Summary: Was Jesus capable of sinning?
Could Jesus Have Sinned?
The Infinite Knowledge of God
By Elder James L. Groce
Pastor of Calvary Apostolic Tabernacle
Feb. 10, 2001
Somewhere, in the limited understanding of man, there arose the misconception that God who is omniscient, all knowing, in order to be able to truly relate to man (the product of His own creation) it was necessary for Him to become flesh in order to do so. However, my friend, the fact is, the very opposite is true—for man to be able to relate to God—God was manifested in the flesh. The problem was never that God could not relate to man but the very opposite—that man could not relate to God! Thus, God was manifested (shown, declared) in the flesh. 1 Tim 3:16, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”
If, one supposes, that God was UNABLE to relate to man or was incapable of understanding the feelings of man unless that H e Himself “walked in humanity’s shoes” is to declare that God is NOT all knowing and ALL wise! To say such is to make God the “student” of man, the “teacher.” In other words, according to this erroneous premise, God LEARNS through the process of time and that learning is subject to Him “experiencing” certain physical lessons. The Jews also used their own limited understanding as they tried to reason among themselves how it was possible that Jesus could read—“having never learned” letters. This episode was, of course, stated in John 7:12-15, “And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but he deceiveth the people. Howbeit no man spake openly of him for fear of the Jews. Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught. And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?” How would you answer their question? Some have even taught that God does not know the end from the beginning. Proponents of this “God of limited knowledge” doctrine insist that in the case of Abraham’s faith that God was unaware of the true devotion of Abraham until Abraham raised his knife to sacrifice his son Isaac, then, and only then, as the event unfolded and actions became apparent, God was to have “learned” the faithfulness of Abraham and declared, “Now I know.” Was God truly lacking knowledge of Abraham’s devotion prior to the raising of the knife? Was the God of all light in darkness as to the true intentions of Abraham? Is God unaware of the outcome of events only until they have been played out? Is God “learning” as the human drama unfolds? How then is it possible for God to declare the end from the beginning? Isa 46:9-10, “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:” How could an unknowing or limited in knowledge God possibly move men called prophets to “prophesy”? Since “prophecy” means to “foretell,” how could such a thing as prophecy even exist? These “foretellers” would not have been “prophets” at all but rather “guessers,” or, better yet, “perhaps-ers” if the Spirit that moved on them was uncertain as to the outcome of events.
There is a vast difference in the “fore-knowledge” of God and the “predestination” of God, for God to fore know is not the same as predestined. His knowledge of future events is not the same as predetermining events. A poor analogy of this would be having read a book previously before your friend ventures to do so. Since you have read the book already you can tell him the turn of events in the book before he himself reads it. You did not create the events nor make them happen you only had a knowledge of the outcome of the events prior to that of your friend. Likewise, God has seen the end from the beginning. He has knowledge of the outcome of events prior to their happenings. That foreknowledge of God did not produce the events necessarily, but only tells us that as far as human history is concerned all is open before Him with whom we have to do, like an open book. That is, of course, a simplified explanation of the foreknowledge of God. God, of course, is not just a reader of events but in many things He is the Author of certain events. However, one must never confuse the “foreknowledge” of God with the “predestination” of God. Neither does this foreknowledge of God do injustice to the grace of God or any other attribute of God—rather it enhances them all! When one considers that God knows all our actions (past, present and future) and yet still loves us is an awe-inspiring thought! Whereas human love must wait for the outcome of events to determine if love is still justifiable. You must recall that God died for us “while we were yet sinners.” Do a “Selah” (pause and consider) on that thought!