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There are many questions that circle around the following question but the exact wording is important - therefore it is, to the best of my knowledge, not a duplicate!

In many of the answers given to similar questions the following is stated:

God has perfect free will but He will never sin because it is not in His nature.

My question
Obviously we haven't defined our nature ourselves but we were created with a certain nature. Obviously it is in our nature to sin. When God created us in His image why did He take the free will-part but not the it is not in our nature to sin-part? The catastrophic consequences were clear to Him being omnipotent.

NB
I am not looking for speculative answers but answers that are firmly based on scripture.

NB 2
This question is being asked from a Protestant Christian perspective (sola scriptura).

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    Why are people so eager to close this question without giving any reason?!? – vonjd Jun 2 '18 at 14:46
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    Just answered your question, and I did not downvote your question. However, it seems (to me) that the emphasis should be focused on God creating Adam in his image and what that means, rather than assuming Adam was created with a sin nature. Asking questions is always much more difficult than answering them! – Lesley Jun 2 '18 at 15:07
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    Because this is what we call a Truth Question, and it's not allowed here. You must specify the perspective you want answers from. – curiousdannii Jun 2 '18 at 15:31
  • @curiousdannii: Thank you, I edited the question. Is this better? – vonjd Jun 2 '18 at 15:44
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"When God created us in His image" is in your question. Maybe "His image" means: We have spirits, consciousness, emotions and use language, but does not mean we are uncreated, all knowing, or have any moral strength of our own separate from God. One can disagree with this definition but I suggest your question implies we all agree on some obvious meaning. Also the question does not, I think, show awareness of the following:

God made Adam.

God is perfect. Adam was made perfectly to fit God's purposes.

God's purpose was that only Jesus would fulfil the law.Mat 5v17 I did not come to destroy but to fulfil. [the Law].

Adam was not made capable of fulfilling the Law.

At first Adam had peace with God. In Gen 2v16 Adam is not ashamed to be in God's presence. But nothing had been required of him so far. [A car in a showroom with no brakes is not perfect but it only becomes a problem when it is driven]. Temptation exposed Adam's inability.

Rom 11v32 God has committed them all to disobedience that He might have mercy on all. [might=subjunctive=a possibility]. The possibility of having mercy on all, or any, is created by the necessary condition of all being trapped, or committed to disobedience. The Greek word for trapped used here is the same as used in Luke 5v6 for fish enclosed. It is something done to fish, or men, and not something they initiate.

To blame [blame implies fault] God is not the way out of sin even though we have been made incapable of the holiness necessary to fulfil the Law. Admitting to God we are sinners and turning to Him for forgiveness is the way out of sin.

  • So you are saying that God could have created us without a sinful nature but chose not to, so that He might have mercy on us - or not so that He can have us tortured for eternity. But we should not blame Him for this deplorable state of affairs He chose to create but bow down before Him and hope for the best. Is this a fair (although pointed) summary? – vonjd Jun 4 '18 at 13:37
  • What I have put in my answer may suggest to you various things, but I did not mention choice, torture, deplorable state, or hope. These are all your words and they suggest to me that they are not a fair summary of what I put. They feel like a heart felt reaction to what I put. – C. Stroud Jun 4 '18 at 20:28
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Did God "create us so that it is in our nature to sin"? After God had created Adam and Eve He "saw all tht he had made, and it was very good" (Genesis 1:31).

That means everything that God had created was without blemish, without fault, without sin. There was no "sin nature" in Adam or in Eve. Sin did not exist - up till the moment they decided to disobey God. Genesis chapter describes how, by that one action of disobedience, sin entered into their nature. They were immediately stricken with a sense of shame and unfitness, and they hid from God’s presence.

When they had children, Adam’s image and likeness was passed along to his offspring: "When Adam had lived 130 years, he fathered a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth" (Genesis 5:3). The sin nature manifested itself early in the genealogy: the very first child born to Adam and Eve, Cain, became the very first murderer (Genesis 4:8).

“Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned” (Romans 5:14).

I may have misunderstood your question, but based on what the Bible says I reject the premise that God created Adam with a nature to sin. Adam was created perfect and without sin.

Edit for clarification: I found an article on what being created in the image of God means. A full explanation can be read (link provided), but this is a partial quote that seems relevant:

"Part of being made in God’s image is that Adam had the capacity to make free choices. Although they were given a righteous nature, Adam and Eve made an evil choice to rebel against their Creator. In so doing, they marred the image of God within themselves, and passed that damaged likeness on to all of their descendants (Romans 5:12). Today, we still bear the image of God (James 3:9), but we also bear the scars of sin. Mentally, morally, socially, and physically, we show the effects of sin."

Source: https://www.gotquestions.org/image-of-God.html

  • Thank you for your answer. I think it is a fair point to draw the attention to Adam. What I don't understand is how you can say that God will never sin because it is not in His nature but Adam sinned although it was not in his nature either. I think there are only two possibilities: Either God could have sinned too or will possibly sin in the future or Adam had a different nature than God, i.e. one that made it possible for him to sin. Do I make some logical mistake here? Thank you again. – vonjd Jun 2 '18 at 15:18
  • Free will vs sin nature . – Kris Jun 2 '18 at 15:23
  • Originally, human nature was perfect by virtue of having been created by God. There is the nature of God (which is perfect and without sin) and there is human nature, which has been marred by sin. Gods – Lesley Jun 2 '18 at 15:32
  • So it is the first possibility (God could have sinned too or will possibly sin in the future)? – vonjd Jun 2 '18 at 15:34
  • @vonjd - No, God has not, could not and never will sin. Although we are created in God's image, we are not the same as God. We may have been imbued with some of his attributes but we are not holy and perfect as God is holy and perfect. Adam was able to reason and choose, which is a reflection of God’s intellect and freedom, but Adam reasoned wrongly and chose badly. God's intellect is unimaginably superior to our intellect, just as God's ways are higher than our ways. That's why God has also provided the solution to sin. – Lesley Jun 2 '18 at 15:49
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Have you ever tried to compare the differences between God’s nature and man’s nature? God is The Divine Being we are human beings. God’s being is Holy – thrice ‘holy’ (Isaiah 6:3) which is never stressed with his other attributes. That’s the starting point – the supreme holiness of God which us sinful human beings cannot begin to comprehend while we are tarnished with our sin. Don’t forget – WE sin. This isn’t a theological exercise about someone called Adam – it’s about the awesome Being of the Holy God who tells us what’s wrong with us, and how, through Christ, the last Adam, he lovingly enables that corrupt nature of ours to be restored to what it originally was created as: perfect and sinless. We can’t accomplish that as we are fallen and degraded by our sin. We should not tell God what our objections are to what he’s communicated to us already regarding that dilemma; we have to listen to him, then repentantly obey.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts…. [My word] shall accomplish that which I please” (Isaiah 55:8-11).

Our sinful eyes can only be opened by God, should he graciously deign so to do. Attitude counts, and it is our attitude that is deficient, not Gods.

Our sin creates a huge chasm between us and our Maker, who remains untarnished. Adam fell into that chasm when he chose to follow his wife in a course of disobedience. She had been deceived; he had not. That is why the Bible says it was through the one man, Adam, that sin entered the world (Romans 5:14) The Q you raise is not about love or free will. It is about God’s holiness, his righteousness, and his justice yet this is the continuing flaw of sinful human beings – we actually try to justify ourselves before God. Yours is a good question which I’ve marked up, but only in order to expose the danger of this basic human flaw of pride if sinners use it to try to justify themselves. Please don’t take offense at me saying that. God declares,

“For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy. I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” (Isaiah 57:15)

Persevere with the answer now the preamble is over.

Having re-directed the matter to the Being of God first, only after which we can understand the vexed matter of a sinful human being, please grasp the awesomeness of God’s Holiness, Righteousness, and Justice. For God to fail to exercise such attributes in perfect balance would be to fail to be the Almighty God. That would be to violate his own Being. Only he is God. We are not God. He declared to his covenant people,

“Before me there was no god formed, neither shall there be after me… I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God… Is there a God beside me? Yea, there is no God; I know not any… and I will not give my glory unto another.” (Verses from Isaiah chapters 43, 44 & 48)

Being created in God’s image and likeness gave man the ability to perfectly represent God on earth, to be his chosen agent for having the earth cultivated, to have its creatures in subjection and to procreate, all according to God’s perfect will. Man was created without sin tarnishing him or his divine commission. Man was not created unholy, unrighteous or unjust yet man was not created with God’s Being, for that belongs uniquely to the Creator. Man did, however, have available to him, eating from the Tree of Life, which necessitated avoiding eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. To eat of the latter would be to deprive himself of eating of the former. A deceiver came along (a sinful creature outwith the realms of humanity) who ever so slightly twisted God’s words so as to cause the woman to fall for his trick, then the man chose to throw in his lot with her, rather than perhaps ‘lose’ her? Having received this fabulous companion, did he fear ending up on his own again? Back to what the scriptures actually tell us:

“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 afterwards that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy; and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” (1 Corinthians 15:45-49)

The Greek word ‘anthropos’ is used here to distinguish between a particular man and humanity. Humanity is made from the dust of the ground – we are ‘earthy’ (created from matter). The Word from heaven (spirit, not created matter) added human nature to his divine nature in order to be God’s means of delivering us from corrupted human nature inherited from the first ‘earthy’ man. The man, Jesus, imparts life eternal to those who will accept him as the gift God gave. The gift was the person of the Son of God. In that way the Son of Man offered up his body, his humanity, to redeem matters righteously, according to God’s perfect law of justice. Redemption wrought is righteousness wrought, then comes restitution to those accepting the gift.

Yet humanity that treats humanity as the purpose of its own existence, as if humanity can independently realise its own fulfilment by its own expression of itself and promoting its own views will never see what humanity is, from God’s viewpoint, and thus will continue to question the right of God to work matters out as he has chosen so to do. For God’s ways prove his utter holiness, righteousness and justice. And his love is supremely demonstrated in giving the Word, who is God, as his undeserved gift to fallen humanity, to redeem them from the pit. Who can see it? Who can grasp by faith, the rope that lifts us out of our pit, while the many keep seeking their own systems and theologies to contribute towards our redemption? God says we cannot even redeem ourselves, let alone another (Psalm 49:7-9 yet God will redeem David’s soul from the power of the grave; God shall receive him.)

Eden cannot be viewed clearly without standing at Golgotha, to see how

“Surely God’s salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land. Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed” (Psalm 87:9-10).

To stand in Eden, pondering what happened there without taking God’s revelation of his salvation at Golgotha into consideration is an exercise in futility. Thus I have given the Bigger Picture, sola scriptura as requested, for your consideration. Consider what God has said and revealed, then your understanding will be changed, and for God’s glory.

  • I am sorry, but I don't see how this answers my question. – vonjd Jun 4 '18 at 13:56
  • It exposes the error of wrongly supposing the Eden event is about love and/or our free will. It answers by showing how being created in the image of God does not mean we have the Being of God. We are human beings, not the Being of God. Our nature does not have God's righteous nature. We are unrighteous. For as long as we look at this question from our own, unrighteous, point of view, we'll never learn the answer that God has already given, and the answer is all about Him, not us. Human pride demands we have a worthy role to play. We don't. Until that is seen, nothing is seen. – Anne Jun 4 '18 at 19:07
  • Anne: Don't belittle yourself, you are a wonderful person, I can feel that. You are more ethical than this God who chose to create us with an unrighteous nature, only to have us punished when we act according to our nature. We didn't choose our nature, He created us with this very nature. He could have created us with a righteous nature (which works perfectly well with free will, He is the prime example), He chose not to. He had a choice! As an omniscient God He should have seen the coming catastrophe, instead He was overwhelmed by it. I am sorry that I have to break this to you. – vonjd Jun 5 '18 at 17:07
  • @vonjd - I will not accept the blasphemy of you saying I am more ethical than God, who is Righteousness personified. Nor will I enter into argument with you as you seem to have made your mind up and have judged God. You will undoubtedly add 'a last word' to this; I just comment that God has the last word and we will be silenced when He speaks in judgment. – Anne Jun 7 '18 at 7:13
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1) Mankind was created at a certain point in time. (Genesis 1, 2)

2) God is eternal. (Genesis 21:33)

3) God cannot create an eternal being whose existence has a beginning that comes later than eternity past - that is a logical impossibility.

4) From this we can conclude that in at least some respects, God and humans are different. God has attributes (like eternal existence) that are not communicable to his creations.

5) God created man in his own image:

Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

6) Therefore we can conclude there are attributes that God can and did communicate to his creations.

7) At least one aspect of that image is defined: man is granted a sphere of dominion over nature.

8) Not all respects in which man is in God's image are enumerated. Psalm 8:

4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?

5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.

6 Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet.

9) The Bible addresses the question of why we were constructed (individually or collectively) in one way and not another. Isaiah 45:9 says:

9 “Woe to the one who argues with his Maker— one clay pot among many. Does clay say to the one forming it, ‘What are you making?’ Or does your work say, ‘He has no hands’?

10) The evidence from Genesis 3 is that regardless of the nature Adam and Eve had prior to the fall, their nature changed, and we inherit that nature just as surely as we inherit our parents' DNA.

11) The change in nature was Adam and Eve's fault as punishment for their sin, an act of judgment by God. The full scope of the change is not described, but aspects of it are given in Genesis: knowledge of good an evil, pain in childbirth, troubled relationships between men and women, and physical death.

12) This leaves the main question. Since the fall, it is in our nature to sin, as described by Paul in Romans, especially chapters 3 and 7. Before the Fall, mankind was neither incapable of sin nor prone to sin: Adam and Eve were innocent. Differnt from God (who cannot) sin, but also different from us (who have a sin nature). Thus God did not originally create us with a nature prone to sin.

  • So you are saying that Adam and Eve were created in such a way that it was not against their nature to sin (like it is against God's nature to sin)? – vonjd Jun 6 '18 at 14:50
  • No. I am, saying that it was not in human nature to be incapable of sin. It was also not yet part of human nature to sin. Nothing in Adam and Eve's nature resisted sin besides ignorance and trust in God, whom if they obeyed, by their obedience would keep them from sin. The conditions to resist sin lay in God, and only us so long as we remained in communion with him. I would call this attribute a relational attribute of God, granted not to us as individuals apart from him, but to a special entity, our relationship to him. – Paul Chernoch Jun 11 '18 at 17:40
  • I understand: so God created them in such a way that "Nothing in Adam and Eve's nature resisted sin". The catastrophic consequences were clear to Him being omniscient.He had a choice when creating Adam and Eve, He chose to create them in this way. This is really unfortunate. – vonjd Jun 11 '18 at 18:40
  • Willingness to suffer on behalf of others is one of God's attributes, and the crowning achievement of Jesus Christ. God wishes for us to become more like him. In order to do so, we must have a world in which there are people we can volunteer to help at cost to ourselves. In order to save, there must be people needing salvation. God has created such a world for us, where we can grow in maturitty. That is fortunate. – Paul Chernoch Jun 13 '18 at 17:10
  • If "wishes for us to become more like him" why didn't he create us that way in the first place? Was this beyond his powers? – vonjd Jun 13 '18 at 19:17
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The OP asks for a non-speculative answer, but the OP is asking a speculative question regarding what might have happened to humanity had Eve not done as she did and had Adam not done as he did.

However I am answering this from a Protestant and Christian perspective, for both of those I am.


The fact is that what God created was good. And the fact is that the (created) Serpent did what he did, the (created) woman did what she did and the (created) man did what he did.

That which was created conspired against the Creator. And this was the the best creation that could ever be created !

Did Deity create less than the best ? Let it not be !

The fact is that there is an inherent liability in creation itself. The very existence of a creation at all causes something to be there. It springs into existence by the very act of creation.

The tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And God immediately warned Adam of that which was there and warned Adam of the consequences of it.

It is because of that that the Serpent did as he did, that Eve did what she did and that Adam acted the way he did.

This is what created beings did. This is what created beings will always do. It's how created beings behave !


But Deity already knew of this. And from before the foundation of the world, Ephesians 1:4, was there a unanimous agreement. And from the foundation of the world, there was a sacrifice in view :

The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Revelation 13:8.

Great is the wondrous salvation of God Almighty who, in his wisdom, foresaw all things, yet in love refrained not from his ultimate purpose :

in bringing many sons to glory, Hebrews 2:10.

Creation was but a necessary precursor to the ultimate purpose of Almighty God who desired to share his existence with sons whom he would father.

  • "And this was the the best creation that could ever be created !" - So He was not able to create humanity with a sinless nature (like His own sinless nature)? – vonjd Jun 7 '18 at 20:14
  • At the point of creation, Adam had not (yet) sinned. But as I said there is a liability in the creation by its very existence. And God warned of the liability. – Nigel J Jun 9 '18 at 3:29
  • Fact is Adam did something God would have never done because it is not in His nature. Ergo He created Adam with a different - more evil than Himself - nature. God had a choice, He could have chosen otherwise, He did not. Case closed. – vonjd Jun 9 '18 at 8:29
  • Nature is not evil, in and of itself. In my flesh, says Paul, there dwelleth no good thing, Romans 7:18. He does not say it is evil, of itself. There is just no good there. No good to draw upon.And if, as Adam did, one subjects oneself to that which demands good (the tree of knowledge) then it is discovered that there is no good. – Nigel J Jun 9 '18 at 9:53
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The key piece of the puzzle you are missing is love. To quote you above:

God has perfect free will but He will never sin because it is not in His nature.

Why? Because God's very nature is self-sacrificing love.

Now why can't God create sinless creations with a nature incapable of sining? Because love is from God.

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 1 John 4:7

To quote the prominent Protestant writer Ellen White:

God's wonderful purpose of grace, the mystery of redeeming love, is the theme into which "angels desire to look," and it will be their study throughout endless ages. Both the redeemed and the unfallen beings will find in the cross of Christ their science and their song. It will be seen that the glory shining in the face of Jesus is the glory of self-sacrificing love. In the light from Calvary it will be seen that the law of self-renouncing love is the law of life for earth and heaven; that the love which "seeketh not her own" has its source in the heart of God; (The Desire of Ages, Pg 19)

So in the heavenly courts, in His ministry for all created beings: through the beloved Son, the Father's life flows out to all; through the Son it returns, in praise and joyous service, a tide of love, to the great Source of all. And thus through Christ the circuit of beneficence is complete, representing the character of the great Giver, the law of life. (Desire of Ages, Pg 21)

Creations were made to receive God's self-renouncing love and to reflect it back to Him through praises and willful service. If God creates creations who are self-sustaining embodiments of love themselves, well, then God would have created Himself.

God is love. 1 John 4:8

  • To be honest with you I don't know what to make of your answer. I doubt that this is the official Protestant doctrine. You write "why can't God create [...]" which is a direct challenge to His omnipotence. On top of that the Jesus is preaching love all the time in the sense that WE should love (God, each other etc.) If God is the only one who would be able to send love then He would love Himself when we only "reflect" His love, which sounds more like a narcissist than a good God. – vonjd Jun 3 '18 at 6:45
  • But the biggest problem I have with this is that He must have known that He is creating a deseaster when He gives His creation perfect free will but not the means to use it wisely. – vonjd Jun 3 '18 at 6:45
  • I understand your struggle. The fact it is God who gives us the capability to love, have faith etc. is as Protestant in official doctrine as it gets. Perhaps "reflect" was a poor choice of word, but when we love God and others as ourselves, the source of that love is from God. Jesus stresses in His teachings that apart from Him we can do nothing. When creations are cutoff from God, they live for themselves. – Beestocks Jun 3 '18 at 14:22
  • In terms of the 'problem' of God foreseeing it all, I can only share with you what helped me. Try the book Patriarchs and Prophets by Ellen White, it covers creation, and in my opinion is Biblical. I was an atheist before opening up my heart to the possibility, studying the Bible, and reading this book. You have to form your own conclusions. I have come to understand that God is a creator, and also of immense love. He foresaw sin, set the plan of salvation to meet it, and also foresaw the victory and aftermath of everything restored. – Beestocks Jun 3 '18 at 14:32

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