March 24, 2007

Just One Commandment

Genesis 2:16-17

The Garden of Eden is described as created the Garden specifically for Adam, the first man, whom God had formed (Genesis 2 and 3). The Garden of Eden was perfect. It offered both beauty and sustenance, being home to every tree "that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, "and a source of freshwater from the river to drink. As for man, God "put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. " (Genesis 2:15)

Genesis 2:16-17 states that the Lord God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."

Now comes along the wily serpent and logically trips up Eve by twisting words around and asking, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?" From that point forward, it is all downhill for humanity.

And with a single act, both are tossed into darkness. It was just one Commandment: Do not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam and Eve had their pick of trees: grapefruit, apple, peach, mango, lemon, coconut, you name it. Instead, they chose to go to the tree of forbidden fruit. Isn’t that just like human nature: self-willed and prideful.

By obeying just one Commandment, man could have had eternal life in the garden of earthly delights. Think about it: Just one Commandment!

Just to get an idea of what Adam and Eve were going to be missing out on, Ezekiel 28:13 gives further detail of the garden: “You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone adorned you: ruby, topaz and emerald, chrysolite, onyx and jasper, sapphire, turquoise and beryl. Your settings and mountings were made of gold; on the day you were created they were prepared.” Talk about the model of ideal loveliness. Talk about the marvelous light arrayed through these precious gems and jewels, bedazzling and brilliant!

As a race, humans have not fared any better because of our sinful nature. We have remained in darkness. Indeed, our heart is dark. Consider the state of world affairs to get a taste of how low and ugly our nature really is.

So, by the time the Lord summoned Moses in Exodus 19:3, God wanted to take the Israelites into a close and peculiar relation to Himself. This blessed Sinai Covenant was granted out of God's own free grace. The conditions God made on the people were that they must obey His voice and keep His covenant, which are the Ten Commandments. They are the Divine Standard:

1. Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.
2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image or likeness of heavenly or earthly things to bow down to them.
3. Thou shalt not take the name of Jehovah thy God in vain.
4. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.
5. Honor thy father and mother.
6. Thou shalt not kill.
7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
8. Thou shalt not steal.
9. Thou shalt not bear false witness.
10. Thou shalt not covet.

The purpose of the Law was not so that the Israelites could use it as an instrument to make them righteous, but to show what righteousness is. Once the Law is violated, it can only condemn us. And that’s the problem. If we couldn’t keep just one Commandment, how then can we hope to keep ten?

Enter Jesus Christ.

His advent brought forth a new covenant, which was sealed with His holy blood when Christ was crucified on the cross for our sins. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man (i.e., Adam), how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! (Rom 5:15)

So, the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law (Galatians 3:24-25).

For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ (Rom 5:17). It is written: "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam (i.e., Christ), a life-giving spirit” (1 Cor. 15:45).

The only Mediator is Jesus Christ; (1 Tim. 2:5); For there is one God and one mediator between God and men. That man is Christ Jesus. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life! No one approaches the Father except by Him! Won’t you come to Him and accept Him as Lord and Savior? He is ready to receive you!

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