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The ideal fitness of Adam to act as the head of his race, and the ideal circumstances under which the decisive test was to be made, must forever shut every fair and honest mouth against objecting to the arrangement God proposed to Adam

The ideal fitness of Adam to act as the head of his race, and the ideal circumstances under which the decisive test was to be made, must forever shut every fair and honest mouth against objecting to the arrangement God proposed to Adam, and the fearful consequences which his sad failure have brought down upon us. It has been well said, “Had we been present—had we and all the human race been brought into existence at once—and had God proposed to us, that we should choose one of our number to be our representative that he might enter into covenant with him on our behalf—should we not, with one voice, have chosen our first parent for this responsible office? Should we not have said, ‘He is a perfect man and bears the image and likeness of God,—if any one is to stand for us let him be the man’; Now,—since the angels who stood for themselves, fell—why should we wish to stand for ourselves. And if it be reasonable that one stand for us—why should we complain, when God has chosen the same person for this office, that we would have chosen, had we been in existence, and capable of choosing ourselves?” (G. S. Bishop).

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part Two-The Adamic Covenant

 

The occupant of Eden was more a being of heaven than of earth

On the basis of the threefold constitution under which God had placed Adam—amenable to natural, moral, and positive law; on the basis of his threefold responsibility—to perform the duty which he owed unto God, unto his neighbor, unto himself; and on the basis of the threefold equipment with which he had been endowed—created in the image of God, pronounced “very good,” indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and thus fully furnished to discharge his responsibility, God entered into a solemn compact with him. Clothed in dignity, intelligence, and moral excellence, Adam was surrounded on every side by exquisite beauty and loveliness. The occupant of Eden was more a being of heaven than of earth: an embodiment of wisdom, purity, and uprightness. God Himself deigned to visit and cheer him with His presence and blessing. In body perfectly sound; in soul completely holy; in circumstances blissfully happy.

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part Two-The Adamic Covenant

 

Adam was now subjected to a simple and specific test as to whether the will of God was sacred in his eyes

Adam was now subjected to a simple and specific test as to whether the will of God was sacred in his eyes. Nothing less than perfect conformity of heart and unremitting obedience in act to the whole revealed will of God could be required of man. The command not to eat of the fruit of a certain tree was now made the decisive test of his general obedience. The prohibitory statute was a “positive” precept. It was not sinful per se to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but only so because God had forbidden it. It was, therefore, a more suitable test of faith and obedience than a “moral” statute would have been, submission being required for no other reason than the sovereign will of God. At the same time let it be clearly observed that, disobedience of that “positive” precept certainly involved defiance of the “moral” law, for it was a failure to love God with all the heart, it was contempt of divine authority, it was coveting that which God had forbidden.

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part Two-The Adamic Covenant

 

In Adam humanity was on trial

But there was need for something of a still more specific kind to test man’s adherence to the perfect rectitude incumbent upon him; for in Adam humanity was on trial, the whole race not only having been potentially created in him, but being federally represented by him. “The question, therefore, as to its proper decisiveness, must be made to turn on conformity to an ordinance at once reasonable in its nature and specific in its requirements—an ordinance which the simplest should understand and respecting which no uncertainty could exist whether it had been broken or not. Such in the highest degree was the appointment respecting the tree of knowledge of good and evil, forbidden of God to be eaten on pain of death—an appointment positive in its character, in a certain sense arbitrary, yet withal perfectly natural” (P. Fairbairn, The Revelation of Law in Scripture)

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part Two-The Adamic Covenant

 

From the above it is plainly evident that there was the distinct recognition of an outward revelation to Adam

From the above it is plainly evident that there was the distinct recognition of an outward revelation to Adam of those three great branches of duty which appertain to man in every possible condition of mortal existence, and which unitedly comprehend every obligation upon man in this life; namely, what he owes to God, what he owes to his neighbor, and what he owes to himself. Those three embrace everything. The sanctification of the Sabbath, the institution of marriage, and the command to dress and keep the garden were revealed as outward ordinances, covering the three classes of duties, each of supreme importance in its own sphere: the spiritual, the moral, and the natural. Those intrinsic elements of divine law are immutable: they preceded the covenant of works, and would have remained had the covenant been kept—as they have survived its breach.

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part Two-The Adamic Covenant

 

This threefold law under which Adam was placed may be clearly discerned in the brief records of Genesis 1 and 2

This threefold law under which Adam was placed may be clearly discerned in the brief records of Genesis 1 and 2. The marriage between Adam and Eve illustrates the first: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh” (Gen. 2:24). Any infraction of the marital relationship is a violation of the very law of nature. The institution and consecration of the Sabbath exemplifies the second: “And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because that in it he had rested from all his work” (2:3): a procedure that would be inexplicable except as furnishing the ground for a like procedure on the part of man, for otherwise the hallowing and benediction spoken of must have lacked both a proper subject and a definite aim. In every age man’s observance of the holy Sabbath has been made the supreme test of his moral relation to the Lord. The command for Adam to care for the garden (“dress and keep it”: Gen. 2:15) demonstrates the third aspect, the positive: even in the unfallen state man was not to be idle and shiftless.

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part Two-The Adamic Covenant

 

By the “moral” law which was given to Adam by God, we mean that he was placed under the requirements of the Ten Commandments

By the “moral” law which was given to Adam by God, we mean that he was placed under the requirements of the Ten Commandments, the summary of which is “Thou shah love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy mind, and with all thy strength, and thy neighbor as thyself.” Nothing less than that was due unto Adam’s maker, and nothing short of it became him as an upright creature. By “positive” law we mean that God also placed certain restrictions upon Adam which had never occurred to him from either the light of nature or from any moral considerations; instead, they were sovereignly appointed by God and were designed as a special test of Adam’s subjection to the imperial will of his King. The term “positive law” is employed by theologians not as antithetical to “negative,” but in contrast from those laws which are addressed to our moral nature: prayer is a “moral” duty: baptism is a “positive” ordinance.

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part Two-The Adamic Covenant

Being created in the image and likeness of God, it was his very nature to delight himself in the Lord and reproduce (in a creaturely measure) God’s righteousness and holiness

Now the law which God gave to Adam, under which He placed him, was threefold: natural, moral, and positive. By the first we mean that subjection to his creator—acting for His honor and glory—was constituted the very law of his being. Being created in the image and likeness of God, it was his very nature to delight himself in the Lord and reproduce (in a creaturely measure) God’s righteousness and holiness. Just as the animals are endowed with a nature or instinct which prompts them to choose and do that which makes for their well-being, so man in his pristine glory was endued with a nature which prompted him to do that which is pleasing unto God and that which promoted his own highest interests—the remains of which appear in fallen man’s rationality and conscience.

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part Two-The Adamic Covenant

Though pronounced by God Himself as “very good,” Adam was, nevertheless, a creature, and as such subject unto the authority of the One who had given him being

Though pronounced by God Himself as “very good” (Gen. 1:31) on the day of his creation, Adam was, nevertheless, a creature, and as such subject unto the authority of the One who had given him being. God governs all rational beings by law, as the rule of their obedience to Him. To that principle there is no exception, and in the very nature of things cannot be, for God must enforce His rights as Lord over all. Angels (Ps. 103:20), unfallen man, fallen men, redeemed men—all are subject to the moral government of God. Even the beloved Son, when He became incarnate, was “made under the law” (Gal. 4:4). Moreover, in the case of Adam his character was not yet confirmed, and therefore, like the angels, he must be placed on probation, subjected to trial, to see whether or no he would render allegiance to the Lord his maker.

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part Two-The Adamic Covenant

It is exceedingly difficult, if not altogether impossible in our present state, for us to form any adequate conception of the most excellent and glorious endowment of man in his first estate

March 24, 2020 1 comment

It is exceedingly difficult, if not altogether impossible in our present state, for us to form any adequate conception of the most excellent and glorious endowment of man in his first estate. Negatively, he was entirely free from sin and misery: Adam had no evil ancestry behind him, no corruption within him, nothing in his body to distress him. Positively, he was made in the image and likeness of God, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, endued with a wisdom and holiness to which Christians are as yet, in themselves, strangers. He was blest with unclouded communion with God, placed in the fairest of environments, given dominion over all creatures here below, and graciously provided with a suitable helpmate. Fair as the morning was that blissful heritage into which Adam was estated. Made “upright” (Eccl. 7:29) and endowed with full ability to serve, delight in, and glorify his creator.

Arthur W. Pink- The Divine Covenants-Part Two-The Adamic Covenant