Is God disappointed in our mistakes or disobedience?
SPROUL: My skin crawls when I hear sin described as “a mistake.” That language we’ve been taught to use is the politically-correct language of our day: “I made a mistake.”
You make a mistake when you add two and two and come up with five. There are moral implications of that because of the noetic effects of sin, but a mistake does not carry the full, moral weight of a willful act of disobedience against a holy, perfect, and righteous God.
We grieve the Holy Spirit, even in our redeemed state, by our sins. I don’t think the Lord is weeping over Jerusalem when we make a mathematical error. But when we violate the law of God, I think He is disappointed. I don’t think that destroys His eternal felicity in any way, but He is grieved.
REEVES: The idea that God would tolerate evil actually makes Him less gracious to His children and less glorious. What is being posited there has a very small view of salvation. It’s the idea that God simply wants to get us to a saved status. However, in calling us into the life of Christ, God desires to remove the sin that disgusts Him from His children.
God desires to call sinners to Himself to give them a righteous status and, eventually, a righteous character. Given how sin destroys lives, it would be ungracious of Him to leave us wallowing in our sin, even if we had a righteous status.
This is a transcript of R.C. Sproul’s and Michael Reeves’s answers given during our 2016 National Conference, and has been lightly edited for readability. To ask Ligonier a biblical or theological question, just visit Ask.Ligonier.org or message us on Facebook or Twitter.