Genesis 1:1 - 31
ESV - 1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
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Man and Angels are the only ones created by God to have free will. And with this free will, it separates us from the rest of creation, ie. Animal, plants, sun, moon and stars glorify God by simply existing; these do not worship God. As compared to man and angels, it required an act of free will to glorify God, this is called worship. Worship is an act of free will. With this same free will, man and angels can also choose to do the opposite - resist giving glory to God. This is the cause of evil - the act of refusing to give glory to God. To do evil, like worship, is also an act of free will.
God has given man a free will and never forces anyone to choose Him. But He knows from all eternity who will choose Him and who will not. So His election of some people as His children is based on His foreknowledge (as made clear in1 Pet.1:1,2) – and not on arbitrary choice. God created the planets without freedom of choice. And so, even though they have obeyed God’s laws implicitly for thousands of years, they cannot be either holy or sinful or God’s children. God created the animals however, with a free will. But they have no conscience and so they too cannot be holy or sinful or God’s children. But when God created man, He gave him both a free will and a conscience. Therefore, man can be either holy or sinful – and can choose to become a child of God. If God were to take away our conscience, we would become like the animals - incapable of moral choice and therefore incapable of being holy or sinful. If God were to take away our free will, we would become like robots – and again we would be incapable of being holy or sinful. So God never takes away our free will – even after we become believers.
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