Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death;
How great was the offense? How far reaching was the effect?
Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin ; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
The magnitude of the offense is best seen by understanding the intent and purpose for which man was created. Man was not created by a divine fiat as was the animal kingdom. Man was created by the very hand and breath of almighty God. Note the Biblical account:
Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
Eastward, in a stretch of land called Eden, God planted a uniquely beautiful garden that was suitable to the dignity of man, His special creation. God delegated to man authority, thus making man a very special governor. Man was created by God for the express purpose of being Godís viceroy, ruling planet earth as the representative of the sovereign God.
Genesis 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. V 28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
The word "subdue" has a strong, sinister, quality. Adam was commissioned to bring the entire planet into submission, taking it out of Satanís hand and giving it back to God. Adam failed miserably. Christ, through Calvary, leads the way to total victory. Satanís doom is guaranteed. Not long after God had formed man, He chose to put man to the test, to determine if Adam would be a suitable representative of God. Man could prove himself to be competent, and worthy of the task, simply by obeying God. The test was laid out in this manner;
Genesis 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: V 17 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.
Adam was permitted the very maximum of freedom (of every tree) to eat as he pleased. He was given the very minimum of restriction, (But of the (one) tree) he was commanded not to eat its fruit. That is it, that is all. Not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was the only restriction. Not to eat is to recognize God as sovereign, and as the owner of the garden. To eat is to deny his creator His right to rule. To eat is nothing short of open rebellion, it is a show of defiance toward the authority of God. The test boils down to this, will Adam act in accordance with God, and rule planet earth for God, under Godís rule? Or will he ignore God, and rule planet earth after his own selfish desire, totally independent of God? This probation was not put forth to enlighten God about Adamís response. God has total knowledge. This test was for all mankind to witness, that we may know how desperate we are outside of Godís enabling grace. The test demonstrates manís need to be dependent on God. How dare any man, or angel, operate outside of Godís expressed will by doing that which seems right in their own sight. To know and do the perfect will of God is the highest good to which man can attain. To act on his own is to plunge himself into the deep mire of sin. When Adam, Godís delegated King, operating in his vice-royalty, violated Godís restriction, he committed high treason. He joined the enemy. As our progenitor, our federal representative, his action included us. When he sinned we all sinned with him. We are related descendants of Adam, and in that sense we were present with him, when he sinned, we sinned. Immediately God opened the curtains of His redemptive program. The stage was set. The need was clear. Man sinned and fell short of the glory of God. Mankind had joined the enemy. Adam and all his posterity would be at enmity with God. Sinís infiltration had rendered man helpless to save himself. If man is to be delivered from this enmity, this hopelessness, and find peace with God, one far greater than Adam must appear on the scene. With this thought in mind we can better understand why God made man as He did. Did not God have the incarnation of Christ in mind when He made man in the image and likeness of Himself? God could not make man incongruous to His plan and program to have Christ, God the Son, come as our redeemer. Just what were the requirements? Man had to be a rational being, with the powers of conceptualization, abstract thought, and speech, to name a few. Man had to be a religious being. Man had to be a regal being, with the ability to rule the planet. All these are befitting His Christ, and were inherent in Adam. However, note that Adam was a mere man, Jesus on the other hand, is the God-man.
I Corinthians 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. V 46, Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. V 47, The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
At the birth of Jesus the stage was set for God to work out His salvation plan. God, and God alone, must reverse the effects of the fall. But this Man, this Christ, had to be tested even as was the first Adam. At the outset of His ministry He was cast out into the wilderness to be tested. Again, not to prove anything to God but rather to demonstrate to the world that this Saviour, this Redeemer, was, is, and forever shall be unable to sin. We reject the thought that He could have sinned but did not. We hold tenaciously to the doctrine that He could not sin and did not sin, for He is the holy, holy, holy God. Christ reversed the effects of Adamís sin when on that awesome cross of Calvary He hung, paying the great price of Adamís sin and all the subsequent sins that are on our account. Note the great difference between Adamís probation, and that of our Lord. Caution, do not draw too close a comparison between the two temptations. The difference between them is immeasurable, for the first is earthy and the second is heavenly. Reject the first and accept the second, and trust Him for your forgiveness and salvation.
Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. V 9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. V 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
I Corinthians 1:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; V 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
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