Therefore, as by the offenseof one [Adam] judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousnessof one [Christ] the free gift came upon all men unto justificationof life. For as by one man's disobediencemany were made sinners, so by the obedienceof one shall many be made righteous. (Romans 5:18,19)
From the scriptures we learn that our first parents became separatedfrom the love of Godby disobeyingHis command notto eat of the fruitof the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Their separation from God’s love was revealed by God preventing them from partaking of the tree of life, a representation of the love of God.
God placed cherubimand a flaming swordat the tree of lifeto keep Adam and Eve from itsfruit. The cherubimwere sent by the Lord of Hostsas heralds and guardians of His decree. The flaming swordrepresented the word thatGod had spoken – as aconsuming fire– when He declared that if they ate of the forbiddenfruitthey would surelydie.
God did not liein telling our first parents they would die if they partook of thisforbidden fruit; for He is the God of truth. Satan, on the other hand, did lieto them in telling them they would not die. For, according to His word, God passed judgment upon Adam and Eve and they were cut off from the tree of life(His love), without which they could not live eternally.
Adam’s and Eve’s transgressionagainst God’s commandmentdid not affect just them. It impacted all future generations. It meant the whole human family would be born into a fallenand finitecondition. In the words of Paul, because Adam transgressed, sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.
To repair this broken relationship between God and mankind, Jesus atoned for the sins of theworld. He satisfiedand appeasedthe demands of divine justiceto make peacebetween God and those He had created in His image. In so doing, Jesus opened the way for divine mercyto claimall trulypenitentsouls and bring them back into the presenceand loveof their God.
Through His obediencein atoning for the sins of the whole world, Jesus fulfilled His heavenly Father’s willto be the waypreparedfrom the fallof mankindby which allpeople might be restored to God and partake of the tree of lifeeverlastingly. In testifying of this truth, Jesus declared, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
By His atonement, Jesus savedthe world from the first judgmentpronouncedupon Adam by which our first parents were shut outfrom the tree of life. Had He not redeemedthe world, all of us – from Adam to the last person born into his family– would have remained under that first judgmentand thus powerlessto come to God to abide in the provisions of His love.
By His shed blood, Jesus purchasedeach and every living creature, both men, women and children, who belong to the family of Adam. Had He not boughtus by shedding His precious blood,all the world would have remained eternally subjectto the devil – that same being who temptedand beguiledour first parents that he might captivatethem at his will.
But praise be to His glorious name, the Lamb of God, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, did prevailover that first judgmentthrough obedienceto His heavenly Father. By gaining victory over the devil, death,and thegrave, Jesus now has power to make intercessionfor us. He now has powerto raiseall the people of the earth from the deadto give each one an eternal reward.
Jesus is the Christ, the Savior of the world. He did not come into the world to condemnit; rather He came to save whosoeverbelieves on His namefrom the wrathto come upon all disobedience,i.e., upon all who do wickedly, upon liars, hypocrites, murderers, etc. Now, to His honor and glory, all who repentand cometo Christ will obtain mercyunto salvation.
According to the commandment of the Father, Jesus laid down His own life by the powerof His redemptionand took it up again by the powerof His resurrection. And because Jesus prevailed on our behalf, all the world has become subjectunto Him and will now give an accounting of their lives to Him for their deeds done in the body.
In honor to God’s justice and mercy, each of us will now be judged by Jesus for his or her own choices and decisions, not for the sin of Adam. Those who obey Him as the Wordof Godwill enter into eternal life, while those who remainin disobedienceand rebellionwill remainas if no redemptionhad been madeand will therefore remainseparated from God’slove.
Behold, he sendeth an invitation unto all men; for the arms of mercy are extended towards them, and he saith, Repent, and I will receive you; Yea, he saith, Come unto me and ye shall partake of the fruit of the tree of life; yea, ye shall eat and drink of the bread and the waters of life freely; Yea, come unto me and bring forth works of righteousness, and ye shall not be hewn down and cast into the fire; For behold, the time is at hand that whosoever bringeth forth not good fruit, or whosoever doeth not the works of righteousness, the same have cause to wail and mourn. (Alma 3:57-60)