Question 23: If Adam lacked the wisdom to refrain from sinning, isn’t God responsible for that?

***DISCLAIMER***The following is far from an exhaustive answer to the question. It is simply an answer nonetheless.

Recently, someone asked me a series of questions that basically ask if God’s creation came with defects. Below is the question followed by my response to it.

QUESTION

I think that If my car either has a defect or lacks some parts, then it is the constructor who is guilty, not my car.

Since Adam sinned for lack of wisdom, was God responsible for Adam’s sin since He has not given to Adam the wisdom needed to avoid sin? If Adam has believed the lies of Satan, I think it is because God did not give to Adam the wisdom and intelligence necessary to understand they are lies. If there is a defect in the creature, can we say that the responsible One is the Creator? I am a sinner because I have ignorance, lack of love and wisdom.

So why did God not give to me intelligence, love and wisdom and, in doing so, avoid making me a sinner? Can we say that the ignorance of Adam is caused by God since He did not intervene to give him and teach him the necessary wisdom to overcame Satan’s lies? It is not our guilt to believe errors because we are born ignorant and we can’t produce by ourselves the knowledge of the truth. Why did He make a car that doesn’t work and lacks some parts and then, as a result, becomes angry with His own imperfect car? If God wanted a perfect creation that does not sin, why did He not create it perfect? If God wants a functional car, why not create it with all the parts needed to function well?

MY RESPONSE

Greetings,

It is very important to understand that God’s creation, before the fall, was without defect. Genesis 1:1-31 makes this plainly clear, as follows (NASB):

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

Then God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” God made the expanse, and separated the waters which were below the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse; and it was so. God called the expanse heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.

Then God said, “Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so. 10 God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters He called seas; and God saw that it was good11 Then God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them”; and it was so.12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good13 There was evening and there was morning, a third day.

14 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years; 15 and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. 16 God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light [to govern the night; He made the stars also. 17 God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good19 There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.

20 Then God said, “Let the waters]teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.” 21 God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good22 God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 There was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.

24 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind”; and it was so.25 God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good.

26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; 30 and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so. 31 God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.

As you can see, everything God created was good. Not one verse shows God created something with a defect. Instead, everything He created was perfect. His creation had, in a nutshell, all the parts needed to function well. As a result, God cannot be held responsible for Adam’s sin.

It is also very important to understand that Adam and Eve had to have had some kind of understanding of good and evil. The Bible clearly shows what God commanded to Adam. Furthermore, Eve had a bit of an understanding of God’s command as well (albeit not as accurate). Genesis 2:7-3:13 gives us what we need to know regarding this matter (NASB):

Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. The Lord God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed. Out of the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

10 Now a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it divided and became four rivers. 11 The name of the first is Pishon; it flows around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 The gold of that land is good; the bdellium and the onyx stone are there. 13 The name of the second river is Gihon; it flows around the whole land of Cush. 14 The name of the third river is Tigris; it flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.

15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. 16 The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”

18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” 19 Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him. 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. 22 The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. 23 The man said,

“This is now bone of my bones,
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man.”

24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

The Fall of Man (Beginning of Genesis 3, starting at verse 1)

3 Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.

They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” 11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

In this section, God forms man from the dust of the ground (2:7). He then places this man in a garden He created, called Eden (2:8). After a description of the trees that grow and the river that flows from Eden (2:9-15), the LORD gives the man specific commands regarding all trees. This includes the tree of knowledge of good and evil (2:16-17). Furthermore, Eve shows how she herself understood a little bit about the same command God gave to Adam (3:1-3). Unfortunately, as we see here in this comparison, she added to God’s command:

God’s command to Adam (2:16-17):

 16 The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”

 

Eve’s understanding of the command (Genesis 3:2-3):

The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’”

As you see, Eve added to God’s Word, thus showing her lack of fully understanding the command God gave to Adam. She had to have understood a bit about evil (or wrong) given the fact God gave a clear command of what not to do. Furthermore, if Eve did not recognize her action as wrong, there would not be a need for any kind of fallout from Eve’s action (3:6-13). This specifically involves Eve’s admission of the serpent’s deceiving her (3:17). If there is no knowledge of what’s good or evil at this point, how can Eve know the serpent deceived her? Good and evil would have to exist and be known about in order for someone to understand the concept of deception.

Finally, as it pertains to your avoiding becoming a sinner, there was nothing you, I, or anyone else could have done to avoid this. This sin nature that came from Adam and Eve infected us all (see also Psalm 51:5). Romans 3:23 states, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (NASB). This “all” includes you and me. It also includes Tommy Jones. Romans 5:12-21 explains more:

12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned— 13 for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. 15 But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. 16 The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification. 17 For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. 18 So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. 19 For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.20 The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Adam’s sin brought death and condemnation to all men. This means, as mentioned, that Adam’s sin brought condemnation to you and me (in addition to the entire human race). Notice that it was not Adam’s ignorance that resulted in our sin nature. Rather, it was his sin that did this thing.

In short, God created everything perfect. Unfortunately, the fall of man caused death to spread to all people. This fall did not come via ignorance. Rather, it came through sin. Thankfully, Jesus Christ, the infinite God-man and only way by which mankind may be saved, paid for that sin by dying on the cross and rising from the dead (Isaiah 53:7; John 1:1, 14; Acts 4:12; Matthew 1:21; John 1:29; John 14:6; Isaiah 43:11; 1 Timothy 1:15; 1 Corinthians 15:1-8). This is most definitely good news.

I hope you found this response helpful.

 

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2 thoughts on “Question 23: If Adam lacked the wisdom to refrain from sinning, isn’t God responsible for that?

  1. This question is like saying the manufacturer of the car is to blame because I ran it into a tree. Adam had all of the ability and knowledge needed to say “no”. God gived us the ability to choose, the choice is up to us.

    Liked by 1 person

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