The Test Case
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.
Read Genesis 2:15-17
You undoubtedly learned in catechism class that in the verses before us God
placed a test before man. Today we might call this a test case or a probation
period for Adam. By remaining obedient to this command from the Lord,
man could have obtained eternal life. However, if man transgressed it, he
would experience terrible consequences, even death. This death would be
threefold: spiritual death, temporal death and eternal death.
Many questions have been asked regarding the reason why God gave Adam
this test when He knew that man would fall. These questions cannot be
answered. It would be better not to even raise them. Every question that
brings accusations against our gracious God must be laid aside. Remember
that the almighty God is good.
What we can learn from our passage is that God desired man to love Him
freely. The Lord did not create pre-programmed robots; rather, He made a
human race who would love Him of their own free will. But now that we
have lost our ability to choose to love God, we can be saved by grace alone.
This is only possible through the work of the second Adam Who said, “I delight
to do thy will O My God.” (Ps. 40:8) When the Holy Spirit opens your
eyes to the Lord Jesus, He also gives you the desire to repeat those same
words; the Spirit makes man willing. In this way the Lord’s purposes are
fulfilled. Do you desire to do God’s will?
Advice: Read the Canons of Dordt, Head of Doctrine III/IV, paragraph 11
and 12, in which the Holy Spirit is said to renew and win sinners for a life
with God. Regeneration is His work.
Psalter 342:1, 3 (based on Psalm 119)
O let my supplicating cry By Thee, my gracious Lord, be heard;
Give wisdom and deliver me According to Thy faithful word.
For Thy salvation I have longed, and in Thy law is my delight;
Enrich my soul with life divine, And help me by Thy judgments right.