The mystery of choice in the redemptive plan

Choice is an important topic in the Bible. The first choice made by human beings is recorded in the Garden of Eden. We read the story in Genesis 3In this video, we are going to spend some time to understand the spiritual mystery of that choice.

The chapters from Genesis 1 to 11 is a quick introduction to the plan of God to restore the Kingdom of God. It informs us in brief, how the Kingdom of God was lost and the plan of God to restore it. Since it is a speedy record, many details are missing.

Genesis 1 to 3 describes how humans fell into sin and the slavery of satan and thus how he lost the Kingdom of God.

These chapters reveal us that sin and slavery to satan was a choice of early humans. Adam and Eve chose to disobey God, to reject the holiness of God and they chose the slavery to sin and satan. This incident reveals that choice is very important to us in deciding our future eternal life.


Why God permitted a circumstance of choice to the first humans? We do not have a satisfying answer to this question. We do not have satisfying answers to many questions about God. Once in eternity, we may understand all these mysteries.

Still we know that the first humans faced a situation of choice in their early life itself.

 When God created humans, He created them “in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:27 - NKJV)

That means, God created human beings imparting many of His attributes.

But God did not share His sovereignty with humans; He cannot share it with any one.

Bible does not list the attributes that God shared with humans. Still, it is true that God shared many of His attributes with humans and that gave him the image of God. That made him a representative of God with authority over the earth and the living creatures on it. In a sense humans were like God in His image on this earth.

 We have to understand the mystery hidden in the freedom of choice on this backdrop.

Humans were created with free will for choice. God expected them to exercise the free will to choose the holiness of God and loyalty to His Heavenly Kingdom.

That is why satan used this particular phrase when he was talking to Eve: “you will be like God” (Genesis 3:5 - NKJV). Satan is offering a short cut to become like God.

Adam and Eve did not reject the idea of becoming like God, because that was the purpose of God and that is what they wished to achieve.

When we say that, Adam and Eve wished to achieve the likeness of God, that does not mean that they wished to usurp God from His throne and sovereignty. Becoming like God and seizing the sovereignty are two things. Humans never wished or tried to usurp God.

 And becoming like God was the plan of God for humans. That is why He created them in His own image.

Leviticus 11:45 exhorts us “You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy. (NKJV)

Ephesians 5:1: “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.” (NKJV)

Philippians 2:5 “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” (NKJV)

Matthew 5:48 “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (NKJV)

Romans 8:29 “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son” (NKJV)

Luke 6:40 "… everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher.” (NKJV)

In all these verses, we find the desire of God that humans may become like Him. But, let me repeat it once again, to be like God is not a rebellion against His Kingdom and sovereignty.

The desire of God for humans to be like Him is well expressed in the phrase found in Leviticus 11:45, “You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.” The meaning is clear, we have to be equal to God in His holiness.  

 As angels are always angels, humans will be always humans. But unlike angels, we share the authority of God on this earth.

When God created humans, He said: "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." (Genesis 1:26 – NKJV)

Though the ultimate authority over the whole universe lies in God, we are the delegated authority of God. Genesis 2: 15 says, “Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.” (NKJV)

When devil offered a way to become like God, he was so deceptive to hide a trap in it. What he said is that, "… you will be like God, knowing good and evil." (Genesis 3:5 - NKJV). That means, satan said, humans shall know both good and evil and thus they shall become like God.

In fact, we need to know only good to become like God, because God is all good and good only. To be like God, humans need not know evil.

Here, the whole humanity, represented by Adam and Eve stood at a junction, they had to make a choice. They could choose to know only good and be like God or they were free to choose evil also, that was contrary to the nature of God.

Unfortunately, they fell into the trap of the devil by choosing to know good and evil and thus estranged themselves from the holiness of God.

 Adam and Eve could become like God by choosing, once and for ever the holiness of God. They had a wonderful opportunity to make this choice. But they miserable failed.

 Why a choice that we make once and for ever is important in our life.

Think about the angels in heaven now. We never even imagine  heavenly angel thinking, speaking or doing any evil. We know for sure that angels in heaven can do only good and holy things. And we are certain that the heavenly angels will never change their attributes. Because they cannot. They have chosen it once and forever.

What about satan and his hosts? They are basically evil. Whatever they do are all and always evil. And we are sure that satan and his fellow evil angels will never repent and will never do anything good. Because they cannot. They have chosen evil once and forever.

That means, the angels, both heavenly angels and evil angels, have, at some point in the heavenly history, has made a choice of good or evil.

None can choose good and evil together, because they are contrary to each other.

That simply means, where ever there is the free will, a choice decides the nature of a being. There is no middle way between good and evil. There cannot be a co-existence of both. This is an eternal, unchanging law of creation.

The choice of Adam and Eve

 As we said earlier, Adam and Eve failed to make the right choice for good. So they lost the holiness of God. They lost the intimate relationship with God. They lost the Kingdom of God. They lost the delegated authority of God over the earth.

Adam and Eve could choose good, once and for ever. That would have fixed their nature forever.

But instead, they choose evil, rebellion against God and sided with the devil. This choice also could have been permanent.

Fortunately something, unexpected by the devil, happened in Eden. God came down in search of the fallen humans to offer a second chance to make a choice. This second chance to make a fresh choice does not violate the free will of humans. The second chance also offers freedom to choose good or evil.

We do not know why God offered a second chance to humans. The angels did not get another chance to rethink and make a fresh choice. But God offered one more opportunity for a new choice to humans.

The reason is simply, it is God’s Grace towards human beings.

And it is God’s Grace that we have now both the free will and the opportunity to make a second choice of either good or evil.

Now what is this second chance?

As we know, God commanded Adam: “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." (Genesis 2: 16, 17 - NKJV).

God’s words cannot be changed. Even God cannot violate it. So humans must die because of their sin of rebellion. That means, until and unless something is done for the atonement of their sins, humans must die.

Adam and Eve understood this. And so they tried to find a solution to the problem. They “sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.” (Genesis 3:7 - NKJV).

But the nakedness of their sin was not satisfactorily covered by fig leaves. They realized that fig leaves are not a solution to the problem of sin. Simply a tree cannot cover their sins.

So they tried to run away from the presence of God.

Here God, by His Grace, intervened into the life of humans once again. Since humans cannot find or arrange or offer an atonement for their sin, God Himself offered an atonement for their sin. God arranged an innocent animal, killed it and with the blood socked skin of it, He made tunics for Adam and Eve. (Genesis 3:21)

Thus God introduced a new principle. An innocent being may die for the atonement of the human sins. By shedding the innocent blood, humans’ sins may be forgiven.

This is the law of representation and substitution.

But, when we study the scripture further, we understand that, just killing an animal and shedding its blood is not sufficient for the atonement of sins.

Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and all other Old Testament fathers were justified, not by their works, but by their faith in God. For justification before God, they believed in the type and example shown by God in the Garden of Eden. They believed in the sacrifice of an animal, as a representative and a substitute for them.

That means, faith matters. Only faith matters. Faith in the substitute sacrifice of an innocent animal fulfils the atonement of sins. Humans should believe that, the innocent blood of the animal is shed instead and for their own life. Human beings should believe that they are redeemed by the blood of a substitute animal.

Adam and Eve believed in this spiritual truth. Their belief was a choice. They could accept or reject the sacrifice. They were still free to choose.

And they choose to believe. This is the second choice that they made in their life. As a type of the fulfilment of the final sacrifice of Christ, the death of an animal in Eden opened a way of salvation to all human beings.

So Adam and Eve, not only sinned and fell from God’s grace, but they also made a choice to believe in the type of a sacrifice for the atonement of sin, as shown by God in Eden. They sinned and also they opened an opportunity to make a second choice, for all human beings.

But the result of their first choice passed on to all humans, whereas only the opportunity to make a second choice is offered to all humans. Because, the sacrifice of an animal in Eden was not a fulfilment but a type of the sacrifice of Christ that will be fulfilled in future.

Until the final fulfilment occurs, human beings could believe in the type and be justified. This is the spiritual mystery that is unrevealed in Eden.

The best example for their faith in the substitute sacrifice is seen when their son Able offered a sheep as a sacrifice to God. Able sacrificed according to the example shown by God. Able’s sacrifice was a choice to believe in the substitute sacrifice. So God was pleased in it.

Cain, on the other hand, chose to reject God’s example. God was displeased with him.

All sacrifices for the atonement of sins that occurred in human history after the incident in Eden, is according to the example shown to us by God. It is a repetition or revelation of the mystery of the sacrifice that occurred in Eden. An innocent animal is killed as a representative and substitute for humans. The blood of the animal atoned our sins. All sacrifices demands our faith in the principle of substitution and atonement. Without faith, none can please God.

Thus we come down to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. It is the final fulfilment and revelation of the mystery of the sacrifice of an innocent animal. The sacrifice of Jesus is a repetition of the sacrifice that occurred in Eden, it is the final revelation, redemption, victory and restoration. It is everything man need, to atone his sins.

And here too, our faith in the death of Jesus is necessary. Jesus died and shed His innocent blood, as sacrificial lamb, as a substitute for us, for the atonement of our sins.

As the result of the second choice of Adam and Eve did not pass on to all human beings, the result of the death of Christ is not passed on to all human beings.

As the opportunity to make a second choice to believe and accept the substitute sacrifice of an innocent animal is passed on to all humans from Adam and Eve, the opportunity to believe and accept the sacrificial death of Christ is passed on to all humans.

The sacrifice of an innocent being and the sacrifice of Christ Jesus is a legal offer to all human beings. We can either choose to believe or reject it.

As I said before, faith is a choice. That means, the death of Jesus Christ on the cross offers a second chance to all human beings to choose to believe in Him or reject Him.

It is said in Romans 3: 24 that, there is an opportunity for us to be “justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”

Verse 25 says that, “God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith”, “because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed”. (NKJV)

Romans 8:1 says: “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (NKJV)

Let me conclude this short study.

This our last and only chance to make the right choice to believe in Jesus and His atonement death at the cross.

Use it now, use it right. Choose to believe in the atonement death of Christ Jesus. And you shall live eternally.

Deuteronomy 30:19 "I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;” (NKJV)

 Thanks for reading this study. May God bless you!

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