Universal Salvation: Were Adam and Eve perfect?
It is so important to get this right, because it will affect your understanding of what God is doing. In fact, if you get it wrong, you can not possibly understand what He is doing. Get it wrong, and your understanding will only go as far as universal redemption. Get it right, and your understanding can be taken up to Universal Salvation. The two are not the same.
Genesis 1:31 says "Then God saw everything that He had made, and it was very good." That included Adam and Eve. The Hebrew word there for "good" means, good, pleasant, beautiful, excellent, lovely. And the Hebrew word for "very" can also be translated as exceedingly. So Adam and Eve were exceedingly good; in fact perfect for God's plans, but that does not mean that they themselves were perfect. It is true, to start with, they had not sinned; however, that only shows that they were unblemished - in other words, exceedingly good. But perfect they were not.
Look at it this way. If imperfection can come from perfection, when the time comes when we are all perfect, how do you know you will not sin again? If imperfection can come from perfection, how do you know that Jesus or the Holy Spirit will not sin at sometime in the future? And if imperfection can come from perfection, how do you know that God Himself will never sin? When you really stop and think about it, it is not sensible to believe that someone who is perfect can become imperfect.
The thing about being perfect, is that you could never make a mistake or a wrong decision, on the basis that you are in total control, and you have all understanding. If you did not have all understanding, you would be lacking in knowledge, making it impossible to make the right decision on every occasion. If it is impossible to make the correct decision on every occasion, then you are not perfect. And Adam and Eve were not capable of making the right decision on every occasion, as the account in Genesis shows. Therefore, it was impossible for them to have been perfect.
Luke 6:40 has this to say: "A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher." And James 1:13 says, "...God can not be tempted by evil..." The Greek word for "can not be tempted" there is apeirastoV (apeirastos), and it is only used on this one occasion in the Holy Scriptures, where it means, incapable of being tempted to do evil. If God had taught Adam and Eve to be like Himself, what went wrong? If they truly had been perfectly trained to be like Him, they could not, and would not, have been tempted by evil. They would both have been like God, and therefore not capable of sin. You see, imperfection can not come from perfection.
How about love? God is love (agape). If they had been taught to be like their Teacher, they would also have been love (agape).
1 Corinthians 13:8 says: "Love never fails..." The Greek for "love never fails" is he agape oudepote ekpiptei; meaning that agape love, that is love as God has it, can never be driven off its course. And one of the things that love as God has it, never fails to do, is to obey God's commandments. 1 John 5:3 says: "for this is the love (agape) of God, that we keep his commandments..." So why were they driven off course? Why did they disobey God's commandment if they were agape love, as God was? Once again, if they truly had been taught to be like Him, they could not, and would not, have sinned - because agape love would not have disobeyed God's commandments. They were far from perfect.
And think of this also. If imperfection can come from perfection, what guarantee is there of anything? Therefore Adam and Eve not being perfect must have been part of God's overall perfect plan. Why? Be sure to read our next article, Universal Salvation! Why did God allow wickedness - or did He?
Next article: Why did God allow wickedness - or did He?