Did God’s decree bring about the fall?
WHO WAS THE SERPENT AND WHAT DID HE KNOW?
October 14, 2009 Rivers of Joy Baptist Church,
People will ask how Adam’s original sin came about since he did not have a fallen nature to contend with?
How (or why) did Adam originally sin? This is really an attempt to understand the relationship between God’s sovereignty and freewill in the beginning, prior to the fall.
The Westminster’s Confession: “
v By confession we believe that God created human beings “with knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness , after His own image, having the law of God written in their hearts, and power to fulfill it, and yet under a possibility of transgression, being left to the liberty of their own will, which was subject under change.” (WSF IV.2?
This is to say that man was created in such a way where he was not yet sealed in righteousness as he will be in heaven, but created with an inclination toward good. Why evil temptation was able to overcome that inclination, the Scripture does not reveal, so any dogmatic response would be speculative.
DID GOD BRING ABOUT THE FALL?
What would be the alternative to God ordaining the fall?
- First the Bible plainly teaches that man is responsible for the sin he commits and the author of evil and man alone is culpable for the sin he commits.
- Second: God is sovereign and has thus left nothing up to chance. If chance were to exist then, of course, God would not be sovereign and thus, God would not be God.
GOD DID NOT COERCE ADAM TO COMMIT SIN AND ALL BUT HE CERTAINLY ORDAINED IT.
- If evil came into the universe by surprise for God, totally apart from His providence, then there are some things He does not know or things He is powerless over and therefore God would, by definition, lack omniscience and omnipotence. Eph 1:11.
OKAY HOW IT COULD BE THAT GOD DECREED THE FALL?
- It is ultimately for His glory.
- ·In it He showed to the angels and all creation His manifest wisdom, justice and mercy and all of His perfection.
- He does not operate people like puppets. Adam freely chose to rebel…God did not coerce him.. and now fallen men freely choose to reject Christ, apart from grace.
HOW THEN COULD GOD ORDAIN EVIL?
- Acts 2:23.
- Compatibilism: able to exist, live, or work together without conflict. Consistent or in keeping with something else.
- Acts 4:27-28
The scripture plainly teaches that God ordains evil events and remains blameless, events which include self-determined choices of man.
- Ephesians 1:11 God “works all things after the counsel of His will.”
- Matthew 10:29 the fall of sparrows Charity
- Proverbs 16:33 the rolling of dice Bill A
- Psalms 44:11 the slaughter of his people Pauline
- Proverbs 21:1 the decisions of kings Bob
- Exodus 4:11 the failing of sight Janet
- 2 Samuel 12:15 the sickness of children Mary
- 1 Samuel 2:7 the loss and gain of money Saundra
- I Peter 4:19 the suffering of saints Richard
- James 4:15 the completion of travel plans Linda
- Hebrews 12:4-7 the persecution of Christians Frankie
- 2 Timothy 2:25 the repentance of souls Stephanie
- Philippians 1:29 the gift of faith Dorothy
- Hebrews 6:3 the growth of believers Shyann
- I Samuel 2:6 the giving of life and the taking in death Lois
- Acts 4:27-28 the crucifixion of His Son Peggy
WHY WOULD GOD ALLOW SIN? (In the lesson on Wednesday I did not get to this point.)
It brought about the salvation of sinners
As mankind has freedom by which they can choose to honor God, by which they can choose to dishonor Him. Then when they make the wrong choice, God then takes action.
- He can demonstrate His grace in salvation.
- He can demonstrate His wrath in judgment
- He can then finally destroy evil.
IT’S ALMOST AS IF GOD WANTED EVIL TO COME TO THE SURFACE SO THAT HE COULD ELIMINATE IT.
But remember, The one who chose evil was the source of it.
NOW WHO WAS THIS OLD SERPENT
- Serpent in the Hebrew is a name for reptiles. While it’s possible this was an actual, physical animal, I personally am not sure it really was.
- Nevertheless this creature wasn’t just any creature.
- Serpent: a sly or treacherous person. Biblical guise of evil in the Bible.
- The personification of evil in the form of the Devil.
- It could have been a garden-variety dinosaur, now extinct.
- This person was subtle, crafty, cunning, intelligent and wise.
- I don’t think snakes are that smart.
- This creature is being used by a superhuman intelligence to lead Eve and Adam into a choice for evil, a choice that this personality already made.
- This creature knew the effect of the choice Adam and Eve were going to make.
LUCIFER MADE THE CHOICE
- “I want to be like God.
- And he found out that immediately he became as much unlike God as it is possible to be.
- Devil: “You see the reason God doesn’t want you to eat is because if you eat, you’ll become like God.”
- He’s just taking them through the same accurate scenario, only he knows accurately what the effect of it is going to be.
SO WHO WAS THIS PERSONALITY IMBODIED IN THIS CREATURE?
- One who hated God.
- One who was angry about the circumstance in which he found himself.
- He knew about the prohibition.
- He knew that God had said don’t eat of the tree
- He claimed not only to know what God said, he claimed to know more than Eve.
- He knew that when you seek to be like God, the end result is shame, degradation, misery and damnation.
So who was this creature? Which we have already said who he is.
2 Corinthians 11;3
1 Timothy 2:13-14