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What God Cannot Do
pp. 179, 180
It has often been maintained that "God can do anything". No doubt such a statement
has been based on Luke 1: 37 ("with God nothing shall be impossible") or Matt. 19: 26
("with God all things are possible"), but it has been made without regard to the nearer
and remoter contexts of these passages, and without a thought of the implications
involved. The plain fact of the matter is that Scripture clearly declares that,
"God cannot lie" (Titus 1: 2).
If this were not so; if in fact God could do literally anything, then we who have
believed would have no security in salvation, nor confidence in any of the promises made
by God with respect to our calling and hope. But here (in the context of the promise of
eternal life) we are told that He cannot lie.
Similarly in II Tim. 2: 13 we read of Christ that "He remains faithful; He is not able
to deny Himself", or as Moffatt puts it,
"He cannot be untrue to Himself",
and this quite independently of the behaviour of the believer, who may be faithful or
faithless ("If we believe not" A.V., "If we are faithless" Moffatt). Faithlessness in a
believer, an unwillingness to endure (A.V. `suffer') for the Lord, will cost him the reward
of reigning with Christ--this he will be denied (12)--but his "life" is secure, being linked
in identification with Christ (11), which the Lord cannot undo.
The God with Whom we have to do, revealed to us in Christ, not only acts in a true
manner, but is Himself the embodiment of truth ("I am . . . . . the truth" John 14: 6). He
cannot in any way be untrue to Himself, nor be associated with anything other than truth.
Further it follows that He cannot produce any situation that is a lie or a contradiction, so
that the argument (so often heard on the lips of disbelievers) "If God is . . . . . why
doesn't He . . . . ."?, falls down in that it demands that He produces something
contradictory to what He is. He is already working out His purpose in creation in
harmony with His own nature and Being, in harmony with truth; to demand that He act
differently is to deny this, and to accuse Him of association with the lie.
"The lie" is the child of the devil; it did not originate in God, Who is truth:
"The devil . . . . . he has no place in the truth because there is no truth in him: when
he tells a lie, he is expressing his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies"
(John 8: 44, Moffatt).