Why are we the way that we are? Mankind, in the form of science, philosophy and religion, has tried to quantify and qualify the ways that humans think, feel and act naturally.
This is what we mean generally speaking when we talk of human nature. What are the inherent characteristics of man?
We will have a look at what the Bible reveals about and that I believe answers – Why are we the way that we are?
In coming to an understanding of the events that transpired at the creation of man, we need to more fully comprehend how God created the first man and woman because there are many ideas out there as to how they were created
- a “broken” state of being so that God could “fix” it later by grace.
- predestined to fail and that they had no other option in the matter.
- in a holy state from which they “fell.”
- some think that nothing can be concluded from the Scripture.
How Did God create Adam and Eve?
Let’s examine what the scripture has to say
A God of Quality
In the creation week, we find out about the quality of God’s work.
Six times in Genesis, we are told His handiwork “was good” (Genesis 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25). After the creation of man, God said it was “very good” (Genesis 1:31).
Adam and Eve were included in this statement.
This alone would have to preclude them from having an evil nature.
As we have seen, this is not the way that God works.
He does not make things in a broken state
Rather a perfect one
This is an extension of Who and What He is (Matthew 5:48).
Matthew 5:48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
No Indication of Wrongful Human Nature
Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
Genesis 3:2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden;
Genesis 3:3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ “
Up to this point neither Adam nor Eve had shown a predisposition for going against the ways that they were instructed in by God. They were compliant.
But then notice what happens:
Genesis 3:4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.
Genesis 3:5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Genesis 3:6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.
There is the introduction of an ungodly influence—the devil,
Satan works on Eve
not by force, but by other methods
2 Corinthians 11:3 But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
2 Corinthians 11:4 For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!
Paul is saying, “Now you are ready to receive another spirit and accept a different message.”
Paul was warning them how Satan works and what the effects of it were.
After eating of the tree and giving some of the fruit to Adam – we see a CHANGE occurs.
Genesis 3:7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.
Genesis 3:8 And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
Contrast this with:
Genesis 2:25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
So now at this point: they began to look at things differently and to act differently, the eyes of both of them were opened
They now hid their nakedness from their Creator
This is not how they would “naturally” act or behave
There was a change in their nature, that coincided with the eating of the fruit.
This was because God had given them two choices and they made a very bad decision
A decision of free moral agency
Adam and Eve were created as free moral agents, with the ability to choose.
With only one choice we/they could not build character
Character is knowing right from wrong and choosing right
God wanted them to build holy righteous character, through experience and right decisions
God gave them two choices: tree of life and tree of the knowledge of good and evil
He even told them not to eat of this one
Because they did of their own volition – they were in effect rebelling against God and rejecting His Way
Remember Satan did not force them – they had the chance to eat of the tree of life instead they ate of the tree that led to death
Genesis 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat;
Genesis 2:17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
Adam and Eve chose to follow Satan’s direction and yield to his influence
They took on the nature of Satan and willingly adopted his nature as their own instead of the nature of God (as represented by the tree of life)
God is not going to force His way of life on any one – they/we must choose.
Cain and Abel both had the same choice to make between right and wrong
Abel is referred to as righteous (Matthew 23:35; Hebrews 11:4) and Cain as evil
In the story of Cain and Abel we continue to see the effect that Satan had on human nature
We know the story
Notice what John adds in his first epistle
1 John 3:11 For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another,
1 John 3:12 not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous.
So we can see that it is not inherited (like the concept of original sin states)
Also this would mean that Jesus Christ would have inherited sin and sinful nature
In looking at mankind in the past and present, we see a commonality throughout cultures; the same attitudes, feelings and emotions
It is easy to see why some may conclude that mankind is born this way.
But once they had acquired it, it did not mean that their descendants would automatically have it as well.
Heredity does not explain why Cain acted the way that he did and yet his brother Abel acted the way that he did (righteously)
Nor can it account for Mary being sinful yet Christ wasn’t (Hebrews 4:15).
The fact is, as children we do not start off with the nature that we eventually acquire.
Most recognize very little children as being “innocent”
Ecclesiastes 7:29 that “God made man upright, But they have sought out many schemes.”
We can see why others have come to the conclusion that it has been inherited because when we look at the atrocities of the world, we see how far wrong people can go in a fairly short time.
Mankind continued in this same way to the point of:
Genesis 6:5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
Genesis 6:6 And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.
We really do see a fulfillment of
Revelation 12:9 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
Why Did God Create a Devil?
He didn’t, that is a wrong assumption.
We have covered this before, but let’s go over it briefly for the sake of context
What we have to realize is that God created all of the angels with the power to choose also.
Ezekiel 28:12 “Son of man, take up a lamentation for the king of Tyre, and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “You were the seal of perfection, Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
Ezekiel 28:13 You were in Eden, the garden of God;
Ezekiel 28:14 “You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones.
Ezekiel 28:15 You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you.
Isaiah 14:12 “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer
Isaiah 14:13 For [because] you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven [from where?], I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
Isaiah 14:14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’
2 Peter 2:4 For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down
Now at this point he has been renamed Satan (God calls things as they are)
Satan means adversary or enemy
He was once perfect but he BECAME the way he is now through pride and his own resources.
This is who Adam and Eve battled – this is who influenced and shaped their nature!
Satan still rules on Earth
Now he is here with his throne on Earth Revelation 2:13 ruling as the god of this world
Luke 4:5 Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
Luke 4:6 And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.
Luke 4:7 Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.”
Luke 4:8 And Jesus answered and said to him, “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND HIM ONLY YOU SHALL SERVE.’ “
Jesus Christ actually acknowledges Satan’s position in:
John 14:30 I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me.
How does Satan mold our nature?
2 Corinthians 2:11 lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.
Our fight is not against the physical but the intangible spirit world
Ephesians 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
We have to first realize that this is a battle of the mind against those that have been allowed to have authority and power and rulership on this earth now.
He and his demons are well and truly exercising his authority
Their self appointed job is to get you to choose the wrong tree.
They do it by exerting the influence that we allow them to have in the moral decisions that we make
This cannot be discerned by the five senses but go on in the battlefield of our mind.
Blind: 2 Corinthians 4:4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe
In the end the same will happen to the Laodicean church member
wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—
Lies and Deception (dispersed among truth) we saw this with Eve
2 Corinthians 11:13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ.
2 Corinthians 11:14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.
2 Corinthians 11:15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.
1 John 5:19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.
He broadcasts in attitudes … if you want to know what they are read Galatians 5:19-21
He does not force us
I am sure he could but God reigns him in
John 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.
Are we bound by “human nature”
We saw that we were not born with it, but we do acquire it and are guided too often by it
The good news is that we do not have to be subject to his influence now.
Ephesians 2:1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,
Ephesians 2:2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,
Ephesians 2:3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.