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One member of an apologetic Facebook group expressed his inability to understand the often stated, “if God allows man to choose … that means man’s will is stronger.”
The reason you do not understand it is that it’s nonsensical. This is the way of Calvinism and the once saved always saved, eternal security, predestined lost persons. So, if a Father of a child allows his child over time as the child matures to make the child’s own decisions on certain things, that means the child’s will is stronger? Really? When God gave Adam and Eve free will, the ability to choose, he also gave them a perfect conscience that gave them the capacity to make perfect decisions. However, the principle in James 1:14 that if you entertain or cultivate a bad idea, you will eventually give way to it applied to them as well.
James 1:14-15 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then the desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
Did Satan, Adam, and Eve need to have to make all their decisions right after being created in order to qualify as a perfect creation?
To suggest such a thing would be saying that they had no free will, they had no choice. God did not create Satan, Adam, and Eve to make automatic programmed decisions. God gave them freedom of choice to obey Him out of love, or they could love themselves more and be disobedient. (Deut. 11:1; 1 John 5:3) The qualities of a created being with no ability to choose and being created with free will (the capacity to choose) are not the same. The former is a robot, the latter is a human. Therefore, because we have had sin enter into the world, it means that God gave spirit creatures and humans free will, the ability to choose between right and wrong, to make moral decisions. For example, to eat from the tree of knowledge was bad, to not eat from it was good. This is the way spirit persons and humans were designed, the inability to make morally right decisions would have indicated imperfection: failure, weakness, shortcoming.
Would perfection mean that Satan, Adam, and Eve were not able to do wrong?
Think it through logically, if God had not given Satan, Adam and Eve free will, there would be no wickedness. If there was no such thing as free will, and Satan, Adam and Eve were created without it, they could not have ever sinned unless God chose for them to sin, making God words that Hitler. But God has given his intelligent creatures free will, the capacity to choose to obey God out of love for Him or to disobey Him out of love for self. (Deut. 30:19-20; Josh. 24:15) If God had created the angels, Adam, and Eve without free will; then, God would have created the perfect robots and they would have done exactly what he wanted them to do. Even if God had created Adam and Eve as perfect robots (lacking free will), they would not have been perfect humans.
How is it those perfect spirit persons and humans could commit acts of sin?
Perfection does not mean one can abuse the creation and there not be dire results. If perfect humans smoked cigarettes, it would still cause damage, it would just take longer. If perfect humans ate unhealthy food, their bodies would still pay the price. Thus, the moment God created spirit persons and humans and gave them an internal moral code, there would be things that would be good and things that would be bad. Satan allowed a bad thought to enter his mind and instead of dismissing it, he entertained it. When Satan approached Eve, she too entertained the bad thoughts, which caused moral decline, unholiness. Again, James 1:14-15 explains: “But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own desire. Then the desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.”
Consider Eve’s words about a tree that she likely saw thousands of times, “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.” (Gen. 3:1-6) The eyes are a window to the heart, the seat of motivation. The wrong desires if Eve grew as she listened to Satan, as he used the serpent to tempt her with nad thoughts. Adam then showed more love for his wife than God. Both could have rejected the wrong thoughts. Both entertain and cultivated selfish desires, resulting in sin.
- Is Foreknowledge Compatible with Free Will?
- Why has God Permitted Wickedness and Suffering?
- Why is Life So Unfair?
- When Bad Things Happen to Good People
- Does God Step in and Solve Our Every Problem Because We are Faithful?
- No Absolutes
- God is INDIRECTLY responsible for ALL things and DIRECTLY responsible for SOME things
- REASONABLE FAITH: Saving Those Who Doubt by Edward D. Andrews
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