The previous post may be found here.
Chapter 21 continues with the consideration of Adam’s original state and the image of God. The first half of the chapter concerns the question of what is meant by Adam’s original righteousness, holiness, and wisdom. First, Adam was simply created in a right relationship with God: he was thus righteous. Adam did not need to acquire this right standing, he was created in this place.
Since Adam was in a right standing with God, Adam by nature of the arrangement must possess original holiness. If had any sense been unholy, that right relationship could not exist (“Strive for … holiness without which no one will see God.” Heb. 12:14.) Our current holiness is of a different nature in this life, for our holiness is in a mediator. We are counted righteous in Christ. In the case of Adam, he stood in holiness by nature of his having been created without sin.
This brings Kuyper to Adam’s wisdom. Here Kuyper looks to 1 Corinthians 1:30 where Christ is our righteousness, our holiness, and our wisdom (the final element in 1:30 is redemption, which would be unnecessary for Adam).
Although not developed, Kuyper’s implicit argument seems to be that if we must received righteousness, holiness, and wisdom from Christ, then the triad must have been present with Adam (and in some manner lost).
As to wisdom, he emphasizes that we know – we do not merely feel—the truth. When Satan comes to Eve, he comes to her with deceptive reasons. He compares these to pearls on a string which all must be present together: wisdom, righteousness, holiness.
This leads to the question of the image of God: If these three make up the image of God, then when Adam fell whence the image? But we if make these things the image, then there is man and the image is something added to him (because we are human beings after the fall, even if we lack the original righteousness, holiness, and wisdom).
The Roman theologian solve this problem by dividing between the image and likeness: Image is the essence of a man; likeness, an addition of righteousness, holiness, and wisdom. The likeness then acted like a bridal upon the image.
Kuyper does not find that argument persuasive. Rather, he speaks of the essence of Adam as the image of God in that by essence, Adam was able to reflect God. There is also the actual display of those qualities in Adam.
This capacity to reflect is inherent in all that we are as human beings, including in the fact being physical creatures. We are organically body and soul; death is the grotesque sundering of the two. Our body is the means by which the spiritual reality of reflecting God physically displays.
But our capacities for thought, memory, appreciation of joy and beauty go beyond being a bare animal, “and can be explained only on the basis of the reflection of the things of God in our human being.”
Human beings thus exist for God and God’s glory. From this, Kuyper argues to immorality: Since we exist for God and not ourselves: to display the glory of God, the individual (and not merely the race) must always exist, lest God lose that glory.
He does not argue the point further, but our continued existence after death in an eternal state fulfills that point. Even those who are lost display his glory in God’s patient endurance of their rebellion, in the display of his wrath. And a point made by Bray, God’s love continuing as such even toward the lost in that he refuses to utterly destroy even the Devil.