True Education


God’s Glorious Purpose

In order to understand what is comprehended in the work of education, we need to consider both the nature of human beings and the purpose of God in creating them. We need to consider also the change in their condition through a knowledge of evil, and God’s plan for fulfilling His glorious purpose in the education of the human race. TEd 10.1

When Adam and Eve came from the Creator’s hand, they bore, in their physical, mental, and spiritual natures, a likeness to their Maker. “God created humankind in His image” (Genesis 1:27, NRSV), and it was His purpose that the longer men and women lived the more fully they should reveal this image. All their faculties were capable of development; their capacity and vigor were continually to increase. Vast was the scope offered for their exercise, glorious the field opened to their research. The mysteries of the visible universe—the “wondrous works of Him who is perfect in knowledge” (Job 37:16)—invited their study. Face-to-face, heart-to-heart communion with their Maker was their high privilege. TEd 10.2

If they had remained loyal to God, all this would have been theirs forever. Throughout eternal ages they would have continued to gain new treasures of knowledge, discover fresh springs of happiness, and obtain clearer and yet clearer conceptions of the wisdom, power, and love of God. More and more fully would they have fulfilled the object of their creation, more and more fully would they have reflected the Creator’s glory. TEd 10.3

But by disobedience this was forfeited. Through sin the divine likeness was marred and almost obliterated. The physical powers of human beings were weakened, their mental capacity was lessened, their spiritual vision was dimmed. They had become subject to death. Yet the race was not left without hope. By infinite love and mercy a life of probation was granted. To restore in men and women the image of their Maker, to bring them back to the perfection in which they were created—this was to be the work of redemption. This is the object of education, the great object of life. TEd 10.4