Thursday, August 25, 2016
A question was posed to me a few days back which I will try to answer the best way I can using what little knowledge of Scripture I have. The question was … "Did God make man inherently good or evil?"
I’m not sure if the word "inherently" gives the best description of what I want to center on, that being the spark of life God breathed into Adam and Eve, but I believe it fits within my narrative, meaning … "in a permanent, essential, or characteristic way."
In Genesis 1:31 … when God looked upon all that He had created He said, "It was good." And that included the man and the woman.
He said that man was good even knowing that in time Adam would fall. The Bible is silent concerning how long it took before the tempter would confront Eve with the lie that changed … everything. We don’t know how long this fallen angel watched this new man and woman that were different than the rest of creation. They were made in God’s image and likeness.
Satan didn’t want to confront them himself. Who were these two that some say might have looked like God, the one who had already kicked Satan and his followers out of Heaven. The first Adam is called the Son of God in Luke 3:38. So … could the first Adam have looked like God, or perhaps even like the Son of God … Jesus, who later by the Apostle Paul is also called the last Adam.
1st Corinthians 15:45-46 … "And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual."
It could have been years before Satan worked up the courage to send the serpent into the garden to plant the lie in the heart of the woman Eve.
At first glance, the answer to the question … "Did God make man good or evil?" … seems to be yes … God made man originally good. He said so. But this is not speaking of what was in Adam’s heart and soul. It was only all good in God’s eyes, speaking of the creature He just made … because Adam and Eve met all the requirements God needed in this first man and woman.
God endued the will of man with a natural liberty called … the freedom of choice that was not … predisposed to good or evil. In other words … God remained completely neutral, not helping or supporting either side of the coming battle of good and evil.
God did not create them with a "bent" … with a natural inclination to choose sin. Adam and Eve both had the freedom and power of choice to do that which was good and pleasing to God. I believe they would never have sinned had they not been tempted with Satan’s lies.
Because of their fall into a state of sin, we today are born with a natural inclination to choose sin and we have lost all ability to will ourselves by nature alone back to spiritual good.
So what looks like permission to sin by God giving man a free will and the capacity to sin, knowing that man would sin … even so, the sinfulness proceeds only from the man and not from God who can neither be the author or approver of sin.
Today … natural man, being altogether adverse to that spiritual good, is not able by his own strength to convert himself or to save himself from that sinful nature.
It is by God's grace and mercy alone … that Jesus brought to sinful man, total and complete salvation to all who would believe in Him.
I found the question … "Did God make man inherently good or evil?" … interesting.
Thank you Phillip … for always inspiring me to study.
Comments are welcome.