people-praying-in-church_Christians

Your Sinful Nature

Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden had free will but chose to abuse it, to rebel against their Creator. God had created them perfect; they lacked nothing. They need not fear any illnesses, hunger, death, any form of difficulty that plagues man today. The only requirement that they had was to live out their freedom under the sovereignty of God, i.e., the righteous rule of God, and the laws that the Creator would introduce, including the laws of nature.

One such natural law was that they would grow hungry if they did not eat, thus the need to obey the law to eat. The same would hold true for water as well, and the need to drink. Then, there was a need for sleep. Outside of these natural laws, God gave them work to accomplish within Eden, yet we will note in the texts below, there were not innumerable details, rules, and regulations. They had the freedom to fulfill the work that was assigned, as long as it was fulfilled.

Genesis 1:28 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Genesis 2:15 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

15 And Jehovah God took the man and set him in the garden of Eden to cultivate it and to keep it.

Human ImperfectionHowever, one must recognize that the freedom given to a child to make decisions on their own means they are given responsibilities and are trusted to carry out those responsibilities. Moreover, it does not mean that the act of decision-making alone, for the sake of making them, was going to end with good results. A child must learn and grow from being taught by their father and mother, and as they demonstrate that, they are ready for more freedom and responsibility; then, they will receive it. God did not create Adam and Eve so that there was no need for growth, no need to learn. He gave both man and woman intelligence so that they could grow in knowledge and understanding, wisely making application to what they were learning. Of both Adam and Eve God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” This means that the inner person within the first human pair would have possessed the same qualities in their decision-making skills as their Creator. If their love and respect for God and all he had done grew, it would have only been natural that they would have wanted to please him.

There was one law that the first couples were given, which would allow them to evidence their love and appreciation, as well as grow from their experience of obeying this law. “And Jehovah God commanded the man, saying, ‘From every tree of the garden you may freely eat, but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die.’” (Gen. 2:16, 17) They had an entire Garden of trees to eat from, as “God caused to grow every tree that was pleasing to the sight and good for food.” (Gen. 2:9) What did this mean? It meant that they lacked nothing regardless of this one restricted tree. It also meant that to obey or not obey was within their free will, and they were not lacking anything that would have contributed to their disobeying. Nevertheless, Adam, who was to be the father of humankind, had to learn that while he was given the earth as his domain, it still belonged to God as the rightful Ruler. Psalm 24:1, 10.

THE BATTLE FOR THE CHRISTIAN MIND (1)As you can see, humankind’s continued existence in paradise, with perfection, was dependent upon obedience, his continued acceptance of God as his sovereign.

Genesis 3:1-6 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which Jehovah God had made. And he said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat,  3 but from the tree that is in the midst of the garden, God said, ‘You shall not eat from it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die’.”  4 And the serpent said to the woman, “You shall not surely die.  5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” knowing good and evil.

6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desirable to make one wise, and she took of its fruit and ate, then she also gave some to her husband when with her, and he ate.

We are all mentally bent toward evil (Gen. 6:5; 8:21), with a treacherous heart that is desperately sick. (Jer. 17:9)[1]

Job 14:1 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

14 “Man who is born of a woman
is few of days and full of trouble.

Romans 5:12 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

12 Therefore, [Gen. 3:1-6] just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned,

John 8:44 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. That one was a manslayer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Revelation 12:9 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole inhabited earth; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

The Importance of Human Freedom

There are those today who live under human tyranny (governmental oppression), and then there are those in the Western world that have many freedoms. We were created with the desire for freedom within us, and we have learned that in the above that this freedom was abused. The greatest irony is those who believe in absolute human freedom, and that the Bible and God inhibit such freedom.

[1] “The prophet intended to communicate one point to his audience: a person cannot trust his heart completely in major decisions, either morally or spiritually, if it is in a desperately unhealthy state.” – Anders, Max; Wood, Fred M.; McLaren, Ross H. (2006-07-01). Holman Old Testament Commentary – Jeremiah, Lamentations (p. 172). B&H Publishing. Kindle Edition.