Genesis Chapter 1 – Did God Create a Perfect World?
(Ver 1.2) I’ve heard many, many Bible teachers stand up and speak about creation in the terms that God created a perfect world for Adam. When Adam came on the scene everything was perfect, they would say. The implications to this always bothered me, since that is not what the Bible said. I’m not sure how these teachers came to that conclusion, but I simply have to go by what the Bible says. Six times in the chapter 1 of Genesis God declares what He has done as being something that is “good”. Good is of course a positive term, but it is also a highly subjective term. What is good to me, might not be good to you. I could say Apple Pie is good. But you might not like it. However, if I said something was perfect that implies something else entirely. Here is the definition of perfect found in the Webster’s dictionary:
being complete of its kind and without defect or blemish; “a perfect circle”; “a perfect reproduction”; “perfect happiness”; “perfect manners”;
So according to the dictionary, perfect means something that is complete, but not just complete, but something that is free from defects and flaws. In my opinion, perfect would imply something that could not fail or be brought down. If Adam was created perfect in a perfect world, it would have been impossible for him to sin. Since we all understand that Adam did sin, we can understand that he at the very least had the potential for flaws. Adam possessed the ability to fail, like an appliance you might buy at the store. Have you ever bought a perfect appliance? I really don’t think so.
So when God says it was good, what does that mean? I would say that in God’s perspective or viewpoint on the event, it was a positive outcome. It was an opposite of evil or bad. What if we could come up with a rating system and many have, that says something like this:
Worst –>Worse –> Bad –> Neutral –> Good –> Better –> Best
Many times consumer reporting companies have similar rating schemes for appliances or cars, etc. You can see by the scale that there are varying degrees for bad and good. You could never say that about “perfect”, there are not varying degrees of perfect. Given my rating scale where would you put God’s “good” creation? It would have to be somewhere to the right of Neutral, but where I’m not sure. If you notice I did not even put the word “perfect” on the scale, since that would go so far above and beyond what I consider to be even the best. I am convinced that “good” is not “perfect”. However, it is really not my opinion that matters, but what God thinks about it that counts. I found some interesting scriptures in the Bible that speaks to us along these lines:
Genesis 2:12 And the gold of that land is good;
God said the gold in the land was good. But gold is a metal that is mixed and very hard to find in a pure state. Gold has a grading scaled from 1 to 24 carats. 24 carats would be the best and purest but yet I doubt if you could call it perfect. Sometimes it can be good to see what is opposite to a definition in order to help understand the positive side of the subject. In Genesis 2:18 God says it is not good for man to be alone. That would be the opposite of good and looking at that verse it could be a highly subjective term. I don’t know if we have gained a definition or not of the term what is good. Let me throw another scripture in the mix that says something totally different.
Psalm 119:96 I have seen the end to all perfection…
Many times we read stuff and don’t apply it to what we learned earlier because we don’t really understand it and aren’t asking the right questions. This verse has a statement that has broad and far reaching implications. What does the term “All” mean? To me that means “All”, “everything is included” and means it is all inclusive. There is nothing that is left out. If you said “most” or “some” that would leave some items excluded from the list. So the term “All” is all inclusive, there is nothing left out or omitted. This is not going to sit well with a lot of religious minded people, but this would also include God himself. God did not leave himself out of the term “All”. I have always believed that God was a perfect Spirit being. In capable of errors, with no flaws. But if God says in His word that there is coming a time when there will be no perfection, what does that mean? How would we possibly apply that fact to God? I wish I had the answer to that, but maybe you do. Tell me what you think about this scripture. Maybe you know some other scriptures in the Bible that answer that question. In my mind this verse is speaking of Jesus who was God in the flesh. If Jesus was born a “perfect” man that would mean it would have been impossible for him to sin, just like “Adam” if he was perfect. So when God became a man, the Bible says that He was tempted in every way just like we are. Satan came to Jesus and tempted him just the same as us. So, if this was the divine God, was it really a temptation? Of course it was and that would imply that Jesus was only “very good” and not perfect. Jesus had to be capable of sinning and failing, otherwise it would not have been a temptation. That is what I think. Do not misunderstand me, I did not say Jesus sinned. I just said He had to have the possiblity to sin our he would not have been tempted just like we are. It just would not make any sense to me.
Posted on October 29, 2009, in Bible Study, Chapter 1, Genesis and tagged Bible, creation, Genesis, God, Good, Jesus, man, temptation, Truth. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.
I agreed with everything you said, up until the last paragraph. I think the first comment above very well explains the point that I would make. Also, you need to be very careful when ascribing a sinful nature to the Lord Jesus Christ. He was perfect and sinless. He was fully God and fully man. He was and is incapable of sin. He did, though, suffer as we suffer. He did feel as we feel. He was tempted as we are tempted. Being tempted itself does not make a person sinful. It simply gives sinners opportunity to demonstrate their sinfulness. Christ demonstrated a lack of sinfulness in response to temptation because He was not sinful. To ascribe a sinful nature to Christ is to ascribe such a nature to God Himself.
I think you misunderstood what I said. I did not say that God sinned anywhere in the lesson. I only stated that it was possible for Jesus to sin or He could not have been tempted the same as we are according to Heb 14:5. Maybe you can explain how Jesus was tempted as the divine perfect God? To me that would be impossible.
Good thinking but you need to be careful with some of the conclusions you allow for based on a reliance of word definitions only. Most notably, the word ‘all’. The Scriptures say, for example that ‘all have sinned’ (Rom.3:23). The implication of your logic is that God must be included here as One who has sinned. Yet the whole of the verse is that God’s glory (the sum total of His perfections) is juxtaposed precisely against what ‘all’ have done, rendering Him not one of the ‘all’, but the antithesis of it. I do believe your thoughts regarding a ‘very good world’, as opposed to a ‘perfect world’, are on the money, however
Thanks for you comments, I greatly appreciate yor time.
I was just thinking about this same thing, and came to exactly the same conclusion. Very Good is not Perfect. I’d say the difference is Free Will. As God is omniscient He knew man would fall therefore God was perfectly correct saying the creation was very good not perfect.
Awesome, thanks for your comment and God Bless!