An Illustration from the A-Team

If a master commands a slave to do a job, and that slave intentionally throws himself into a ditch from which he knows he cannot escape, then that slave is still responsible for not doing the job which his master commanded him to do even though he is unable to do the job now that he is inescapably trapped in a ditch.


Pardon the antiquated reference to masters and slaves, but this is the illustration Anselm (from the 11thCentury A.D.) uses to describe man’s current state of guilt before God. God has given us the responsibility and privilege of glorifying him; he, in fact, gave it to Adam from the beginning. Adam went and intentionally threw himself into a state where he was unable to do so.  As Paul says in Romans 8, those that are in the flesh cannot please God.  Therefore, even though mankind is unable to glorify God due to the ditch of sin into which he has cast himself, he is still responsible to do so since man intentionally put himself in a position where he is unable to do so.


It’s a good explanation of what our great problem is.  The choice that Adam freely made in the garden, being a perfect man without sin, is the same choice you and I would have made were it us instead of Adam in the garden.  The best that man could do was to choose to transgress God’s very clear and simple law. “Don’t eat that fruit because the day you eat it, you will die.” 


This is why we so desperately need Jesus.  He came to undo what Adam did and what all of us are now plagued with. Jesus restored to God the honor that Adam pilfered, and now he feely offers to those hopelessly stuck in the ditch of sin/death/hell the life that Adam threw away.


Jesus is SO amazing! Soli Deo Gloria!