“Why are we born sinful? Couldn’t God have made us perfect?“
Ed: GOD COULD HAVE CREATED us perfect, like the angels. Angels are immortal, they don’t suffer and they cannot do wrong. ‘Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?’ (Hebrews 1:14). Why did God not make us like the angels?
God made humans very good (Genesis 1:31) but not perfect. He gave Adam and Eve free will. Then He gave them a test to see if they would obey Him—this was the lie of the serpent, as recorded in Genesis 3. (There is a view that the serpent’s deceit of Adam and Eve was nothing to do with God. According to this view, the devil snuck into the Garden of Eden and corrupted the serpent in order to bring about the downfall of the human race. There are problems with this view: it assumes that God is not all-powerful, and that the devil is a person. Both these views go against Bible teaching, and they’re both different subjects!)
The fact is, God does put people in difficult situations in order to test them. He tested Abraham’s faith and obedience (Genesis 22:1), and the people of Israel in the wilderness: ‘You shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not’ (Deuteronomy 8:2).
So God tested Adam and Eve. They failed the test and brought the curse of mortality upon themselves and the world (Genesis 3:17-19). God set about the process of bringing out from their descendants people who would believe and obey Him. As Jesus said, ‘This is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day’ (John 6:40).
But why? Surely the history of the world would have been much less painful if God had just made us like the angels in the first place.
God wants us to love and obey Him because of our own free will, not because we don’t have any choice. ‘The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love’ (Psalm 147:11). When we have shown that we want to do this, then one day God will take away our imperfections. Jesus said of people who will be given eternal life at his return, ‘When they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven’ (Mark 12:25).