Defeat Through the First Man in Eden (continued)
Adam was Put to a Test in His Relationship to God
The test involved his personal relationship to God as sovereign and his position as God's sub-sovereign over the earth. Let us repeat - God was the Creator; Adam was the creature. God was the Sovereign; Adam was the subject. This relationship inevitably and automatically set boundaries in the relationship between them. The sovereignty of God determined those boundaries. The will of God must be the center of Adam's life; the Word of God must be its circumference. His will, as revealed in His Word, must be the law of Adam's life. All within was to be in complete obedience to His will and in utter dependence upon His Word. Adam was to live and act wholly within the circle of God's will as revealed in God's Word.
Adam was created a responsible being. He was given the right of self-determination: he could choose the trend of his own life. He had the power to will to do God's will or to transgress - exactly as you and I have. Would he accept the limitation of God's authority and willingly choose to live a life in union with God, wholly subject to His will? Or would he exercise his will in a choice contrary to God's will and so cut himself off from access to and fellowship with God? There was but one way to know - the way of a test. There was but one test possible - that of obedience. The one fundamental law in God's kingdom was obedience to His will. So the only test Adam faced was this - would he obey God? God gave the test.
Genesis 2:16, 17: 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 it for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
"Of every tree thou mayest freely eat." Here was unlimited freedom of choice within the will of God, with the maximum of present and eternal blessedness - a life wholly obedient to and dependent upon God, with every need for time and eternity met.
"But" - here is the boundary line; here is the Great Divide between the will of God and the will of self. "Thou mayest eat." Would Adam stay within that boundary line?
Of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil thou shalt not eat of it.
One limitation only upon Adam's freedom of choice: the determining limitation. "Thou shalt not." But one commandment was imposed. But one transgression was possible Obedience or disobedience? Dependence or independence? The issue was crystal clear God's will or self will? Adam was on trial.
God did everything both grace and love could do to help Adam to choose to stay within the boundary of God's sovereign will, for, in clear-cut language He stated the penalty for disobedience.
For in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
The God of infinite grace would be compelled to act in righteous judgment if Adam stepped over that dividing line. "The Lord God commanded the man." What would the man do? Would he obey or disobey the command>
(continued with # 13)