Now, the parts of the covenant of works agreed upon by God and man were three — the condition to he performed by man, the promise to be accomplished to man upon his performance of the condition, and the penalty in case of man's breaking the covenant. Perhaps the writer’s exploring what sin is and how knowledge is often at the heart of it. He had experienced only good. God condescended to enter into covenant with man for man's greater good. It was not inward, but outward. Secondly. Thus his abilities and natural affections concurring with his own interest, spoke him to be a fit person for that office. "And the Lord God commanded the man, saying," etc. 2. 1. We have sufficient evidence of the covenant of works being made with man as a public person, seeing it is yet natural to us to do that we may live, and to think that God will accept us for our works' sake. Once I read the story in this way, it makes me think…. 1. 1. Adam was obliged to perpetual obedience (Galatians 3:10). His admirable condescension, in stooping to make a covenant with His own creature. THE TIME SPECIFIED IN THE TEXT. IV. (b) His will was endowed with righteousness (Ephesians 4:24). Adam would have had the ability to reason and calculate, obviously an ability independent from the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. For His own glory, which is the supreme end of all His actions. See the unsearchable riches of Divine grace, in providing a better covenant for the recovery and salvation of fallen man. Jim Byrd Tree of Knowledge of Good.. Nay; but by the law of faith" (Romans 3:27). This rendering will receive some elucidation, if you look at the marginal rendering which is proposed. ), (2)Physical sufferings. Death, as a dissolution, may be a natural event. "The wages of sin is death." The tree of knowledge had now been tasted: the tree of life was therefore withdrawn. Conclusion: This view of the subject —. From these two considerations we establish, first, that the precept of this earliest covenant would debar man from some kind of knowledge, without excluding him from all knowledge; and secondly, that even when it withheld the knowledge of good and evil, there was still some knowledge which might be described by those same words, yet which could not have been forbidden by them, because its presence was implied in the mere form of the command. Alison Battye. Tell not of your good meanings and desires, your repentance, and your obedience, such as it is; and think not to get life, salvation, and acceptance thereby. Some of you are smiling…either you’re humouring me, or you just did something very clever. The prohibition of this tree brings man to the knowledge of good and evil. IV. 3. When man had been created after the image of God, there were two of the Divine attributes, his admission to which was limited by positive laws. "Christ hath abolished death."3. Such a change took place, not merely in his physical condition, but in his mind and heart — so much remorse and foreboding, so many dark thoughts about his dissolution — that he died: his innocency died, his hopes died, his peace died. His goodness is superior to their united goodness. (4)Social disruptions. It can be a means to the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, or it could be a means to impart Jesus as the Tree … It is needful that by conforming to the law given us by God, we may testify our obedience and subjection unto Him; withal acknowledging and witnessing to the world, that we account His will in all things to be most just, which we take unto ourselves as the rule of our actions. He set him up with a good stock, in a noble case, making him His covenant party. "The wages of sin is death." He was wholly inexcusable. We’re now able to identify genetic abnormalities in un-born children. By eating of the fruit of the Tree, Adam an… I. I am to show that GOD HAS A RIGHT TO GIVE LAW to all His intelligent creatures. Every lawgiver must be supreme, in respect to those to whom he gives law. by Kenneth B Perry Sr. (Columbus, Ohio USA.) …and mainly, this week, I’ve thought about that tree of knowledge. Most people will acknowledge … III. These creatures may be related to one another. I. I SHALL CONFIRM THIS GREAT TRUTH, AND EVINCE THE BEING OF SUCH A COVENANT. The Church is struggling on. In modern times we’ve tended to think knowledge is good. I find she is excepted by some. Because nothing is infallibly good or holy but His will, as Himself is good and righteous, and there is no iniquity in Him (Deuteronomy 32:4), seeing nothing is fit to be the rule of other things but that which is in itself certain and unchangeable. The very issue of the command proclaims man's original right of property to be not inherent but derived. (See Numbers 14:23-35). First, the power of understanding language is called forth. 3. And how can one imagine a covenant of works set before poor impotent sinners, if there had not been such a covenant with man in his state of integrity? That’s the problem, and beauty, of our scriptures. Adam and Eve were free to do anything they wanted, except eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Whatever it was, it was not so called, as having a power really to make men wise. The human conscience bears no doubtful testimony on this subject. ), (3)Mental frustration. So I’ve been thinking about how knowledge relates to sin – and what that means for us today. By the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation. Disease, mortality, loss of paradise, tormenting fears, the shunning of-the very presence of God. 2. 3. THEIR RECURRRNCE IN SCRIPTURE. Now, Christ is not the second man, but as He is a public person, representing all His elect seed in the covenant of grace, being their federal head; therefore Adam was a public person, representing all his natural seed in the covenant of works, being their federal head; for if there be a second man, there must be a first man; if a second representative, there must be a first. They’re not lists of instructions for every eventuality – they’re stories, poems, histories, visions that wrestle with truth, and invite us to do the same. There can be no precept nor prohibition without a penalty expressed or implied. In the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die. Sunday 4th February 2018EvensongGenesis 2:4-endRevd. But I think one reason knowledge is dangerous is that deciding whether we are using it for good or evil is often not obvious. With regard to the manner in which all this mental and moral confusion could be connected with the mere gratification of the bodily appetite, it is not wise to speculate. In Christian tradition, consuming the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil was the sin committed by Adam and Eve that led to the fall of man in Genesis 3.. Conclusion: This view of the subject —1. This supremacy alone is sufficient to give Him the throne of the universe, and clothe Him with the highest possible authority, to give law to all His intelligent creatures in every part of His vast dominions. 3. It reminds us that Christ is the lens through which we should look at all aspects of life. But is it really different to non-disabled parents wanting a child who will fit more easily into their world? 1. His unresistible power (Deuteronomy 32:39). There is no need of this. Pastor Edward Donnelly. The promise to be accomplished to man upon his performance of the condition. For there being but two ways of life to be found in Scripture, one by works, the other by grace, the latter hath no place but where the first is rendered ineffectual; therefore the covenant of works was before the covenant of grace in the world; yet the covenant of grace was promulgated quickly after Adam's fall; therefore the covenant of works behoved to have been made with him before. Antecedent to the behest of the Creator, the only indefeasible right to all the creatures lay in Himself. If it be inquired, How that law was given him? The distinction of merit in actions and things is expressed in the epithets "good and evil." The knowledge that comes by the independent action of self is death and bondage. He must be considered here under a two-fold notion. For me, this story is not a factual account of how sin came to exist – but a recognition of the danger that comes with knowledge and a reminder that all knowledge demands a Christian response. God is by nature supreme in all His natural and moral attributes. The prohibition of this tree brings man to the knowledge of good and evil. In Catholicism, Augustine of Hippo taught that the tree should be understood both symbolically and as a real tree – similarly to Jerusalem being both a real city and a figure of Heavenly Jerusalem. In order to do this, I shall consider — First. II. This week that passage from Genesis has reminded me that I should think about how we use knowledge; that I should think about it in light of my Christian faith; that I should pray about it. Of course, knowledge is not always used for good. To this difficulty the obvious answer would be, that when man was forbidden to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the injunction certainly did not imply that every kind of knowledge was withheld. GOD'S JUDGMENTS ARE CERTAIN AND INFALLIBLE, AS WELL AS HIS PROMISES OF MERCY. And, secondly, it opens a gap to all manner of looseness and disorder; nature knows no stay when it hath once passed the bounds of obedience, no more than a violent stream doth, when it hath once broken over those banks that before kept it in. What madness is it for men to look to that covenant for salvation, when they are nowise fit for the way of it, having lost all the furniture and ability proper for the observation thereof. Disobedience to God by partaking of it is a moral evil. Serves to explain many ambiguous passages. Such a change took place, not merely in his physical condition, but in his mind and heart — so much remorse and foreboding, so many dark thoughts about his dissolution — that he died: his innocency died, his hopes died, his peace died. And his own interest was on the same bottom with that of his posterity. This law Adam had not, nor could have, but by revelation; for it was no part of the law of nature, being in its own nature indifferent, and altogether depending on the will of the Lawgiver, who, in a consistency with His own and man's nature too, might have appointed otherwise concerning it. 2. “good and evil”. We have heard of those who are said to "dig their graves with their teeth"; of those who for a mess of pottage would sell the birthright of immortality; of those who put a thief into their heads, to steal away reason, reflection, thought, ay, their very hopes of heaven; and it may have been so with regard to "the tree of knowledge.". III. Even this tree itself is good, and productive of unspeakable good in the first instance to man. Ezekiel 43:1-7; Ezekiel 47:1; Revelation 22:1). 3. Serves to reconcile science and revelation.2. (1) Man was a holy and happy creature in his first state. Natural death, which is the death of the body. 6. Well the writer of genesis clearly had no inkling that genetic screening would one day exist, but I think he did understand how knowledge leads us so easily away from God, how dangerous knowledge can be. And the law given to Adam, respecting the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The discovery of nuclear fission led to nuclear weapons as well as nuclear power. What law he was by this covenant obliged to yield obedience to; and —. ), II. II. The Lord knew man's mutable state, and how slippery and inconstant the heart of man is, where confirming grace is not vouchsafed; therefore, to prevent this inconstancy incident to man, a finite creature, and to establish him in His obedience, He laid him under a covenant obligation to His service. What does that mean for me thousands of years later? It would have given man a theory, when he needed a rule: it would have lighted up his mind to debate about his duty, when at present his sole work was, to do his duty as the will of God. What remained was the promise of a Savior. 1. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil, referred to in the question as the “forbidden tree,” was placed in the garden of Eden, most likely on the sixth day. Serves to explain many ambiguous passages. By this he might clearly see what he might expect from God as a reward of his diligence and activity in His service. That which is here made the matter of reserve and so the test of obedience, is so far from being trivial or out of place, as has been imagined, that it is the proper and the only object immediately available for these purposes. I shall explain THE NATURE OF THE COVENANT OF WORKS. Adam did die on the day he sinned. 4. The holiness of His nature, by which He is constantly moved to take vengeance on sin, as well as to reward righteousness. 8. Adam was obliged to personal obedience. It was like all other Divine laws in its nature. The parties contracting, God and man; God requiring obedience as the condition of life; a penalty fixed in case of breaking; and man acquiescing in the proposal. MAN HAS HERE EVIDENTLY BECOME ACQUAINTED WITH HIS MAKER. (3) The ruins by the breach of that covenant fall on all mankind, not excepting those who are not guilty of actual sin. It was distinct beyond the possibility of mistake. But observe, the vision is of a coming dispensation. "living water," John 4:10), and the tree whose fruit and leaves are for food and healing. And again, the word used for "tree" in all these passages is that used for the cross in Galatians 3:13 and 1 Peter 2:24. Though it was not to be touched, it might be seen, even as the rainbow, the seal of the covenant with Noah. In other words, God set the standard of morality. XI. This He does, by publishing His will to them in a certain manner. II. His abundant goodness, in annexing such a great reward to man's service, which it could never merit (Hebrews 11:6). 3. Of course this is just one example of knowledge – but I think it shows how knowledge can separate us from God. And therefore the import of the words is, that from the moment this tree was tasted, there should be the beginnings of a death which should reach to all his posterity. We, as His creatures, ought to … 3. But Eve began to listen to another voice and did not hold firmly to her Creator's words. "The wages of sin is death." To me this passage isn’t trying to explain how the world came to be – but wrestling with questions like, ‘why is the world such a strange mixture of beauty and evil?’ And that makes it much more relevant to us today – because it’s surely a question we all struggle with. On the hearing and understanding of this sentence at least, if not before, he has arrived at the knowledge of God, as existing, thinking, speaking, permitting, commanding, and thereby exercising all the prerogatives of that absolute authority over men and things which creation alone can give. The first part is the condition to be performed; which was obedience to the law, fulfilling the commands God gave him, by doing what they required (Romans 10:5), upon the doing of which he might claim the promised life in virtue of the compact. 2. Again we have the stream; now specially to heal. He was only to refrain from eating one fruit. "To be carnally minded is death." 2. As a righteous man, morally perfect, endued with sufficient power and abilities to believe and do whatever God should reveal to or require of him, fully able to keep the law. His supreme authority over the creature man, founded on man's natural dependence on Him as his Creator (Romans 11:36). 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