Trinity Covenant RCUS, Colorado Springs
Food, Beauty, Godlikeness.
“Ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” Satan to Eve in Genesis 3
It is the glory of man that he wants to be like God. He was created for this purpose, to be the image of God. Even after the fall of Adam, something of the image of God remains, according to Genesis 6:6, 1Cor. 11:6; James 3:9. Man ought to strive to be like God for the elect have been predestinated to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ [Rom. 8:29], who is the image of the invisible God [Col. 1:15].
It is also the shame of man that he wants to be like God, for he does not seek God in Jesus Christ. Because of this he imagines that he can be like God in his own right. He therefore seeks the gifts of God without seeking the God of the gifts. It was so in the temptation of Adam and is so until this day.
Adam saw that the Tree in the midst of the Garden of Eden was good for food. But this was not the cause of the temptation. Adam was not hungry. God had filled the Garden with an abundance of wonderful things. It was not sinful for Adam to desire to eat good things, but it was sinful for him to eat what God had forbidden him to eat.
Neither was it sinful for Adam to enjoy beautiful things. The fruit of the forbidden tree was pleasing to the eye, but God had filled the earth with beautiful things and had given Adam a heart and eye to appreciate them. It was not sinful for Adam to desire beauty, but it was sinful for him to desire the fruit that had been forbidden.
Neither was it sinful for Adam to want to be like God. He had been created for this. We might say that creation is a “visibilization” of the invisible, for the invisible things of God are displayed in creation, according to Paul in Romans 1, so that they are clearly seen by men who are without excuse.
Men bear in their own nature the desire to be like God. This is good, and the gift of God. But man desires to be like God in his own right. He is not content to be an image, but strives to be his own God, to decide matters in his own right and to evaluate good and evil on his own, not as the image of God. This is his shame, for instead of worshipping the true, living, immutable, invisible, and infinite God, he imagines a God in his own image to his own confusion.
Satan’s subtlety was to attack man at the point of man’s greatest glory—that he is the image of God. Because Adam failed in the temptation, sin and death came upon all men. What man lost in Adam was regained for the elect in Jesus Christ, the Last Adam.