What it seems to you about my understanding is not what I am thinking in my own mind, so let me try it from a different angle.
 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
Why is a man tried? Is it not to perfect him? And when he is perfect, what need is there of the trying? It says that the crown of life is something that comes after the trying. But what is life? Is it not to know God, and his son whom he sent? Is it not to be led by the spirit of God? Can God be tempted? If not, why would those who have the mind of God be tempted, unless they were being led by their own mind as well?
I think our difference lies in our understanding of what the spirit of God is, and what it means to be lead by it.
Man lives by the spirit of this world. A man's spirit is his thinking, his understanding, the way he looks at a situation. It is his mind. When a man makes a choice, he is using his mind to come to a decision that is pleasing to him; even if it pleases him to please someone else. He is choosing it with his mind. That is the function of the mind, and it is the only mind that we possess of ourselves. And the only way he is able to choose it is if he wants it, all things considered (which amounts to past experience, and the current situation). From what you say, you believe this too, because you said that God is trying us to see whether we love him. That is to say that he is seeing whether our spirit will choose his spirit. But is that the truth of it?
We know that our spirit is unable to know the things of God. Can not know the things of God, the things of God being spiritually discerned. We know that our mind is enmity towards God. The reason for this is because our mind can only draw upon the desires of the flesh, or the experience of our past. It does not have access to righteousness, goodness, truth, or anything that is particular to the nature of God. As Jesus said to the man who said "Good master...", he said "Why do you call me good, there is none good but God."
Jesus was tried. It says he learned hearing (attentive hearkening) by the things that he suffered. Did he learn to choose to do good works? No. If he did, he could have said to that guy "Well have you said that I am good, for I am good." So what did he learn from his being tried? He learned to hear God. He knew that his own lusts only brought about suffering. That is, he knew the law of God, and he knew that his mind and body were against that law. But he was gifted a stronger desire to do the will of God. The spirit was with him strongly as a child, and that was not by his decision at birth. God had already purposed that this was the son He would raise up to save His people.
So he learned to hear God, and to trust and depend on God's spirit alone. He had learned that nothing good could come from his own spirit, only want, and that God alone was able to do the things that God requires of man. Having learned this hearing, he learned faith, which is total reliance on God. Total reliance on God means wanting for nothing. If you want for nothing, how can you then be tempted? Because temptation is wanting something. But he had to learn this, he didn't have it from the beginning, even though in the beginning he resisted temptation.
But what he ended up with was faith. And it is written "Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed;" The grace that came from faith made the promise sure. Who has the ability to make the promise of God sure? Are we able to decide to fulfill God's promise? No, we fulfill the promise by grace, which is unmerited favour, divine influence on the heart, reflected in the life. In other words, God fulfills his promise. Our only role in that is total reliance on God, and of course, the works are done by us. Not by decision, but by the grace that comes by faith.
The only way that this can happen is if we are no longer using our own mind to decide what we shall do. If we have faith in God, and we are hearing God, then there is no choosing, only doing. And if we believe that God always provides us with exactly what we need in all situations, and that we are well equipped to do his purpose, then temptation can only be a lapse in that faith. But the reason why we are constantly tried is to get rid of that unbelief. To the end that it will be gone from us. And you don't keep trying gold, once it is pure.
A man who has full faith in God, and is living by the spirit of God, which brings about grace (divine (God) influence, reflected in life), cannot be tempted, because God is not tempted, and it is God who the tempter is looking at. As Jesus said "If you have seen me, you have seen the Father." If we are looking at a person who is in a constant struggle with temptation, we are not looking at the Father.
You are arguing against words that I never spoke, so I think answering your post will confuse us both.
Instead, I will try to keep it short, and address one point at a time.
If you, Studyman, were created in the beginning in place of Adam, would you have eaten of the fruit? Remember, you do not have any examples. You do not have a history to draw from, other than your time in the garden before God said "Do not eat". You have not the knowledge of good and evil. Would you be obedient to God? And, if so, what specifically is different about your character, than Adam's, that would make you do good, and him not?
You said to MM. "We know that our mind is enmity towards God. The reason for this is because our mind can only draw upon the desires of the flesh, or the experience of our past. It does not have access to righteousness, goodness, truth, or anything that is particular to the nature of God."
But you seem to be forgetting that A servant obeys despite the desires of his flesh. This is an important distinction. A servant obeys out of fear. A servant is subject to whatever his master subjects him to.
"Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace(undeserved pardon), whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:"
16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
"1 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles," "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever."
"Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. 17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:"
"Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."
"Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."
9 Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not. "So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.
The whole idea or repentance is change. If we haven't been given the capacity to change then this Book and all of its examples should be thrown away. I agree that mankind is evil by nature because of the free will God gave us. Adam and Eve show that we can't handle free will, that the power to choose will be used to please our mind and our fleshy desires every time. But because I have this free will, I can also "CHOOSE" to give it back to God until He says I can handle it. I am free to make the choice NOT TO BE FREE. I can give God the Glory by admitting I am not capable of running my life or anyone else's yet. That I am in need of correction and instruction first. Now it is not me that directs my works it is God/Jesus. Not me, but the fear of God in me. I have "Faith" that God/Jesus knows better than me, that they care for me, that if I let God have His perfect work in me I will be perfected. This "faith" is shown in my works. But the choice to become His servant must be mine and mine alone. No one can make it for me. The works that I do are not created by me, but by God. These works are universally rejected by modern "Christianity" just like Jesus works(His Fathers) were rejected by the Mainstream Church of His time, and Caleb's by His "believing" brothers all the way back to Abel who was killed by his "Christian" brother.
Hayden, don't believe everything I say, look into it for yourself. These examples were written FOR US. We have what Adam didn't have, what Sodom didn't have. If Jesus and Adam changed places Adam would be the righteous one. The fist man always falls, the second man learns from the first man's failure. God prepared something better for us. We have all these spiritual examples of the consequences of our actions.
21 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. 23 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24 But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.
1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
God created man, and told him to stay away from the knowledge of good and evil, because you will die; you can't handle it. If a man believes that he is able to handle it, and goes about trying to achieve it by his own decisions, why is it not reasonable that they would be judged by it, regardless of the fact that God knows they are incapable? They believe they are capable, and God told them they were not. What more can he do, but allow them to prove to Him that they are able?
All up until Moses, men were living by the law of their conscience. They were living in the knowledge of good and evil, and those who did failed to do that law. So God says, Ok, so the people of the world want to follow a law. I will set a law in stone, so that it is very clear what the law is, so that they are without excuse when they agree to it, but do not follow it. And then later on, when they have had a while to realise that they are not able to do it of themselves, I will raise up a man who will show them a better way. He will show them that it is by grace, through faith; that I do the works.
It was only by faith that the law could be achieved, but the people, as from the beginning, sought to achieve it by the knowledge of good and evil. That is, when an enticement was presented to them, they remembered the law, and made a decision about what they were going to do, based on what they knew to be good. But the law of sin and death, that has power by the knowledge of good and evil, caused them to do what they would not.
God has two dwellings:
one in heaven, and the other
in a meek and thankful heart.
How can the man that has been given nothing by God be expected to achieve anything but by his own decisions?We know that our spirit is unable to know the things of God. Can not know the things of God
What other options are there for him by nature except to believe that he is capable?
How can he be held accountable for not believing God when he has only his own mind to work with?
He isn't expected to. How could he be expected to if the very first command God gave him was "Don't even go there, you'll die."? It's the mind that is the problem. The decision making, which is enmity against God, because it weights up whether or not it will do good, and in doing so puts itself up on God's level.How can the man that has been given nothing by God be expected to achieve anything but by his own decisions?
Gen 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
I cannot reconcile that God's goal is for man to exist in the state of mind that He told Adam to stay away from.
It is only God that can get us out of that state of mind, by directing our steps toward faith. But while in that state, man is accountable for the works that he does, because He does them in full belief that he is in control, and can do what he wishes, according to his power.
If he thought about it, as Paul thought about it, he would find that he wasn't as capable as he might believe. But that comes by hearing. From there, he is in the knowledge of his incapability, and is therefore seeking the one who is capable.What other options are there for him by nature except to believe that he is capable?
When we fail, we think "I could have done that better. I'll try harder next time.", or "Why didn't I do that instead?" We rarely or never think "I am incapable of this. Because when I wanted something to happen, I found another desire in me that wanted another thing. Who shall save me from the body of this death?", and if we get that far we continue with "I need to try harder to please God. To choose the good."
He is not held accountable for not knowing God. He is held accountable for his works. He believes it is entirely within his power to choose either good or evil. The fact that he hasn't been shown that he is wrong is irrelevant. He should know that he is wrong by his own works, but he continues to believe in them, even in his failure. And the more we think about it and read about it, the more evidence we have of it.How can he be held accountable for not believing God when he has only his own mind to work with?
But God draws out of that whomsoever he wills. It is not of our will, nor our works, but of God, who shows mercy.
Rom 9:11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth; )
Rom 9:12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.
Rom 9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
Rom 9:14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.
Rom 9:15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
Rom 9:16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
And if it was all shown plainly to those who did not believe, they would not say "But God, you didn't show me.", they will think "It was all staring me right in the face, and I did not see it." Even if they did not see it because of unbelief, they still believed in their own power. And they are judged on the works of that power.
As opposed to a man who said "The son can do nothing of himself" and "Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works" and "Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done".
That man also gave information for our hearing, "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing".
1Co 2:11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
The spirit of man reigns unto death, the spirit of God is the gift of life to the man.
God cannot give us anything without (Him) first growing our faith to a point where our faith enables Him to issue forth the power to effect His desired result. (Rom. 4:16 revelation)