In our current series we’ve been going through an old list of questions and answers contained in the Westminster Larger Catechism published in 1648. In previous weeks we’ve been looking at how God created humans. We’ve seen that God created humans male and female; with living, reasoning and immortal souls; in God’s image; with a knowledge of God, with dominion over creation; and in righteousness. This week I want to look at how God created humans with the possibility of falling into sin.
Many of the teachings that I have given about how God created humans are not controversial or puzzling. No one is going to deny that God made humans male and female or that God made humans righteous. But one of the mysteries in God’s creation of humans is that he made humans able to fall out of righteousness and into unrighteousness.
When Adam and Eve were in their righteous state, God placed them in a situation where they could sin against him. We read in Genesis: ‘And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”’ (Genesis 2:16-17). This sin of eating the fruit was not a mocking warning from God about something that couldn’t happen, it was a real possibility. Thus it is with great sadness that we read a few verses later: ‘When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it’ (Genesis3:6).
Thus humans fell at that time and have continued to fall ever since. Solomon tells us: ‘This only have I found: God made mankind upright, but men have gone in search of many schemes’ (Ecclesiastes 7:29).
But why would God create humans with the possibility of evil? We don’t know. This is an example of where God’s wisdom is greater than ours and we simply have to trust that he knew, and does know, what he is doing. Our responsibility is not to work out why God let humans fall, rather our responsibility is to accept God’s offer to reverse our fall into sin, by repentance and trust in his Son.
Do you recognise you have fallen into sin? Have you repented and trusted in Jesus so that you are now considered righteous again?