Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
February 23, 1967

Man — Made To Choose Good Or Evil

Leslie Diestelkamp

In almost every place and in all walks of life, I have found some people who question the justice of God in creating man and then allowing him to so sin as to be eternally lost. They say, "If God loved man so much, why did he allow man to be subjected to the temptations of Satan?" Many deep and involved explanations have been given, but I believe the question is easily explained thus: God created man for three basic purposes, and in each case man must choose between good and evil to fulfill God's desires.

1. The human race was created for God's glory: .... glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's" (1 Cor. 2:20). Man was made in the image of God (Gen. 1:26:27). That is, man was made with the ability to reason. Many beasts are larger and stronger than man, but he rules over them because he, like God, can reason. We "have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle and over all the earth" (Gen. 1:26). The writer of the Hebrew letter said of man, "Thou crownedst him with glory and honor, and did set him over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet" (Heb. 2:7,8).

2. The human race was also created to be an object of God's love. "God is love" (1 Jn. 4:8). Indeed, "he first loved us" (1 RI. 4:19). To Israel God said, "I have loved thee with an everlasting love" (Jer. 31: 3). The great, limitless love of God could not have been bestowed upon the beasts of the field and of the forest. Neither could his love have been comprehended by the creatures of the sea and the air.

3. But there was a third objective in creation of man: he was created to love God. "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might" (Deut. 6:5; Mk. 12:30). Mountains and valleys, rivers and lakes are all beautiful to behold. After creating them God could justly say, "It is good" (Gen. 1:10). But none of these magnificent works could give to God even a little bit of love! God created the living creatures, equipped so that each could reproduce after his own kind. What amazing power and wisdom! (With all of man's ingenuity we have never been able to produce a machine that could reproduce another like unto it). But even these living creatures could not understand God's love, nor could they love him at all.

Man Was Made To Think

God made man not only as a responsive creature, but also as a responsible one. By his ability to think, to reason, to contemplate, to appreciate and to anticipate, man rises far above the creatures. But greater talents necessarily mean greater obligations also. Man's action, always above that of the beast, is not merely by reflex or by instinct. Man must honor God and show his love for God by intelligent choice.

"Behold I set before thee this day a blessing and a curse; a blessing if ye obey the commandment of the Lord your God.... and a curse if ye will not obey the commandment of the Lord your God" (Duet. 11: 26,28).

God could not be glorified by a non-responsible creature. Neither could he bestow the abundance of his love upon something that was incapable of full appreciation and of true reciprocal affection.

If man had been made incapable of sin, then his sinlessness would have brought no glory to God. But when man, by his own choice, turns from sin, he then becomes: (1) "...a vessel of honor, sanctified and meet for the master's use" (2 Tim. 2:21); (2) An object of even greater love from God, for he said, "I love them that love me" (Prov. 8:17).

So, in creating man with capability of soul-destroying sin, God's wisdom cannot be challenged. It was the only way to also create man with the power to rise far above all other creatures in devoted obedience and deliberate, responsible subjectiveness. By bestowing honor upon man above all the rest of his creation, God is able to receive the maximum of glory and honor from this climatic result of his creative work. God's way was the only way that he could truly love and be loved.