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Posts Tagged ‘Garden of Eden’

A Covenant in the Garden?

By Thomas Parr

This is the second post in a series related to my new book on the theology of William Strong (ca. 1611–1654). In the first post we asked “What is a covenant of works?” Now we’ll look at whether God made such a covenant with Adam in the Garden.

Consider two points drawn from Strong’s treatment of the matter. First, Strong points out that though the word covenant does not appear in Genesis 2, the necessary elements of a covenant are clearly there. These necessary elements are the ideas of stipulation and reward. He points out that “man stands bound to God by a double bond of Creation and stipulation” (Discourse, 1). In other words, man was obliged to obey simply because God had created and commanded him. But instead of leaving it at this, God added recompense—“God was pleased to engage himself to a recompense” (Discourse, 2). God did not have to do so, but he condescended to recompense Adam’s choice either to obey or disobey God’s stipulation. God promised…..

Read the entire article at Reformation21.

Episode 37: Getting the Garden Right

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Pastor Richard Barcellos joins the Regular Reformed Guys to talk about his upcoming, as yet unnamed book about the Covenant of Works, the Garden of Eden and a number of other questions in relation to the New Covenant Theology.

This is one of those meaty episodes. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

 

Source [The Regular Reformed Guys]

Duty of Repentance: Original State of Man- Book Fourth- Chapter 1

November 23, 2016 Leave a comment

Book Fourth

CHAPTER I.

ORIGINAL STATE OF MAN.

THE FIRST MAN AND WOMAN WERE CREATED HOLY, AND, FOR A TIME, SERVED THEIR CREATOR ACCEPTABLY.[1]

How long the first pair continued in their original state of innocence and happiness we have no means of knowing; but that they did so continue for a time, is apparent on the face of the sacred record. A free intercourse with their Maker existed, and the token of the divine favor, the fruit of the tree of life, was not denied until a period arrived, distinctly marked in their history, when they first violated the covenant of their God.

The fact that the first pair continued, for a time, to serve God acceptably, proves that their Creator had endowed them with the powers necessary for this service. The possession of these endowments is implied in the phrase, “God created man in his own image.”[2] To interpret this as referring to the form of the human body, is wholly inconsistent with the spirituality of God. It is true, that God was afterwards manifested in human form; but the Scriptures represent the Son of God, in this assumption of our nature, as “made like his brethren,” and, therefore, to suppose his human body to have been the pattern after which the body of Adam was formed, would change the order presented in the divine word. The phrase, “image of God,” as explained by Paul,[3] includes “knowledge, righteousness and true holiness.” It, therefore, refers to their mental endowments, by which they were fitted for the service of God.

Intelligence was necessary to render the service to God for which man was designed. A vast world had been created, abounding with creatures which exhibited, in their wonderful structure, the wisdom and power of their Creator, and, in the bountiful provision made for the supply of their wants, his goodness was richly displayed; but not one of all these creatures was capable of appreciating this wisdom, power, and goodness. They had eyes to see the light of the material sun; but, though the heavens declared the glory of God, and the earth was full of his goodness, to that glory and goodness all were totally blind. A creature was wanted capable of knowing God, and this knowledge our first parents possessed.

Something more than mere intellectual endowments was necessary to fit our first parents for acceptable service to God. These were possessed by the angels that had not kept their first estate, and yet they were enemies of God, and cast out from his presence. Purity of heart was needed; and, accordingly, Adam and Eve were endowed with righteousness and true holiness. They not only knew God, but they loved him supremely. Every natural desire which they possessed was duly subordinated to this reigning affection. Even their love to each other, pure and unalloyed, was far inferior to that which they both felt to him, who daily favored them with his visits, and taught them to see his glory in all his works by which they were surrounded.

We may interpret the phrase, “image of God,” as including, also, the dominion with which man was invested over all inferior creatures. When representing man as the head of the woman, Paul speaks of him, in this relation, as “the image and glory of God.”[4] This investiture of authority gives him a likeness to God, the Supreme Ruler. In the state of innocence, man possessed this authority without fear from any of the creatures. Until he had rebelled against his God, they were not permitted to rebel against him. As the appointed lord of the lower world, all creatures rendered him homage; and, as it were in their name, he stood, the priest in the grand temple, to offer up spiritual worship and service to the God of the whole creation. From every creature which Adam named he could learn something of God; and, with every new lesson, a new tribute of adoring praise was rendered to the Maker of all.

In the particulars which have been mentioned, the image of God is “renewed” in those who experience the regenerating influences of the Holy Spirit, and are created in Christ Jesus unto good works. The word “renewed” carries back our thoughts to man’s original state. A new creation is effected by the Spirit, restoring the regenerate to the knowledge, righteousness, and holiness from which man has fallen. In their renewed state, the effects of the fall still appear, and will remain until the last enemy, death, shall be destroyed; but their connection with the second Adam secures the completion of the good work begun, and assures them that they shall ultimately bear the likeness of the heavenly, who is the image of God.

The human soul bears likeness to God, “the Father of spirits,” in its spirituality and immortality. Also, the happiness which Adam and Eve enjoyed, while their innocence remained, was a rill from the fountain of blessedness, which is in the eternal God. In this happiness the image of God appeared, until it became sadly effaced by transgression. The spirituality and immortality of the soul remain, but the happiness of Eden has never revisited the earth; and it is again to be enjoyed only in the celestial paradise. Spirituality and immortality, without knowledge, righteousness, holiness, and communion with the blessed God, would constitute us immortal spirits in eternal woe.

We may profitably look back to the holy and happy state in which our first parents stood when they came from the hand of their Creator; and we may, with good effect, remember from whence we have fallen. A due contemplation of this subject will recommend to our acceptance the gracious plan of restoration which the gospel unfolds, in the person and work of the second Adam. What a Sabbath was that, when God, resting from the six days’ work of creation, held communion with man, the last work of his hands; and when man, unstained by sin, poured forth the first offering of praise from the newly-created earth, free and acceptable to the Creator! Such a Sabbath the earth does not now know; but such a Sabbath remains to the people of God, and blessed are they who shall enter into this rest.

[1] Gen. i. 27, 31; Ecc. vii.29.

[2] Gen. i. 27.

[3] Col. iii. 10; Eph. iv. 24.

[4] 1 Cor. xi. 7.

John L. Dagg- Manual of Theology

Sickness finds its cause in Eden, not necessarily a result of one’s transgressions

February 18, 2014 3 comments

Arthur PinkIf it were true that Christ made atonement for our sicknesses as well as our sins, then it would follow that all bodily disorders are the immediate consequence of some iniquity. We say, “immediate consequence,” for of course it is readily granted that all the ills which man is heir to are so many effects and results of the great transgression of our first parents. It is only reasonable to conclude that had sin never entered this world suffering in any form had been unknown here, for we know that in Heaven the absence of the former ensures the absence of the latter. Thus there is a vital difference between saying that a physical disorder which occasions great discomfort and pain finds its remote cause in the tragedy of Eden, and affirming that it is the direct result of the person’s own wrong doing, as most of the “Divine healing” cults insist. Our Lord’s reply to His disciples in John 9:2, 3 expressly forbids any such sweeping conclusion. There is much suffering, especially among children, which is due to ignorant and innocent breaking of natural laws rather than to violation of the Moral Law. Moreover, if this contention of “Divine healing” were valid, we should be obliged to conclude that every sickness severed the soul from communion with God, which is falsified by the experiences of many of the saintliest persons who ever trod this earth.

Arthur W. Pink-Divine Healing-Is It Scriptural?

A biblical theology of mountain-temples, with help from G. K. Beale

November 25, 2013 1 comment

Beale notes, “The prophet Ezekiel portrays Eden on a mountain (Ezek. 28:14, 16). Israel’s temple was on MountZion (e.g., Exod. 15:17), and the end-time temple was to be located on a mountain (Ezek. 40:2; 43:12; Rev. 21:10).”[1]

“In light of these numerous conceptual and linguistic parallels between Eden and Israel’s tabernacle and temple, it should not be unexpected to find that Ezekiel 28:13-14, 16, 18 refer to ‘Eden, the garden of God…the holy mountain of God’, and also alludes to it as containing ‘sanctuaries’, which elsewhere is a plural way of referring to Israel’s tabernacle (Lev. 21:23) and temple (Ezek. 7:24; so also Jer. 51:51). The plural reference to the one temple probably arose because of the multiple sacred spaces or ‘sanctuaries’ within the temple complex (e.g., courtyard, holy place, holy of holies)… Ezekiel 28 is probably, therefore, the most explicit place anywhere in canonical literature where the Garden of Eden is called a temple.”[2]

 

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