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Question

If God has a plan for us, does he plan us to sin?

Answer

Thank you so much for this honest spiritual enquiry. It really raises two problems: why does a sovereign God allow evil? And how does human freedom relate to God's sovereignty? First of all, let's talk about God allowing evil.

We must begin by recognising that evil is a result of the Fall. Had sin not entered the world, there would have been no death, no suffering, no loneliness, no hatred. Why did God allow the Fall, then? There is no one biblical statement that explains it, but there is a set of biblical considerations.

The first is that God made Adam and Eve to be His loving friends, not just his slaves or robots. To do that required giving them freedom because love requires willing surrender of the heart as a free choice. However, our first parents used their freedom to rebel against God and so the whole creation was cursed and their own hearts turned to evil rather than good. As Jesus said, "for out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander" (Matthew 15:19). God allowed the possibility of evil because He wanted us to be His loving friends. He did not invent it or desire it. That was us.

The second thing to realise is that God is absolutely sovereign: 

Whatever the LORD pleases, He does, in heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps (Psalm 135:6)

All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, But He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; And no one can ward off His hand Or say to Him, 'What have You done?' (Daniel 4:35)

So, where does our sin, or any evil, fit into God's plan? The answer is that He has known about it from eternity and has planned the history of the universe so that it is tamed by His purposes. Paul puts it like this regarding how evil affects the Christian: we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). 

We are not told HOW God makes all things work together for good, whether for those who love God or more generally. Does He intervene miraculously or does He cause a chain of events which turns something evil toward a good outcome in the end? Does He allow one evil to prevent a greater one? We can only say that a good God knows all and controls all so that evil will not have the last word. Supremely that is declared in the promise of a final judgement and the creation of a new heaven and earth in which righteousness dwells (2 Peter 3:13). In other words, God has so tamed evil that the ultimate future will be a universe in which righteousness is at home (dwells) instead of being a visitor as now.

In summary, God knows all things and will use all things for his glory, including the evil things of this world, yet he will remain unstained by it. It is therefore important that we trust God, for we know that in all things he is good, and that he has a loving plan and purpose for those who are called according to his purpose. 

I do hope this general answer to your question goes some way to helping you find peace with God through Jesus Christ our Lord. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: www.lookingforGod.com

In closing, I want to encourage you to get more involved with your local church. It would be good to speak to a Christian leader or another trusted church individual regarding your question. I know they would be delighted to further answer you as well as offer prayer and support as you continue your spiritual journey: www.lookingforgod.com/churchfinder

Please use our Interactive Answer Matrix and feel free to ask another question. Our helpful staff are praying for you and waiting to try and answer to you from the Bible, and will be delighted to tell you more about Jesus Christ the Lord, the Saviour of the world. www.lookingforgod.com/your-questions

*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise

*If anything in this answer affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you. If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at www.ucb.co.uk/prayerline


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