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Catechism Buzz: Subject To Fall

26 April 2011 by Daniel

Q. 15. What is the work of creation?
A. The work of creation is that wherein God did in the beginning, by the word of his power, make of nothing the world, and all things therein, for himself, within the space of six days, and all very good.

Q. 16. How did God create angels?
A. God created all the angels spirits, immortal, holy, excelling in knowledge, mighty in power, to execute his commandments, and to praise his name, yet subject to change.

Q. 17. How did God create man?
A. After God had made all other creatures, he created man male and female; formed the body of the man of the dust of the ground, and the woman of the rib of the man, endued them with living, reasonable, and immortal souls; made them after his own image, in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness; having the law of God written in their hearts, and power to fulfill it, and dominion over the creatures; yet subject to fall.

If you have Duplo™ at home, you probably have helped your kids build a tower with all the square pieces. You made a nice strong base to support the structure, and then started building up. Eventually the tower gets tall enough that it is quite fragile - the slightest nudge or tremor will send it careening over and tumbling to the ground under its own weight in a loud, blue, red, and yellow mess.

If all things were ideal, such towers could stand indefinitely, but because we live in a world wherein external forces exists that can act upon the tower, we would say that the tower, however perfect, is subject to fall.

God created us in the same way - subject to fall. We were created in God's image: free from blemish, and contented to love, trust, and obey God. But along comes an outside force (Satan) who acted upon us, and having been nudged by him in the direction of rebellion, we gave into the temptation to be like God, and fell into sin. We were made perfect, yet at the same time subject to a fall.

God knew we were going to fall before He ever created Adam. God could have held Adam back from sinning and prevented the fall entirely. In fact, God has, in the pages of scripture, personally intervened so as to stop a man from committing a sin. I am speaking of how God Himself held Abimelech back from sinning when Abimelech was inclined to consummate a marriage with Abraham's wife Sarah (cf Genesis 20). We know that if God intervened for Abimelech, He certainly had the ability to intervene for Adam - so why didn't He? Why didn't God stop the fall before it happened?

I think it is because God's glory demanded the fall. In order to reveal who He is to Adam and Adam's race, in order to reveal His justice, His lovingkindness, His faithfulness, His deity: man. had. to. fall. God made Adam perfect and therefore only Adam was culpable for Adam's sin. God was under no moral obligation to make Adam in such a way as to be impervious to sin, nor was God obligated to keep Adam from sinning.

... to be continued ...