God’s Plans For Adam And Eve

God’s wonderful plans or purposes for Adam and Eve are recorded in Genesis Chapters 1 and 2. One view regards these plans as God’s Covenant with Adam and Eve. The alternate view says God’s plans and purposes for them were not a covenant.

God’s plans for or covenant with Adam involved God’s:


         Word recorded in Genesis 1:26: “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Out likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’”

         Command in Genesis 1:28-29: “Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’ And God said, ‘See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.’”

         Word in Genesis 2:18: “And the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.’”

         Command in Genesis 2:16-17: “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, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.’” Note the above command is the only one containing a warning of punishment of death for disobedience to it. This death was both spiritual – in the sense of being cut off from God – and physical.


Possible Biblical proof of the Adamic Covenant


Some Bible teachers say that because the Hebrew word for “covenant” is not used in Genesis Chapters 1 and 2, this means God did not make a covenant with Adam. There are, however, three reasons which together may show God did make a covenant with Adam:


         A God-given covenant can be present even when the Hebrew word for it is not used. We see this in 2 Samuel 7:1-17. These verses refer to God making a covenant with David even though it does not use the specific Hebrew word for “covenant”. Later in verses such as 2 Samuel 23:5 and Psalm 89:3-4, the Hebrew word for “covenant” is used in relation to what God did earlier in 2 Samuel 7:1-17. Psalm 89:3-4 quotes what God said about the covenant He made with David in 2 Samuel 7: 1-17. Psalm 89:3-4 says: “I have made a covenant with My chosen, I have sworn to My servant David: ‘Your seed I will establish forever, and build up your throne to all generations.’”

         The essential features of a covenant are present in Genesis Chapters 1 and 2. First, there is a clear definition of the two parties involved in the covenant. Second, there is a binding set of conditions about the relationship between the two parties. Third, there is a clearly stated promise of punishment in relation to the breaking of the covenant by the party to whom it was given.

         In Romans 5:12-21, Paul speaks of the both Adam and Christ as being heads of groups of people they represent before God. This suggests Adam as representative head of the human race was involved in a covenant with God before he fell into sin.


Impossible to please God without faith


Hebrews 11:6 emphasises no-one can please God without trusting faith in Him: “But without faith it is impossible to please Him…”

The above verse implies how wrong is the common idea God’s plans for Adam and Eve were based only on responses of obedience or disobedience and did not have any relationship to faith or trust in Him. Obedience that does not have a dependant faith foundation is not pleasing to God. When Adam fell, he turned from faith to unbelief in God.


God’s nature expressed in His plans or covenant with Adam and Eve


God’s plans or purposes for Adam and Eve were an expression of His wonderful nature and character. These plans were a manifestation of His:


         loving Creator’s heart

         holiness – His absolute purity and separation from all evil

         righteousness through His declaring to Adam and Eve what was right and wrong for them

         supreme rule over all created beings

         judgement. As highest Judge, God decreed the punishment of spiritual and physical death for Adam and Eve if they chose evil. God’s judgements were actually a result of His twin roles as Supreme Ruler and Judge.


Some may argue that God’s plans for Adam and Eve were an expression of God’s grace. This was grace not in relation to sinners, but to those who deserve nothing from God. Others say that generosity is a better way to describe God’s attitude in this matter than grace.


Eternal life to Adam and Eve as a free gift


Adam and Eve received eternal life from God as a free gift and not as a deserved reward. Genesis 2:16-17 does not refer to earning eternal life through perfect obedience to a command but to losing eternal life as a result of the unbelief, rebellion, self-reliance, self-centredness, disobedience and other wrong attitudes associated with eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Adam and Eve already had received eternal life through the Holy Spirit living in them as a free gift of God’s generosity when they were created (see Genesis 1:26-27 and 2:7). By feeding from the tree of life, they continued to receive eternal life from God (see Genesis 3:22). The tree of life was a free gift of God’s generosity also. This is obvious from the fact God lovingly provided the tree of life for Adam and Eve before they were even created (compare Genesis 2:8-9 to 2:15-16). The tree of life was not a deserved reward for Adam and Eve’s obedience.

Genesis 2:16-17 reveals God wanted Adam and later Eve to continue to eat of all the trees in the garden including the tree of life but not the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. There is no mention in the early chapters of Genesis of Adam and Eve having to do anything to earn the eternal life. They had received eternal life at their creation and continued to partake of it through eating of the tree of life. All they had to do was partake and receive the eternal life God was freely giving.

In John 7:37-39, Jesus invites believers to drink of His “living water”. Revelations 21:6 and 22:17 refer to partaking freely of the water of life. Revelation 22:17 states: “And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come’ And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.” In the original Greek, the word “freely” in Revelation 21:6 and 22:17 is “dorean”. “Dorean” is derived from the Greek word “dorea” meaning “gift”. [1] The word “dorean” is also used in Romans 3:24 in the sense of God’s free gifts to us in Christ. Romans 3:24 says: “Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”

Everything God did for Adam and Eve before their Fall were acts of undeserved love and kindness. Even His warning they would spiritually and physically die if they sinned was an act of kindness.

Ephesians 2:9 proves God does not want any human to be able to boast about their actions: “Not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Romans 4:2 speaks similarly. 1 Corinthians 1:27-29, 1:31, 2 Corinthians 10:17 and Jeremiah 9:23-24 show God wants people to boast or glory only in Him and not in themselves about what they are and can do. Therefore, it is unbiblical to suggest God desired Adam and Eve to try to earn eternal life through obediences to Him.

The type of obedience God required from Adam and Eve was one based on the indwelling Presence of the Holy Spirit, the eternal life and righteous holy nature God had already imparted to them by undeserved generosity when they were created. Such obedience was based on faith in and love for God, not self-righteousness and the power of self. Before their Fall into sin, Adam and Eve had extremely dependent childlike faith in their Heavenly Father similar to what Jesus spoke of in Matthew 18:3-4: “And said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven’.”

In Genesis 1:28-29, God commanded Adam to do a number of other things. But Adam and Eve’s obedience to these commands was not a means of deserving anything from God, but instead was an expression of childlike dependent faith in Him based on and empowered by the unmerited kindness He had already shown to them. Without God’s power, Adam and Eve would never have been able to obey Him.

Adam and Eve had the God-given power to love Him and love others perfectly as a result of already having His eternal life. No human could love God and others perfectly without first having received His eternal life by His Spirit.



The effects of disobeying God’s plans continued after the Fall


We can debate about whether and which aspects of God’s plans for Adam and Eve or of the possible Adamic Covenant continued after their Fall. We may argue that God’s command in Genesis 1:28 about humans being fruitful, multiplying, subduing the Earth and having dominion over all things is seen in Genesis 9:1-2 to have related to humans after the Fall also. We might teach that God’s Word in Genesis 2:18 about a man having a wife continued after the Fall as well.

Whatever the truth is about the above debatable matters, it is certain the effects of Adam and Eve disobeying God’s plans continued after the Fall. For example, every human born after the Fall has had Adam’s sin and guilt debited to them (see Romans 5:12-19). Also, the punishments pronounced by God to Adam for Adam’s sin were passed on to all his fallen descendants. These punishments were physical death and spiritual death. Spiritual death is separation from God.



Bible Study Questions


1.         List the various aspects of God’s plans for or covenant with Adam.

2.         What possible Biblical proof is there that God may have made a covenant with Adam?

3.         How does Hebrews 11:6 apply to God’s plans for Adam and Eve?

4.         Did Adam and Eve receive eternal life as a free gift or a deserved reward?

5.         What effects of Adam and Eve disobeying God’s commands continue after the Fall?



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