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.