How was God’s creation made unrighteous by the power of man?

Questions and AnswersCategory: Biblical InterpretationHow was God’s creation made unrighteous by the power of man?
Mattix asked 11 months ago

It is written, “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; …”(Gen.1:27).

If God is indeed infallible & good in all that He does.  How can it be, that what God has created would fall into such a depraved & wretched state of sinfulness?  An act of disobedience so devastating that it not only condemns the perpetrators, but all of creation along with them.

Or are we to look upon this not as a human inflicted wound, but as something God Himself planned from the very beginning?

How else could that which was righteous (Adam & Eve before the fall) be made unrighteous by the mere power of man?

As it has been said that God lives beyond time & temporal boundaries.
“Thy “today” yields not to tomorrow and does not follow yesterday. Thy “today” is eternity.”— St. Augustine, Confessions, Book XI, Chapter XIII
— Mattix

1 Answers
Aaron Simms answered 11 months ago

Good question.  I think the gist of it is, “How/why did humanity’s sin impact all of creation?”  The corollary is probably, “Why did God allow this to happen?”

When God first made Adam and Eve, He gave them everything in the Garden to eat, except for the one tree: the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”  There wasn’t anything magical about this tree.  It was simply a way for Adam and Eve to respond to God’s goodness with worship.  That is, by obeying His commandment, they showed that they trusted His Word and that everything good comes from Him.

Of course, we know that they ultimately disobeyed.  This disobedience was sin, and this sin alienated them in three relationships: between them and God, between them as people, and between them and creation.  We see this in Genesis as they hide from God, they are ashamed at their nakedness before each other, and they will ultimately experience bodily death.

God promised a Savior who would undue these three types of separation.  Indeed, Jesus Christ is the Savior whom God first promised in Genesis 3:15.  He is the Son of God who came in the flesh to defeat sin, death, and the devil and to undo these separations.

So, in the Church we have the “first fruits” of Christ’s restoration.  We have been reconciled to God and to each other.  We have also begun the reconciliation to creation as God comes to us through created means such as through the waters of Baptism, through the bread and wine of the Lord’s Supper, and through the Word which is spoken and written.

Ultimately, when Christ returns for the resurrection these three areas of reconciliation will be complete.  We (the entire Church of all times and places) will dwell directly with God with no sin, death, or the devil to get in the way or separate us any longer.

That still leaves open the questions you raise, such as “Did God plan this from the beginning?”  If you view the Bible as God’s self-revelation to us of Himself and His plans for us, then I don’t think He ever really answers this.  There are hints, though, such as in Ephesians: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:3-6).

The main purpose of the Bible is to point us to Christ for our salvation (John 20:30-31).  So, God does not necessarily reveal everything or answer all of our questions.  He does, though, point us to Christ so that we know that there is an ultimate end to the sin, decay, and death which we experience in this present life.  He points us to the promise of the resurrection of our bodies and the life everlasting.