For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound. Romans 5:19, 20.
Adam did not set his mind in defiance against God, nor did he in any way speak against God; he simply went directly contrary to His express command. And how many today are doing the very same thing, and their guilt is of much greater magnitude because they have the example of Adam's experience in disobedience and its terrible results to warn them of the consequences of transgressing the law of God. So they have clear light upon this subject, and no excuse for their guilt in denying and disobeying God's authority. Adam did not stop to calculate the result of his disobedience.
We can stand down here,...and with the aftersight we are privileged to have, we can see what it means to disobey God's commandments. Adam yielded to temptation and as we have the matter of sin and its consequences laid so distinctly before us, we can read from cause to effect and see the greatness of the act is not that which constitutes sin; but the disobedience of God's expressed will, which is a virtual denial of God, refusing the laws of His government. The happiness of man is in his obedience to the laws of God. In his obedience to God's law he is surrounded as with a hedge and kept from the evil.
No man can be happy and depart from God's specified requirements, and set up a standard of his own which he decides he can safely follow. Then there would be a variety of standards to suit the different minds, and the government taken out of the Lord's hands and human beings grasp the reins of government. The law of self is erected, the will of man is made supreme; and when the high and holy will of God is presented to be obeyed, respected, and honored the human will wants its own way...to do its own promptings, and there is a controversy between the human agent and the divine.
The fall of our first parents broke the golden chain of implicit obedience of the human will to the divine. Obedience has no longer been deemed an absolute necessity. The human agents follow their own imaginations which the Lord said of the inhabitants of the old world were evil and that continually. The Lord Jesus declares, “I have kept my Father's commandments.” How? As a man. Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God. To the accusations of the Jews He stood forth in His pure, virtuous, holy character and challenged them, “Which of you convinceth me of sin?”—Manuscript 1, 1892.
From Reflecting Christ - Page 56
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