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Question and Answer | Foreknowing God

If God knows the past, present, and future, He knew Adam and Eve would sin and be cast out of the Garden of Eden. Therefore, God knew He would send Jesus to suffer and die for our sins. If God so loved the world why even test Adam and Eve, since He knew the eventual outcome?

God tested Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2–3), foreknowing that they would fall into sin and break fellowship with Him. For this reason, God’s mission of salvation to humanity, inaugurated in the incarnation of Jesus Christ, “was chosen before the creation of the world but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him, you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God” (1 Peter 1:20–21). Still, the testing of Adam and Eve in the garden, that leads to the fall and redemption of humanity, is not a mere charade. Although God foreknows everything that will occur, Adam and Eve freely sinned. Indeed, mere foreknowledge cannot cause us to do anything. We are the causes of our own free actions. And, since human actions are genuinely free, they are truly significant.

Perhaps, we might wonder, why did God not forego the creation, fall, and redemption of humanity? After all, He lacks nothing and did not need to create the world. We must recognize that it is His prerogative to reveal Himself as He wills.

BY Sanjay Merchant

Sanjay Merchant is Professor of Theology at Moody Bible Institute and a teaching pastor at Northshore Christian Church in Everett, Washington. He earned his Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University School of Religion, and Master’s degrees from Biola University. He enjoys helping his students wrestle with hard questions of the faith, teaching courses on philosophy, theology, and apologetics. Sanjay and his wife, Erin, have four children and reside in Roselle, Illinois.

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