Thursday, August 23, 2012

WSC 7 and the Fall of Man

Q. 7. What are the decrees of God?
A. The decrees of God are, his eternal purpose, according to the counsel of his will, whereby, for his own glory, he hath foreordained whatsoever comes to pass.

This is good to know.  Now my prayer is that I'm going to present this question in the same lesson where I teach the fall of man.

So, if God foreordains whatever comes to pass, and man sinned, then God planned on man sinning.

Here are the proof texts copied and pasted from

Psalm 33:11. The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations. Isaiah 14:24. The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand: Acts 2:23. Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Ephesians 1:11-12. In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

The Acts quotation especially shows that even the wicked things were planned by God for his greater glory.  And for real, if you believe in God who is omnipotent and all-knowing (and I know some who don't, that's beside the point), then you have to believe that nothing happens without his green light.  Even in Job, Satan attacked Job only because God gave him permission and he never explained why.

So, the fall of man.  God could have prevented it.  He placed that tree in the garden knowing one of his kids would eat it.  Why?  Because he didn't want robots forced to love him?  No, Scripture never says anything about puppets or automatons or anything else people would have used in the BC era.  If man had never sinned, he would still be free to love God without coercion, just like he will in heaven.

However, God, in his wisdom, and for his Glory, who always makes right decisions, allowed Adam and Eve to eat the fruit and ruin life for all mankind, both human and animal.  

So we must think, what good thing came of this?  Well, God had mercy and did not kill the couple immediately.  He gave them clothes and taught them how to make sacrifices.  He let them have children and populate the earth.  Even after he sent a flood to kill all but 8 people, he still let wicked human beings repopulate the earth.

But the best thing that came from the Fall of Man is none other than Jesus.  If man had not sinned, then he would not need someone to save him from his sin.  He would never know how God can forgive what should not be forgiven.  And we would not know of a God willing to lay aside his dignity to love people who despise him.  So despite being a terrible thing, God planned and rearranged the Fall of Man to bring him even greater glory.

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