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Why did God Allow Man to Sin

By Argyl L Dickson, Jr.

How do I begin? In a way this is an offering. An offering I hope glorifies my Lord and
Savior Jesus Christ. It is also an offering to greater minds than my own who share like precious
faith. My hope and desire is to glorify my God if what I have stumbled across is correct or to be
corrected and grow if I have simply bumbled into an error. Please know I am simply an
astonished unimportant layman who wanting to know his God better tripped across an answer to
a question. A question that has been declared as unanswerable by theologians for centuries.
This either cannot be and I must be wrong or for some reason God in his mercy has seen fit to
open my eyes to an answer to this age old question so that we as a body might glorify Him more.
I am willing to forget what I have found if there is some fallacy that I am overlooking. So what
follows is what I have found and submit for your critique and perhaps for the glory of our God
and the edification of believers.
The question is one that has plagued apologist for centuries as for as I can tell. The
challenge goes something like this.
I cannot believe in God because an all good or perfect God who is all powerful would not have
allowed sin to enter this world. He cannot be all good and all powerful. An all good God must
be impotent, because He apparently was unable to stop man from sinning. Or even worse if He is
all powerful He must not be good because He allowed man to sin and be separated from Him.
Either way I cannot believe in that kind of God.
The traditional answer is that this is a mystery. However, I stumbled across a passage in Paul's
letter to the Romans that I believe answers this question for us. Romans 6:1-2 Says, "What shall
we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who
died to sin still live in it?" What does this passage tell us about sin? The important thing for our
conversation is that this passage tells us is that because of sin grace abounds. Not that we
continue in sin, but more to the point that God shows us His grace because of sin. This statement
caused me to wonder what else is revealed because of sin. Does Paul talk anywhere else about
what sin shows us about God? Romans 9:22-24 says, "What if God, desiring to show his wrath
and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for
destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has
prepared beforehand for glory even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from
the Gentiles?" This comes right after Paul makes his point about our position in relation to God.
He is the potter we are the clay. It is His to make us as He chooses and not ours to question His
judgment. But the important thing here is that God uses the objects of His wrath to make known
the riches of His glory to us. How could we know the riches of His glory if there were not
objects of His wrath there to reveal it. Further how could we know what God means when He
says that I am a long-suffering God if there were not objects of His wrath there to allow Him to
demonstrate this for us the objects of His mercy so that we might glorify Him for His patience.
Once again Paul points out how God in His loving kindness reveals himself to us in 1 Timothy
1:12-16 "I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me
faithful, appointing me to his service, though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and
insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace
of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is
trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save
sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the

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Why did God Allow Man to Sin
By Argyl L Dickson, Jr.

foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to
believe in him for eternal life." Here God shows us His perfect patience with Paul so that we
might have confidence that He will bring all of His children to Himself no matter how opposed
we might be to Him.
This revelation brings me to my knees in sure knowledge that God has created us to know
Him so thoroughly that we might glorify God in all ways possible and enjoy Him forever. If
man was created to glorify God and enjoy Him forever as the Westminster confession shorter
catechism declares then God using our falleness to reveal aspects of Himself that would be
unknowable otherwise is a marvelous grace. If you ask the question what is revealed to us about
God because of sin you come away with a virtually endless list as you search the scriptures.
David declares a multitude of things in the psalms. He tells us God is steadfast, that He loves us
with an everlasting love, that He saves us to make known His mighty power (Ps. 106:1,8,
145:12). Solomon tells us that everything has a purpose even the wicked for the day of trouble
(Prov. 16:4). Isaiah speaks about Him carrying our burdens, blotting out our transgressions and
remembering them no more, restraining His anger for the sake of His praise, that by His stripes
we are healed and that He abundantly pardons (Is. 43:24, 24, 48:9, 53:5, 55:6). While this is far
from exhaustive it serves to point out just a few of the things that had Adam never sinned we
could not understand these things in the way we do now. Just as the darkness of night causes us
to appreciate the light of the sun, so the darkness and pain of sin becomes a grace to God's
chosen ones revealing a multitude of His attributes that would otherwise be completely
unknowable to us if we had never sinned. As Paul declares in Romans 8:28 truly "...all things
work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." Because of God's
marvelous mercy in allowing us to experience sin and the curse we will glorify Him for all of
eternity for those aspects of His grace, and mercy, and lovingkindness toward us that were
revealed to us in our falleness. A thousand years from now when we gather on that other shore
we will look back and only see God's glory at work revealing Himself to us so that we might
know Him more fully and glorify Him more completely. We will truly see God revealing
Himself through the pain and suffering of this life and we will see all things drawing us into a
deeper relationship with our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. The time we have here is short
and a small price to pay in the journey of coming to know our maker who we will dwell with and
glorify forever. For those of us who have been called into His glorious kingdom, we will see this
as truly the beginning of Heaven in that we will have gained here enlightenment that will
enhance our praise of God for all of eternity. Today this gives me hope in the journey. As I
experience the pain of the curse and sin I am humbled and driven to my knees seeking God so
that I might not miss His glorious revelation of His comfort and grace as He prepares me for
eternity.
I believe this answers that thorny question of why God allowed man to sin. If He had
not, our ability to know Him and enter into praising Him would be limited to a perfect sinless
existence in which we could never comprehend the depth and extent of a God who loves us so
much that He was willing to suffer death for us even the death on the cross. May God be
praised. I hope that what I have found here is helpful. I stand ready to be corrected if it is
wrong, but I sincerely hope that it does nothing but bring glory to our great God and Savior Jesus
Christ.

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