has been a great deal said about the Fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden, but little
discussion about what would have happened without the Fall.
Those I have read hold that Adam and Eve were created in Gods image. My question is, How did they reflect His
moral thought since they had no knowledge of good and evil.
There has been a great deal said about the Fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden, but little discussion about what would have happened without the Fall. Those I have read hold that Adam and Eve were created in Gods image. My question is, How did they reflect His moral thought since they had no knowledge of good and evil.
They had the instinct of animals. They could think in terms of survival and procreation. They could be trained to take care of the garden, but they had no way of saying that something was good or evil. The cardinal aspect of Gods character was missing. Man needed that element to become a true reflection of God.
The other element that people are not prone to talk about in the Fall is the remedy for the disease was prepared before the disease struck. He was destined before the foundation of the world. IPet1:20 Jesus was not an afterthought.
Did God plan that remedy because He knew the Fall was coming, or was He afraid that He might have made a mistake and wanted cover His bets? If God did not know it was coming, why did He prepare the remedy?
The Fall was the addition of the one characteristic that makes us a true reflection of God, a potential son of the Most High. It also put us in a place where we must exercise our free will in response to God. We are not in a position of being born into communion with God, and choosing to walk away. We are born separated and must make the decision to be reconciled as the way is open.
BORN IN SIN
In his letter to the Romans, Paul writes, for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will, but by the will of Him who subjected it in hope. Rm8:20 He did not seem to think it was an afterthought. It was not Satan. Satan would not have subjected it in hope.
The idea goes hand in hand with, Rm11:32 For God has consigned all men to disobedience, that He may have mercy upon all. It is almost is if God wanted us to find ourselves on the outside so that we might accept His invitation to come into the Kingdom. We are to come not because we deserve it, but because He loves us and is preparing that gift of eternal life for all who will receive it on His terms.
If the Kingdom were grounded on the Law, then no one would be able to enter, because all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. The Kingdom is grounded in love, and that is a vastly different situation. It is not a matter of my goodness or behavior. It is a matter of my willingness to receive the gift of Love God gives to us.
Love is not a matter of treating someone nice. It is a matter of offering ourselves to be Gods presence to enable them, and us, to become the whole people He wills for us to become. That cannot be done in Love without our having the opportunity to accept or reject the gift, because love cannot be imposed on anyone else, nor can Love be indulgent to others.
There are two heresies of Love that are common in human nature. The first is indulgence. It is making the object of our Love god by our seeking to please them rather than asking God what He wants us to give in some particular set of circumstances.
The other is benevolence. It is imposing my will on someone else because I believe it is for their own good. It is an action that makes me god instead of letting God be God.
When I am willing to ask God what He wants and walk in obedience to what He tells me, I am going to be loving. Perhaps that is why St. Augustine can summarize the commandments, Love God and do as you please. As I love and obey Him, and allow Him to live in and through me, I will love my neighbor as myself. As God defines the love that He expresses through me, I avoid both heresies of Love. In letting God be God, I can Love with His Love.
As we begin to receive the Love that God has for us without seeking to justify ourselves in His sight, we begin to find the freedom that the world can neither give nor take away. We begin to enjoy the life of the Kingdom as we give up our own reign, and submit to His as we choose His will.
It is not a matter of correcting the error and our return to the Garden. We do not move back into the Garden and the old relationship that we had with God before the Fall. We move into the New Creation that was opened when Jesus Christ rose from the dead.
If we are a bit angry at Adam and Eve over their apparent error in judgment, we must see that we are to forgive them, or we will not receive forgiveness from our Father in Heaven. It seems that we would do well to give thanks for the Fall that has set us free to enter the Kingdom through accepting the gift of Gods love.
The Fall that assured us that we would be born into the bondage of Sin, was also the event which gave us a complete set of components to become children of God as we receive that gift of new birth and transformed life that God has prepared in the New Creation.
If we are still concerned with the Fall as an error, then we must forgive God for making the mistake that we see manifest in Adam and Eve. It is far easier for me to believe that God did not make a mistake. He created a circumstance wherein we could come home to Him from the far country and know that He loves us. We are not worthy, but we are loved.
It is the Love that makes the difference in the life we are given in Christ Jesus. It is the Love that redeems us from hell and transfers us into the dominion of Gods Son. It is the Love that we seek all of our lives until we find it in Him.
It is the Fall that drives us toward the Kingdom of God. It is the Fall that subjects the whole creation unto futility in hope. It is Love that invites us out of hell into intimacy with the Author of Creation. He intends to bring us to the wholeness that He has prepared for us from the foundation of the world, even as He knew the Fall would necessitate the death of His Son for our Sin.