Adam Broke 10 Commandments in the Garden
March 31, 2015
What commandments did Adam break in the Garden when he and his wife ate from the tree which God commanded them not to eat from (Gen. 2:16-17; 3:6)? I believe he broke all ten commandments, not just one or two specific commandments (cf. James 2:10).
He broke the first commandment in his unbelief. As the Reformed have rightly noted, unbelief was Adam's first sin. He failed to love God, but instead showed sinful self-love. He was self-seeking. His sin included "unbelief, distrust, despair, pride, presumption, [and] cowardice." There was also a failure to depend upon the Holy Spirit.
He broke the second commandment. God was to be worshipped in a particular manner, which included what Adam was commanded to do, as well as what Adam was commanded not to do. But Adam transgressed the laws of proper worship. Adam tolerated false religion and did not (as prophet, priest, and king) guard the temple of God. He should have snapped the serpent's head off.
He broke the third commandment. As God's son, and God's image-bearer, Adam brought dishonour upon his Father. God must be given the pre-eminence by those who bear his name. Moreover, God's word - the Word by which he spoke to Adam and warned him - was not reverently used by Adam. He failed to speak true theology to the serpent.
He broke the fourth commandment. Adam's disobedience kept him from entering his eternal Sabbath rest. He was, like us, to make every effort to enter God's rest (Heb. 4:11). He did not "rest" in God when he allowed his wife to eat from the tree he was commanded not to eat from. He jeopardized his eternal rest, which is a violation of the Sabbath.
He broke the fifth commandment. Adam did not honor his Father. He would have had "long days" if he had honored his Father.
He broke the sixth commandment. Adam became a wicked murderer, like the devil, when he sinned against God (Rom. 5). He had a duty towards his posterity to give them life, but he gave them death instead.
He broke the seventh commandment. Adam did not show love to his wife when he stood by and let her speak with the devil. He should have protected Eve, but he did not.
He broke the eighth commandment. He allowed his wife to steal. She took what was not hers to take. He joined in the act of theft.
He broke the ninth commandment. He became like the father of lies (Jn. 8:44) by failing to speak the truth about God and uphold God's goodness when it was questioned. Adam should have discouraged the slander of Satan. He allowed a lie to be perpetuated when he allowed Eve to take the forbidden fruit!
He broke the tenth commandment. Adam was discontent with his own estate. He was discontent with what God gave to him. And coveted that which God had forbidden.
The above explains why Adam's apostasy from God was so evil. He did not merely make a mistake, but willfully sinned against God and his neighbour. In his unbelief, he thus broke all of God's commandments, not just one.
In our own sin, we rarely, if ever, break one commandment. Our sins almost always involve breaking several commandments at once. Moreover, our sins against the second table of the law are usually a failure in the first table of the law. When I deal with people who, for example, have trouble with the seventh commandment, my response is to deal with the first four commandments, and not just the seventh.
In the future, I plan to address how Christ kept all ten commandments in the "wilderness" in response to Adam's breaking of all ten commandments in the Garden.