There is a theological debate over man’s condition. Is he created in the image of God and therefore good, or is He born into sin and therefore totally depraved? Both conditions are in fact taught about mankind in scripture.
The Apostle Paul gives us some perspective on this debate in Eph.6
Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual [forces] of wickedness in the heavenly [places.]. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist on the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. (NASB2020)
Here we have a picture of man instructed to yield to God. His yielding begins with the helmet of Salvation. Elsewhere Paul tells us that hell was not created for man, but for Satan and his angels. Paul is emphasizing the fact that man created in God’s image is in need of God in order to live in a world where evil will impact us through our nature. Man has the capacity for good, but without God in his life man also has little capacity to resist evil, which comes at him from the fallen heavenly realm. Paul’s admonition for man begins with salvation itself.
For our understanding of just how things are today, Paul also tells us in 2 Thessalonians that evil has a restrainer; then in Ephesians 6 and Romans 2, it’s made clear that that restrainer is God’s Spirit. It also appears that every man benefits from God’s restraint and His goodness, but the intent of this goodness in the first place is man’s repentance.
Romans 2:4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and restraint and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? 5 But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, (NASB2020)
So God does offer restraint of evil for the benefit of all. If you read on in Romans — one way He does this is by writing His law on man’s heart giving Him a conscience which man either obeys or he doesn’t. When he does not obey his conscience is engaged. It is placed within for the purpose of leading him to God in repentance. The man who sears his conscience repeatedly brings evil into his circumstance, and into the circumstance of those around him, and he opens a door for demonic influence.
When a nation or the world arrives at this point due to their rejection of their own conscience they are at a point where God’s restraint is lifted either partially on a city, or a nation; or entirely on our world; then Wrath becomes the self imposed result. We see this throughout scripture, Sodom and Gomorrah being one such example.
Satan’s normal influence on the world is minimized because it is restrained by God in the heavenly realm. It is filtered up there. It must pass through God. It is individual, and therefore we indulge it or resist it individually. Societies can become evil as did Sodom and Gomorrah due to the societal reaction to evil. In Noah’s day the whole earth was filled with violence — evil. Jesus said that condition will come again on the world. The entire earth will be overcome with evil except for God’s people who have armored themselves for the evil day. It is then that Gabriel and his armies will step aside and Satan’s hoard will be unleashed upon the earth. But even then there will be men without Christ who will be able to resist in certain ways this evil, they will comprise the sheep in the judgment of nations seen at Jesus return in Matt.25. They will be rewarded by doing kind acts to Jesus brethren, who could neither buy nor sell do to the rule of evil men on the earth. These are men and women, who are Satan controlled, and who join him in deceiving the masses.
So men are created in the image of God, who is good, but at the same time they are influenced by Outside Satanic forces, and they either obey or resist their own God given conscience.
It is not my intent to answer all of your questions with regard to good and evil, but to give you some biblical basis for just how we are equipped in creation, and how evil enters into one’s life. The creation of man’s free Will makes evil choices necessary.
Interestingly, man in this Transhuman era is seeking to remove from man his conscience and his free Will, making him some sort of robot, as done through computers embedded in the brain, which will interact through AI in such a way so as to remove man’s Will. God obviously did not want our forced response to Him, but unlike God man who is free to do evil has chosen that avenue of control. Yet we are created in God’s image and that coupled with his armor, means that we still have the freedom to resist both Satan’s and man’s evil.
Paul’s teaching on evil in Ephesians in no way is meant to teach that man cannot engage in the attempts to deceive us. This is Paul speaking:
Acts 20:29 “I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. 31 “Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears. (NASB1995)
Even men representing Christ to us do have the capacity for evil deceit. And no man is without sin and therefore he is incapable of saving himself.
Stay good in God’s power, for you are incapable of so doing on your own.