It’s dangerous to pry into the secret things of God, Calvin warns of the dangers of doing just that, going beyond the revelation of scripture but I’ve been thinking about Adam and the Fall (again). Would Adam have died physically if he had never sinned?
Setting the lapsarian debate aside for just a moment I believe the fall was ordained by God. Dr. Packer wrote under the heading of Predestination, “Predestination is a word often used to signify God’s foreordaining of all the events of world history, past, present, and future, and this usage is quite appropriate.” (Concise Theology)
Ecclesiastes 3:2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
It seems the author of Ecclesiastes is referring to birth and death as a natural occurrence. This isn’t an attempt at a definite answer just thinking some of these ideas through.
1 Corinthians 15:47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. 48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
Paul seems to be writing that Adam was of the same substance of other earthly creatures, animals die without sin, so Adam would have physically died without sinning. Genesis 3 is about falling out of spiritual communion with God, physically dying could have been a result of being out of communion with God the Life Giver but since Adam did not drop dead after eating of the fruit I wonder if he would have died of natural causes? I don’t believe the Garden was meant to be our “heaven” if you will but typified heaven. I believe the Sabbath rest and promised land are symbols of heavenly rest, a type or shadow of the rest we have by faith in Christ. (Hebrews 10, 11)
What is the purpose of the Law?
The Law is a schoolmaster that leads us to Christ. (Galatians 3:24) What is the difference between the command “not to eat of the tree” and other commands given? According to Dr. Packer the first function of the Law is to act as “a mirror reflecting to us both the perfect righteousness of God and our own sinfulness and shortcomings.” The second function of the moral Law “is to restrain evil.” The command given to Adam was nothing less then a moral commandment, “By the ‘moral’ law which was given to Adam by God, we mean that he was placed under the requirements of the Ten Commandments” (Pink, A. W. “The Divine Covenants” Pietan Publications (2003): 35.) The Westminster and London Baptist Confession are proclaim the same truth concerning the Law. We know that Law is given to man by God to show us our sin so can or should we conclude that God had given Adam a Law that He knew would show Adam his sin when, as ordained and decreed, he fell from grace?
John Gill offers the following,
2a2b God predetermined the fall of Adam; this fell under his decree, as all things do that come to pass in the world; there is nothing comes to pass without his determining will…
2a2d There was a concourse of divine providence attending this action, and influencing it as an action, without which it could never have been performed; as divine providence supports every wicked man in his being throughout the whole course of his vicious life,” (Gill, John. “A Complete Body of Doctrinal and Practical Divinity.” W. Wintereotham, 1796. London: William Whyte & co., 1827.)
In the Garden Adam was given a Law that if obeyed would have given him covenant rights to the earthly Garden. As long as he observed the command given him, not to eat of the fruit, Adam would have been righteous. This righteousness would have allowed him to remain in the Garden but for Adam to receive eternal life he still needed the righteousness of Christ imputed to him. This earthly covenant with God was based on works and doomed to failure.
The second Adam, Jesus Christ, was sent to die, can we conclude so was the first? (1 Cor. 15, Rev. 13:8)
Thank you for enduring my post.