Why The Godly Sin -- By: Willard Maxwell Aldrich

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 092:365 (Jan 1935)
Article: Why The Godly Sin
Author: Willard Maxwell Aldrich


Why The Godly Sin

Willard Maxwell Aldrich

The problem, “Why the Godly Suffer,” is one which has engaged the minds of men all down through the ages, and a satisfactory answer to it is found in the book of Job. His suffering, inexplicable both to himself and to his friends, was shown to be the hand of God upon him, which, when lifted, restored to him in abundance loved ones and things he had lost and also in the process of Job’s trials caused the glory of God to be wonderfully displayed both before men and angelic hosts. The matter of suffering among God’s people, although generally an inscrutable mystery to the afflicted ones at the time, is, as we have suggested, not without solution in the Word of God.

There is another problem somewhat related to this one, and perhaps in some ways admitting of an analogous solution, which problem has cost even more of questioning and heartache than the former one. It likewise may be put in the form of an interrogation, “Why Do the Godly Sin?” At once our minds revert to the fact that even the godly, and I use the term of true believers in Christ, are yet tabernacled in frames of flesh and live conjointly with the old sin nature, and because of its fleshly desires are drawn away from the path of godliness and caused to sin. And this is true, and, moreover, it needs to be understood that in all the discussion which follows, the writer holds man alone responsible for human sin, but simply to answer that the godly sin because they are sinners not yet completely sanctified does not answer nor even approach the heart of the problem. Perhaps the question might be better stated, “Why Are the Godly Permitted to Sin?” But, you ask, is this not throwing the blame back upon God? No, not at all. In no wise is God chargeable with the culpability of

the creature’s sin, whether the sin is committed by an unregenerate or a believer. But the fact remains that just as truly as God permitted sin to enter the world, even so He permits sin to break out, sometimes in the commission of unutterable crimes, in the lives of His own people. I wish to address our thoughts to the question of why He does this. Why is the one whom He foreknew and predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son permitted to fall away into gross sin, often into forms of sin most detested by the one committing them, and concerning which he may have earnestly besought God to have deliverance? No doubt every true believer in Christ has battled with some overpowering sin in his life finally to go down at some time in crushing defeat under it. While he realizes that he was enticed and drawn away by his own sinful lusts, acting as a responsible free moral agent, and is therefore the sole guilty party, yet at the same...

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