‘In the beginning God created…’ with perfect love – “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…” (Gen. 1:26). Cf. John 1:16, “And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.” God created man with the capacity to truly and purely, freely and independently love and desire God, of one’s own will and desire, as He loves us! And for love, He created all that exists… the Designer of all parameters set forth for the created. For it is through these created permissible parameters that relationship, communion and intimacy exist. That is, for love to exist there must be a permissible capacity and leeway of/for choice, options and freewill… to either regard or partake of love… or to defy, suppress and reject love. As one cannot exist without the other! And within these factored permissible parameters (that love could exist) Man (Adam), along with the created… possesses the capacity and propensity for reaping and producing that which choice creates (blessing and prosperity… or corruption and depravity, of and within God’s factored permissible parameters, i.e., either preserving and sustaining… or, permissibly corrupting posterity and environment) of his choosing between alternatives and/or options placed before him from and within ‘all He (God) had made’. And all that God had made in and of its self ‘was very good’.
Cf. Gen 1:31, “Then God looked over all He had made, and He saw that it was very good!” You see, God loves us and desires relationship… but He wants it to be of one’s own will and desire. Hence, love comes at the cost of sorrow, i.e., corruption’s depravity comes of freewill’s evil desires! Cf. Gen 6:5-6, “The Lord saw how evil humans had become on the earth. All day long their deepest thoughts were nothing but evil. The Lord was sorry that He had made humans on the earth, and He was heartbroken”. Remember, because of love and for love, all He (God) had made’, in and of its self, ‘was very good’. For all depravity, of ‘corruption’, is of that self-imposed and self-inflicted outcome of choice… options… and freewill… that breaks God’s heart! Yet, it is a necessary factor of God’s created permissible parameters that genuine love (relationship, communion, and intimacy) could succeed (occur, be, exist) of one’s own choice, of one’s own will and desire (the intended purpose and culminating pinnacle of freewill). For a love that is forced and or coerced is really no love at all!
Now every man has received ‘light’ (‘truth… what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them’), when brought into the world, of ‘Light’! For without this impartation of ‘light’ (‘truth’ – ‘manifest in them’ of the conscience) we would not have the ability to discern right from wrong or good from evil and would be living without constraint, guilt, shame and remorse! E.g., the “sense” of right and wrong in the young conscience, the very “will” to do that which is right (accomplished or not), and the occurrence of “guilt” (ensuing early for all, but waning if persistently suppressed) behind wrong doing! In part, it is the ‘truth’ of ‘light’ which ‘is manifest in them’ of ‘the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world’ that makes man accountable for every action of obedience or disobedience, for blessing or curse, towards life or death: “That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world” (John 1:9), and by which will be judged!
Cf. Rom 1: 18-20, ‘For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse…”. “For this I have been born, and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth (use well – not suppressing it) recognize that what I say is true” (John 18:37). Adjoining, of His fullness, is the ‘the grace for grace’: commencing with this ‘truth’ of ‘light’ – exhorting each one to believe (of that which is ‘manifest in them’) that they may receive – enabling and empowering ‘whosoever will’ believe Him to do so! Cf. John 1:12, “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name”. Incrementally, ‘grace’ (exhorting – that which was ‘given’ having received ‘coming into the world’) either grows with use or dies of neglect.
Cf. Mathew 25:29, “To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing (suppressing truth), even what little they have will be taken away.” Hence, ‘Whosoever’: Man appropriates (uses well) ‘grace’ (exhorting) with the ‘truth’ of ‘light’ via reverential fear, meekness, and humility to receive the Word – having heard the Word… engendering the faith and believing for repentance – to go from ‘glory to glory’ to be ‘conformed to the image of His Son’ (relationship). Or, man eventually of pride and negligence sears his own conscience – suppressing the truth in unrighteousness (Pride). And by going his own way, hardening his own heart – ‘not seeing fit to acknowledge God or approve of Him or consider Him worth the knowing’, God gives him over! Becoming (of his own will and desire) ‘marred in the hand of the potter (God)….’
To wit: “And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” (John 1:5)
Bruce Charlton (July 2016)