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In the sacred Scriptures, we find a profound account of God’s divine plan in the garden of Eden, where He placed two trees with symbolic significance: “the tree of life” and “the tree of the knowledge of good and bad.” It is crucial to understand that the disobedience towards God’s command regarding the latter tree led to the downfall of mankind. This narrative can be found in the Book of Genesis, chapters 2 and 3.
Sadly, the true meaning of “the tree of the knowledge of good and bad” and the prohibition associated with its fruit has often been misunderstood, with some erroneously interpreting it as a reference to sexual relations between the first human couple. However, this interpretation contradicts God’s explicit command to them, as male and female, to “be fruitful and become many and fill the earth” (Genesis 1:28).
Rather, this tree, symbolizing “the knowledge of good and bad,” represented God’s sole authority to establish the standards of what is considered “good” (in accordance with His approval) and what is deemed “bad” (condemned by God). By designating it off-limits for the human pair, God demonstrated His prerogative to determine the boundaries and guidelines for mankind. This act of divine decree transformed the tree into a test of humanity’s reverence for their Creator’s authority and their willingness to abide by the freedom granted within God’s parameters, which were certainly not restrictive but allowed for the fullest enjoyment of human life. If Adam had not sinned and followed God’s command to procreate and fill the earth, he would have been the father of perfect humanity forever.
Therefore, consuming the forbidden fruit from “the tree of the knowledge of good and bad” would have amounted to a rebellion against God’s domain and authority—a transgression that invaded His rightful jurisdiction. It would have been an act of defiance against the Divine, disregarding His established boundaries and challenging His sovereignty.
Upholding the Sovereignty of God
Sovereignty refers to the supreme rule and power of a lord, king, emperor, or similar authority, ultimately determining the governance of a state.
In the Hebrew Scriptures, the term “ʼAdhonai” appears frequently, with the expression “ʼAdhonai Yehwih” occurring 285 times. “Adhonai” is a plural form of “adhohn,” meaning “lord” or “master.” While the plural form “adhonim” can be applied to men in a simple plural sense, meaning “lords” or “masters,” the term “Adhonai” without an additional suffix is always used in reference to God. The plural form is employed to denote excellence or majesty. Translators commonly render it as “Lord.” When it appears with the name of God (“Adhonai Yehwih”), such as in Psalm 73:28, it is translated as “Lord GOD” or “Lord God” by various translations. In Psalms 47:9, 138:5, and 150:2, Moffatt uses the word “sovereign,” although it is not a direct translation of “Adhonai.”
In the Greek New Testament, the word “despotes” is used, which means one who possesses supreme authority, absolute ownership, and uncontrolled power. It is translated as “lord,” “master,” “owner,” and when addressing God directly, it is rendered as “Lord.” For example, Luke 2:29, Acts 4:24, and Revelation 6:10 use “Sovereign Lord” in translations such as Knox, The New English Bible, Moffatt, and the Revised Standard Version. Young’s translation uses the term “master” in that context.
Although the Hebrew and Greek texts do not contain a separate specific word for “sovereign,” the essence of sovereignty is captured in the words Adhonai and despotes when they are used in the Scriptures to refer to Jehovah God. The additional qualifier denotes the excellence and supremacy of His lordship.
According to the Scriptures, Jehovah God holds the position of Sovereign over the entire universe. His sovereignty is established based on His role as the Creator, His divine nature as God, and His supreme authority as the Almighty. (Genesis 17:1; Exodus 6:3; Revelation 16:14) As the Owner of all things and the ultimate source of authority and power, He reigns as the Supreme Ruler in all aspects of governance. (Psalm 24:1; Isaiah 40:21-23; Revelation 4:11; 11:15) The psalmist joyfully proclaimed: “Jehovah has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all.” (Psalm 103:19; 145:13) The disciples of Jesus, in their prayer to God, addressed Him as “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them.” (Acts 4:24, ESV; UASV) In the nation of Israel, God Himself fulfilled the roles of all three branches of government—judicial, legislative, and executive. The prophet Isaiah declared: “For Jehovah is our judge; Jehovah is our lawgiver; Jehovah is our king; he will save us.” (Isaiah 33:22, UASV) Moses, too, provides a remarkable description of God as the Sovereign in Deuteronomy 10:17.
As the Supreme Sovereign, God has the right and authority to delegate ruling responsibilities. David was appointed as the king of Israel, and the Scriptures often refer to “the kingdom of David” as if it were his kingdom. However, David recognized Jehovah as the supreme Sovereign Ruler, acknowledging: “Yours, O Jehovah, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and on the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Jehovah, and you are exalted as head above all.” (1 Chronicles 29:11, UASV)
God’s Sovereignty Challenged
Throughout the years, indicated by Bible chronology, wickedness has been present on the earth. Humanity has been plagued by sin, leading to death, and transgressions against God have multiplied. (Romans 5:12, 15, 16) Given that God initially granted mankind a perfect start, questions arise: How did sin, imperfection, and wickedness originate? And why has the Almighty God allowed their existence to persist for centuries? The answers lie in a challenge to God’s sovereignty, which raised a crucial issue concerning humanity. See the linked article below that will address the problem of evil extensively.
What God Desires in His Servants
Through His words and actions over the centuries, God has demonstrated that He is a God of love and grace. He exercises perfect justice and judgment while extending mercy to those who seek to serve Him. (Exodus 34:6, 7; Psalm 89:14) Even to the ungrateful and wicked; He has shown kindness. (Matthew 5:45; Luke 6:35; Romans 5:8) He takes delight in administering His sovereignty with love. (Jeremiah 9:24)
Consequently, God desires individuals in His universe who serve Him out of genuine love for Him and appreciation for His wonderful qualities. They must prioritize their love for God above all else and love their neighbors as themselves. (Matthew 22:37-39) They must love Jehovah’s sovereignty, desiring it and choosing it above any other form of rulership. (Psalm 84:10) These individuals, even if they were capable of independence, would willingly choose His sovereignty because they recognize that His rule is infinitely wiser, more righteous, and better than any other. (Isaiah 55:8-11; Jeremiah 10:23; Romans 7:18) Such individuals serve God not merely out of fear of His almightiness or for selfish reasons but out of love for His righteousness, justice, wisdom, and because they possess knowledge of Jehovah’s greatness and loving-kindness. (Psalm 97:10; 119:104, 128, 163) They echo the sentiments of the apostle Paul, exclaiming:
Romans 11:33-36 Updated American Standard Version
33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how untraceable his ways!
34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his counselor?”
35 “Or who has given a gift to him
that it might be paid back to him?”
36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
Those who truly know God come to love Him and uphold His sovereignty. The apostle John writes: “No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.” And, “The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (1 John 3:6; 4:8) Jesus, having an intimate knowledge of His Father, declared: “All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wants to reveal him.” (Matthew 11:27)
A Failure to Develop Love and Appreciation
The challenge against Jehovah’s sovereignty arose from one who, despite benefiting from God’s sovereignty, failed to appreciate and develop a deep love for Him. This challenger was a spirit creature—an angel. When Adam and Eve, the first human couple, were placed on earth, this angel saw an opportunity to attack God’s sovereignty. His plan involved turning Eve, and subsequently Adam, away from submitting to God’s sovereignty, aiming to establish a rival rulership.
Eve, the first one approached, had not truly appreciated her Creator and God. She had not taken advantage of the opportunity to truly know Him. She listened to the voice of an inferior being, the serpent, who was actually the mouthpiece for the rebellious angel. The Bible does not indicate any surprise on Eve’s part upon hearing the serpent speak. It does mention that the serpent was “more crafty than any beast of the field which Jehovah God had made.” (Genesis 3:1) Whether the serpent had consumed the forbidden fruit from “the tree of the knowledge of good and bad” and thereby gained the ability to speak is not explicitly stated. The rebellious angel, using the serpent as a mouthpiece, presented Eve with the supposed opportunity to become independent, “like God, knowing good and bad,” and succeeded in convincing her that she would not die. (Genesis 2:17; 3:4, 5; 2 Corinthians 11:3)
Adam, when faced with a rebellion in his household, also demonstrated a lack of appreciation and love for his Creator and Provider. He failed to show loyalty and stand up for his God during the test. He seemingly lost faith in God’s ability to provide all good things for His loyal servant. (Compare 2 Samuel 12:7-9, where Jehovah reproved David after his sin with Bathsheba.) Adam appeared to take offense against Jehovah, as evident in his response when questioned about his wrongdoing: “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and so I ate.” (Genesis 3:12) Although he did not believe the serpent’s lie that he would not die, like Eve, both Adam and Eve deliberately chose a path of self-determination and rebellion against God. (1 Timothy 2:14)
Adam could not claim that he was being unfairly tested by God. Instead, the principle explained in James 1:13-15 came into play: “When under trial, let no one say: ‘I am being tried by God.’ For with evil things God cannot be tried, nor does he himself try anyone. But each one is tried by being drawn out and enticed by his own desire. Then the desire, when it has become fertile, gives birth to sin; in turn, sin, when it has been carried out, brings forth death.” Therefore, the three rebels—the angel, Eve, and Adam—used the freedom of will that God had bestowed upon them to turn away from their state of sinlessness and embark on a willful course of sin.
The Concept of Perfection
The concept of perfection is expressed in the Hebrew Scriptures through terms like kalal (perfect [compare Ezekiel 27:4]), shalam (come to completion [compare Isaiah 60:20]), and tamam (be completed, come to perfection [compare Psalm 102:27; Isaiah 18:5]). Similarly, in the Greek New Testament, words like teleios (adjective), teleiotes (noun), and teleioo (verb) are used to convey ideas of bringing to completeness or full measure (Luke 8:14; 2 Corinthians 12:9; James 1:4), being full-grown, adult, or mature (1 Corinthians 14:20; Hebrews 5:14), and having attained the appropriate or appointed end, purpose, or goal (John 19:28; Philippians 3:12).
The Correct Viewpoint on Perfection
It is important for accurate Bible understanding to avoid the common error of assuming that everything described as “perfect” is so in an absolute sense, implying an infinite degree without limitations. Absolute perfection is a quality that belongs exclusively to the Creator, Jehovah God, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Jesus affirmed this when he said, “No one is good except God alone.” (Mark 10:18) God is incomparable in His excellence, deserving of all praise, and supreme in His extraordinary qualities and powers. His name alone is exalted beyond reach. (Psalm 148:1-13; Job 36:3, 4, 26; 37:16, 23, 24; Psalm 145:2-10, 21) Moses praised God’s perfection, declaring, “The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he.” (Deuteronomy 32:3, 4, UASV) God’s ways, words, and laws are flawless, refined, and free from any defect or flaw. (Psalm 18:30; 19:7; James 1:17, 25) There is never a justifiable reason for objection, criticism, or fault-finding in relation to Him or His activities; instead, praise is always due to Him. (Job 36:22-24)
Perfection and Free Will
The information presented above helps us grasp how perfect creatures of God could become disobedient. Regarding this, considering disobedience as incompatible with perfection overlooks the true meaning of the term and substitutes a personal concept that goes against the facts. God’s intelligent creatures are granted the freedom of moral agency, which is both a privilege and a responsibility. They have the ability to make personal decisions regarding the path they will take. (Deuteronomy 30:19, 20; Joshua 24:15) This was evident in the case of the first human couple, as their devotion to God needed to undergo testing. (Genesis 2:15-17; 3:2, 3) As their Creator, Jehovah knew what He desired from them, and the Scriptures make it clear that He desired not an automatic, mechanical obedience but rather worship and service stemming from hearts and minds driven by genuine love. (Compare Deuteronomy 30:15, 16; 1 Chronicles 28:9; 29:17; John 4:23, 24) If Adam and Eve lacked the ability to choose in this matter, they would not have met God’s requirements, and they would not have been considered complete and perfect according to His standards.
It is crucial to remember that human perfection is relative and limited to the human sphere. Although Adam was created perfect, he could not go beyond the boundaries established by his Creator. For instance, he could not consume dirt, gravel, or wood without experiencing harmful effects. If he attempted to breathe water instead of air, he would drown. Similarly, if he allowed his mind and heart to dwell on improper thoughts, it would lead to the development of wrong desires, ultimately resulting in sin and death. (James 1:14, 15; compare Genesis 1:29; Matthew 4:4)
The individual’s will and choice play a decisive role, as evidenced by various factors. If we were to assert that a perfect man could not choose the wrong path in a moral issue, then, logically, we would have to argue that an imperfect creature could not choose the right path in such a moral issue. Yet, imperfect beings have indeed chosen the right course when faced with moral issues that involve obedience to God. Some have even endured persecution rather than deviate from that course. At the same time, others deliberately engage in wrongful actions despite knowing what is right. Therefore, not all wrongful actions can be excused solely on the basis of human imperfection. The individual’s will and choice are the determining factors. Likewise, it was not human perfection alone that could guarantee right conduct for the first man; rather, it was the exercise of his own free will and choice, motivated by love for his God and a desire to do what was right. (Proverbs 4:23)
Rebellion in the Garden of Eden: God’s Will and the Prohibition
God’s instructions to Adam and Eve primarily consisted of positive commands, outlining what they were to do. (Genesis 1:26-29; 2:15) However, there was one prohibition given to Adam, which forbade him from eating (or even touching) the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and bad. (Genesis 2:16, 17; 3:2, 3) God’s test of obedience and devotion demonstrated respect for man’s dignity. God did not attribute anything bad to Adam. He did not test him by prohibiting acts of bestiality, murder, or any other vile or base actions, which would imply that God suspected Adam of such despicable inclinations. Eating was a normal and proper act, and Adam had been instructed to “eat to satisfaction” from all other trees. (Genesis 2:16) However, God tested Adam by placing a restriction on his consumption of the fruit from this particular tree. Thus, eating the fruit symbolized gaining knowledge that enabled one to determine for themselves what is “good” or “bad” for mankind. God did not impose a hardship on Adam or attribute anything beneath his dignity as a human son of God.
The Temptation and Sin
The woman, Eve, became the first human sinner. She was tempted by God’s Adversary, who used a serpent as a medium of communication. The temptation did not directly appeal to sensual immorality but instead masqueraded as an enticement for intellectual elevation and freedom. After causing Eve to restate God’s law, which she likely received from her husband, the Tempter attacked God’s truthfulness and goodness. He claimed that eating from the forbidden tree would not lead to death but rather to enlightenment and godlike ability to determine what is good or bad. This statement revealed that the Tempter was completely alienated in his heart from his Creator. His words constituted open contradiction and veiled slander against God. He accused God not of unknowing error but of deliberate misrepresentation, saying, “For God knows…” The seriousness of sin and the detestable nature of this disaffection are evident in the deceitful lies and murderous ambition employed by this spirit son, who was well aware of the fatal consequences of his suggestions to the human listener. (Genesis 3:1-5; John 8:44)
Improper Desire and Conformity to the Tempter
As the account reveals, improper desire began to take hold of the woman. Instead of reacting with disgust and righteous indignation when God’s righteousness was called into question, she began to see the tree as desirable. She coveted what rightfully belonged to Jehovah God as her Sovereign—His ability and prerogative to determine what is good and bad for His creatures. Consequently, she started aligning herself with the ways, standards, and will of the adversary who contradicted her Creator and her God-appointed head, her husband. (1 Corinthians 11:3) Trusting in the Tempter’s words, she allowed herself to be seduced, ate the fruit, and thus revealed the sin that had been conceived in her heart and mind. (Genesis 3:6; 2 Corinthians 11:3; James 1:14, 15; Matthew 5:27, 28)
Adam’s Participation and Conformity
Adam later partook of the fruit when it was offered to him by his wife. The apostle Paul explains that Adam’s sin differed from Eve’s in that he was not deceived by the Tempter’s propaganda. He did not believe that eating the fruit would have no consequences. (1 Timothy 2:14) Therefore, Adam
END OF EXCURSION
The Issue of Sovereignty
What was being challenged in the Garden of Eden? Who was being reproached and defamed by the angel later known as Satan the Devil, with Adam supporting this rebellion through his disobedient act? Was it the fact of Jehovah’s supremacy, the existence of His sovereignty? Was God’s sovereignty in jeopardy? No, for God possesses supreme authority and power, and no one in heaven or earth can snatch it away from His hand. (Romans 9:19) The challenge, therefore, must have been about the righteousness, worthiness, and rightfulness of God’s sovereignty—whether His sovereignty was exercised in a just manner and for the best interests of His subjects. An indication of this can be seen in the serpent’s approach to Eve, questioning whether God had truly forbidden them from eating the fruit of every tree in the garden, insinuating that such a prohibition was unreasonable and unjustly withholding something that rightfully belonged to the human couple. (Genesis 3:1)
The Nature of “the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Bad”
By partaking of the fruit from “the tree of the knowledge of good and bad,” Adam and Eve expressed their rebellion. As the Universal Sovereign, the Creator had every right to establish the law regarding this tree. Adam, being a created being and not sovereign, had limitations and needed to acknowledge this fact. For the sake of universal peace and harmony, it was necessary for all rational creatures to acknowledge and support the sovereignty of their Creator. Adam would demonstrate his recognition of this by refraining from eating the fruit of that tree. As the father-to-be of an earth full of people, his obedience and loyalty needed to be unwavering, even in the smallest matters. The principle at stake was that “he who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and he who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.” (Luke 16:10) Adam had the capacity for perfect obedience. Evidently, there was nothing inherently evil in the fruit of the tree itself. (It was not a prohibition against sexual relations, as God had commanded the couple to “be fruitful and multiply.” [Genesis 1:28] The forbidden fruit was from an actual tree, as the Bible states.) The tree symbolized something deeper, as explained in a footnote from The Jerusalem Bible (1966) on Genesis 2:17:
“This knowledge is a privilege that God reserves for Himself, and fallen man seeks to obtain it through sinning (3:5, 22). Therefore, it does not refer to omniscience, which fallen man does not possess, nor does it refer to moral discernment, for unfallen man already possessed it, and God would not deny it to a rational being. Rather, it is the power to decide for oneself what is good and what is evil, and to act accordingly—an assertion of complete moral independence by which man refuses to acknowledge his status as a created being. The first sin was an attack on God’s sovereignty, an act of pride.”
God’s People Accused of Selfishness
The issue at hand becomes further evident in Satan’s statement to God regarding His faithful servant Job. Satan questioned the genuineness of Job’s fear of God, suggesting that Job served God solely for selfish reasons. Satan claimed that Job’s obedience and blessings were only due to the protective hedge God had placed around him and his possessions. He challenged God to remove His blessings and touch everything Job had, believing that Job would then curse God. Satan further accused Job of valuing his own life above everything else. (Job 1:9-11; 2:4) In doing so, Satan insinuated that Job’s devotion to God and the integrity of God’s servants were not genuine but motivated by self-interest. This was a slander against God’s sovereignty and the loyalty of His servants. Satan essentially claimed that no individual on earth could maintain integrity to God’s sovereignty if subjected to his tests.
God permitted this issue to be raised, not because He doubted the righteousness of His own sovereignty. He had no need to prove anything to Himself. Instead, out of love for His intelligent creatures, He allowed time for the matter to be tested. He gave His creatures the opportunity to prove Satan a liar and to vindicate both God’s name and their own integrity. Satan, in his egotistic mindset, was allowed to spiral into a state of disapproval. His reasoning, even in his approach to Eve, was contradictory. (Romans 1:28) He accused God of exercising sovereignty unfairly and unrighteously, yet he also seemed to rely on God’s sense of fairness. He believed that God would feel obligated to spare him if he could prove his accusation of God’s creatures’ unfaithfulness.
WHY GOD? The Problem of Evil and Suffering?
It Is Vital to Settle the Issue of Sovereignty
The resolution of this issue holds great significance for all who live, as it directly relates to their relationship with God’s sovereignty. Once this matter is settled, there will be no need for it to be tested again. Jehovah desired full knowledge and understanding of all the questions involved in this issue. His actions inspire confidence in His unchangeableness, enhance His sovereignty, and firmly establish it in the minds of all who choose to align with Him. (Malachi 3:6)
A Moral Issue
This issue is not merely a matter of power or physical strength; it is primarily a moral issue. However, due to God’s invisibility and Satan’s efforts to deceive and blind mankind, there have been times when God’s power or existence has been questioned. Men have misunderstood God’s patience and kindness, and as a result, they have become more rebellious. It requires faith and endurance to serve God with integrity in the face of these challenges. Nonetheless, Jehovah intends to make His sovereignty and His name known to all. He allowed Pharaoh and Egypt to exist to display His power and declare His name throughout the earth. In a similar manner, God has allowed this world under the influence of Satan to develop in wickedness, but He has set a time for their destruction. The psalmist prayed that all people would recognize Jehovah’s supreme authority over the earth, and Jehovah Himself has sworn that every knee will bow before Him and acknowledge His righteousness and strength. (Psalm 83:18; Isaiah 45:23-24)
The Extent of the Issue
The scope of this issue reached beyond mankind and encompassed God’s heavenly creatures, including His beloved Son, who was closest to Him. Jesus, who always pleased His Father, had a deep desire to serve in the vindication of Jehovah’s sovereignty. God chose Him for this purpose and sent Him to earth, where He was born as a male child through the virgin Mary. Jesus, being perfect, maintained His integrity and blamelessness throughout His life, even in the face of a shameful death. Satan had no power to sway Jesus from His course, and he was ultimately judged as having failed. Jesus declared that the ruler of this world would be cast out, and He triumphed over the world. (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:33) His unwavering loyalty to God demonstrated the victory over Satan’s challenges.
BIBLE DIFFICULTY QUESTIONS
Did Perfection Require that Adam and Eve be Unable to Do Wrong?
No, perfection did not require that Adam and Eve be unable to do wrong. God created Adam and Eve as humans, not robots. They were endowed with the ability to make choices, including the choice between right and wrong, obedience and disobedience. This capacity for moral decision-making was an essential aspect of their human nature. If Adam and Eve were incapable of making such decisions, it would have indicated imperfection rather than perfection. God designed humans with free will, allowing them to exercise their own judgment and make choices based on their understanding of right and wrong. This freedom of choice was a reflection of their perfect human nature. The ability to choose rightly and demonstrate loyalty to God was a fundamental aspect of their perfection as human beings. (Deuteronomy 30:19, 20; Joshua 24:15)
Foreknowledge and Free Will: Exploring a Bible Difficulty
For Adam and Eve to be Considered Perfect, Does Every Decision They Make Need to be Flawless?
No, for Adam and Eve to qualify as being created perfect, it was not necessary for all their decisions thereafter to be right. God did not create them as beings whose obedience would be automatic or forced. He granted them the ability to choose, allowing them to exercise their free will. Their perfection as human beings meant that they had the capacity to make right choices and to demonstrate love and obedience to God out of their own volition. However, they also had the potential to make wrong decisions if they allowed selfishness or disobedience to enter their hearts. The significance lies in the motivation behind their actions. It is more meaningful when someone does something for you out of genuine love and desire rather than being forced to do so. Likewise, God desired Adam and Eve to choose obedience because they loved Him and recognized His sovereignty. (Deuteronomy 11:1; 1 John 5:3) Their ability to make choices, including the potential for making wrong decisions, was a part of their perfect human nature and the freedom they were given by their Creator.
EPHESIANS 1:4: How is it that Adam and Eve were blamed for their actions before the foundation of the world?
If Adam and Eve Were Created as Perfect Beings, Does their Imperfection due to Making Wrong Decisions Negate Their Initial Perfection?
Although Adam and Eve were created perfect, their ability to become selfish and engage in acts of sin was due to the nature of their free will and the choices they made. Just as their physical bodies required proper food to function perfectly, their minds also needed to be nourished with right thoughts and principles. James 1:14, 15 explains that each person is tempted when they are drawn away by their own desires, and when these desires conceive, they give birth to sin.
In the case of Eve, the seeds of wrong desires began to develop when she listened with interest to Satan, who used a serpent as his mouthpiece. Instead of rejecting those wrong thoughts and desires, she entertained them and allowed them to take root in her mind. Adam, in turn, heeded the urging of his wife and chose to join her in eating the forbidden fruit. Both of them nourished their selfish desires rather than resisting them.
Their acts of sin resulted from the progression of wrong desires, from allowing their thoughts to dwell on what was forbidden. The temptation appealed to their desires for independence and knowledge, leading them to disobey God’s command. By giving in to these desires, they acted selfishly and violated God’s sovereignty.
Therefore, although created perfect, Adam and Eve’s ability to become selfish and sin was a consequence of their free will, the influence of external temptations, and their failure to guard their minds and hearts against wrong thoughts and desires.
SCRIPTURES OFTEN MISUNDERSTOOD: 1 Peter 1:1-2 “the chosen according to the foreknowledge of God”
Was Adam’s Sin Part of “God’s plan”?
The notion that Adam’s sin was part of God’s plan is not supported by biblical teachings. If we consider a personal scenario, if I were to do something that you wanted me to do, would you condemn me for it? It would be unreasonable to hold someone accountable for an action that was carried out at your request. Similarly, if Adam’s sin was God’s will, it would be contradictory for God to drive Adam out of Eden as a sinner (Genesis 3:17-19, 23, 24).
It is important to understand the nature of God and His principles. Jehovah is a God of love (1 John 4:8) and all His ways are just (Psalm 37:28; Deuteronomy 32:4). It was not God’s desire for Adam to sin; in fact, He warned Adam against it (Genesis 2:17). God granted Adam, as He does to all of us, the freedom to choose. Even in a state of perfection, Adam had the ability to exercise free will and make choices, including the choice to disobey. Unfortunately, Adam chose to rebel against God’s command, disregarding the warning of the consequences that would follow, including death.
Therefore, it is clear that Adam’s sin was not part of God’s plan. God’s plan was for mankind to live in obedience and harmony with Him, enjoying the blessings of life. Adam’s disobedience resulted from his own choice, not from God’s predetermined will.
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