The Creation Of man - Part IV
“And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.” — GENESIS 2:15
THE “LORD GOD” is Jehovah Elohim.
The phrase, “And the LORD God took the man,” in effect, means that the Lord told him to go to the garden, which had been prepared especially for him. So, we see here that God exerts special care for His prime creation. The Lord not only created him, but, as well, He prepared for him, and now He will give him responsibility.
To Dress It And Keep It
The phrase, “And put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it,” presents his particular task for that particular time. So, in a very real sense is every man’s life occupation appointed by God. “To every man his work” is the law of God’s world as well as of Christ’s kingdom. This thought should dignify the trivial task and, thereby, enable us so that whether we eat or drink—or whatever we do—we do all to the glory of God.
Every believer in the world has a special work designed especially for him that is intended for him to do. Unfortunately, far too many believers try to do something that God never called them to do, or else, through apathy and unbelief, they do nothing. Happy are the man and woman who find the will of God for their respective lives and then carry out that will. Such will always bring happiness, joy, fulfillment, and purpose.
Unfortunately, many Christians do not think of what they are presently doing as being of any consequence. Such thinking is wrong!
As a believer, irrespective of what we do—even if it’s cooking hamburgers at a McDonald’s—we should realize that God put us there, and we should do the very best service that we can do. Quite possibly, the Lord places many of His children in similar circumstances in order to be a witness at a proven time. If we’re looking for the opportunity, to be sure, the opportunity will definitely present itself.
Nothing happens by chance to the child of God. All is planned, approved, and carried out by the Lord. If it’s a mess up, so to speak, then the mess up is all on our part and never on God’s part.
Wherever the Lord puts you, you are to look at the task before you and irrespective of how menial it may seem to be, you are then to “dress it and to keep it.”
“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die” (Gen. 2:16-17).
Verse 16 begins by stating, “And the LORD God commanded the man,” which means there was only one command from God to keep. And yet, the command presented a stern warning, which, in effect, proclaims the first and only command to Adam before the fall. Probation is the law of man’s moral condition now, and it began in Paradise, only the conditions there were different.
As the Creator, God had the right to issue such a command and to expect man to obey. In this we learn that man was a free moral agent. He was not a machine, but he had the power of reason and, as well, a will. In other words, he could choose to obey the Lord or disobey the Lord, which is obvious from the command given.
Also, the word commanded should not be taken lightly. It was a strong, powerful statement, which was meant to impress upon Adam the severity of the situation, that is, if he disobeyed!
Three Divine Institutions
In a sense, one might say that with this command, the church was formed here. If, in fact, that is the case, and it certainly seems to be, this would mean that the church was the first of the three great divine institutions formed by God.
1. The church
2. The home
3. Civil government
With the creation of Eve, the home would have been second, and civil government would have come last. This became necessary only when man’s nature was corrupted. It is the business of civil government to oppose sin as Paul declares in Romans 13:4. Had Adam not sinned, civil government would not have been necessary, for man would have lived in perfect peace, rest, and security, for there would have been no robber, murderer, or thief. So, Adam would have needed only the church and the home.
So, in a sense, inasmuch as the church was the first divine institution formed, we would have to say that it is more important even than the home or civil government. It has well been said, and probably correctly, that as the church goes, so goes the home, and so goes the nation.
The Tree Of The Knowledge Of Good And Evil
Verse 16 further reads, “Saying, Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat.”
Verse 17 begins by stating, “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it,” which constituted the command.
As stated, Adam was given only one command, and that was in a Paradise. By contrast, Jesus, as the last Adam, had to keep every commandment of the law, with His probationary period beginning in a wilderness (Mat., Chpt. 4). Jesus was in the wilderness with the wild beasts (Mk. 1:13), while Adam was in Paradise with animals that were beautiful and docile.
Many would ask the question of why God placed this tree in the garden. They reason that without the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, there would have been no fall and, thereby, no problem.
Let the reader understand that the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was not the cause of Adam’s fall. It was a failure to heed and obey the word of God, which is the cause of every single failure.
So, why would Adam do such a thing? He had no sin nature as all who followed him have. He had every tree in the garden of which he could eat of their fruit, and only one tree of which he was commanded not to eat.
As to why he did what he did, I don’t think I can answer that question; furthermore, I don’t think it can be answered by any human being.
The tree had to be there, for man had to be tested. It wasn’t that God had to test Adam in order that He (God) might know what Adam would do, for God already knew. It was that Adam might know!
Some, who reason that if God had given Adam a willpower that was so strong that he could amply resist, miss the point altogether. For a will to be that which is proper, at the same time, it has to be able to say yes or no. Otherwise, it’s not a will.
Psychology claims that the environment is the answer. In other words, if a proper environment can be provided, this will stop all sin and sinning. Well, let me remind the reader that Adam was in a perfect environment when he sinned. So, that’s not the cause or the cure!
It comes down to obedience or disobedience. We need to look at that.
The Will Of Man
Almost all Christians misunderstand what the will of man actually is.
While it is true that we are free moral agents, and while it is also true that we have the power of choice, the truth is, we need to understand exactly what is being said here.
Most Christians think that once they have come to Christ, they then have the willpower to either say yes or no to whatever it is they so desire. Nothing could be further from the truth.
While the believer definitely does have the power to say yes or no, it is only in one category. That category pertains to Christ.
In other words, the Christian can say yes or no to Christ, and that’s where his will begins, and that’s where his will ends. To be more particular, this yes or no must pertain not only to Christ, but what Christ did at the Cross on our behalf. The essence of this is that we can say yes to what Christ has done for us at the Cross and rely totally and completely on His finished work, or we can say no.
If we say no, we then close the door to the Holy Spirit. This leaves us facing the powers of darkness with nothing but our own personal strength, i.e., willpower, which we will find every time to be totally inadequate.
No, the Christian is doomed to failure if he thinks he can face the sin business and simply say yes or no. That’s not the way it works. Those who try that (and almost all have) will conclude by failing every time. You may win for awhile, but after awhile, you’re going to fail.
Now, stop and think about this for a moment: If it were possible for us to defeat sin and the attacks of Satan by willpower, then Jesus would not have had to come down here and die on a Cross. He could have merely taught us how to function within our willpower, and that would have solved the problem.
However, He didn’t do that, did He? The truth is, the problem of sin is so deadly that it took the Cross to defeat this monster, and even then, we have to have the help of the Holy Spirit to get this thing done. That’s why Paul said, “But if the Spirit (Holy Spirit) of Him (God the Father) who raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He who raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit who dwells in you” (Rom. 8:11).
This tells us that sin is so powerful that it takes the same power to overcome this thing as it did to raise Jesus from the dead, which, of course, is the power of the Holy Spirit.
Understanding that, we should come to the conclusion that our personal willpower is totally inadequate.
However, most Christians little understand the victory of the Cross and try to do this thing on their own, which always results in failure.
A Simple Diagram
The following diagram is very simple, but perhaps it will help you to understand more fully what we are saying. The following, in extremely abbreviated form, constitutes the means by which any and every Christian can walk in victory, and by that, we mean perpetual victory:
- Focus. The focus of every believer must always be on the Lord Jesus Christ, realizing that He is the source of all things that we receive from God (Jn. 1:1-3, 14, 29; 14:6, 20; Rom. 6:1-14).
- Object of faith. The object of our faith must, as well, always rest on Jesus Christ and what He did for us at the Cross. In other words, it’s who He is and what He did. The finished work of Christ must always be the pivot point in our consecration. Unfortunately, too many Christians have other things as the object of their faith, which guarantees failure (I Cor. 1:17, 18, 23; 2:2; Col. 2:10-15).
- Power source. With our focus on the Cross of Christ, which means that the finished work of Christ is now the object of our faith, our power source is now the Holy Spirit, who always works within the parameters of the finished work of Christ. This is why the object of our faith is so very, very important (Rom. 8:1-11; Eph. 2:13-18).
- Results. Having the Cross as our focus and the finished work as the object of our faith, which guarantees the Holy Spirit being the power source, then we cannot fail. It is victory to victory, or we should say, faith to faith (Rom. 6:14; I Cor. 2:2; Col. 2:14-15).
Now, let’s use the same formula, but yet, turn it around. Regrettably, this is the place and position of most modern Christians.
I am going to give the same points but position it the way it is being addressed by most modern Christians. Read them carefully:
- Focus. Not understanding the victory of the Cross as it regards sanctification, most modern Christians focus on works.
- Object of faith. Focusing on works, the object of our faith becomes our performance, which is always inadequate because the Holy Spirit will not function in this capacity.
- Power source. By focusing on works and trusting in our performance, the power source now is self.
- Results. By focusing on works, with the object of our faith being our personal performance and the power source now being self, the results are predictable—failure. As stated, this latter diagram is the place and position of most modern Christians. In other words, they simply don’t know how to live for God.
This article is an excerpt from the book 'The Fall Of Man' by Jimmy Swaggart.