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The Knowledge of Good and Evil
God Created Evil
This hub is to address those who believe that since God created evil, it’s His responsibility for the devil that causes us to SIN.
Remember that Adam and Eve originally did not have ANY KNOWLEDGE about good and evil. Therefore, they were indeed without sin. They were innocent. However, God told them NOT to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Well, when they disobeyed, Adam blamed Eve, and Eve blamed the serpent, didn’t they? (Genesis 3:12-13) Was that an excuse? NO. They willfully made the CHOICE to do what God told them not to do! For this, they now knew they were naked and were ashamed by it, so God clothed them!
One thing we DIDN’T see Adam and Eve do was BLAME GOD for creating EVIL. There are cults today that believe God made man sinful, so God saves everyone…in His time. So let’s get this RIGHT from the GET-GO. God didn't make man sinful. He made man innocent. Man was tempted by Satan, just as Jesus was tempted by Satan (yet Jesus never sinned). So, the fact that man is tempted does not make man sinful. Man disobeyed God. Jesus was obedient to the Father's will, even unto death. Keep in mind that just as Adam was not born of an earthly father (but was created from the dust of the earth), Jesus was not born of an earthly father, but of the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, as the Son of Man, Jesus was tempted as Adam and Eve and all mankind (Hebrews 2:18).
Because man has the knowledge of good and evil, now he can recognize good because of evil, and evil because of good! We still have the choice to serve GOOD or EVIL (see my hub The Battle for Your SOUL). We can’t live a sinless life now; it’s impossible because of the sin of Adam and Eve. Their offspring and all mankind since are born into sin. God punished each Adam, Eve and the serpent in verses 14-19, and though the punishment for sin has since been paid by Jesus Christ, sin will remain until He comes again.
What is the Purpose of Evil?
So why doesn’t God just annihilate Satan, you ask? Because He created Satan, and since the beginning of time, gives us a choice! It was Adam and Eve’s choice to obey or disobey God, and we continue with that responsibility. Just like the one command God gave them, not to eat of the tree of knowledge, Acts 17:30 tells us "Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent."
God made the WAY to be reconciled to Him through sending His Son to die on the cross for us. He did His part; now, just as it was with Adam and Eve, we are accountable to do our part. He tells us we must “CHOOSE THIS DAY WHOM WE WILL SERVE” (Joshua 24:15). Are you going to blame the Devil or even God for not receiving salvation now, even today? That won’t get you very far, my friends.
God placed in us a conscience. Hebrews 5:13-14 state, “For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.”
Just as God told Adam and Eve NOT to eat of the tree of knowledge, He tells us in His Word that we MUST be "born again" (born of Spirit - John 3), which will give us the right to eat of the tree of life (Rev 22:14)! Make the CHOICE! It's YOURS!
Look at Deuteronomy 30:19: "I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live."
And Romans 6:16: "Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?"
Ephesians 2:8 tells that by His "grace we are saved through faith". When we believe (entrust our spiritual well-being to) and receive Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior, God forgives our sin because we choose not to serve evil anymore and ask Him for the power to do His will, which comes through His Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13). To understand the origin of sin and how God made the WAY of salvation, I invite you to read my hub Come to JESUS: Salvation!
Some people believe that true Christians can’t sin and won’t sin. And furthermore, because people know they are a slave to sin, they may not feel able or worthy to receive salvation! We must understand that the saved DO SIN! Look at Abraham, of whose generations are promised the Kingdom of God. Abraham lied about the identity of his wife in Genesis 12:10-20; and chapter 20:1-18! David, the very lineage of Christ, caused the husband's death of the woman he lusted for! Peter was rebuked by Jesus as though he were Satan and denied Christ three times the night of His arrest; Thomas doubted Jesus; and the Apostle Paul killed Christians before he got saved, and was even present when Jesus’ disciple Stephen was stoned to death! Paul continued to have a "thorn in the flesh", a messenger of Satan sent to buffet him even after he was saved. He writes about the struggle of sin in our lives in the book of Romans. I recommend reading Romans 7 through Romans 8:1 for further clarification.
Because of the false belief that born-again believers are not to sin, people refuse to follow after any preacher that has sin evident in his life! Just look at the following passages that prove Christians sin: 1 John 1:6-10; verse 10 states, “If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us (this is about believers).” James 5:15 is regarding a believer who was sick that states, “…and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him”.
You’ve heard it said, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater“!
Forgive as We are Forgiven
Speaking of forgiveness, we are exhorted to forgive others as we have been forgiven. We cannot forgive them like God does, for only God can remit sins by the shed blood of Jesus Christ. The Lord’s Prayer includes “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us” (do unsaved pray this prayer?) In Luke 17:3-4, Jesus told his disciples, “Be on your guard! If your brother [believer] sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him." This same account is shown in Matthew 18:21 extended to state we are to forgive, even if it’s "seventy times seven" in a day! This mirrors the gracious forgiveness given us through Jesus Christ, our Savior, the Lamb of God!
“AMAZING GRACE, HOW SWEET THE SOUND THAT SAVED A WRETCH LIKE ME. I ONCE WAS LOST, BUT NOW AM FOUND; WAS BLIND, BUT NOW I SEE!” AMEN.
If you want to know more about the characteristics of Satan and his purpose, I invite you to read my hub Satan's PURPOSE.