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UCGia Bible Insights Thursday, May 23 2024

Why did God create human beings capable of sin?

God did not create human beings as automatons. He created them with free will, which meant they have the option to choose to follow His instructions or to go their own way.

It is this freedom of choice that allowed the first man and woman, Adam and Eve, to disobey their Creator in the Garden of Eden. Their choice caused sin to enter the world, and death came to all, because everyone sins (Romans 5:12).

God’s plan for humanity entailed permitting mankind to continue along its own path for an allotted time to decide whether or not they would follow God’s instructions. The Apostle Paul refers to this: “For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Romans 8:20-21).

The “bondage” Paul refers to is our tendency to sin. God’s plan for us is that we can become children of God, escaping the “bondage of corruption” Paul mentions. Human nature is shackled by a tendency to sin, but God wants us, of our own free will, to choose to do what is right and good, rejecting evil. Moses was inspired to tell the Israelites of the Exodus, “I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19). The King James Bible defines sin as “the transgression of [God’s] law” (1 John 3:4). To please God it is essential to keep His commandments. Loving God and keeping His commandments combine to enhance our relationship with God and our fellow human beings (1 John 5:2).

Paul confirms sin is universal, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Every time we sin we bring a death sentence upon ourselves, and that penalty must be paid. Jesus paid the penalty for our sins, with His life, serving as a ransom for us and wiping our sinful slate clean: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

When a person genuinely repents, turns from sin and seeks to obey God, Christ allows His shed blood to cover what should be our death sentence, which is figuratively nailed to His cross (Colossians 2:14). Jesus Christ became the High Priest of all who have repented of their sins and acknowledge Him as Lord and Saviour. God Almighty is merciful and full of compassion. He desires that we embrace His way of righteousness, and thus any future sins we commit, when repented of, will be covered by Christ’s supreme sacrifice.

But it’s a struggle to shun evil and do good since “the old man,” with his or her selfish desires, needs to be transformed into “the new man” (Ephesians 4:22-24). Overcoming our human nature is impossible without divine help. We must be spiritually transformed and that is where baptism comes in. The repentant sinner is fully immersed in water to symbolize the death of the sinful self. Then God gives us His Holy Spirit as a “pledge,” or “foretaste” of a future change to immortality (Ephesians 1:13-14, 1 Corinthians 15:49-54). This gift comes through prayer and the laying on of hands by the minister (1 Timothy 4:14). At this point God’s Spirit joins with our human spirit and our moulding into a spiritual creation begins.

God’s Spirit in us helps us develop the character of our Heavenly Father, and the laws of God play an essential part in making us aware of sin (Romans 3:20). We become “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4), but having God’s Holy Spirit doesn’t mean we don’t sin. We must learn to choose to obey God and reject evil, as we begin to take on the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5). God’s plan of salvation entails transforming the life of every human being who is willing to turn from their purely selfish way of life to one pleasing to God.