The concern: “We were told that Adam and Eve were given the choice between good and evil, and chose evil by disobeying God... but at the time they did not know good from evil, not having eaten of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, so how could they possibly know it was evil to disobey God?”
Actually, what Scripture claims is that Adam was faced with the command of God, whereby God said, “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” [Genesis 2:16, 17]
There is no mention of a good verses evil act, but of obedience verses disobedience. God tells Adam that he may freely eat of every tree of the garden, but the one known as the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. There is no necessity to know good and evil to know obedience. For we teach our children obedience before they know good and evil, and give punishment to fit the age and transgression.
Adam knew that if he disobeyed God, and ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, that God said he would surely die. Sure, we can argue whether or not Adam knew what this meant by “thou shalt surely die”, but the fact remains, the eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil immediately made one guilty of disobedience toward God.
Scripture declares, “sin is not imputed [to attribute to a person] when there is no law”. Innocence or guilt of a law is not based on the idea of good or evil, but on the obedience or disobedience of the individual toward the law from the law giver. God gave the command (law) for Adam to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God, being the law giver, determines what obedience is and what disobedience toward the law given is. Since the law was clearly given as not to eat, when Adam did eat, he was found in disobedience and was given the punished prescribed by the law giver, God, for his crime against the law. Therefore, Adam’s disobedient act of breaking the law of God, by eating of the tree, is labeled as sin and imputed to him as such.
By this, Adam became a sinner and spiritually died. From this, all of his offspring inherited his sin nature and broken fellowship with God. Whereby, the need of the Savior Jesus Christ to come in the flesh, to live in perfect obedience and holiness toward the laws of God, giving Himself ransomed for many, those that repent of sin and put their faith in Christ, shall receive forgiveness of sin and eternal life.
The lack of knowledge concerning good and evil does not remove the guilt of disobedient transgression against the law of God, nor the law of man; for to be found ignorantly guilty of the law(s) of man does in no way remove the guilt of the person, “for by the law is the knowledge of sin”. Claiming, “I didn’t know” or “I didn’t know if it was good or evil” really doesn’t matter when the question really is, “Did you obey or disobey”. For if the answer is, “I disobeyed”, you are guilty of breaking the law of God and therefore a sinner and therefore in need of a Savior.