COULD JESUS HAVE SINNED?
PART II 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 He 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 fumes 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 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!
A casual reader of scripture may mistake the rendering of Heb 5:8 “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; ” to mean that the Lord under went a course in obedience, but
as Vine’s Expository Dictionary states:
OBEDIENCE, OBEDIENT, OBEY
Heb 5:8, which refers to His delighted experience in constant “obedience” to the Father’s will (not to be understood in the sense that He learned to obey).
(from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright (c)1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers)
Jesus Christ, being the omniscient, omnipresent, all powerful God needs no teacher to instruct Him nor any experience to enlighten Him, thus John 2:24-25 declares, “But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.” Look also at Job 40:1-2, “Moreover the LORD answered Job, and said, Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it. ” Also 1 Cor 2:16, “For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ ” Read carefully Job 21:23, “Shall any teach God knowledge? seeing he judgeth those that are high.” Surely, an honest appraisal of these scriptures would conclude that the Lord Jesus Christ was and is ever the Teacher and never the student!
Scripture establishes the truth of this matter of the infinite knowledge of God. Infinite is not truly infinite if there is one fragment missing, however small. Infinite means: without limits or bounds; endless. The word, infinite, comes from Latin infi nitus > fi nis meaning no border or ending. Therefore the infinite knowledge of God MUST encompass ALL knowledge of ALL things in ALL areas or He is not ALL knowing. Furthermore, He must have possessed ALL knowledge at ALL times. This infinite knowledge applies not only to the course of the universe and all things therein (the cosmos) but also to the course of humanity and all things involved therein including the mind, soul, and spirit of man which, of course, includes the emotional and intellectual components of any and all individuals. Therefore God KNEW the feelings of man from the beginning! He did not have to experience anything to LEARN or gain an understanding of man’s feelings, emotional or physical. He being man’s creator was in no way ignorant of the creation He had designed and formed from the dust of the earth, which was created in the image of God! Man was made in God’s image not God made in man’s image!
The Old Testament Scriptures are replete with references to God’s insight and acknowledgement of the feelings, cares, concerns and emotional circuits of humanity. To believe that God was unable to relate to His unique creation, man, is to misunderstand both the heart of God and the knowledge of God.
“For the LORD thy God hath blessed thee in all the works of thy hand: he knoweth thy walking through this great wilderness: these forty years the LORD thy God hath been with thee; thou hast lacked nothing. ”
“But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. ”
“God understandeth the way thereof and he knoweth the place thereof. ”
“Shall not God search this out? for he knoweth the secrets of the heart. ”
“Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. ”
“He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him. ”
“The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth
them that trust in him. ”
The fallacy of supposing that God could not relate to man until He came in flesh at Bethlehem is that that preconception creates a God of the Old Testament that was unable to comprehend man’s inner feelings and
unable to relate to man’s physical aches and pains. This supposition paints a dreadful picture of a God who was devoid of understanding and comprehension of His own creation! This is NOT the picture that
Jeremiah paints in Jer 9:23-24, “Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth
glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD. ” Neither is this
the picture that is portrayed in II Kings chapter 20 when “In those days was Hezekiah sick unto death. And the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz came to him, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Set shine
house in order; for thou shalt die, and not live. ” To which Hezekiah responded, ‘Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto the LORD, saying, beseech thee, O LORD, remember now how I have walked
before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore. ” Did Hezekiah call out to a God unable to relate to his feelings? Did Hezekiah’s tearful and
heart-felt prayer go out to a God who did not understand the tear streaks and anguished voice of this dying mortal? God’s response rebukes all such conclusions, “And it came to pass, afore Isaiah was gone out into the middle court, that the word of the LORD came to him, saying, Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I
have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the LORD. ” David also knew well that his God was aware of his feelings as he prayed in Ps 56:8-9, “Thou tellest
my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book? When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me.” David’s many other psalms depict not an
unfeeling and uncomprehending God but rather the opposite.
The problem was not that God could not relate to man but that man could not relate to God. It was man who failed to comprehend the heart and feelings of God! It was man’s blindness to the love and feelings of God that caused God to robe Himself in flesh! Calvary was the manifestation of God’s love to an uncomprehending and blinded humanity! 1 John 3:16, “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us. . . ” The problem of inability to comprehend and understand has never been on the part of God–this was and is man’s failure! Hear well 1 John 4:8-11, “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. ” Repeat it! “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us”!
Jesus Christ is our Great High Priest not because He “learned” anything, but rather He became our Great High Priest to display what He already knew! He underwent pain and rejection, spittle on His face and
stripes on His back not to learn but to display what He already felt for us! His coming was not to reveal man to God but rather God to man! John 1 :14, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (a d we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. ” And Calvary was His ultimate statement of love, written in precious blood that was erected in full view of a perishing, blinded and needy humanity! A statement that shouted so loud that all future generations might hear the echoing cry, “For God so loved the world He gave…. ” No friend, God came not to learn but to teach! Not to experience in order to understand but to die in order to give understanding! It was because He did feel and understand the plight and problems of humankind that He came in flesh to demonstrate His love and careful concern for fallen man–to give hope to the hopeless! As in the wilderness when men were stricken with the venomous bite of the serpent, they had only to look to the raised brazen serpent, God’s remedy, to live. And now we must be, “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. ” Heb 12:2. Yes! Calvary was love on display. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. ” Rom 5:8
“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of
whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by
Jesus Christ. No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. ”
Man has fashioned a role reversal whereby man is revealed to God instead of God revealed to man. It is from this role reversal error that the very question of “Could Jesus Have Sinned?” found its origin.
To make God the student and man the teacher is a grievous mistake! To make God a God of limited knowledge is to assault the godhead itself. To take away God’s ability to relate to man fully is to dishonor the love of God. Once again the answer to the question, “Could Jesus Have Sinned?” is a resounding BIBLICAL-NO! Once one sees the true reason for “God manifested in the flesh,” the question will never again cause hesitation or wavering in answering but swiftly and with full assurance a resounding “NO!” will forever be the reply! “God cannot be tempted with evil.” Some may need to go to the church nursery class and listen once again to the children’s voices as they sing, “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so!” Amen.
“O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counseller?”
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED BY JAMES L. GROCE AND MAY BE USED FOR STUDY AND RESEARCH PURPOSES ONLY.