How Adam And Eve Made
A Covenant With God

The story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden is one of how God closes the great divide between Himself and relating to us through covenants or contracts. Usually "covenant" refers to a religious contract…and "contract" to a civil agreement. But they both have the same elements.

Many people have the simple belief that God loves them unconditionally. But there is no such thing as a contract without conditions binding the parties to it...whether the contract is with God or the local banker.

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What elements make a contract or covenant?

  1. lawful subject matter (a "contract" on someone’s life is not lawful)
  2. lack of duress or fraud (even God cannot force you into a contract)
  3. acceptance of benefits offered
  4. terms and conditions to fulfill the contract
  5. penalty clause for defaulting on the terms and conditions

The Adam and Eve covenant

The Lord God created a garden beautiful to look at and good for food. It contained the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gn. 2:9). It was God’s property and it was lawful for him to offer it. And so God settled Adam in the garden…to cultivate and take care of it (Gn 2:15)...that’s the benefit to God.
  1. Adam accepted the benefit and named all of the life forms in the garden (Gn 2:19 God and Adam are now in a contract -– mutual benefits offered and accepted)
  2. God puts a condition on Adam that he is free to eat from any of the trees but not the tree of knowledge of good and evil…the penalty for violating the condition is death (Gn 2:16-17)
  3. After God creates Eve…she and Adam meet the serpent who interferes in the contract with God by lying...and Adam and Eve violate the condition and eat from the forbidden tree (Gn 3:1ff)
  4. Angry at having to invoke the penalty clause…God removes them from the garden and prevents them having access to the tree of life…so they will surely die (Gn 3:13ff)

Now many people have three fantasies about God that are not true according to the Scripture.

Three popular fantasies about God

The three fantasies are:
  • That God loves them unconditionally. This is not possible because God only relates to us in covenants which have conditions and penalties
  • That God in the Old Testament acts capriciously and on whims. This is not possible in a contract or covenant where the parties agree freely to exchange lawful benefits...and agree to the terms and conditions
  • That the God of the Old Testament is vengeful. This cannot be the case in a covenant. The covenant itself binds both parties to its terms…and God must act according to the covenant’s terms. (Though he does become furious that he has to invoke the penalty clause.)

How is this relevant to modern ministry?

Because the covenant of the Ten Commandments is still in effect…

  • If you wish to enter into life keep the commandments (Mt 19:17)
  • If you love me you will keep my commandments (Jn 14:15)
  • Whoever has my commandments and keeps them is the one who loves me (Jn 14:21)

If you want to know more about the way God has related to us throughout can read about the covenants with Noah, Abraham and Moses by going from this Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden page to the covenant page.

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