Is God Above the Law?

ReformedWiki Post

Some argue that certain things God says or does in the Bible are immoral. However, if we apply the Bible’s own standard against what God says and does in the Bible, we will find that everything God says and does in the Bible must, by definition, be moral and right. God is not above the law, but He is Himself the law, or the standard of right and wrong.

Below are quotes from theologians who explain and defend this position.

Gordon Clark, “God and Evil” – Is God Above the Law?

Is it just then for God to punish a man for deeds that God himself “determined before to be done”? Was God just in punishing Judas, Herod, Pontius Pilate, and the others? The Scriptures answer in the affirmative and explain why. Not only is God the creator of the physical universe, not only is he the governor and judge of men, he is also the moral legislator. It is his will that establishes the distinction between right and wrong, between justice and injustice; it is his will that sets the norms of righteous conduct. Most people find it easy to conceive of God as having created or established physical law by divine fiat. He might have created a world with a different number of planets, had he so desired. Nor does it bother some theologians to suppose that God could have made different ceremonial requirements. Instead of commanding the priests to carry the ark on their shoulders, God might have forbidden this and ordered them to put it on a cart drawn by oxen. But for some peculiar reason, people hesitate in applying the same principle of sovereignty in the sphere of ordinary ethics. Instead of recognizing God has sovereignty in morals, they want to subject him to some independent, superior, ethical law—a law that satisfies their sinful opinions of what is right and wrong.

John Calvin

How exceedingly presumptuous it is only to inquire into the causes of the divine will, which is in fact, and is justly entitled to be, the cause of everything that exists. For if it has any cause, then there must be something antecedent on which it depends; which it is impious to suppose. For the will of God is the highest rule of justice, so that what he wills must be considered just, for this very reason, because he wills it. When it is inquired therefore why the Lord did so, the answer must be, Because he would. But if you go further and ask why he so determined, you are in search of something greater and higher than the will of God, which can never be found.1

Read More

  1. ”Institutes”, III, xxiii, 2 []

Related Posts