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Does God have self-imposed limitations?

While the Bible teaches us that “with God, all things are possible” (Matt. 19:26), and “with God nothing is impossible” (Luke 1:37), Scripture also teaches that God can and will do nothing that is inconsistent with His holy character or divine essence. God limits Himself for reasons of His own holiness. For instance, the Bible teaches us “in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago …” (Tit. 1:2). Why can’t God lie? Because lying is contrary to His holiness or His perfect character which includes veracity or truthfulness. Further, in Habakkuk 1:13 the prophet wrote, “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong.” Here the Old Testament prophet stated his reason. Tolerating evil (i.e., failing to judge sin or accepting a sinner without a just penalty for the sinners sin) is contrary to God’s perfect righteousness or holy character. In God’s perfect righteousness, he cannot have fellowship with sinfulness; so, in His perfect justice He must judge sin. But God is also perfect love, grace, mercy, and wisdom and in His love, grace, mercy and wisdom He is bound by His own character to provide a solution to the sin problem. In His love and wisdom, He gave us His son. Thus we read in John 3:16-18:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

Related Topics: Theology Proper (God)