Before you begin, I beg you to review the previous article, “Is God in control?” This will make what I am about to say come together in a meaningful way. The whole idea here is to put our minds into the proper perspective for considering humanity’s role in the subject of control.
What is that other natural law of God? It is this: Humanity’s free will, born of God’s own image He created within us. Now I can just hear the chorus of moans and groans and “Oh, brother! I thought he was going to say something important!” Better cup your ears, folks, because this is indeed extremely important, and grossly overlooked across the board of Christianity. Why so important? Because THAT ONE THING IS WHAT GOD WILL JUDGE IN EVERY SOUL, FACE TO FACE, ONE ON ONE! (Hebrews 9:27). Nobody escapes! If you’re a human, it WILL happen!
You see, that one natural law, unlike all the rest in one very important respect, is not ASSUMED in God’s creation. The others exist externally to us and impose themselves on our whole physical bodies, throughout our physical existence. But humanity’s free will first works within us and then radiates outwardly into God’s physical creation around us, governing in a limited way the laws of nature. That governing, or harnessing, Divinely meant to be constructive, can be either constructive or destructive, according to how we freely will it. The creation of that natural law of God is very explicitly described in Scripture: “…And God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” and, “…And God said unto [Adam and Eve]…replenish the Earth, and subdue it: and have dominion…” (Genesis 1:26, 28).
Friends, God’s own image of free will, free choice, a creaturely endowment of a portion of His Divine attributes of omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience, His express image, if you will, was the VERY ESSENCE God used to create humanity! If He had not done that, He would no more bring us into personal judgment than he would a rock or a lowly lizard.
Now here is the crux of the matter: God Himself maintains His image in our creaturely existence! Without it we would indeed be a rock or a lizard. It is who and how humanity is forever. It is who we all are, free-will creatures, with the God-given power to make our OWN decisions, APART, yes, APART from God’s choice. Otherwise, Adam’s choice to sin would have been GOD’S CHOICE, not ours. Such a thing is totally and completely foreign to God’s own revealed pristine nature. To judge us for that would be to haul HIMSELF into His own court of infinite law! The naked truth of this is simply that God is ever in control of seeing to it that our FREE wills operate in absolute freedom, no matter what we choose to choose, good or evil. That’s what He did in Eden, and that’s what He still does. God always honors His own endowed image in humanity, whoever He finds it in, just like he honors the law of gravity, whoever harnesses it for whatever purposes. Hear it, friends: God always honors our own choice whether it is good or evil, even if it shakes it’s fist and curses God to His Divine face!
You see, God’s image in us was a Divine trust from the very beginning. Sin was not part of His prestine image in us. No, God’s image of pure freedom in us exercised its own freedom of freedom and CHOSE to believe a lie instead of God’s sublime Word of warning. Adam himself was in control of WHAT he chose, not God. And once that decision was made, God backed away and respected it. It was going to be what Adam and Eve made it into, not what God was controlling it into. He as much as said, “Okay, you made your bed; now you must sleep in it. Someday I’ll bail you out of the mess you made for yourselves, but until then you can’t live in this beautiful garden I made for you. It’s certainly not what I intended for you; the making of this one is on you, not me. Meanwhile, I warn you: Things will go much easier in the future if you obey me instead of trashing my Word.”
Therein is the sordid story of all human history since then. Sadly, the main ingredient in the tragedy of human sin is the vain pride of blaming someone else for it, God included, instead of our own selfish will. Adam said it was the woman’s fault whom God had given him, thus blaming God. Eve, on the proverbial spot, probably nonplused by Adam’s accusation, simply dodged by blaming the Devil for it. Everyone but the Devil himself claimed innocense and passed the buck, and he would have himself but he had no one qualified to pass it on to. Neither Adam nor Eve simply admitted guilt, repented, and begged God’s pardon. We’re still at that guilty business.
In the third and final part of this three-part subject we will deal with the practical aspects of this “God is in control” business sweeping Christianity. One of the main Scriptures often quoted by those who promote this error is Romans 8:28. We will show that, instead, this Scripture actually plainly says the exact opposite, not only in plain English, but in the original Koine Greek language of the New Testament!