1st John 3:8

1st John 3:7-8 (see also John 8:44; Revelation 17:17; Jeremiah 32:35)
Little children, let no one deceive you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, that He might destroy the works of the devil.

Calvinist, Erwin Lutzer explains:The devil is also a being filled with only hatred and deceit. He is a rebellious liar and malicious sadist. He desires to see humans suffer for suffering’s sake. Thus he always stands in opposition to God even when he does what God ordains.” (The Doctrines That Divide, p.221, emphasis mine)

Calvinist, John MacArthur, writes: “Antichrist’s self-serving, satanically inspired actions are, however, precisely in the scope of God’s sovereign plan. In fact, it is God who will put it in the hearts of Antichrist’s followers to execute His purpose by having a common purpose, and by giving their kingdom to the beast. God’s power is behind the destruction and consolidation of the evil empire; as always, Satan is the instrument of God’s purposes.” (The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: Revelation 1-11, p.172, emphasis mine)














Calvinist, Erwin Lutzer explains:Calvinists pointedly admit that God ordains evil--this is consistent with both the Bible and logic. In ordinary discussions about human events, we can say that God permitted evil, as long as we understand that he thereby willed that the evil happen. Calvinists agree with the Westminster Confession of Faith that says God ordains all that ever comes to pass. In a word, what God permits, he ordains.” (The Doctrines That Divide, p.210, emphasis mine)

John Calvin writes: “We also note that we should consider the creation of the world so that we may realize that everything is subject to God and ruled by his will and that when the world has done what it may, nothing happens other than what God decrees.” (Acts: Calvin, The Crossway Classic Commentaries, p.66, emphasis mine)

Calvin writes: “First, the eternal predestination of God, by which before the fall of Adam He decreed what should take place concerning the whole human race and every individual, was fixed and determined.” (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God, p.121, emphasis mine)

John Calvin explains: “God had no doubt decreed before the foundation of the world what He would do with every one of us and had assigned to everyone by His secret counsel his part in life.”  (Calvin’s New Testament Commentaries: Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians, p.20, emphasis mine)

Calvin writes: “…the reason why God elects some and rejects others is to be found in His purpose alone. … before men are born their lot is assigned to each of them by the secret will of God. … the salvation or the destruction of men depends on His free election.” (Calvin’s New Testament Commentaries: Romans and Thessalonians, p.203, emphasis mine)


























Arminian, John Wesley, answers: “…one might say to our adversary, the devil, ‘Thou fool, why dost thou roar about any longer? Thy lying in wait for souls is as needless and useless as our preaching. Hearest thou not, that God hath taken thy work out of thy hands; and that he doeth it much more effectually? Thou, with all thy principalities and powers, canst only so assault that we may resist thee; but He can irresistibly destroy both body and soul in hell! Thou canst only entice; but his unchangeable decrees, to leave thousands of souls in death, compels them to continue in sin, till they drop into everlasting burnings. Thou temptest; He forceth us to be damned; for we cannot resist his will. Thou fool, why goest thou about any longer, seeking whom thou mayest devour? Hearest thou not that God is the devouring lion, the destroyer of souls, the murderer of men? Moloch caused only children to pass though the fire: and that fire was soon quenched; or, the corruptible body being consumed, its torment was at an end; but God, thou are told, by his eternal decree, fixed before they had done good or evil, causes, not only children of a span long, but the parents also, to pass through the fire of hell, the “fire which never shall be quenched; and the body which is cast thereinto, being now incorruptible and immortal, will be ever consuming and never consumed, but “the smoke of their torment,” because it is God’s good pleasure, “ascendeth up for ever and ever.”’” (Free Grace, emphasis mine)

Calvinist, William MacDonald, writes: “If it cost the Savior so much to put away sin, what should be the attitude of those who have trusted Him as Savior?” (Believer’s Bible Commentary, p.2317, emphasis mine)
















Arminian, Roger Olson, writes: “Arminians demur from Calvinism’s divine determinism because it cannot avoid making God the author of sin and evil. When the Calvinist responds that Calvinism avoids that, the Arminian asks about the origin of the very first impulse to evil in creation. If God is the all-determining reality and creatures have no incompatibilist (libertarian) freedom, then where did that first evil motive or intent come from? If the Calvinist says from God, which is logically consistent with divine determinism, then God is most certainly the author of sin and evil. If the Calvinist says from autonomous creatures, then this opens up a hole in divine determinism so large that it consumes it. Can anything at all arise without God’s determining ordination and power? To Arminians, a question mark remains over Calvinism’s intelligibility. It does not seem intelligible to assert absolute divine determinism on the one hand and affirm that any part of creation falls outside that on the other hand.” (Arminian Theology, p.135, emphasis mine)



















Here is further discussion on whether Calvinism makes God the author of sin.

Question:  In a Calvinists eyes, this is what makes God truly sovereign, but if nothing happens other than what God decrees, then how do you distinguish the works of God from the works of Satan?
Question:  If satanically inspired actions are precisely in the scope of God’s sovereign plan,” such that Satan, as an “instrument of God’s purposes,” always  “does what God ordains,” then from the standpoint of 1st John 3:8, should we conclude the Jesus has come to destroy the works of God?
Question:  According to Calvinism, who put sin into existence in the first place?

Answer:  Jesus said that the devil is a “murderer from the beginning” and the “father of lies.” (John 8:44) So if, according to Calvinism, God both ordained and decreed murder and lies, we must conclude that Jesus has come for the purpose of destroying the works of murder and lies that God decreed?
Question:  Is God the author of sin?

Answer:  The Bible states: For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. (1st Corinthians 14:33, KJV) The reason why God is “not the author of confusion” is because God didn’t plan for there to be chaos in His church, by the misuse of the gift of tongues. Therefore, it stands to reason, that if God is not the author of sin, then He could not have planned sin. While it’s one thing for God to use the evil of man in order to bring about good, it’s quite another thing for God to decree the evil of man in order to bring about good.
Question:  If literally everything is subject to the *total plan* of an exhaustive, immutable decree of Calvinism, including all thought, then why would only good things be spoken of as the “fruit of the Spirit,” rather than all things whatsoever?”

Answer:  The non-Calvinist has a distinct advantage over the Calvinist, because the former can talk about the distinction between the fruit of the Spirit vs. the works of the flesh more meaningfully, whereas with the latter, Determinism requires that everything be the product of God, and that everything is working towards God’s optimal glory, including sin.