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I need help putting different Bible verses together so I can understand them consistently. Please follow my logic here:

  1. The Bible says that God created the world (Gen 1).
  2. Lord Jesus said that the Father in heaven is perfect (Mt 5:48).
  3. In Eden, God commanded Adam not to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge (Gen 2:17).

Observation: God tells the good thing to do as well the bad thing that should not be done. So, it sounds like God is testing obedience of Adam by informing him about the tree.

  1. God created humans (Gen 1:26-31) and nature of humans is to do the opposite of the things that should not be done (Rom 7:15-16).

Reflection:

God knows this human nature, however He still informs Adam about tree of knowledge. God knew exactly what He was doing.

It seems God had it planned so that Adam would eat the fruit of the tree.

I ponder: Why would a perfect God, Who created the world, test His own work? Was it God's plan to create something evil via creating Adam? Or, could Adam be a reflection of something evil within God Who created him?

Question: What Bible verses help to sort out these ideas I ponder, based on these Bible verses I have already listed?

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    @DerÜbermensch Thank you for telling me, but voting to close when it needs to be migrated by a moderator may not be the best thing. I flagged it and asked a moderator to move it to Christianity.SE, I pulled my "on-topic" line and kept the other grammar-syntax edits and resubmitted, and I also modified my own answer for Christianity.SE. This is indeed a good question, it focuses on Genesis 3, and it should find a place, either between Christianity.SE or BH. I could put it on either site, depending on the angle from which we want to tackle it. As a SysTheo topic, it's cross-denominational tho.
    – Jesse
    Commented Jan 20, 2019 at 21:45
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    As a moderator on Christianity I review the last flag and comments here but cannot agree that this is properly scoped for that site. I can see why it would also need a more clear tie in to a specific text for this site, but on C.SE it would need to be entirely re-written and posited against some doctrinal framework. I cannot migrate it in it's current form. I suggest editing to be appropriate on thi site instead.
    – Caleb
    Commented Jan 21, 2019 at 6:55
  • @DerÜbermensch et al... I have done all of my edits, both for the Q and the A. I hope everyone votes to re-open so this can address "Bible Hermeneutics to Systematic Theology", which should be well within scope, as my edited A explains.
    – Jesse
    Commented Jan 21, 2019 at 9:55
  • FYI all: I created the tag "systematic-theology" for this because that was my hermeneutical approach in my answer. I don't know if that will help the BH site in the future, but I thought it was worth being useful. SysTheo, here, should be specifically defined so as to include "...developing systematic theology through a Biblical hermeneutical process..."
    – Jesse
    Commented Jan 21, 2019 at 14:36

5 Answers 5

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Man was not created to do wrong. As a matter of fact Romans 5:12-14 became a reality after man's disobedience. By virtue of that disobedience man became a slave, robbed of any manner of freedom (Gal 4:3)

Obedience won't be complete without a will. Man just like the Angels was created with a will. It was the exercise of this will that led to the downfall of Satan in the first instance. Our obedience to God was fashioned to be predicated upon a choice devoid of any form of coercion. Love won't be said to be love it wasn't tested.

Man was presented with a choice to prove his love for his creator (John 12:15) 15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. and at that point when it mattered the most, he defaulted.

Even when Jesus who is the second Adam came, his obedience was put to the test. The devil presented him with the same things the first Adam was tempted with (the list of the flesh, the lost of the eyes and the pride of life) but He made a choice to stay true to his calling.

I believe that man's issue started as a result of him having a distorted view of whom God created him to be. The devil pitched him an argument which he gullibly accepted and thought that by eating the fruit he would become a god without knowing that he was already a god (Psm 82:6) 6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.

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  • Thank you. I liked the last paragraph. However I think what it means is whoever tempts u and u make a mistake, then it means u are on your own. According to bible, God is in everyones heart then how can Satan enter the heart. Jesus said you are on your own when he asked his disciples where is your faith? If you can comment the role of God when he questions our faith. Commented Jan 22, 2019 at 14:14
  • Hi, Juliet, welcome to Hermeneutics! While I personally agree with your answer, it is "off topic" because this site must remain focused on "how to study the Bible". Your answer has a few Bible verses mixed with a lot of opinion and "Appologetics". If this answer remains as is and also remains "accepted", then the entire question should probably be closed as being "off topic". Please change the wording of your answer so it explains a Bible study process of reaching your conclusions, AKA demonstrating the "hermeneutics" of how this became your interpretation to explain questions about Genesis 1.
    – Jesse
    Commented Jan 23, 2019 at 9:43
  • Psalm 82 is not talking about humans because in the same Psalm it says that they will die like humans. Humans already die, that makes no sense. Psalm 82 is talking about the sons of G-d or the elohim and in that Psalm judgment is pronounced over them for their disobedience. They would become the gods of the nations or the principalities of the NT. Psalm 89 draws on the same language and the setting is in the sky. Humans don’t have divine council meetings in the sky. Read Deu 32:8 in the ESV or in Hebrew DDS or Greek LXX would be better. Commented Jan 23, 2019 at 13:46
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Note: In "Bible Study" terms, you are asking to create what is called a "systematic theology" (SysTheo)—a belief relating to God based on putting together different-but-related Bible passages.

Addressing your points

Firstly, there is a problematic assumption your forth point:

  1. God created humans (Gen 1:26-31) and nature of humans is to do the opposite of the things that should not be done (Rom 7:15-16).

...but Bible verses can help clear that up...

God did not create humans to be evil. God created Humans to be good in Genesis 1, then they "saw they were naked" when they understood "knowledge of good and evil" in Genesis 3 (Gen 3:7). Bible theologians often cite Paul and call this "the Fall of Man" or "the Sin of Adam" (Rom 5:12-14).

"God's test" was not in warning Adam about the tree, but in putting the tree there in the first place (Gen 2:9; 3:3).

As for "God's plan" behind the grand scheme, you'd need to look at the conclusion: Revelation 21:1-4; 22:17, showing that God's plan was always a happy ending, then interpret the rest of the Bible from that, including Genesis 1 & 3.

With all that's been said, let's read those verses to see...

God's end-game plan back in Genesis 1

Revelation 21:1-4; 22:17 (NASB)

1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, 4 and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”

17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

For part of what you "ponder" (good, normal, and thoughtful ideas), God did imprint His good character in creating Adam, along with a free will, as the Image of God (Gen 1:27). But, God neither created Adam to be evil (explained above) nor was Adam's evil a reflection of God because we know God has no evil in Him whatsoever (1 Jn 1:5).

Remember, this is only "Bible study", explaining "what the Bible says". I'm not demanding that everyone accept this as truth right now, only what the Bible says is truth. Whether we accept the Bible's claims to truth is a completely different discussion, beyond the scope of this Bible Hermeneutics forum.


Bible verses & the main question

To the Bible verses about your core question:

Why would God test...?

The most concise answer from the Bible is:

God tests everyone to see who truly loves and obeys Him

Deuteronomy 13:3b (NASB)

for the Lord your God is testing you to find out if you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

Deuteronomy 8:2 (NASB)

You shall remember all the way which the Lord your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.

Now, to a Bible-based systematic theology answer...

If God had not tested Adam, then God would not have loved Adam

Since tests can prove love, Adam was being given an opportunity to prove that he loved God.

Our response to God's tests, just as seen above, can go either way. These tests give us the greatest opportunity to prove that we do in fact love and obey God. Without the tests that can go either way, those who truly love God can't truly prove so.

God tests everyone, even Jesus!

Jesus was tested in the desert, just the same as Adam. If God's own Son gets tested, then it's not unfair that Adam was tested also.

Matthew 4:11 (NASB)

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

Jesus' being tested made him like Adam, except that by passing the test, Jesus brought life.

1 Corinthians 15:22 (NASB)

For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.

1 Corinthians 15:45 (NASB)

So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

Now we have taken a question about God, looked at many different Bible verses, then pieced together a "system" of theology to answer that question. This is how to go from Bible hermeneutics to systematic theology—which is part of the purpose of Bible hermeneutics.


Beyond these answers...

If we go beyond the Bible study and our systematic theology, that would dive into a topic called The Problem of Evil. CS Lewis addresses that in his book The Problem of Pain.

But, that enters into a philosophical question, arguably even metaphysical. I myself have answered and addressed this topic in two separate books I wrote, so I'm not trying to avoid the topic. I only say that we can't go farther than "Bible study unto SysTheo" on this Bible Hermeneutics forum.

That said, I don't want it said that I evaded a topic nor that I crept beyond scope. So, I'll briefly summarize my own answer this way, based on the SysTheo we created above, in effort to most directly answer the title of your Question:

Summarized, direct answer:

Yes, God knew Adam would sin, but more importantly, God knew that Adam's sin would send Jesus to the Cross. God knew the cost of testing Adam, a cost to God Himself. So, God does care about us and He certainly is fair—God goes beyond what is necessary to show His love for us. Testing Adam shows God's love for us more than any love Adam could have shown for God.

We certainly can welcome a test from God now and again where we can show a smidgen of love for Him in return. Adam was no exception.

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The OP asks, "could Adam be a reflection of something evil within God who created him?"

No. "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty." Rev 4:8. God is only ever holy. He has a holy motive for all He does.

In Job 1:12 this holy motive enables God to say to Satan about Job, "he is in your power". Thus giving Satan authority to Satan for Satan to do Satan's work.

God has ultimate responsibility for all in His creation because He made it [John 1:3], He sustains/upholds it [Heb 1:3] and He controls it [Rom 11:36].

There is a difference between being "responsible" and "doing". God is holy and does not do evil. But as there is evil [e.g., Luke 22:22] it appears logical to me that God must have a holy motive for sustaining a creation with evil in it.

I want to focus on "motive". God had a holy motive for putting Job in Satan's power. What happened to Adam is not a reflection of evil in God, but the result of a holy motive.

Psalm 19:1 NKJB

"The heavens declare the glory of God."

God has a holy motive in creating. He shows His glory and gains the title "Creator". "the Creator" Rom 1:25.

God cannot create more of Himself because He Himself is uncreated. All comes from Him. "For from Him...all things." Rom 11:36.

Anything that God creates is not going to be the same as God is.

God is: owner of all [Psalm 24:1], Creator, sustainer of all [Heb 1:3], eternal [Deut 33:27], the One who determines all things [Rom 11:36], self-dependent [Exodus 3:14] and holy.

Anything that God creates must be "other" to God i.e., creature not Creator. God has a holy motive to expose the difference between these. Unless the creature understands who he, the creature , is, and that he is not the Creator, the creature will not know enough to honour the Creator. [John 5:23].

Created man is "other" or, "less than" God and is dependent upon God for how he was made and in what state he is sustained, and thus his actions. e.g., Created man cannot enter creation as always being, which the "word of life" did do. [1 John 1:1 "the life was made manifest"].

Created man is perfect in that he perfectly fits God's plan, but is not perfect of himself. When God first communed with God all was fine [Gen 1:28] and "very good" [Gen 1:31]. When God arranged [all authority Mat 28:18] Adam to be tempted, what was "very good" turned out to be incapable of obeying. But "very good" was still "very good" with regard to God's purposes. [Mat 28:18].

Created man did not obey; uncreated man Jesus did obey. Jesus fufilled the law. [The law and the prophets, in principle what God said. Mat 5:17].

Created man not given the grace to obey is disobedient, but when strengthened by God as at Pentecost does obey. The need for God's grace is clearly seen in comparing the shame of Adam hiding [Gen 3:8] with the devotion, sharing and praise to God of Acts 2:42-47.

God the Father has a holy motive to show His Son's obedience. The Father sent His Son [1 John 4:14].

God has a holy motive for being ultimately responsible for Adam to fall. For by exposing the weakness of the "flesh" [Rom 7:14], God has the opportunity to reveal, by way of contrast, His perfection through Jesus: Colossians 1:15

"He is the image of the invisible God, the first born of all creation".

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"Why would God test Adam's obedience?", is the main question. Then ideas go off at a tangent and actually miss the point of why God instructed Adam not to do one thing. The instruction was for his protection. It was to prevent him from dying. God had the Tree of Life in the midst of the garden. Life is his gift. Eternal life comes from him alone.

Is it not the case that it was the unseen evil one, the liar, the deceiver, the one who Jesus said was a murderer from the beginning, who tested Adam's obedience? But notice how surreptitiously he made his deadly approach - through the woman, not Adam. He got to this first earthly son of God through half-truths, distortions to what God was all about, and by temptation be "be like god" regarding knowledge. And he first persuaded the woman. Then Adam had to choose between loyalty to the woman (and what she meant to him) and loyalty to his Creator - God.

The Bible is clear that God is never to be blamed for tempting anyone with evil, let alone be so tempted himself! That's crystal clear in James 1:13-15 and will show why Adam succumbed to satanic temptation that was evil.

Other relevant points subsequent to the main question: It was the evil one who planned to get Adam disobediently seeking after what God had warned him would kill him. Yet for God to know in advance the plans of that evil one is not to be distorted into suggesting God planned in advance to cause Adam to disobey.

To then pose the question that Adam might be a reflection of something evil within God shows the extent to which the evil one has corrupted the minds of sinful humanity. That is a diabolical suggestion. It comes straight out of the pit. God is Righteous, Holy, and cannot look upon sin. The Bible shows from start to finish the Righteousness of God in all his ways, and Genesis 3:15 shows he had the plan of salvation in place to deliver fallen humanity from the snare of the evil one. Of course, some people prefer the evil way to the paths of God's Righteousness, so if that's what they want, that is what they will end up in eternity following.

Others, however, have learned from God and his Christ that the gospel of Christ "is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, 'The just shall live by faith'. Romans 1:16-17 A.V.

All satanic distortions to the gospel of Christ try to hide the righteousness of God, by putting unrighteous man first - he has to do things to 'enable' God to complete his plan of salvation. But the righteousness of God is revealed in that gospel, and once a sinner sees that, they can bend their knee in repentance and awe at what it cost God to redeem sinners. The key to answering this massive question is to seek to discover how the righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel of Christ and then the Genesis account will be seen totally differently. The first eight chapters of Paul's letter to the Romans unpacks this immense issue. Try treading them slowly, first, then going back to your questions to see how differently they should then appear.

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I personally believe God had no intention of Adam failing. Failure is not in Him. He however made provisions for Adams failure. We were built to succeed not fail. Learned this from Myles Munroe.

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