God Remains Free From Sin

Now give some passages from the New Testament that clearly show that God operates in such a way that He remains pure from sin.

Answer:

The passion of Christ is an excellent example of that. Putting Christ to death was a combined effort involving the Pharisees, Judas, Pilate, and even God Himself. God not only permitted and watched over this whole affair but actually brought it about and punished His Son, as He had spoken through the prophet Isaiah 53:6, 10: “The Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all . . . . It pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief.” Likewise Acts 4:27, 28: “For truly against Your holy child Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together to do everything that Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done.”

Here each participant had his own goal. God had as His goal in the suffering of His Son to punish our sin in Him, so that the human race would not be eternally punished and damned. Judas had as his goal to gain thirty pieces of silver by betraying Jesus, thus serving his greed. The Pharisees and Caiaphas the High Priest had as their goal to shore up their longstanding honor and superiority in the eyes of the people, which had been seriously weakened by Christ’s portrayal of it as hypocrisy (Matthew 23:1-13)

Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples, saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them. They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger. But they do all their deeds to be noticed by men; for they broaden their phylacteries and lengthen the tassels of their garments. They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues, and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men. But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. 11 But the greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted. 13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.  Matthew 23:1-13

For they loved human honor more than the honor of God. They were also concerned that the Romans not come and take the Jewish people captive, and so they thought it better that one person die for the people. With this advice the High Priest that year, though he had something quite different in mind, prophesied about the very end and goal that God intended to accomplish through him and his cohorts (John 11:48-50).

Heidelberg Bridge 247 Therefore the chief priests and the Pharisees convened a council, and were saying, “What are we doing? For this man is performing many signs. 48 If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” 49 But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, 50 nor do you take into account that it is expedient for you that one man die for the people, and that the whole nation not perish.”  John 11:47-50

Pilate, finally, had as his goal not to fall out of favor with the Roman emperor, something with which the Pharisees had threatened him (John 19:12).

11 Jesus answered, “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.” 12 As a result of this Pilate made efforts to release Him, but the Jews cried out saying, “If you release this Man, you are no friend of Caesar; everyone who makes himself out to be a king opposes Caesar.”

Who now would say that God sinned by giving His Son to die and by punishing our sin in the most extreme fashion and with the most severe torment — His powerful, ever-present wrath in the soul and body of His only-begotten Son, who had willingly offered Himself as a surety, mediator, and reconciler of the human race? Who also would say that Judas, Caiaphas, the Pharisees, and Pilate did not sin by murdering Christ, who they knew had committed nothing deserving of death? For in this incident they did not have God’s goal and end in view but different goals and ends, which God did not have and which were contrary to the will of God revealed to them in His Word.

Caspar Olevianus, A Firm Foundation, pp. 25, 26

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