Does the Gospel make God an abomination?

People mean well when they say all sins are the same, but the problem is they’re not. One way they’re different is certain sins are identified as an abomination. Two such examples are recorded in Proverbs 17:5:

He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord.

Two groups are an abomination to the Lord:

  1. Those who justify the wicked.
  2. Those who condemn the just.

The tremendous irony is this is exactly what God does through the Gospel!

God justifies the wicked, which is an abomination

Romans 4:5 says God, “justifies the wicked.”

The word justify means, “to declare righteous. The Lord takes evil, wretched people and justifies them through faith in Jesus Christ.

Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.

God justifies the wicked every time He declares sinful people to be righteous.

God condemned the just, which is an abomination

We say things like:

  • “The Jews murdered their Messiah.”
  • “The Romans crucified Jesus.”
  • “Our sins put Jesus on the cross.”

While these statements are true in one sense, it’s even truer to say the One Person responsible with crucifying God the Son was God the Father.

Acts 4:27 For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together 28 to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done.

In verse 27 it sounds like Christ’s sacrifice is attributed to those individuals, but verse 28 makes it clear they were simply doing the will of God the Father.

Consider these other verses:

  • Acts 2:23 [Jesus was] delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God.
  • Luke 22:22 Truly the Son of Man goes [to be crucified] as it had been determined [by God].
  • John 19:11 Jesus told Pontius Pilate, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above.”

The Gospels go to great lengths throughout Jesus’ trials and crucifixion to record His innocence:

  • Matthew 27:19 Pilate’s wife said, “Have nothing to do with that just Man.”
  • Matthew 27:24 Pilate said, “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person.”
  • Luke 23:41 One of the criminals on a cross next to Jesus said, This Man has done nothing wrong.”
  • Luke 23:47 The centurion said, “Certainly this was a righteous Man!”

When God the Father sacrificed God the Son, He “condemned the just.” He punished an innocent, righteous man for the wicked.

So is God an abomination to Himself?

Contrast these verses:

  • Ezekiel 18:23 & 33:11 God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked.
  • Isaiah 53:10a God took pleasure in the death of His Son.

Amazingly God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but He took pleasure in the death of His perfect, innocent Son. He took pleasure in condemning the just, His Son, because it allowed Him to justify the wicked: each of us.

22 thoughts on “Does the Gospel make God an abomination?

  1. God made the ultimate sacrifice on my behalf hasn’t always been beyond measure and this just reiterate the unconditional undying love He has for His children. Wouldn’t we as parents go against what we know was true for our. Hildren. How awesome is our Heavenly Father?

    1. Hello De,
      I think maybe you meant to say we’d go above and beyond for our children, versus we’d go against what we know as true? Is that what you meant? If so, yes, we would :).

  2. I hadn’t really given it much thought to be honest with you. I know that by His stripes I am healed and because bought by the blood of Jesus. I know that sin grieves the father but I also believe that he will use what satan meant to destroy to bring someone to freedom. I’m proof of that! 😉

    1. Yes, I’m proof of that too. It’s just a fascinating theological issue to discuss God’s justice and holiness, with the seeming injustice of allowing wretched sinners (like us) to go unpunished, but His innocent Son to receive that punishment.

    1. Mihaela,
      We live in a sinful, fallen world. Death is the consequence of sin (Rom 6:23), including miscarriages; however, we have to recognize God is also the Author of life, and is therefore sovereign over the creation and birth of babies (Psa 139:13-14).

  3. Always great content! What a sacrifice God made for us. I love the last paragraph contrasting the two verses. God hurts when we sin, but He still sent His son to save us. That brings Him pleasure. Great post!

  4. Hello Scott,

    I live a discussion on this topic, because it leaves us in awe of God, as we strive to fully grasp His mercy!

    Not so much a contradiction but rather a demonstration that God in His power and wisdom was able to both satisfy all righteousness and uphold perfect justice while at the same time, condemning our sin in full, as Paul states in Romans 3:26 that through Christ, He is both just,(upholding the law) and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.


  5. Pastor Scott. Apologies, I didn’t mean to be cryptic or confusing. At the end of the Middle Ages, the intellectual leader of the Church were call the Scholastics. They were logic-chopper and precisionists who carried everything to the logical conclusion. These are the folks who brought you “angels dancing on the head of a pin”.
    Then as the 16th Century was approaching, a different group came along in reaction to the Scholastics. They were collectively called Humanists, and were among those who could be called Renaissance thinkers. They stopped dissecting every word and took a step back to see the message as a whole rather than trying to figure out the sum of each part. Erasmus was a leading thinker among this crowd. He was put off by the fanatical adherence to argumentation and believed that the Scholastics were missing the forest for the trees. By nature, I incline to the Scholastic view of the world, which is why I found your argumentation so impressive. I’m tempted to use the words “erudite” and “brilliant”. You have a very deep and comprehensive knowledge of Scripture.
    I hope that helps. And I very much enjoyed reading this. I will be back to read more.

    1. Greetings Kevin,
      Thank you very much for the explanation!

      To let you know how confused I was, when you mentioned Erasmus the first person that comes to mind is KJV writer of the New Testament.

      Anyway, thanks for the comment, explanation, and I look forward to any future communication!

      In Christ,
      Pastor Scott

  6. Wow, this is one very well-constructed piece of thinking. It’s so good that I think it would be right at home at the University of Paris, ca. 1450. This truly feels like a piece of scholastic argument. And trust me: coming from me, that’s a compliment. There are very few things I admire more than a tightly logical argument.

    OTOH the humanist side of me–think Erasmus–feels that this is a little too clever. It gets all the trees right, but the forest is wrong. But “humanist” can sometimes be a synonym for “squishy thinker”.

    To cut the Gordian knot you’ve set before me, I would say that given the sheer size of the Bible, it’s always possible to find passages that contradict one another. This is what you’ve done. I suppose it depends on whether one takes the Bible literally in every word, or if some passages (at least) are meant allegorically. If the former, you are spot on. If the latter, there is more wiggle room, I think.

    But good logic and a great argument. My hat is off to you.

    1. Hello Kevin,
      Thank you for the comment, but I’m afraid you’ve lost me with your second paragraph. Can you restate it or elaborate on it a little…at least if it’s important to you for me to understand it and/or respond to it :).

      No, I don’t think every word of the Bible is meant to be taken literally; I believe there’s definitely figurative (although not allegorical) language.

      Thanks again for reading my post.

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