A Study of Romans 8:1-21

Romans 8 is a very common chapter in the Bible, but it really is powerful. The passage starts by explaining how Jesus stepped in to take our place for our punishment, and that we no longer see the consequences of those punishments that we so well deserve. Next it explains the importance of the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives as Christians and the differences between leading a life with human values and leading a life with godly values. Finally it explains how Christians become children of God. Creation itself is waiting for the day that the children of God will be revealed.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,

The passage starts out with a strong statement, saying that those who have accepted Jesus are not sentenced to punishment. We do not need to fear the consequences for our sinful actions.

2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

We are not condemned because the Holy Spirit gives life through the act of Jesus on the cross. Originally, the Fall brought sin and death (as a consequence of sin) into the world, but now the Spirit is giving us life because of Christ’s work on the cross.

3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh,

The Old Testament law did not have the ability to save us. It was weak because mankind is unable keep it, so God sent his son Jesus Christ, being fully human and fully God, to take our place. So now our sin is condemned, instead of ourselves.

4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

The law needed righteousness in order to be fulfilled. Jesus took our sin, which made us righteous, since we were unable to be righteous of our own accord. Now we no longer live as sinful humans do, because we are filled with the Spirit.

5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.

This verse is simple. Those who live with human goals have human desires, but those who have the Spirit inside of them have spiritual and godly desires.

6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.

And those who do live by human standards are subjected to death. But those who live by godly standards will find life and peace.

7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.

Living by human standards also means rejecting God and his commandments. It is impossible to serve both humans and God. Relating this back to verse 6, we can make the conclusion that rejecting God is the equivalent of death.

8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

Again it is emphasized that those who live by the flesh are unpleasant to God. It must be an important point since it is emphasized so many times.

9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.

But if we are Christians, then we have the Holy Spirit inside of us. And if we are filled with the Spirit, then we are no longer of the flesh. Those who are not Christians are not filled with the Holy Spirit, and therefore are not of God.

10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness.

But Christians are given eternal life, even though their earthly bodies should die as a result of sin, because Jesus’ work on the cross is counted to them as righteousness.This can be related back to Genesis 15:6, when Abraham had faith in the Lord and it was “credited to him as righteousness.” The same goes for Christians today. Our faith is credited to us as righteousness, in order for us to fulfill the requirements of the law.

11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.

This verse says that the Spirit gives life to our mortal bodies. Here the word “mortal” comes from the Greek word thnetos, which can be translated as “subjected to death.” We learned earlier that our bodies are indeed subjected to death, but the Spirit will, used in future tense, bring them back to life, just like he brought Jesus back to life. This is done because of the Holy Spirit dwelling inside of us.

12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it.

In light of all of this, we are called, but not called to anything that holds earthly value.

13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.

Again it is emphasized that the way of the flesh is death, but by killing those desires, which is only accomplished through the work of the Holy Spirit, life is given to us.

14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.

Not only do those who have the Holy Spirit belong to God, but they actually become children of God.

15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”

Since Christians belong to God, he could have easily made us his slaves. But he did not. He did not want us to be afraid again (saying again because our past life of sin creates fear), but instead he adopted us as his own. Now we call him our own Father. The word “Abba” means father, but it is an intimate, childlike way of saying it. This shows how truly personal God is.

16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.

Now this is interesting. Since the Spirit is inside of us, he can communicate with us. He testifies that we are in fact children of God.

17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Even more than being his children, we become heirs of God, someday to inherit his kingdom. We even become co-heirs with Christ. But this does mean that we must suffer like he did to also receive glory like he did.

18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

Even though we suffer now, it is incomparable to the glory that will come at a later date. Basically saying, it is so well worth it.

19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.

I thought this verse was especially interesting. All of God’s creation is waiting, and waiting eagerly, to see who the children of God are.

20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

Not only does creation wait, but it is frustrated for having to wait so long. But it does not want to be frustrated. So who caused it to be frustrated? Clearly God is the one who is in control of everything, so he must have subjected creation to frustration. But why? Verse 21 says that it was done in the hope that it will be no longer decay, but will be glorified with the children of God.

Overall, this passage is very important to Christian theology. It pretty much sums up the way that we are saved through Jesus Christ. It also explains a few of the roles of the Holy Spirit, and our role as part of God’s creation. This passage could be studied over and over again, and new ideas could still be gleaned from it.

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A Systematic Study of Adoption

Adoption is an important issue in today’s society. Many claim that it is a healing option to building a family. However, people in favor of abortion say that it is not an option worth thinking about. They claim that putting a child up for adoption is risky for the child’s well being and therefore not worth it in the long run. They claim that it would be better for the child to never have been born. Even those who are against abortion have trouble with adoption. They feel that if they were to have a child, it should be their own, from their own blood. Let’s see what the Bible says about this issue. First we need to establish some keywords that fall under the topic of adoption and see what the Bible says about them.

Children

In the Bible, children are almost always spoken about in a positive way. From passages in scripture, God clearly adores children. God gives children as a blessing; they are “a reward from him” (Psalm 127:3). The famous bible verse Mark 10:14 proves this. When the disciples were trying to keep children from bothering Jesus, Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” That’s huge! Jesus loves children so much that he says the kingdom of God belongs to them. His love for children is much deeper than surface level. The Bible takes this relationship between children and God by forming the analogy that we are like children. Romans 8:16-17 says, “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs — heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.” Scripture clearly states that we as Christians are children of God. This passage even relates back to Mark 10:14 by saying that we, the children, are to inherit the kingdom of God.

Father

In this analogy in which we are the children, God is the perfect father, the “Everlasting Father” (Isaiah 9:6). He is depicted as a father who loves his children deeply. Galatians 4:6 says, “Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.’” So when we become Christians, we also become God’s children, and the Holy Spirit within us cries out to our Heavenly Father. God is the ultimate father and is the model for all earthly fathers.

Fatherless

Of course for adoption to happen, there must first be orphans, or those who are fatherless. Although they may be forgotten by their parents or by society, they are not forgotten by God. He is “a father to the fatherless” (Psalm 68:5) and “the helper of the fatherless” (Psalm 10:14). Many other scriptures describe God as caring for the fatherless including Psalm 146:9, Deuteronomy 10:18, and Jeremiah 49:11. The Bible makes sure that we know that God remembers the fatherless and takes them as his own children.

Abandonment

One thing that concerns those who consider putting a child up for adoption as an invalid choice is abandonment. They feel that this feeling will never go away even when the child grows up; they feel that causing them to go through that is cruel. Although the world may abandon its children and leave them as forgotten, God will not. The Bible makes this clear. Psalm 16:10 says, “You will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay.” God will not abandon those who are faithful to him. This idea is so important that the exact same verse is stated again in Acts 2:27. Again it is stated in 1 Samuel 12:22: “For the sake of his great name the Lord will not reject his people, because the Lord was pleased to make you his own.” God already made us his children, so he will not abandon us.

Love

Of course love is required for adoption to happen. 1 John 4:16 says, “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” (More verses about God’s love, among many others, can be found in Romans 5:8 and 1 John 4:7) Ultimately, God is love. Love is defined by and portrayed in him. It is because of God’s love that we are called to love, and our love is the evidence that we are living in God. One of the many ways we can share God’s love is through adoption.

Adoption

Finally, the word adoption itself appears in the Bible. It never describes the earthly adoption of children into families but rather the spiritual adoption into the family of God. In this whole analogy the Bible has created, it finally comes to a resounding conclusion. Though we were once lost and spiritually fatherless, God, the Everlasting Father, has adopted us into his family. Ephesians 1:15 says that God “predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ.” (See also Romans 8:15 and Galatians 4:5). When we become Christians, we become sons and daughters of God. Even though we were at one point in time not his own, he makes us his own.

So, adoption is actually a picture of our story with God. It mirrors the exact thing that happens when God calls us to be his children and takes us as his own. Therefore the act of adoption is completely biblical.

This type of systematic study is a great way for Christians to align their lives with the God’s Word. It allows them to see exactly what the Bible says about a certain issue, even if it was not necessarily an issue in Bible times. It opens up all of scripture, instead of merely picking and choosing verses that seem to fit their stance on the issue. It truly is a great way for Christians to organize their thoughts in accordance with the scriptures.

Philosophy, Science, and Religion

Philosophy, science, and religion are often seen in conflict with one another. Many debates break out between scientists and theologians, theologians and philosophers. Is it possible for all of them, or even two of them to work together? First we must fully understand what they are and why they are often conflicting. Ultimately they are all methods in the search for truth. Philosophy uses logic and reason to access truth. Science uses mathematics and facts found through observation and experimentation. Religion relies mostly on faith and trust in a God or gods. How can these three methods possibly fit together?

I noticed something when researching these three ideas. When comparing science with philosophy, the title of the articles were always something like “Philosophy and Science.” But when comparing science with religion, the titles often showed them conflicting one another, something like “Science vs. Religion.” We always portray science and religion as being in conflict with one another. Why do we do this? I would argue that they actually work smoothly together. People often try to use science to prove the existence of God or even to prove the truth of the Bible. When we do this, we are considering science to be above God or above the truth of the Bible. We are claiming that science has more value than God when in fact God created science. At the same time, when we focus solely on religion, we miss out on the part of God’s creation that he wants us to discover. He created science as a tool for us to study his creation more closely. Through it we can see the intricacy in his designs and can know him and his plan better. Job 12:7-10 says, “But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” We learn more about God through his creation. When we discover the intricacies of his designs, we discover a little more of the intricacies of God’s character. Here we see science and religion working together. Religion is above science, but science is necessary to reveal the wonders of God and his creation.

Most people can see more easily how philosophy and science fit together. The two would not be as useful without the other. Although observation and and experimentation are useful, they would be unimportant without logic and reason. Logic and reason are the methods we use to affirm scientific facts. If something clearly does not make logical sense, an error must have occurred in the scientific sense. On the other hand, solely using philosophical thought through the rational mind would simply be imaginative and illogical. Science can be used to affirm our deepest and most thoughtful ideas. For a specific example, both science and philosophy are necessary to even begin to understand the human mind. Science provides facts on how the brain works and how it functions with the rest of the body. Philosophy explores the limits of the mind and reaches far into its depths on a search for truth. Both are necessary to explore the facts of life.

Philosophy and religion seem similar, but they are actually quite different. While religion relies mainly on faith and trust, philosophy is based on logic and the rational mind. However, they are still in need of each other. Philosophy needs faith to put into action the ideas reached by the rational mind. On the other hand, religion needs a philosophical mind to keep it in check. A faith without logic and reason is dangerous. Philosophy gives additional understanding to the revelations that religion provides. Even more, we become naive when we try to separate logic from religion. Blindly trusting in something without any logical explanation can destroy our worldview. People with opposing views would be able to pick it apart in an instant. Applying logic to our faith can also help us understand the intricacies of God’s plan and cause us to praise home more for it. We become ever more grateful when we see that God’s ultimate plan for the universe makes sense.

So philosophy, science, and religion can all work together. They are all vitally important in forming our worldview.

https://www.ukessays.com/essays/philosophy/the-relationship-between-religion-philosophy-and-science-philosophy-essay.php

http://blog.yalebooks.com/2012/10/24/how-science-and-faith-can-work-together/

http://dailynous.com/2017/01/09/relationship-philosophy-science-mind/

Justice and Benevolence


The Bible talks a lot about justice. Justice can be most accurately defined as the way things are supposed to be. If something is wrong, that is injustice. Implementing justice means establishing what is right. Therefore justice is good. Justice is restoring things to the way God had created them to b in the first place.

God is completely and totally just. He has to be. Since justice is good and God is good, God has to be just. God is so good that he cannot even be around sin. Sin requires a punishment. Sin requires judgement. Sin is an injustice that must be brought to right. God cannot let sin go unpunished. Most of us can probably recite Romans 6:23 from memory. Yeah, yeah, sin’s punishment is death. Whatever. And God gave us the gift of eternal life through his Son. We know this is true, but when was the last time we took the time to fully understand it? God is perfectly just and cannot let things go unpunished. So then why does he not punish us when we are so deserving but rather gives us eternal life? The answer is benevolence. The dictionary defines benevolence as “the desire to do good to others.” God is perfectly just but also perfectly benevolent. At times when justice requires punishment to make things right, it can seem contradictory to benevolence. But God is completely both. He had to punish sin, but since he wanted the absolute best for us, he sent Jesus to take the punishment for us. This is where the gift of God spoken about in Romans 6:23 comes in. We have a choice if we want to accept it or not. Those who accept it escape God’s judgement through the substitution of Jesus Christ. But for those who do not accept it, God will still punish them. Thought he wants the best for us, he has to punish those who sin and refuse to accept him. Their judgement will come later. God’s mercy and benevolence is seen even more in the fact that he holds off his judgement and gives those who reject his gift every last chance to take it. The Bible makes it clear that their punishment will eventually come. 

Since God is perfectly just, he also wants us to establish justice. Amos 5:21-24 says, “I hate, I despise your religious festivals; your assemblies are a stench to me. Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, I will have no regard for them. Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps. But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!” As Christians, we often get caught up in the religious “duties” and the ritualistic part of worship. Often times we ignore justice. We ignore the way things are supposed to be and try to please God using meaningless, flashy shows of faith. God does not desire this. He would rather have us actively enacting justice than performing showy acts of worship to God with an empty heart. Worship is only acceptable to God when justice is a part of it. More than that, this verse shows that justice is an act of worship. We are giving glory to God when we do our best to set things right.

One translation for justice in the Hebrew language is “shalom.” It can be translated as both “justice” and “peace.” Loosely, it means wholeness and restoration. By this definition, justice is also about restoring relationships to what they were intended to be. We were created to have a relationship with God. Since the beginning, human beings were supposed to be on a personal basis with God. Adam and Eve actually dwelled with God in the Garden of Eden. But when they ate the forbidden fruit, that relationship was forever damaged for all human beings. The same is true for us. When our sinful nature gets in the way of our relationship with God, it is damaged. According to the definition of “shalom,” justice is the restoration of relationships, including our intended relationship with God. So when our relationship with God is broken, this is injustice.

Overall, God is perfectly just and benevolent. He calls us to be the same in our everyday lives, our worship to God, and our relationship with him.

https://www.onfaith.co/onfaith/2014/06/06/how-the-bible-understands-justice/32339

http://voiceoftruthblog.com/the-benevolence-of-god
https://billygraham.org/decision-magazine/april-2010/the-justice-of-god/

Epistemology and the Christian Worldview

Epistemology, or the study of knowing knowledge, is a difficult topic to cover. Humans struggle trying to understand what truth is. Is it possible for humans to know full truth? Where does it come from? There are many different people in the world in many different cultures with many different world views and many different religions. The list of ways that how we are all different goes on and on without an end. All of our perceptions of truth are different too. One’s epistemology and perceptions of truth depend largely on his or her world view. Although, not all of these perceptions can be true! They all contradict each other, so they cannot all be considered truthful. Are any of them truly the truth? How do we know? Where does this knowledge of truth come from?From a Christian worldview, God is the center of all knowledge. Our worldview is based on the fact that there is only one true living God. All knowledge and truth comes from him. Since God created all things, knowledge must come from him as well. Everything that exists comes from God, and that includes knowledge. In fact, God created all other knowers. We obtain our knowledge from God. But what about the people who do not acknowledge the existence of God? Romans 1:20 says, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” According to Paul, everyone has some sort of knowledge of the existence of God. Nature and all of the rest of God’s creation proclaims his existence and his glory, “so that people are without excuse.” Even if they do not acknowledge the existence of God, their knowledge still comes from him. Everything we know comes from divine revelation. He gave us the ability to reason and gain knowledge. 

Since knowledge comes from God, epistemology and Christianity go hand in hand. We must know God to know anything at all. The one and only way to truth is through Jesus. In John 14:6-7 Jesus says, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” Jesus IS absolute truth. He was sent to earth, as fully human and fully God, in order that we will be able to know the Father. It is through Jesus that we know God, and through God that we obtain knowledge.

Although God gives us absolute truth and knowledge, these can get lost in the many different false worldview and false perceptions of truth in the world. So then, how do we know what is truly true? If only we had some sort of map to point us towards truth. If only there was some sort of guide book to tell us what is truly knowledge. But there is! God gave us his Word in the form of the Bible to be a guide towards truth. But the Bible is not the only way we can obtain knowledge. It acts as a guide distinguish what is true and what is not, but not all of our knowledge must come from spiritual experience. God created us with reason and intuition so that we can understand and learn. So even if we are using our rational minds to obtain knowledge, that knowledge still comes from God, since he gave us those rational minds to use. But although human reason and intuition, given to humans by God of course, can access some knowledge, God’s word is the best source of truth and knowledge. 1 Corinthians 1:25 says, “For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.” Even if God was foolish, his foolishness would be much much wiser than the wisest of people. That is why we should go to God first and foremost for knowledge and truth. He is the ultimate source of truth and much more trust worthy than our human reason, which is often times faulty.

As a Christian, I believe all this whole heartedly. God is the center of my life, and is my source of all truth and knowledge. In order to know truth, I must first know God through his son Jesus Christ. Everything I know comes from God, which is passed down through the Bible, spiritual revelation, or the human reason that he gave me. God is the source of all truth.

http://www3.dbu.edu/naugle/pdf/devo_7.pdf
http://www.albertmohler.com/2010/12/03/the-knowledge-of-the-self-revealing-god-starting-point-for-the-chrisutian-worldview/
http://www.proginosko.com/2009/04/a-biblical-epistemology/

Reality and Existence

One major question has plagued humanity for a long time: does God exist? People have debated and searched for the answer, many in vain, for centuries. But how do you prove, or disprove for that matter, the existence of God?Personally, I firmly believe that God exists. Just look around. There is so much detail found in creation that I can’t imagine all of it happening by accident. Just the intricacy in one human cell is astounding. Look even at the earth itself. It is in the perfect position from the sun in order for life to thrive on it. Even a fraction closer to the sun, and we would burn. A fraction farther away from it, and we would freeze. This amount of order and perfection cannot be produced by chaos and mere chance. Romans 1:20 says, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” God’s creation is proof of his existence. Everything around us speaks of his glory, and by seeing it, we should know that there is at least some sort of creator. Like Romans says, because of God’s glorious creation, our unbelief has no excuse.

God’s fingerprint is evident in us as well. We are created in his image and are therefore a reflection of him. Even more, God is at work in us. We are all born with somewhat of a moral compass. Although not every right and wrong are clear, we experience guilt, proving that there is a right and wrong. God created good and evil, and we are somehow in tune to parts of what that is. God is at work in us in other ways as well. So many people have actually experienced God and been filled with the Holy Spirit. I’ve seen it happen, and it has happened to me as well. I do not know how so many amazing things can happen without an existing God. 

Looking at creation and ourselves, we know that God exists. But this idea of God is hard to wrap our heads around. God does not change. He is constant and will remain constant. He existed even before time began. In fact, he created time. That is probably the hardest part for us to understand. Time is a part of our reality, but God created it. His creation cannot limit him. He is outside of time, which is really hard for us to understand. In a world where everything has a beginning and end, we cannot imagine something that is constant throughout all of eternity. But that is who God is. He is above all things and is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Another difficult concept of God to understand is the Trinity. A basis of the Christian faith is that God exists as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Because God is above everything that we know, it is hard for us to understand. God is ultimately unified as one, yet ultimately distinct as three separate persons. There is no earthly analogy or idea that can compare to God being one being yet three persons, yet it is so detrimental to our Christian faith. 

What does that mean for reality? The philosophical definition of reality is “something that exists independently of all other things and from which all other things are derived.” According to that definition, God is our reality. As Christians, God should be the center of our lives. Everything that exists is from, through, and to him. Creation is from him because he created all things. Genesis states that God created “the heavens and the earth.” This establishes the idea that there is more than just our physical world. The idea of heaven and hell and a life after death is part of the reality that God created. Everything is through him because he continues to rule over it. The world is still dependent on God because God continues to sustain it. All things rely on God for their existence. His power continues to allow him to uphold and govern the world. The world functions through him. Reality is also created to God. Everything that exists is created to glorify God. Their purpose is to point to God and his glorious power. That is our purpose as well. Since we are a part of God’s creation, we are called to glorify him in everything we do, in order that others might see his power. God is the focal point of our reality.

 https://chalcedon.edu/magazine/christian-metaphysics-and-the-creator-creature-distinction-part-i

https://www.everystudent.com/features/isthere.html
https://journal.christianscience.com/shared/view/it1dvxa9mo

The Fall and the Problem of Evil

Genesis 1:31 says, ““God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” When God made the Garden of Eden, it was good. The dictionary defines good as “that which is morally right; righteousness.’ The dictionary defines evil as “morally wrong or bad; immoral; wicked.” By definition, good and evil are complete opposites. Everything God created was good, and therefore not evil. Genesis 3:1 states that the serpent is a “wild animal the Lord God had made.” Since the serpent was a part of God’s creation, it by itself cannot be evil. Satan must have possessed the serpent or influenced it in some way. Even so, God gave punishments to both the serpent and Satan. First he cursed the serpent, saying, “Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.” Then he cursed Satan, saying, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:14-15) God seemed to have blamed both the serpent and Satan. 
But if the garden was good, how did Satan, who is evil, even enter the garden? How did sin enter the garden? Well the Bible does not say that the Garden was perfect and incapable of blemish; only that it was good. Adam and Eve were just as capable of sinnning if the serpent had not been there because God had given them free will. The Garden was good until Adam and Eve made a choice to sin. Think of it this way. If you take a test, you are neither right nor wrong until you make a choice. Before you answer the first question, it is simply blank. But how could Adam and Eve sin if no one had been there to put that idea in their head? Unlike gravity, sin is not an external force. Sin is an internal decision to reject God. From the moment that Adam and Eve were created, they had the ability to reject God. So just like the Garden, Adam and Eve were morally perfect until they made a choice to reject God.

Adam and Eve were created good. Their choice was what made them sinful. Since then, we as humans have been inherently sinful. From the moment we are born, we have selfish desires. Again, sin is the internal decision to reject God. We are born trying to go through life on our own, but we were not created to be independent. We are created to be completely dependent on God and follow his plan only. God’s plan is the best for us that we can possibly have. When we sin and try to do life our own way, we miss out on what God has planned for us. So why do we do it? Because Adam and Eve sinned, those sinful desires are now inherent in us. We are born wanting the best for ourselves, but when we try, it ends up falling really short of God’s perfect plan for us.

Since God’s plan is perfect, how can evil even be a part of it? Scripture clearly shows that evil had existed since the very beginning of time. The very fact that the forbidden tree was called the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil clearly proves this fact correct. But why did God create it? This question brings us back to the problem of free will. God wants us to be able to choose our own destinies. He wants us to love him, but he wants that to be a choice. Therefore he needed to create another option. Without evil, there would be no other option to loving God, and free will would not make much sense. We would simply be robots professing our love for God, a love that we did not choose for ourselves. Some will argue, however, that free will does not exist since God is all knowing. But influencing someone’s decisions is different from knowing what that person will choose. God is outside of time and knows all that happened, is happening, and will happen. He can know what will happen without influencing that event.

Overall, sin in the Garden happened because of God’s great love for us. He loves us so much that he allows us to make our own choices, even if they are not the right ones.

http://www.allaboutgod.com/faq/why-did-god-create-evil.htm
http://cw.routledge.com/textbooks/alevelphilosophy/data/AS/IdeaofGod/FreeWillGod.pdf
https://creation.com/who-was-the-serpent