First Baptist Church, Cobden IL
Monday, December 10, 2018
200 South Walker St. Cobden, IL 62920

Study in the Scriptures: Matt Hartline

                 A Study in the Scriptures 
                      -with Pastor Matt


The Adamic Covenant/the Covenant of Works (Part Three) 

Last month if you remember we looked at the Nature of the Covenant of Works and the Breaking of said Covenant. It is important to remember the words of Nehemiah Coxe in remembering the importance of understanding and getting the garden right. “If a man misses the right account of this [CoW],” Coxe writes, “he is certainly bewildered in all further searching for that truth which most concerns him to know.” In this months study of the CoW we will be looking at the results of Adam breaking His covenant. We will be answering the question, Upon the Covenant breaking done by our Federal Head, Adam, what is now the state and condition of fallen man? I want to end this introduction with the understanding and recognition that Adam, as the natural and federal head of all mankind, through whom eternal life could be achieved has now broken his covenant. Adam has plunged not only himself, but also all of mankind into sin, misery, and death. Adam, has put all men under judgment, condemnation, and has made us all sinners and children of wrath. And yet, upon this covenant breaking, God gives mercy and grace, and gives fallen man the promise of redemption. 

State and Condition of Fallen Man

Upon Adam’s breach of covenant by eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil he brought upon himself and upon all of his posterity sin, misery, and death. So, what does this look like? Nehemiah Coxe gives us a very sobering and extensive list of fallen man’s now state or condition. First, Adam forfeited and lost all covenant interest in God. Adam could no longer claim or hope for the reward promised (eternal life). He fell under guilt and gave himself over to punishment, and broken fellowship with God. Secondly, Coxe writes that Adam was “rendered incapable of true happiness, inasmuch as he now apostatized from a covenant of friendship to a state of enmity against God and alienation from Him which is the necessary adjunct of wickedness.”  

God had told Adam that upon eating he would surely die (cf. Gen. 2:15-17). Upon the breach of covenant:

I. Adam fell under the dominion of sin
II. The image of God is now wholly defaced
III. Instead of original righteousness, now he is clothed with abominable filthiness and horrid deformity
IV. His mind is now covered with hellish darkness
V. He now has a hatred of God in his heart
VI. His affections are now vile and rebellious
VII. He is incapable of communion with God and the enjoyment of him

Thirdly, Coxe writes, “The curse of the law was immediately and only due to him. Nothing less than death, eternal death, and everlasting punishment was to be expected.

It is important to remember that all that has been said and pronounced upon Adam, is the reality for all of those who will be born from Adam. Adam, as Federal Head, can no longer give life, but only depravity, deformity, and death. We receive from Adam only what Adam can give. This is Paul’s argument in Romans 5:12-19: 

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned… For if by the one man’s offense many died… For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation… For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one… Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation… For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners (emphasis mine).

Notice Paul’s arguments here. Because of the one man, look at what all men now receive: sin, death, judgment, condemnation, and a sinful nature. This is the condition of human beings. This is why Paul can rightly say that there are none righteous, no not one, that there are none who do good, that there is no one who seeks after God, that all men are born dead in sins and trespasses, and all men by nature are children of wrath (cf. Rom. 3:10-12; Eph. 2:1-3). This is a reality because of the nature and condition of Adam that is given to His descendants. And, you are a descendant of Adam; therefore, you have sinned in Adam. 

Adam is not and cannot be our Savior. And, all who come from him cannot be our Savior. And, we desperately need a Savior. This is where, in the midst of sin, condemnation, and judgment God displays His mercy and grace in the pronouncement of a promise, a promise that would involve another Adam, a second Adam. One who would come not from the seed of man (Adam), but who would come from the seed of the women. God, upon the pronouncement of judgment in Genesis 3, He promises that one would come who would destroy the works of the devil, who would abolish sin and death, one who would recreate our deformity, and conform us into His perfect and spotless image. When we come back next month in our last part on the Covenant of Works, we will look at the mercy granted to fallen man and the promise of redemption. 

For the supremacy of Christ in all things,

Brother Matt