Contrary to popular belief…God cannot do anything?
That idea is a consistent misunderstanding among a great number of both Believers and non-believers. It is not uncommon at all to hear many people say: You know…God can do just about anything.
And though I believe that most people understand the crux of the statement when it is made, it is not, biblically speaking, completely accurate. And with most things…being almost right nearly always leads to being significantly wrong.
What do we mean, though, when we say that God cannon do just anything. Well…think of it this way.
He cannot sin.
He cannot be untrue to His own nature.
He cannot be imperfect.
He cannot make a square a circle or a circle a square because He has already deemed that a circle is what it is and a square is what it is.
And here’s the big one…God cannot be unjust. It is not in His nature. God is perfect in everything that He does. He is perfect in His love. He is perfect in His Grace…He is perfect in His mercy…and He is perfect in His justice. He is the perfect judge.
Then how is it that we often times want Him to be the imperfect judge for us…when we are not willing to tolerate that in any other aspect of our lives?
Some time back there was a horrible crime that was committed that enraged the nation. You may remember this. A college student…from a seemingly good family…and enrolled at a top flight university…was actually caught in the act of sexually assaulting an unconscious coed.
There was no doubt of his guilt…he was 100% culpable for this horrible crime. At sentencing, the judge on the case did the unthinkable. He sentenced this obviously guilty young man to a grand total of six months in jail.
The national outrage was palpable and justified. Every reader, pundit and legal expert came to the same conclusion…that this was not justice…and the judge in question was not a good judge.
What does this have to do with God? Many times people ask: If sin is real…and that bad…and God is so good…why doesn’t He just ignore and forgive everyone’s sin? Just act as if it ever happened?
Because if we were holding God to the same standard as the judge in the assault case…we would have to come to the conclusion that God was not a good judge.
After all if we are asking God to ignore sin…to not hold us accountable to the standards He set…if we are asking Him to show mercy to us for the things we have done that are considered sin…and we think that would be a good thing…
Then why didn’t we think that of the judge in the assault case? He looked the other way at the seriousness of the act…he did not hold the perpetrator accountable…he, in fact,…showed the young man mercy…did he not? Yet we label him…and rightfully so…a bad judge.
God cannot be a bad judge. It is not in His nature. That is why He cannot ignore sin…or arbitrarily look the other way at it…or just say…its no big deal…forget it and move on. He is the perfect judge. And a perfect judge judges perfectly.
But God’s Word tells us that there is another way. While God does judge sin…in the case of Believers…His judgment was directed at Jesus on our behalf. Who suffered judgment so that all who call on Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior…would never have to.
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
How cool is that?
I’m Dr. Danny Purvis. On behalf of myself…Robert Houghton…and all of us here at Growth Project and Harmony Community church…keep reading God’s Word.
Dr. Purvis started Growth Project with Robert Houghton after spending 20 years on active duty as a Chaplain in the United States Navy. After many moves and multiple deployments, he settled in Winter Haven, Florida to do God’s will. A glutton for educational punishment Danny has a BA in English from Carson-Newman College, an MDiv from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary; a ThM from Princeton Theological Seminary; and a PhD in Organizational Leadership from Regent University. He has been married to his wife Kimberly (whom he met when they were 6 years old) for nearly 30 years and they have four wonderful children.