I posted this earlier today as a comment on Joel’s blog and I think that it bears repeating here.
So, in the beginning, God created Man in a state of perfection. He did not want mindless servitude. Instead, he opted to give his new creation the ability to choose relationship and fellowship over disassociation and unfamiliarity. God desired relationship, not out of some need, for he certainly had all that he needed and was not lonely nor needed anything to give him glory. He simply desired to create, and so he did, and Man was born into God’s image. Yet, relationship means little if it is not established freely, and so God had to give Man the ability and option to choose. And being all-knowing, God of course knew that Man would fail, would be
deceived. Still, this does not detract from God’s glory for all things always yet give God the glory for he is able ever to work things out for the greater good. He is the Father, and we are the children, and as such he demands no less than our love and loyalty. Yet his demand is gracious, compassionate, and patient, and his wrath is experienced only as a last resort, as the last option to soften a heart that has been hardened. God could have made things differently, surely, and yet he chose to create the world in this way. He could have made another completely like unto himself, and yet he would still be the Creator and the new would still
be the created.
Christ is yet the firstborn over all for he is the first to create, the first to sanctify, the first to defeat death, and the first, and only, to establish a direct line of everlasting relationship to the Father.