Why Does God Allow Temptations?

The Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms

Sometimes a child of God asks, “Why does God allow me to be tempted?” Or “Why does God permit indwelling sin to remain in me? Why do I still struggle with these dark sins?” Those are good but difficult questions. Many Christians have asked those kinds of questions before, so if they’ve come to your mind, you’re for sure not alone. One helpful answer to these tough questions is found in the Westminster Confession of Faith under the topic of God’s “most wise and holy providence” (chapter 5). Here’s how the Confession answers the above questions in light of God’s sovereign providence. I’ve edited the structure of the words to make it easier to read and ponder:

The most wise, righteous, and gracious God,
doth oftentimes leave for a season his own children
to manifold temptations,
and the corruption of their own hearts,

to chastise them for their former sins,

or to discover unto them the hidden strength of corruption, and deceitfulness of their hearts,

that they may be humbled;

and to raise them to a more close and constant dependence for their support upon himself,

and to make them more watchful against all future occasions of sin,

and for sundry [various] other just and holy ends.

(The Scripture references for the above explanations are these: 2 Chr. 32:25-26, 31; 2 Sam. 24:1; 2 Cor. 12:7-9; Ps. 73; Ps. 77:1; Mk. 14:66ff, John 21:15-17, etc.)

Shane Lems
Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC)
Hammond, WI, 54015