God’s fatherly dealing with sinners
God created man with a free will, to do what he likes but to use his brain and senses in directing him to what is right to do and what is wrong not to do. He also created in man a sensitive conscious which guides him to righteousness and rebukes him if he diverts from the way of perfection. Based on this fact, St Paul says ‘those who do not have a law they are their own law’, which means the natural law that God created in us all. When Eve ignored God’s commandment and listened to devil and saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food, pleasing to the eye, and desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, and he ate it, but God did not stop them from doing that Genesis 3:6. Abraham the favoured grandfather of the Israelites about whom God said ‘Shall I hide form Abraham what I am about to do?’, Genesis 18:17, lied to Pharaoh and called his wife Sarah his sister, Genesis; 12:14, yet God did not interfere. Even, Judas was given full freedom to plan his betrayal of the Lord Jesus, So he consented and began seeking an opportunity to betray Him to them, Luke 22:6. The Lord Jesus made the fact of human free will very clear in the New Testament when He said ‘Behold I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with Me. Revelation 3:20
The complementary fact to the above is how God sees us, the reasons we had, the circumstances around us and how we felt when we sinned. God is a loving father, He does not stand next to me with a knife ready to cut off my hand when I take something that is not mine, or to cut off my tongue when I do not say the truth. In contrast, He stands by me trying hard to hold my hand, if I allow Him to, and pick me up from the sinking water as He did with Peter when he doubted. That very Peter denied Jesus three times and the Lord looked at him trying to wake him up from his weakness but with no success; ‘then a servant girl, seeing him as he sat in the light and looking closely at him, said ‘this man also was with Him.’ But he denied it saying, ‘Woman, I do not know him. And a little later someone else saw him and said, ‘You also are one of them. ‘But Peter said, ‘Man, I am not’, Luke 56-58. On the other hand, when Jesus, after His resurrection, met Peter He never rebuked him or mentioned those events of denial but only asked him three times ‘Peter do you love me? In order to get him to confess his love three times and wash his sin through a powerful confession.
In conclusion: Although we are created with full free will, our loving heavenly father exhausts all efforts to guard and protect us from sin, of course according to our honest heart’s desire and perseverance to live a righteous life. Even when we commit sin, again as a loving father, He tries hard, using all possible means, to convert our weakness to strength so we can learn lessons and grow better in our spiritual life with Him.
Miss Marize and Maureen Adly and Prof Michael Henein