Did Adam and Eve have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit?


#1

This is a question that I’ve pondered quite a bit. As far as I understood, it seems highly probable that they did possess the indwelling of the Holy Spirit-- so I believe the answer to this question is yes.

Consequently, I’ll be up front with people to begin with. I believe that if Adam and Eve did indeed have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, then this would have negative implications for certain theologies which presume permanent salvation for those who have the Spirit’s indwelling.

In particular, it seems as though that those who believe in some form of once saved always saved would be likely to answer that Adam did not have the Spirit’s indwelling-- and they would specifically insist this because they believe that the Spirit’s indwelling is required for them to be saved.

But if this is the case, does this imply that Adam and Eve were created, by default, damned?

I don’t think this is the case. Clearly, Adam and Eve were created ‘saved’ to begin with-- impying that they had the Spirit’s indwelling to begin with, but then lost their connection to him in some way. In other words, it was when they rejected God’s promise that their default position changed from ‘saved’ to something else.

Defining exactly what this ‘something else’ would be remains to be debated in this thread.


#2

Personally, when god created Adam and Eve in the creation accounts, he didn’t design them with a need to be saved. The way that it was taught to me was that they were free of original sin and were perfect until they ate the fruit of the tree, after which time they could sin.
I was pretty much always taught that the creation story was there to explain why people needed to be saved. But you do pose an interesting question.


#3

So, being free of (original) sin, does not mean you are free from being able to sin. Is this also true of God? God is free of (original) sin – is He also free from being able to sin? If Adam and Eve were both created free from sin, then what (besides being created) separates them from God?


#4

I was taught that when they ate the fruit that it separated them from god and introduced sin into their world. Though, the longer I am here i find out the churches I was raised going to were wrong on a lot of things.


#5

Did Adam and Eve have belly buttons?

Really, my six year old wants to know. :slight_smile:


#6

Well, let’s see…is God able to sin?

Well, Christianity contends that God is omnipotent, so there should be nothing God is unable to do, which I suppose makes the answer “yes, God has the ability/power to sin.”

Merriam Webster has for the second definition (the one that seems to apply to this discussion) of “sin” --“2 a : transgression of the law of God b : a vitiated state of human nature in which the self is estranged from God.” This is in accord with what I was taught–“sin is any want of conformity to or transgression of the law of God” (Presbyterian catechism, circa early 1970s)

So in order to sin under the first case, God would have to not conform to or to transgress his own laws. One does have to look at who sets up the parameters for what “sin” and “law” are in the Christian belief system. God gets to set the rules for the game. Do God’s laws apply to God or only to humans? If only to humans, then the question is moot.

The second definition seems to bear that out–if it only applies to human nature, then it doesn’t apply to God.

If it also applies to God, however, in order to sin God would have to be estranged (separated) from Himself.

Adam and Eve and the teaching that God is omnipotent raise another question. Iif God’s laws apply to God, then If God sets up a situation under which it is either inevitable or highly likely that a person will sin (creates a stumbling block if you will), is that also a sin?


#7

I…don’t…know… :confused:

http://www.answersingenesis.org/aftereden/cartoons/20040112.gif

I have heard before some claim that they didn’t, because belly buttons are, supposedly, strictly the result of live biological birth. But I honestly really don’t know how this all works. :slight_smile:

On a different note, I think it’s interesting that there’s perhaps a little bit of flesh involved in both circumcision and baptism.

In the case of circumcision, the male babies were to be circumcised on the eighth day. In this case, the foreskin was to be removed.

And when it comes to baptism, if one is baptised by near immersion (except, of course, the head), there’s likewise a little piece of flesh that would have to come off before one could be baptized, the umbilical stump.

After the baby is born, the umbilical cord is clamped and cut close to the body in a painless procedure, leaving an umbilical stump. Within 10 to 21 days, the stump will dry up and drop off, leaving a small wound that may take a few days to heal.

Interestingly, the umbilical stump must be kept clean and dry. When the stump falls off, you may detect a little blood on the diaper, which is normal. More importantly, however, one must avoid giving your baby tub baths until the stump falls off-- meaning that a baby could not be baptized as noted above until the stump falls off.

I find this loss of flesh prior to being ready to be baptized by near immersion into God’s family to bear an interesting parallel to the circumcision of the male child’s flesh as they are brought into the Israelite family.


#8

**And when it comes to baptism, if one is baptised by near immersion (except, of course, the head), **

Interesting. So Catholics immerse infants? I had only been familiar with “sprinkling” and full immersion (for adults).


#9

In Christian thought, that was what happened: God the Son ‘separated’ Himself from Godhood, ‘emptied’ Himself of God-ness:

“Jesus, who though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2: 6-8)


#10

But he did create them ‘good’-- and we know from the Scriptures that no human being is good without the Holy Spirit indwelling them to do so.

[quote=1 Corinthians 12:7]Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.
[/quote]

And again…

[quote=Galatians 5:22-23]But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
[/quote]

If Adam and Eve were ‘good’, then this seems to strongly imply that the Holy Spirit was indwelling them prior to their fall.

Some have suggested to me that Adam and Eve had the capacity to do good without the Holy Spirit guiding them – but then they turn around and give other people a hard time about any doctrine which suggests that man can do good without the Holy Spirit.

I find this odd.

Expressed differently, they suggest that Adam and Eve were created “saved” yet “without” the Holy Spirit and then turn around and say that no one is “saved” without the Holy Spirit.

I find this odd too.

As I’ve mentioned to others, if they’re trying to suggest that Adam and Eve were not created “saved”, then that means that they think that God created them “damned” or perhaps “neutral”-- even through the Hebrew Scriptures say that everything was created “good”. In fact, he concludes that all things were “very good”.

I find this very odd.

Others seem to have suggested that Adam and Eve didn’t know right from wrong in the first place (since they had no Spirit to convict them of right from wrong in their view) – implying that God effectively made two lumps of clay with no free-will, called them humans, and effectively predestined them to be slammed against the “tree of knowledge” so that he could turn around and blame them for not knowing right from wrong – which is exactly the way he made them in the first place.

I find this view extremely odd.

That’s why I’m challenging others who adhere to some kind of once saved always saved theology to respond-- there is some kind of weird inversion happening here within.

In fact, oddly enough, sinless Adam starts off perfect with the Spirit’s indwelling – and then clearly falls from grace.

On the other hand, sinful man starts off imperfect and only later receive’s the Spirit’s indwelling – and then it’s assumed, oddly enough, that they can never fall from grace.

If this is true, then I have to ask why is it that something which starts of “perfect with the Spirit’s indwelling” is more capable of failing than something which starts off “imperfect and is initially without the Spirit’s indwelling”?

I guess I just don’t understand what they’re claiming. I’m hoping for further clarification on this-- and I’m starting right from the very beginning to determine exactly what they’re claiming.


#11

No, actually we don’t.

In ancient times it may have been done in the warmer climates though-- near immersion with triune pouring of water on the head. I think the Orthodox still immerse infants, but I’m not sure of how accurate this information is.

I just thought it was interesting about “the flesh” needing to be removed in both instances.


#12

[quote=Oneiron]The way that it was taught to me was that they were free of original sin and were perfect until they ate the fruit of the tree, after which time they could sin.
[/quote]

The problem with this is that the temptation to partake in the tree occured before they partook in the tree-- implying that they could indeed at least think of some sinful thoughts before they partook in the tree.

Likewise, I’m not sure if partaking in the tree was so bad when compared to how they behaved after they partook in the tree. To be honest, I think it’s not so much about good and evil, although this is ultimately what it comes back to. I think it’s more probably about shame – and the laying of blame to others who do not deserve it. It’s about figuring out who is responsble for what and what’s going to be done in response to each other’s actions.

If they had only admitted that they had sinned, I think God could have forgiven them and much pain may have possibly been been avoided. In this sense, I think that power to forgive is far more powerful than the ability to sin.

More importantly, however, although many tend to think of the account of the garden as a story of good vs. evil (and this is an important element), I think it’s more a story of how a loving God was willing to subject himself to the scrunity and judgements of his own creation.

[quote=Pope John Paul II]"…in a certain sense one could say that confronted with our human freedom, God decided to make Himself ‘impotent.’ And one could say that God is paying for the great gift bestowed upon a being He created ‘in his image, after his likeness’ (cf. Gn 1:26). Before this gift, He remains consistent, and places Himself before the judgment of man…"
[/quote]

I’m not speaking as a Catholic teacher here-- so this could be wrong. But that’s what I think was going on here. I think Pope John Paul II may have had the same view too.


#13

[quote=Oneiron]I was pretty much always taught that the creation story was there to explain why people needed to be saved. But you do pose an interesting question.
[/quote]

I could be wrong, so I would advise you to check with a Catholic priest or some Catholic educator before taking my word for it. I usually stay within the confines of Catholic teaching as best as I can on these matters. But, as far as I can tell, there’s a little bit of ambiguity on this matter, even within Catholicism.

There’s no doubt that Adam and Eve sinned against God in this account. But exactly what that sin was, I’m not entirely sure. It seems as though the worst sin was simply not trusting God and then failing to take responsibility for trusting God-- even blaming God for own mistakes. And this hubris against God seems to be one of the the biggest sins we could do against God. In fact, this sin is exactly why the father of all sin leds a third of the angels in rebellion against God.

Man’s first sin

397 Man, tempted by the devil, let his trust in his Creator die in his heart and, abusing his freedom, disobeyed God’s command. This is what man’s first sin consisted of.278 All subsequent sin would be disobedience toward God and lack of trust in his goodness.

398 In that sin man preferred himself to God and by that very act scorned him. He chose himself over and against God, against the requirements of his creaturely status and therefore against his own good. Constituted in a state of holiness, man was destined to be fully “divinized” by God in glory. Seduced by the devil, he wanted to “be like God”, but “without God, before God, and not in accordance with God”.279

399 Scripture portrays the tragic consequences of this first disobedience. Adam and Eve immediately lose the grace of original holiness.280 They become afraid of the God of whom they have conceived a distorted image - that of a God jealous of his prerogatives.281

I just wanted to cover what the Catechism said before I proceeded further.


#14

Those of us who learned our Faith from the old Baltimore Catechism remember that the reason God created us is to know Him, to love Him and to serve Him so that we might be happy with Him forever in heaven. This may seem an oversimplification to some, yet it is absolutely true.

My own thoughts were that God created Adam and Eve with the default position of being led by the Spirit – essentially trusting God. Therefore, if they only trusted God’s words, they would continue to move in the default motion according to God’s will.

Even so, even if this is the case, it seems to me that they wouldn’t be “automations” simply because they were led by the Spirit. Within the parameters of their actions they could still make many different choices, each guided by the Spirit’s motion-- such as loving each other, eating food, partaking in fellowship with one another, etc.

In this sense, I’m not trying to suggest that Adam and Eve had no choices laid out before them. They could certainly choose from a variety of different paths all guided by the Spirit – such as being a shepherd, or some kind of agricultural work, or even perhaps some kind of crastman, etc.

In other words, as the Scriptures quite plainly states, whatever you do, do it for the Lord. It comes by his Spirit

What would be restricted from their “default actions” would be anything which essentially broke the laws written upon the hearts of all people – the commandments against lying, stealing or coveting for example, their duties towards mankind.

So, to clarify this example, if one were to be a shepherd, that’s a fine choice according to the freedom they have within the Spirit’s motion – they just wouldn’t break the commandments when being a shepherd because that would not be going against the Spirit’s motion.

It would be the heart that would be measured, such as in the account of Cain and Abel.


#15

As a default motion in the Spirit, so long as they trusted God, they would effectively continue to move in God’s Spirit no matter what actions they might choose to do.

That they were not automations seems to be fairly evident by the fact that they could apparently choose to not obey the Spirit at any given time – effectively falling out of God’s grace. In fact, in my own opinion anyway, it seems to me that Adam and Eve may have already sinned in their hearts well before they ever partook in the tree of the knowlege of good and evil.

Many people have speculated as to the reasons why God would have left Adam and Eve alone in the Garden. They think, “Why on earth would God leave them alone with the serpent?”

Most people say that God was testing them. And maybe he was. However, I would like to point out that, according to the Scriptures, God’s eyes are apparently too pure to look on evil; he apparently cannot tolerate wrong. If he left, it seems to me that it was because Adam and Eve were already sinning against God by failing to trust his words about the tree of the knowledge of good and evil well before they ate from it.

Isaiah 59:2 planely states, “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.”

It seems resonable to me that God left Adam and Eve because iniquity was already found within them – and since God cannot tolerate this his Spirit left their presence. In short, their iniquities may have effectively separated them from God – and they were no longer moving by God’s Spirit during this time.

Many people have speculated at the meaning as to exactly what the tree of knowledge represented. For me the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is actually symbolic of the serpent that was “guarding” the tree. However, instead of “knowledge” I would prefer to use the word **“experience”. **

In other words, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil might be better translated as the tree of experiencing good and evil – with one half of the experience being something that they had formerly “known” about by the natural world around them but had not directly “experienced” in their own lives.

For example, even though there was no human death, I’m positive that some kind of plant death occured when they ate of this fruit that was permitted. One would have to read this account extremely literally if one was to say that absolutely no death occured, including plant death for example.

It’s kind of like, in my opinion, watching children tragically starving on a Worldvision commercial – but not having ever really known was it was like to actually be starving for food in real life. In other words, it seems to me that they were very much aware of the “knowledge” that things could go wrong around them – and were very aware that this could happen to themselves – but they never directly “experienced” the bad things they knew of.

In this sense, it seems to me that God allowed them just enough knowledge to know what could go wrong without them having to directly suffer the consequences of doing wrong themselves. Or, in other words, it seems to me that it was a matter of trusting what God said over what the adversary was tempting them to do.

If they simply continued to trust God (the default position), then they would be moved by the Spirit to immediately partake in the tree of life before the temptation to eat from the tree of “experiencing” good and evil took over. In short, they would have ‘passed the test’ – and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil would have been cut off from therein.

If, however, they failed to trust God (the alternative position), then they would be **moved by their own spirit **(breaking the Spirit’s motion within them) to eventually partake in the tree of “experiencing” good and evil before the Spirit’s motion to eat from the tree of life was completed in them. In short, they would have ‘failed the test’, effectively cutting themselves off from the tree of life – and according to the Scriptures, they did.

Many people ask themselves if they can trust God. But I think the better question is “Can God trust us?”


#16

I do have to say that if God’s eyes are too pure to look on evil and he cannot tolerate wrong, but still is the omnipotent omniscient perfect Creator of the Universe who stands outside of Time----why would He then create something with not only the capacity to do what he defined as “evil” or “wrong” but knowing at the time He created it that it would indeed do so?

It is areas like this that make a strong case for polytheism to me.


#17

Perhaps we’re looking at this the wrong way. Perhaps, from God’s Time-and-Space-Transcending perspective, there is no “evil”. Of course, from our human perspective, there is evil – we see it all around. But maybe, in God’s eyes, all is “good” (as in Genesis), thus, God is able to see ALL – even what we deem as “evil”.

(No, what I just proposed is not relativism.):cool:


#18

Just because God knows in advance what will happen in the future does not indicate that God is making someone do evil, no more so than placing a cookie jar on the table knowing that a child will reach into the cookie jar means the actions of the parent are evil.

The creation of people with the ability to praise him out of love far outweighs the consequences of those who rebel against God’s will.

Besides that, even if God cannot look upon evil, there are still an entire host of angels and archangels mediating back and forth between God and man, observing and recording everything that happens so much so that God’s perception via his messengers is still omnicient. Even we participate in this interaction when we bring our petitions before God, revealing the sinful parts of the world as God expereinces the world through us so to speak.

Furthermore, Jesus, as true God and true man, came down amongst humanity specifically for the reason of revealing the sins of the world in order to stand triumphant over them. In a traditional Christian sense, when one looks at the incarnation of Christ, we see God in human form experiencing sin so that he can understand what it is like to be human and therefore have compassion on us.

As true God, he knew the good that needed to be done. And as true man he experienced the temptations that mankind experiences daily so that he might have compassion on humanity by directly experiencing the weaknesses we all undergo.

As Hebrews 4:15 says…

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.

I think that God cannot see evil when in heaven, so he became both true God and true Man in order to come down and experience everything we do so that he could save us. Although I do believe that Christ’s incarnation was “without sin” in the sense that he was aware of what sin was (in his mind) and yet he never succumbed to it mentally or physically, I also believe that Christ “became” sin by knowing sin (in his mind) and becoming aware of its temptations so that God could pin-point sin and obliterate it through Christ’s life, death and resurrection.

When I look to the incarnation of Christ, I see the second member of the Holy Trinity emptying himself, making himself virtually nothing (for a small time) when compared to his former and future glory both before and after his humiliation he experienced as a human being.

I think that Philippians 2:5-8 captures this very well…

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death – even death on a cross!

In my own thoughts, in order for Christ to truly know what it was like to be human, he had to be physically separated from his father just like all other people were. Unlike anyone else in the entire scope of human history, Christ continued to believe in his father even when totally physically separated from him and dropped into the depths and despair of the dead.

So, even though he experienced this total physical separation, this total physical separation could not break the faith that Jesus had in his father. In other words, through the faith he had in his father, Christ was never truly separated. This is to say, Jesus’ faith in the father saved him from the depths of death – and at that unique moment in history, Christ connected himself spiritually with all other souls past, present and future that would be saved in him, even those that did not know him per se in human life – what might be called the Communion of Saints.

Jesus, as true God and true man, stood in the perfect vantage point to be the One mediator between God and man-- his very body emcompassed the entire means by which God would reconcile humanity to himself.


#19

**Just because God knows in advance what will happen in the future does not indicate that God is making someone do evil, no more so than placing a cookie jar on the table knowing that a child will reach into the cookie jar means the actions of the parent are evil. **

No, I don’t think that would make the parents or their actions evil. However, the analogy fails.

  1. The parents are not perfect omniscient and omnipotent beings in charge of creating the child and the environment to their own exact specifications, including decreeing that the action of taking cookies from the cookie jar was wrong.

If they were, and nothing existed apart from their design, then they also created the child’s inclination to disobedience and its desire for cookies. They could have created a child who did not desire cookies or who would never consider being disobedient. They could never have created sugar or cookies.

  1. The parents do not damn the child and all his descendants to eternal torment for then taking the cookie that the parent put on the table knowing that there was a great likelihood that the child would take a cookie because the parent made the child’s desire for cookies stronger than his self-restraint, then wait several thousand years before deciding to give them an “out.”

A parent (imperfect and not omniscient) who knows that a child has not reached the point where his self-restraint is greater than his desire for cookies doesn’t place the cookie jar on the table. She places it on a shelf out of the child’s reach until such a time as the child can control those desires.

A loving parent who has a child with a condition like Prader-Willi Syndrome, in which the parent knows in advance that the child is and always will be incapable of controlling his eating on his own because of the way he is made, would never bake or buy the cookies at all, much less put the cookie jar on the table in the first place.

The creation of people with the ability to praise him out of love far outweighs the consequences of those who rebel against God’s will.

I don’t think those who face eternal damnation, who were just as much creations of the same God who thus created also their inclination to rebel, would agree.

** Besides that, even if God cannot look upon evil, there are still an entire host of angels and archangels mediating back and forth between God and man, observing and recording everything that happens so much so that God’s perception via his messengers is still omnicient.**

So God is not really omniscient in and of Himself, He just has a good network of reporters?

**I think that God cannot see evil when in heaven, so he became both true God and true Man in order to come down and experience everything we do so that he could save us. Although I do believe that Christ’s incarnation was “without sin” in the sense that he was aware of what sin was (in his mind) and yet he never succumbed to it mentally or physically, I also believe that Christ “became” sin by knowing sin (in his mind) and becoming aware of its temptations so that God could pin-point sin and obliterate it through Christ’s life, death and resurrection. **

Are you then saying that
a) there is something God cannot do? (see sin when in heaven) If so, he is by definition not omnipotent
b) God was required to become human in order to become aware of sin or temptation so that He would know what it was? If so, then He either is not omniscient (something existed of which He was not aware) or omnipotent (there was something that He could not do as God–understand sin or obliterate it, but had to become human).

I have read the Old Testament many times. God seems pretty clear on the concept of what sin is, in fact He is the one who defines what is and is not a sin. Was He wrong until Jesus came, or just uninformed?

c) that “knowing something in your mind” is the same as experiencing it? I can “know in my mind” about ice cream. I can even watch people eat it. That doesn’t mean I fully comprehend the experience of eating ice cream, neither the pleasure gained from it nor the effects of weight gain.

Jesus, as true God and true man, stood in the perfect vantage point to be the One mediator between God and man-- his very body emcompassed the entire means by which God would reconcile humanity to himself.

So the essence of this is that God required Himself to sacrifice Himself to Himself to save the beings He created from a situation that He Himself created?


#20

No, I don’t think that would make the parents or their actions evil. However, the analogy fails.

  1. The parents are not perfect omniscient and omnipotent beings in charge of creating the child and the environment to their own exact specifications, including decreeing that the action of taking cookies from the cookie jar was wrong.
    [/quote]

But the problem with this is that God did not make anyone sin. People, such as Adam and Eve, chose this action themselves-- and knowing full well that they would die the death if they acted this way.

And, in the case of original sin, later generations have suffered the consequences of their parent’s actions-- not God’s actions. That’s why Jesus came, even died from the foundation of creation, so that he might bear our sins for us.

Just as all sin through Adam, all do God’s will through Christ.

When someone sins, they are moving in the Spirit of Adam’s original sin. But then someone does God’s will, they are moving in the Spirit of Christ’s obedience to God.

Now as far as knowing good from evil is concerned, even if the parents are not omniscient, they can still know with a certain degree of certainty what the outcome of certain actions will be without directly experiencing them.

I gave a harmless example of the cookies. But we could also talk about more dangerous things in the kitchen, such as a stove, or medicine in a locked medicine cabinet for example.

So, if the parent tells the child not to touch the stove or else they will get burnt, and if the child disobeys and touches the stove anyway, this would not be the parent’s fault for cooking food on a stove. It would be the child’s fault for not obeying the parents instruction not to touch the stove.

In this situation the parents are perfectly aware of what the consequences of the actions will be (even if they aren’t omniscient and omnipotent beings), and they are indeed in charge of creating the child, and creating the environment to their own exact specifications-- including decreeing that the action of touching the stove would be dangerous and the child would be hurt if they failed to obey the parents.

[quote=KarenNC]If they were, and nothing existed apart from their design, then they also created the child’s inclination to disobedience and its desire for cookies.
[/quote]

No. God creating people with the ability to choose does not indicate that God made them chose something evil. He simply created people with the free-will to choose.

Choosing is not evil.

Choosing evil is evil.

Choosing good is good.

When you said that nothing existed apart from their design, you have hit on a good point. Nothing did exist apart from their design-- and they chose nothing over and above God. Adam and Eve chose nothingness instead of God’s will, and nothingness is the only other option to God’s will.

[quote=KarenNC]They could have created a child who did not desire cookies or who would never consider being disobedient.
[/quote]

But, in the case of the child-lile analogy, desiring cookies is not in itself inherently evil. Certain conditions must be met before it could become bad.

For example, it’s when the child wants to eat cookies before breakfast, dinner and/or supper (thus ruining their appetite) that the desire becomes bad.

If the child has cookies after breakfast, dinner and/or supper as snack, then this desire to have a cookie is fine.

Greater actions, which actually constitute as ‘real sins’ against God, often work in the same manner.

For example, sex is not in itself inherently evil. It’s when sex is had before marriage, or when a married person has sex with someone besides the person they are married to, that the sexual act becomes a sinful trangression against God’s will.

Furthermore, some actions are just wrong no matter what conditions have been met, such as the sexual molestation of a child for example. No conditions will make this sin against the child and God ok. Nothing will ever make this a permissable act either.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.