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Shorter Catechism

𝒬 12. What special act of providence did God exercise toward man in the estate wherein he was created?

𝒜. When God had created man, he entered into a covenant of life with him, upon condition of perfect obedience; forbidding him to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good a.nd evil, upon pain of death.1

  1. Genesis 2:16-17

    And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

    James 2:10

    For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. (ESV)

Larger Catechism

𝒬 20. What was the providence of God toward man in the estate in which he was created?

𝒜. The providence of God toward man in the estate in which he was created, was the placing him in paradise, appointing him to dress it, giving him liberty to eat of the fruit of the earth;1 putting the creatures under his dominion,2 and ordaining marriage for his help;3 affording him communion with himself;4 instituting the Sabbath;5 entering into a covenant of life with him, upon condition of personal, perfect, and perpetual obedience,6 of which the tree of life was a pledge;7 and forbidding to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, upon the pain of death.8

  1. Genesis 2:8

    And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed.

    Genesis 2:15-16

    The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, (ESV)

  2. Genesis 1:28

    And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (ESV)

  3. Genesis 2:18

    Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

    Matthew 19:3-9

    And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one's wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”

    Ephesians 5:31

    “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” (ESV)

  4. Genesis 1:26-29

    Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

    So God created man in his own image,
    in the image of God he created him;
    male and female he created them.

    And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.

    Genesis 3:8

    And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. (ESV)

  5. Genesis 2:3

    So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.

    Exodus 20:11

    For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. (ESV)

  6. Genesis 2:16-17

    And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

    Galatians 3:12

    But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.”

    Romans 10:5

    For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. (ESV)

  7. Genesis 2:9

    And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

    Genesis 3:22-24

    Then 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 from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life. (ESV)

  8. Genesis 2:17

    but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

    James 2:10

    For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. (ESV)


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Based on Calendar of Readings in the Westminster Standards by Dr. Joey Pipa. Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.