the Lord would have PLAINLY revealed that in Scripture as He did concerning Election and Reprobation; and He would have at least motivated some of those Pastors and Teachers, He blessed the Church with to preach it. But for nearly two thousand years there has been no such thing!

Weigh well the words of A.W. Pink with regards to the entrance of sin in our first parents –

God’s decree that sin should enter this world was a secret hid in Himself. Our first parents knew nothing of it, and that made all the difference so far as their responsibility was concerned. Had they been informed of the divine purpose and the certainty of its fulfillment by their actions, the case would have been radically altered. They were unacquainted with the Creator’s secret counsels. What concerned them was God’s revealed will, and that was quite plain. He had forbidden them to eat of a certain tree, and that was enough. But He went further, even warning Adam of the dire consequences which should follow his disobedience. Death would be the penalty. Thus, transgression on his part was without excuse. GOD CREATED ADAM MORALLY “UPRIGHT,” WITHOUT ANY BIAS TOWARD EVIL. [Ecc 7:29]  Nor did HE INJECT ANY EVIL THOUGHT OR DESIRE INTO EVE. “God CANNOT be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man” (James 1:13). Instead, when the serpent came and tempted Eve, God caused her to remember His prohibition. Consider the wonderful wisdom of God, for though He had predestinated the fall of our first parents, yet IN NO SENSE WAS HE THE INSTIGATOR OR APPROVER OF THEIR SINS, and their accountability was left entirely unimpaired.

These two things we must believe if the truth is not to be repudiated: that God has foreordained everything that comes to pass; that HE IS IN NO WAY BLAMABLE FOR ANY OF MAN’S WICKEDNESS, the criminality thereof being wholly his”.

To state that God is the “Author of Sin” is to declare that God is the efficient cause of evil.  This is, as Jonathan Edwards noted in his classic work, ‘On the Freedom of the Will’, something which is “a reproach and blasphemy.”  Edwards stated emphatically that God was in NO WAY WHATSOEVER “the Agent, or Actor of Sin, or the Doer of a wicked thing.”

Let me close by saying that it is not wrong to say that God DECREED SIN, neither is it wrong to say that God in some cases RESTRAINS SIN for His glory, and I would even go so far as to say that GOD DOES EVEN LEAD MEN INTO TEMPTATION or it would be meaningless to pray –“lead us not into temptation”; but to say that God is the Agent, Actor or Author of sin is to go beyond the revelation of Scripture and reproach God!

Thus we must all agree in this point with Scripture, that those who make God the author of sin unwittingly reproach and blaspheme God. They have extended beyond the bounds of Christianity to some other religion!

“For to make God the author of sin, or to charge him with being concerned in temptation to sin, is a VERY GREAT ERROR, a FUNDAMENTAL ONE, which STRIKES AT THE NATURE AND BEING OF GOD, and at the PERFECTION OF HIS HOLINESS: it is a DENYING OF HIM, and is one of those DAMNABLE ERRORS AND HERESIES, which bring upon men swift destruction; and therefore to be guarded against, rejected, and abhorred by all that profess any regard unto Him, His name and glory.”  (James 1:16)

“And since this comes from Him, [God] HE CANNOT BE THE AUTHOR OF EVIL, OR TEMPT UNTO IT. This is A SETTLED AND CERTAIN POINT, that all the good that is in men, and is done by them, comes from God; and ALL THE EVIL THAT IS IN THEM, AND DONE BY THEM, IS OF THEMSELVES.” (James 1:18)

“Whatever was done to Christ, either by Jews or Gentiles, by Herod or Pontius Pilate, was according to the secret will of God, the covenant he made with Christ, and the council of peace that was between them both: what they wickedly did, God designed for good, and hereby brought about the redemption and salvation of his people: THIS NEITHER MAKES GOD THE AUTHOR OF SIN, NOR EXCUSES THE SINFUL ACTIONS OF MEN, OR INFRINGES THE LIBERTY OF THEIR WILLS IN ACTING.” (Acts 4:28) [Dr. John Gill]


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