Man in His Probation

Genesis 2:8-17

Dr. S. Lewis Johnson continues his exposition of Genesis with the Covenant of Works between God and Adam.

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The Scripture reading for today is again in Genesis Chapter 2, and we are reading verses 8 through 17 which is the account of the probation of Adam.

“And the Lord God planted a garden toward the east in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Now a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it divided and became four rivers. The name of the first is Pishon; it flows around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. And the gold of that land is good; the bdellium and the onyx stone are there. The name of the second river is Gihon; it flows around the whole land of Cush. The name of the third river is Tigris; it flows east of Assyria and the fourth river is the Euphrates. Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the Garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it. The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may freely eat; but from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die.”

May the Lord bless this reading of his word.

Our subject for this morning is “Man in His Probation.” In our studies, in the first chapter of the Book of Genesis and in the earlier parts of the second chapter, we have learnt that man was created in the image of God, implying that he possessed the rational nature so as to know God, a moral nature enabling him to enjoy the righteousness and holiness of the truth, as the Apostle Paul puts it in Ephesians chapter 4, and further that he possesses a regal office, giving him authority over the creation. He was told that he was to fill the earth and subdue it and to rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth. These things we know not by human speculation but by divine revelation.

Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, “Science is a good piece of furniture for a man to have in an upper chamber provided he has common sense on the ground floor.” Well, I think it is really much better than that to have divine revelation in the basement where the foundations are because then we have that which is certain and true.

The account of man’s probation raises a number of very interesting questions. For example, what is the purpose of the probation? What is the nature of sin as set forth in the probation? What is the reward of the probationary time of Adam? And a further question which is rather intriguing one, is how is it possible for a man whose inclination with the holiness by the creation of God, concerning whom God has pronounced the value judgment very good, how is it possible for such a person to begin a sinful inclination in his own being? How is it possible for a person created holy, for he must have been created holy, not innocent since he had a will, and a will that is not directed toward an object is not a will and so almost all of the orthodox theologians have consented that man was created in holiness. How is it possible for a holy man to begin a sinful and unholy inclination?

Now that is a question that it is very difficult for us to answer, and I will not attempt to give you an answer in this message, but the question is raised here and it carries over into the discussion in the next chapter of the fall of man. One last, rather interesting question is, “Can we call this probation a covenant of works?” Now, theologians, in the Reform perspective, have spoken of this for centuries as a covenant of works. Is it possible for us to call this a covenant of works? Was life really promised in the probation to which Adam was subjected?

And, perhaps, the most important question if not the most exciting, was Adam a representative man? Did Adam act for his posterity? The Westminster Confession of Faith has no doubt about that. It reads, “The first covenant with man was a covenant of work when life was promised to Adam and in him to his posterity upon condition of perfect and personal obedience.” So, the Westminster Confession of Faith calls this a covenant of work. One of the older Reform theologians, Hermann Witsius, has said concerning this, “The covenant of works is the agreement between God and Adam created in God’s image to be the head and prince of the whole human race.” I like that expression, “the head and prince of the whole human race,” by which God was promising him eternal life and felicity should he obey all his precepts most perfectly, adding the threat of death should he sin even in the least detail while Adam was accepting this condition.

Well, these are some of the questions that come before us as we turn now to the probation of Adam. From the eighth verse and these two verses which begin with verse 8, present a picture of the garden and the trees of the garden. We learn that Adam was created outside of the garden. We read, “And the Lord God planted the garden toward the east in Eden; and there he placed the man whom he had formed.” So we would assume from this that Adam had been created and was in existence somewhere to the west of Eden and the garden that was within Eden.

Now God placed him, how he placed him there, of course, is not known but you certainly can begin by noting that the garden into which Adam was placed after his creation was a beautiful home. One of the commentators had said that the Garden of Eden was a model of parental care. The fledgling is sheltered but not smothered. On all sides, discoveries and encounters await him to draw out of him powers of discernment and choice and there is ample nourishment for his aesthetic, physical, and spiritual appetite. Further, there is a man’s work before him for body and mind. I think that the first impression that Adam must have obtained when he was placed in the Garden of Eden was that, “My God is certainly a God of loving care and consideration for me.” Now, the preparation of the garden itself is described in the ninth verse, “And out of the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food.” So, the trees were lovely; not only were they lovely, they were nourishing. Now, the fact that the trees were lovely would indicate it was not Texas. We didn’t have to know from the Bible that it was in the east, but the trees were lovely and they were nourishing. Now that is a rather interesting thing because evidently the trees contain such properties that they prevented Adam and Eve from aging. A very active field in modern research is the field of gerontology or the field of the study of aging and one of the things that our scientists today have to admit is that with all of the scientific understanding that they have, they do not understand the aging process. But evidently, God gave to these trees or the garden itself, in all of its beauty and nourishment, the capacity for giving to man the chemical system or the chemicals that prevented ageing. Wouldn’t it be a striking discovery to be able to discover the things that characterize the chemical systems of the trees of the Garden of Eden? Gerontology would learn a great deal from the Book of Genesis if just a few more details were given to us.

Now I don’t think from reading the Book of Genesis chapter 2, that we are to think of these trees as being actual trees. Now it is another striking thing to me that in the Book of Revelation near the end of the Book of Revelation, we have a kind of re-creation of paradise, account of recreation of Eden and the new heavens and the new earth, and in the second verse of the 22nd chapter of the Book of Revelation we read, “And on either side of the river was the Tree of Life bearing twelve kinds of fruit,” a kind of fruit of the month club for eternity, yielding its fruit every month and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nation. So, evidently some of the powers that were contained in the early trees of the Garden of Eden are restored in the new heavens and the new earth, so that those who are there are not subject to the ageing process. So the fountain of youth was located in the Garden of Eden and we have not discovered it since.

Now the most interesting thing about the garden of course is the two trees that were in the midst of the garden, The Tree of Life and The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. In the absence of any specific information, otherwise, I think we have to understand these trees as actual trees. But they evidently are sacramental or symbolical in their significance — that is, they represent something. They represent the fact that the true means of fellowship is with the Lord and the Tree of Life suggests the fact that the knowledge of God is something that – and also man’s sufficiency lies outside of himself. True life is outside of a man, not inside of a man.

The expression, ‘The Tree of Life’ becomes a symbolical expression and through the Old Testament we heard it a number of times. It is symbolical of wisdom, it is symbolical of righteousness, it is symbolical of the realization of hope, it is symbolical of temperance in speech, so that the Tree of Life then is a kind of sacramental tree. It was the outward means of fellowship with God in the Garden of Eden and also, as we shall suggest, the means by which man was to attain to eternal life through the partaking of the fruit of that tree.

And now the second tree is, if anything, more interesting, The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. This also was a symbolical tree and incidentally in the light of the kind of word that is used in translated knowledge, it is probably a reference to experiential kind of knowledge. In other words, this too is a vehicle of grace. Obedience to the command of God would bring knowledge that was analogous to God’s knowledge. We read in Chapter 3 and Verse 22, after the Fall of Man, “Then the Lord God said, behold the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil…”

The unfortunate thing about man is that of course he knew the good and was unable to do it and he knew the evil and could not help but do that. But, it was the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and obedience would bring a knowledge that was analogous to God. It would be awareness of evil with victory over it. And evidently the ideal was for man to survive the test of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and then having survived his probation successfully, he would be led by God to the Tree of Life, he would partake of the Tree of Life, attain the justification and eternal life and live forever. That is suggested for us not only by the placing of the two trees in the center of the garden, but also by the words that are later expressed concerning it.

It is rather interesting to read the interpretation that has been placed upon the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Some of the commentators such as Von Ranke have suggested that it is designed to represent omniscience and that man is not to covet omniscience. To have the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil suggests a complete knowledge to him and consequently to partake is to covet omniscience, but it does not seem that that is really a true interpretation because in Chapter 3, Verse 22, it says that “man has now attained to a knowledge, the knowledge of the God.’ He has come to know good and evil like we know it in chapter 3, verse 22, so I am afraid that Professor Von Ranke’s interpretation does not fit the context of the chapter.

It has often been suggested as a reference to sexual awakening and that the partaking of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is a reference to the sex act.

It has also been referred to a rival immortality to that of the Tree of Life. But all of these interpretations are contrary to the context in one form or another. The simplest interpretation is the best as is often the case. The trees were symbolical; they were sacramental, they were means by which Adam and Eve were to be taught certain things.

Some of the things that they were to be taught have been suggested by one of the old commentators. He has said that it is usually called probative; that is, the test that was given to Adam because God wished thereby to prove man whether he loves God perfectly and more than all creatures — that was one of the reasons for the test — whether he abstained from earthy delights in order to delight in God alone, whether he would subject his own dominion to that of God, whether he would stay good or turn bad, seems rather simple. And it was also given that by sinning Adam might himself recognize the evil into which he hurled himself and the good from which he fell away.

Now having made that simple reference to the trees, in the next few verses Moses describes the garden and the rivers, explaining the fruitfulness of the Garden of Eden. One might ask the question if there has been no rain, how is it possible for us to have a beautiful and fruitful garden and so the next verses explain this. “Now a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden.” Very unusual for a large stream to flow out and become four streams. [Indistinct], incidentally an Old Testament interpreter, said this is a reference to the Milky Way. Where he got that interpretation, it is difficult to find. But this particular thing, this river becomes four streams and so I would imagine that the primeval water system was something like this.

Deep down in the subterranean parts of the earth, God in His creative work, perhaps on the third day, had arranged that there should be a vast system of water below and as a result the things that have happened in that creation, the water pressure, forced the water up and like a kind of artesian well, the water flowed out of the Garden of Eden and came into four branches described here in the book of Genesis. Now it was not the kind of pressure that we have today in underground streams because there was no rainfall and so it must have been something that was produced by fire, and as a result of that, this great river flowed out of the Garden of Eden and the four streams are discussed. Now we do not know, of course, the names of the two other than the Tigris and Euphrates and it is very doubtful that we really know the location of these rivers. We know where the Tigris and the Euphrates are today, but we do not really know the location of the Garden of Eden because of the disasters that have taken place and, of course, especially the Flood. So, probably the whole area has been rearranged sufficiently so that we do not know the place of the Garden of Eden.

Now we come to the important part of our study and what was summarily stated in Verse 8 is now amplified in Verses 15 through 17, and you can see from this that everything up to this point is designed to set the stage for the probation or the test of Adam. We read in Verse 15 “Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the Garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.” I suggest to you that Eve has not yet been formed at this point because then Eve was given with Adam a fuller commission. She knew about the commission to subdue the earth. She knew also about the condition of Verses 16 and 17 but evidently she was formed later.

And so the man was put in the Garden of Eden and it is said that he was to cultivate and keep it; so his state was not to be that of indolence, laziness. God’s work ethic goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden and evidently was designed to preserve the ecology of the garden. In other words, if Adam did not cultivate and keep the garden, it would quickly grow into a disordered garden and so Adam was told that he was to, literally the Hebrew text says, to serve and to keep watch over the garden; not because there were some alien forces but simply to order the garden. So he was to cultivate it and he was to keep watch over it; and then the terms of probation are set forth. And we read in Verse 16 and 17 of those terms.

Now one of these trees was The Tree of Life, the other was the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was to train the spirit of man through obedience and the other was to transform his temporal earthly life into an eternal life. Now the positive aspect of the probation is stated in Verse 16. “From any tree of the garden, you may freely eat.” What a magnificent statement and what a magnificent fact to remember in connection with the temptation of Adam. You could hardly imagine a fairer test than this. The maximum is allowed, the minimum is forbidden. “From any tree of the garden, you may freely eat.” Only one injunction, not many. He doesn’t even say “Now Adam, I want to give you a principle and I want you to follow this principle.” He doesn’t say I have a policy or anything else. It is simply a bare word that God had and the answer is a simple yes or a simple no; nothing else. He should be motivated by a simple, naked kind of filial loyalty to God and respond accordingly. So it was a beautiful test in the simplicity of it. No confusion whatsoever. It was a test that one could not say was unfair, simple and complete and it touches of course the major point, and because it was arranged in circumstances that made it easy not to commit, it becomes a beautiful test and probation for man.

Now negatively some insignificant things are added. “But from The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, you shall not eat for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die.” Now here the future of the whole race hangs on one issue and that one issue is belief in the word of God. I want to stress that because I think this is of most important significance, belief of the word of God.

What is the average man’s idea of sin? Well, the average man’s idea of sin is immorality. He thinks of adultery, he thinks of uncleanness, lasciviousness. He thinks also of other kinds of sins, which are manifestations of the nature within contrary to the nature of God. He thinks of all of those specific outbreakings of sin and of course, if he can’t preserve himself from these things, he tends to have the idea that he is not really a sinner at all. But if you notice there is nothing immoral about eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in itself. As a matter of fact, it was probably a very beautiful tree. The immorality of it did not exist in the eating of the tree, it existed in something else.

Well someone might say, Well it was really Adam’s rebellion against the will of God that is the essence of sin. After all, he acted autonomously and of course that is true it was contempt of authority for him to partake of that tree. But I ask you now a question. What was it that made Adam or led Adam to partake of the tree? Rebellion? All right, what was it that led Adam to rebel? It is really very simple, unbelief. He really didn’t believe the word of God. When God said “In the day you eat thereof you shall surely die,” Adam followed the advice of the tempter. He said “you shall not die.” God said “you shall die,” the tempter said “you shall not die” and Adam believed the tempter, or least the sentiment of the tempter and disbelieved God.

In other words, the essence of human sin is not immorality. The essence of human sin is not rebellion. The essence of human sin is unbelief. Men commit adultery because they do not believe the word of God. They do not believe the word of God, therefore they rebel against the word of God and that issues in immorality. The issue is unbelief. The nature, the very essence of sin from the standpoint of the man is unbelief. From the standpoint of God and his Law, it is lawlessness, the breaking up the Law of God.

Now the Lord Jesus in the 16th Chapter of the Gospel of John, in His words concerning the coming of the Holy Spirit and the works that He would do, has a statement that bears upon this question. He says, “I tell you the truth,” in John, chapter 16 in Verse 7, “it is to your advantage that I go away for if I do not go away, the Helper shall not come to you but if I go, I will send Him to you, and He when He comes will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.” I noticed this 9th Verse concerning sin because they do not believe in me.” In other words, the works that the Holy Spirit will do will be to convince the world of sin because the world does not believe in Jesus Christ, that is the essence of sin–unbelief. Now it is very difficult for men to grasp it because they tend to think of sin in these outbreakings of immorality such as we have been talking about. Very difficult for us to realize that it is the basic attitude of a person to God, that is the most significant aspect of his relationship to God.

Now Martin Luther was a man who was full of life and vigor and he also made a lot of statements that he probably would have revised if he had known that his feeble sayings were going to be published, but some of them that were published occasionally appeared to be bordering on blasphemy. He said once, “The curse of a godless man can sound more pleasant in God’s ears than the hallelujah of the pious.” Now all know on the surface that remark borders on blasphemy, but if you think about it a little bit, I think you will see that Luther has hit upon something that is important. Take the man who has a form of godliness but who denies the power of God, when that man utters a pious hallelujah, it is the rock of screech in the ears of God because he has put on hypocrisy, he has put upon his face the attitude of the man of truth and he has uttered something that is totally contrary to the man within.

What did the Lord Jesus say about this kind of thing? He spoke about the preachers and the theologians and he said, “Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief places at feasts, which devour widows’ houses, and for a show make long prayers, the same shall receive greater damnation.” Now you can see that a hallelujah from the lips of these pious hypocrites was one that was hateful to God.

In the Old Testament, in the Book of Isaiah, he speaks about those who tread his courts, the priests and the offering of the sacrifices which the word of God has commanded, but he speaks about how he hates their sacrifices and their solemn feasts. It is not that he does not accept their sacrifices and he does not pay any attention to them, he hates them. He despises the man who puts on a show of spirituality but whose heart is not related to the Lord at all in an attitude of faith. Now Luther was not saying that God loves the godless curse. He was simply saying that he hates that less than he hates this other thing: the pious hypocritical hallelujahs of the people who sit in the pews.

What does it mean? While it means when you get down upon your knees and you call upon God, and there is no real relationship to the Lord in your heart, it is like one of these pious hypocritical hallelujahs and God hates it. It means that when we offer prayers to the Lord, if they are not in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ with a recognition of what we are before God and what we are by virtue of what He has done, and if they are not uttered out of a faith in Him, he hates that kind of petition. Men may say, ‘what a religious man. What a godly man.” But God hates it.

When you sit down at your dinner table and you offer thanks for the food on the table, and it is not truly offered in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, I do not mean simply using the phrase, but I mean it is not offered in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, recognizing the truth of the Christian religion, God does not hear that prayer, as a matter of fact he hates that. It means that all of the prayers of the lodges are prayers that God does not answer because they are not offered in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and out of the truth of the Christian religion. He hates them.

Luther was right. You could have put it a little better than Luther put it, no doubt. You could have said, ‘The curse of the godless man can be less offensive to the ears of God than the hallelujahs of the religious man,” but he was onto something good and it was that there has to be a relationship of the heart to God and the truth of the word of God before he hears men’s prayer at all. You see it comes down ultimately to this question of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, faith in the revelation of God.

So, Adam you can eat of all of the trees of the Garden, but of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, you shall not eat of it and we will test. We will test your reliance upon the word of God by that. While you can see from this that the temptation then or the probation is a probation which has to do with the authority of the Word of God. The alternatives in this probation are life and death. It is clear that death is involved, but the fact of the tree of life being in the center by the side of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil suggests very strongly that if Adam had survived the test, then he could partake of the Tree of Life and live forever as is stated in the 3rd chapter.

Was the test a covenant of works? Well, what are the elements of a covenant? Well, a covenant is an arrangement between two parties, sometimes it is conditional, sometimes it is unconditional but nevertheless it is an arrangement between two parties. Was this an arrangement between two parties? It would seem to be. Covenants ordinarily have a condition, particularly a conditional covenant such as this. They will have a condition. There is a condition expressed here. Ordinarily, covenants have penalties and they also have promises. They have stipulations of certain rewards and stipulations of certain probations.

Well, that is exactly what we have in this arrangement in the Garden of Eden. I gather then that this was a covenant and that we may call it the Covenant of Works. We may want to call it some other name, the covenant of nature, it has been suggested as a possible name, or the Edenic Covenant. But whatever we call it, it is evidently a covenant. The Westminster Confession of Faith is correct, it is a covenant. It is a covenant which ultimately was to lead through successful response on the part of Adam to an everlasting holiness which is better than a temporary holiness. It was to lead to an immutable perfection which is better than a mutable perfection, and it was ultimately to lead to a Heaven in the presence of God rather than simply life in the Paradise of Eden. So, we will call it the Covenant of Works. It was a conditional covenant. God instituted it. It came from God, but Adam evidently accepted its provisions and it rested upon the issue of his obedience to the Word of God. So we will call it a Covenant of Works and be satisfied with the name.

Now there is something else that is even more significant, and I think the most important thing for us to get, you can forget everything else that I have said if you get this. Was Adam a representative man? Is it true that Adam stood for others? Was he a covenant head of the race and that did the race stand their probation in Adam? When Adam stood the probation, did he stand it for himself and for his deed? In other words, is Adam a representative man?

Well, the things that result from Genesis confirm overwhelmingly that he was a representative man. Now, of course, in the New Testament, we read in Adam, menda, in Christ, all shall be made to last and we could learn from that that Adam was a representative man. He was a public figure and as he stood not simply as a private individual but he stood as a public man. But the evidence of the Bible is overwhelming because when Adam failed, his whole race died in him. Not only did Adam die, but all of his offspring die and down through the pages of the Book of Genesis and down through history, man has wrung out that little expression which occurs so often in Genesis. “And he died, and he died, and he died, and he died.” Only once or twice is any change in that expression countenanced In the case of Enoch? Yes. Elijah? Yes. Otherwise, it is appointed unto men once to die and after this, the judgment. Adam is a representative man and in Adam, the whole race stood its test, its probation and faith and that little expression “and he died, and he died, and he died” is a reminder of the fact that we have disobeyed the word of God. We have not believed God, and we have believed Satan’s lie, “you shall not surely die.”

Now in the United States of America, we were taught these things 200 years ago. You notice I say we, because we do stand together. We were taught these things. In New England, in colonial days when children learned the letters of the alphabet, they learned them theologically. Can you imagine the kind of uproar we would have today if the teacher in one of our schools should say, Now today, children, we are going to learn the alphabet, and here is the help that will enable you to learn the letters of the alphabet. The first letter is A, and this is what you have to remember. In Adam’s fall, we sinned all. Now let’s say it children, in Adam’s fall, we sinned all. In Adam’s fall, we sinned all. That’s A, and then all the way down the list, X. This is what they learned. Xerxes the Great did die; and so must you and I. [Laughter] That’s what they learned. That’s why we have produced some great men. They were knowledgeable in the word of God and they were taught the great principles that pertain to every one of us from the word of God.

Well, I know that someone is going to say, “Well, if that’s true, if Adam stood my fall for me and he failed then that’s unfair.” Now, let me ask you a question. Suppose Adam had succeeded, would that have been unfair? Now you wouldn’t have thought anything about that, would you? You would have said, why Adam had succeeded, there wouldn’t be anyone who would go around and say that’s unfair, that’s unfair. I understand it for myself, but the difference of result makes no difference in the nature of the principle.

Was it unfair? No, it wasn’t unfair. It was the most gracious kind of arrangement that we could have, because you see if Adam does not stand as our representative head and if we do not stand our test in him as our representative, then what are we going to do if we should fail? If every man stands upon his own ground only, when he fails, there’s no hope. There’s no hope. No representative Savior to die for everyone. Like the angels; they sinned. Where is their Redeemer? They have no Redeemer. Would you like to stand on your own ground, you who object to God’s arrangement, His great arrangement, His great and gracious arrangement? Would you like to? I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t want to stand on my own. I know if Adam failed, it is far more likely that I should fail than if Adam failed.

Furthermore, Adam in the Garden, no doubt, had an understanding of the fact that everything hinged upon his own action. He knew that God had created men after their kind and he knew that he was to have successors. He was told “be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth.” He knew that he had contact with the animal creation, as well as with the Lord, and he was made of the dust of the earth. He knew that when he would fail, his line after him would suffer the effects of it and so he stood his test with firm understanding of the weight of responsibility that rested upon him, which would not be true of an individual who stands it upon his own. So can you not see that this is a beautiful arrangement on the part of God whereby when man fails, there can be a substitute and so just as we stood our probation in Adam and we failed and we have come under sin and condemnation? And the proof is that we die. All of us shall die. You shall die if our Lord does not come. There shall one day be a funeral service for you. A preacher shall read the text of Scripture, give a message; your body shall be placed in the grave. Your friends shall know that you are gone physically.

So we have failed our probation in our representative, but the great message of the word of God is that there is a second man, the Last Adam. If he had failed there would be no other Adam. The Last Adam who comes, who takes upon himself the burden of the guilt of his people and who, as their representative bears their judgment so that we stood our probation in Adam, we fail and come under guilt and condemnation.

Now in our representative, he has taken our case upon himself, he has gone to the cross at Calvary, he has shed his precious blood, and our penalty has been paid in him and because our penalty has been paid in him, paid, heaven has no further claim that it can possibly lodge against us. That is what the Doctrine of Substitution demands. The Doctrine of the Death of Christ for His people, no further claim. My representative, by divine arrangement, is the means of my restoration and the enjoyment of the forgiveness of sin and the assurance of life in the presence of God forever and forever. I shall be in the New Jerusalem. I shall partake of the leaves of the tree. I shall enjoy partaking of the Tree of Life forever.

You know, we are Texans, are we not? We know that when the father strikes oil, the children get rich. We have struck a gusher in the Lord Jesus Christ. In Adam, all die. In Christ shall all be made alive. What a magnificent provision the Lord God has made. Only one possessed of infinite wisdom could devise the plan of salvation that He has devised, satisfying all the needs that man shall have.

There is one Tree of Life ultimately. It is the tree of Calvary upon which the Lord Jesus died. If you are here this morning and you have never believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, you are in Adam. Incidentally, in the Bible, all of the cases of representation are generic. A father stands for a child; a king stands for the subject. That’s why God put us all in one great family. It was all with this idea of representation in man. You are in Adam. You stand under divine condemnation and judgment. You are headed for a Christless eternity. If you are not taken out of Adam, the First and placed in Adam, the Last by the grace of God, may God help you through the Holy Sprit to recognize your lost and desperate condition. May you not leave this auditorium and get out of locale out into the danger of the highways and the perils of life here without settling the question of your relation to the Lord Jesus, the representative man for his People. God, the Holy Spirit, has spoken to you and convinced you of your sin, your guilt, your condemnation. We urge you to plea to the cross of Christ and receive the full and free forgiveness offered to all men. May God show you Christ. Don’t leave this auditorium not having made that decision. Let us stand for the benediction.

[Prayer] How grateful we are Lord for the gracious provision of our representative, The Lord Jesus Christ. And we do recognize Lord that there should be no hope for us had we stood individually. We thank Thee for the arrangement that Thou hast made. We worship Thee, we praise Thee for the grace that (?) for we needed it. And O Father do speak to the hearts of all outside of Christ in this auditorium or who hear these words, bring them to the knowledge of the Son and to the forgiveness freely offered through him. May grace, and mercy and peace go with it.

For Jesus’ sake. Amen.

Posted in: Genesis