In the last blog we defined what were the “counsels of God” – the final destinies of all created things and beings. We learned that God’s plans were established before He created anything. Now we want to start at the beginning of man’s history and understand what really happened to Adam and Eve in the garden. It’s important for Christians to comprehend how mankind’s story began and how/why it turned so awful.
Man was created innocent – he had no consciousness of what was good or evil. He was not created as holy or righteous, for he would have to possess the knowledge of good and evil to be so. He was not created perfect. Only God is perfect in His own nature. Adam was created in a state of innocence. He did possess the consciousness that God was his Creator and that he was part of God’s creation, even more, that God had set him as head of His creation. This was mankind’s original relationship with God. In this, Adam understood it was his duty to obey the will of his Creator. And this we call the biblical principle of “responsibility.” All creatures who have a consciousness of God as their Creator are under this principle.
In the garden, Adam and Eve were surrounded by every blessing and comfort; they had no needs or wants. We don’t know a lot about how Adam lived or what he did in the garden. What scripture tells us is that Adam was conscious of his relationship with God and he knew thankfulness to Him. Creation was “very good” as God Himself testified. Even more, God set man in a special place – a beautiful garden where his environment was nothing but excellent.
Adam was given one command by God. It was pretty simple; everyone knows what God said. But we need to ask these questions: Was the tree evil? Was the fruit evil? The command would have been unfair if it required the possession of the knowledge of good and evil. No, this was a simple test of the obedience required of a creature who is conscious of having a relationship with his Creator. Would Adam obey God’s one command?
Lust came in when Adam was tempted by the serpent; he desired to become like God. It led to his eating the fruit Eve already had eaten. Through his disobedience, mankind gained the knowledge of good and evil. God had this knowledge according to His own divine perfect nature. But man gains it by sinning; he possesses the knowledge of good and evil under the dominion and mastery of sin.
It is safe to say that Adam was no longer innocent. Mankind was now in a “fallen” sinful state. In describing the event and some of its consequences, the apostle Paul says this, “Therefore, just as through one man (Adam) sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.” (Rom. 5:12) “Sin” was man’s new nature. It not only became the master over his bad conscience with its newly gained knowledge, but it became part of his flesh, making him mortal and on a certain path to death. And now, how can we speak of man’s “free will” if universally mankind became a slave to sin?
This is what is meant by the term “fallen man”. Again, the Spirit of God uses Paul to describe the end result: “There is none righteous, no not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seek after God. They have all gone out of the way; they have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one…there is no fear of God before their eyes” (Rom. 3:10-18) Not only is man’s state one in which the “sin nature” has dominion over his will, but the description of his fallen nature, if we are honest, is one of “utter depravity.”
What does “utter depravity” mean? Will anyone seek God on their own to have a relationship with Him? Can anybody really obey God’s will? Is utter depravity completely debilitating for every person? If it is, what is an individual to do? If man can’t do anything good, shouldn’t we then ask, “What has God done as a remedy for our problem?” Once we fully understand the garden of Eden, these become the important questions to correctly answer next.
Read more detailed explanation about the garden and man’s original state: https://www.reintgenchristianbooks.com/the-original-created-state-of-man/
Read more detailed explanation about the principle of responsibility: https://www.reintgenchristianbooks.com/human-responsibility-the-biblical-principle/