The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.”
- Galatians 3:12
Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. …
Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. …
The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
- Genesis 2:3, 8, 15-18
So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
- Genesis 1:27-28
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—
To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come.
- Romans 5:12-14
Moses writes this about the righteousness that is by the law: “The person who does these things will live by them.”
- Romans 10:5
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
“You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
- Luke 10:25-28
“Q. 12. What special act of providence did God exercise towards man in the state wherein he was created?
“A. When God created man, he entered into a covenant of life with him, upon condition of perfect obedience; (Gal. 3:12) forbidding him to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, upon the pain of death. (Gen. 2:17)”
- Charles H. Spurgeon, Spurgeon’s Catechism
“Q. 12. What special act of providence did God exercise towards man, in the estate wherein he was created?
“A. When God created man, he entered into a covenant of life with him, upon condition of perfect obedience; forbidding him to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, upon the pain of death.”
- The Shorter Catechism (Westminster Assembly)
“Q. 20. What was the providence of God toward man in the estate in which he was created?
“A. The providence of God toward man in the estate in which he was created was, the placing him in paradise, appointing him to dress it, giving him liberty to eat of the fruit of the earth, putting the creatures under his dominion, ordaining marriage for his help, affording him communion with himself, and instituting the Sabbath; entering into a covenant of life with him, upon condition of personal, perfect, and perpetual obedience, of which the tree of life was a pledge; and forbidding to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, upon pain of death.”
- The Larger Catechism (Westminster Assembly)
I am not spending much time in expanding upon this catechism question. But when I think of it, I ask why?
If God created us without free will, we would be robots and we would never be able to truly love.
If we have free will, then there must be a choice that was available. Sadly, Adam and Eve did not choose wisely. You might think that the choice was eat the fruit or not. But could we think about obedience or rebellion? Could we consider what the Creator expects and what we want? The ramifications of that one bite went far beyond eat or not eat.
But God has made several covenants over the years since that sin so that a provision was made for us to have life, but that is coming up in the following questions.
And now let us sing.
The song, Rock of Ages, may not seem to fit the theme, but for those of us who had been lost and now are found (to borrow a different lyric), hiding ourselves in God seems such a wonderful thought. We were given choices. We chose unwisely. May we seek that hiding in God. This is sung by Jehovah Shalom A Capella. It is not that they sing beautifully together; it is seeing them enjoying it while they do so. The harmony is wonderful, and the smiles on their faces shouts “Joy!” They shuffle the lines of the first two verses and then one verse is definitely not in English, but enjoy.
1 Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
let me hide myself in thee;
let the water and the blood,
from thy wounded side which flowed,
be of sin the double cure;
save from wrath and make me pure.
2 Not the labors of my hands
can fulfill thy law’s demands;
could my zeal no respite know,
could my tears forever flow,
all for sin could not atone;
thou must save, and thou alone.
3 Nothing in my hand I bring,
simply to the cross I cling;
naked, come to thee for dress;
helpless, look to thee for grace;
foul, I to the fountain fly;
wash me, Savior, or I die.
4 While I draw this fleeting breath,
when mine eyes shall close in death,
when I soar to worlds unknown,
see thee on thy judgment throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
let me hide myself in thee.
- Augustus Toplady, Rock of Ages
We are all like our father Adam and our mother Eve. We make choices. We choose poorly. But in turning to You, we discover true love, love that passes all understanding. And while we suffer pain and persecution in these troubling days in this fallen world, when we dig down deep, we understand why that particular tree was placed in the Garden. We get to know how much You love us, and we get to experience loving You. Forgive us for our sins. And thank You for giving us the ability to choose.
In thy Name we pray.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.