Conditional Promises, by W J Berry
God is not Obligated to Man by Conditional Promises
Religious teachers for hundreds of years have been putting forth the idea that God made a conditional covenant with Adam, thereby leaving the eternal destiny in the hands of the creature, the man Adam. This was not true.
It is either true or false. If it is true, then the eternal destiny of the Adamic race rested entirely on the conditional act of Adam. If it is false, then the popular religious teaching, including that of Christendom, is guilty of teaching and preaching a far-reaching error.
Referring to the creation of Adam, the word says, “the creature was made…by reason of him [God] who has subjected the same in hope.” (Rom. 8:20) When God created and formed the first man he was made upright and without sin, but he did not possess immortal life; nor is it intimated anywhere in Scripture that by his first disobedience he would lose immortality or eternal life, as he had neither.
When God placed Adam in the garden, He subjected him to the fall, and informed him that when, or in the day he committed this offense of the divine command, he would die; that was the death of the Adamic man which “passed upon all men.” (Rom. 5:12)
It is prevalent teaching, based on the first error, that when Adam fell he disobeyed a conditional commandment and lost the immortal life he regains in Christ. This is not true. Christ, the Son of God said: “I am come that they would have life, and that they would have it more abundantly.” (John. 10:10)
Speaking of His sheep (v. 28) He said: “I give to them eternal life.” Referring to this same life Paul wrote: “To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life.” (Rom. 2:7) This word means deathless, incorruptible LIFE. Adam in his best estate did not possess this
kind of life.
God the Creator did not make any such conditional covenant with Adam with a promise of life—either temporal or eternal FOR his obeying a command. Neither did God ever promise any of Adam’s posterity any life, blessings eternal FOR his obeying a commandment or law given since Adam’s fall. It was then, and remains God’s absolute sovereign right to both command and punish His creatures in consequence of any failure. He is never obligated any time or in any sense to His creatures.
Religious work-mongers continually quote as conditional such scriptures as Isaiah 1:19: “If you be willing and obedient ye shall eat the good of the land.” This gracious promise was given to a sinful, rebellious, unworthy people, to be bestowed out of pure grace, and not in payment for any service
to God the Giver. So with all of God’s promises, commands, blessings, mercies and savings.
It must and should therefore be clearly understood and freely acknowledged by every sin-convicted redeemed (no others can) that from Adam to the end, there are none in nature or grace—that could ever, by word or deed, be able to earn the very least favor of Almighty God. Our Lord Himself made all this plain when He said: “Does he thank the servant because he did the things that were commanded him? Likewise ye, when ye shall have done all these things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants; we have done that which was our duty to do.” (Luke 17:10)
How presumptuous then, is it for depraved sinners of Adam’s race to believe and teach others to expect they will or can receive any favor of God—either in providence or in grace—apart from His own good will and unconditional right to bestow it. This being so, how utterly pharisaical and confusing, is the whole present work-monger system of men. It is difficult to believe those who teach this error, have yet to see themselves for what they are before a holy sovereign Almighty God.