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Mercy and a Warning

July 29, 2019
By Martin Luther

The LORD God said, . . . "Behold, the man has become like one of Us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—" therefore the LORD God sent him out of the garden of Eden.

GENESIS 3:22-23

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Mercy and a Warning

Why does God deal so harshly with wretched Adam? Why, after being deprived of all his glory and falling into sin and death, is he further vexed by his Creator with such bitter scorn? ... My answer is: Adam had the promise of mercy; with this he ought to have lived content. But to make him fear future sin and beware of it, this harsh reminder is given him. . .. By His very Word, God calls attention to both past and future evils. It is not as though He were pleased by so sad a fall, for then He would not warn Adam in this way but would keep silence. What He wants is that man should long for the lost image of God and begin to hate sin as the cause of this great evil, and that Adam should warn his descendants about what followed after sin, namely, that when he was deprived of his mind by Satan and believed that he would be like God, he became like Satan himself. . . . So in this passage Adam and all his descendants are warned in various ways; after receiving the hope of life through the promise of the Seed, they should be on their guard lest they sin and lose it again.

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