“Only in a secular state can a Muslim live a life based on his own free will and true conviction for the sake of God, not because they are scared of the state apparatus and imposition.” — Dr. Ahmad Farouk Musa, Founder and Director of the Islamic Renaissance Front (Malaysia). 
Even though the above statement was mentioned by the leader of an Islamic Renaissance Front to push for a secular state where Muslims will be given the free will to decide their faiths, I believe that his argument is valid no matter which religion you are referring to. This statement from Dr Ahmad captured the essence of true love and true devotion. True love and devotion are based on one’s inward desire and worship of God. It should not be caused by other external factors such as peer influence, family pressures, or societal pressures.
“True conviction of the faith is only possible when we are given the freedom to choose.”
Likewise, in the context of Christianity, true conviction of the faith is only possible when we are given the freedom to choose whether or not we want to honour Christ as our King. If there’s no freedom of choice, then there will not be true love for the King. And since there is no true love for the King meant there won’t be true worship.
I think this is why Jesus’ painful reminder to His disciples struck the chord of many. Jesus said with an aching heart as He prepared to depart from His disciples for the eventual cross, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15, ESV). You can almost hear the cries of His heart saying, “if you truly love me, you wouldn’t have taken that fruit in the first place… But it was necessary because whoever does not love me will not keep my words… Rise, let us go from here.”
As such, we understand that the Fall of Humanity in the Garden of Eden was written into the history of humankind for this very purpose. It acted as a filter of some sort, filtering out members of the Body that truly loved Christ for who He is and those who do not.
Let those who love the Lord hate evil, for he guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked. — Psalms 97:10, NIV
That said, there came the big question on why sin became such a big part of human nature? Why can’t sin be a one-time event to separate the sheep and the lamb? Why is it so delicately woven into human nature that no one can get rid of it except through the sacrifice of Christ?
I believe that the existence of sin allows God to display His manifold wisdom in all its glory to all of humanity.
Think about it:
If sin is not part of human nature, then Christ’s salvation for all of humanity wouldn’t make sense. Any form of repentance or turning to Him would not be needed. The sacrifice of Christ will hence be exclusive to “sinners” rather than for “all” of humanity.
If sin is not part of human nature, then the Holy Spirit will not need to work within the saints to purify them with the baptism of fire. They will already be programmed to serve the Lord in an appointed way without the need of the thorn of the flesh tormenting them as they race heaven-ward.
If sin is not part of human nature, then humanity would have no option to choose. We will all be forced into a category where we might not like. We may be forced to be the bride of Christ even if we do not like Him.
It is through sin that God filters those who truly loves Him from the inside out. True believers can be identified with their inward desires. And God knew this.
That was why Jesus taught His disciples that the wheat must grow together with the weeds. Uprooting the weeds prematurely may cause unnecessary harm to the wheat. Hence, it is essential to leave it till the time of harvest before the weeds are bundled to be burned and the wheat is gathered into His barn. (ref: Matthew 13:24-30, NIV).
So, the conclusion of the matter is this. The Fall was essential.
But also because of the Fall, sin indwells every human being; sheep and goats alike. And for that, God knew that we all need an antidote; something that would clean us from this issue of sin before we can ready ourselves to be the Bride of the Almighty.
And we all know the story…
Christ loved us and He wanted us to love Him genuinely too.