Is God The Author Of Sin?
When discussing matters pertaining to the absolute sovereignty of God, a question that often arises is whether God is the author of sin. We know that God is not the author of confusion (I Corinthians 14:33), but the discussion focuses around whether God, who ordains all things and causes all things to be, is the actual author of sin. Before I began, I want to consider the passages at issue:
The Greek words and usage:
In the AV/KJV, the word author is found in three passages, with one being inferred and the other two consisting of two different Greek words. The passages are as follows:
I Corinthians 14:33 For God is not [the author] of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
In this passage, author is not in the actually Greek. The better translation would be “For God is not of confusion, but of peace, as in all the assemblies of the saints (LITV)” or “for God is not [a God] of tumult, but of peace, as in all the assemblies of the saints. (YLT)”
Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
The word author here is Strong’s G747 – ἀρχηγός – archēgos – ar-khay-gos’ – From G746 and G71; a chief leader: – author, captain, prince.
Surely God is not the chief leader, captain, or prince of sin so I will skip to:
Hebrews 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him
The word author here is Strong’s G159 – αἴτιος – aitios – ah’ee-tee-os – From the same as G154; causative, that is, (concretely) a causer: – author.
Is God the causer of sin?
In light of the Greek word used in Hebrews 5:9, can we say that God is the causer or author of sin? I do not believe so; when I sin, though God clearly ordains it (providentially brings it about) I know my flesh to be the author of it. If my flesh is the author of it, then sin lies within me and dwells within me. With that being the case, how can I say that God is the causer/author/originator of it? “For I know that in me, that is in my flesh, dwells no good. For to will is present to me, but to work out the good I do not find. 19 For what good I desire, I do not do. But the evil I do not desire, this I do. 20 But if I do what I do not desire, it is no longer I working it out, but the sin dwelling in me” (Romans 7:18-20 – LITV).
As with clay
I see the relationship between God and sin as being similar to the relationship between the potter and the clay (wherein the clay, in this instance, is the innate sin of man and God is the shaper of it). As the potter who, in working with the pre-existing clay, determines the form of it by molding it into a specific fashion (arranging it, and expanding or limiting its proportions), God, in working with our pre-existing sin-filled nature, determines the extent of the manifestation of our sins (be it in thought, word, omission, or deed).
Through his restraining hand, God molds our sin to suit His perfect and divine purposes; otherwise, if it could, our sin would manifest itself in every way possible (simultaneously and perfectly in its wickedness). God limiting the manifestation to this set of sins, or that set, doesn’t make Him the author or causer of it; however, it does make Him the Sovereign over it.
by Curt Wildy