IN THE BEGINNING GOD (11)
During the Sunday service Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh preached from the Book of Genesis chapter 3. She said that Genesis chapter 3 is absolutely essential in understanding the Bible and the history of man. Here we see how sin entered humanity. For the first time, we are presented with the Gospel of Christ. If you study the history of man, there is no better explanation of why things happen the way they do, except you believe the doctrine of the fall of man and the doctrine of the original sin.
THE FALL OF MAN also called the fall of Adam, or simply the Fall, is a term used in Christianity to describe the transition of the first man and woman from a state of innocent obedience to God to a state of guilty disobedience. The doctrine of the Fall comes from a biblical interpretation of Genesis, chapters 1-3.
THE ORIGINAL SIN: The fall of man affected all humanity and even the creation. Adam broke God’s law. He sinned! He was our representative on earth. This sin has affected all humanity. All Adam’s descendants are born sinners. This first sin affected the whole man, body, mind, emotions and will. It corrupted man. Thru sin, sickness and death entered humanity. Sin reveals itself in the mind mostly as unbelief; as fear and in as pride! “As it is written: There is none righteous, no, not one… all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:10, 23).
THE GOSPEL IN GENESIS 3
“And Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin and clothed them. Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put 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 to till the ground from which he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life” (Gen 3:20-24).
Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible. That includes the Book of Genesis! In Genesis chapter 3 we witness the greatest tragedy and the greatest hope of mankind! It is a wonderful chapter! The Gospel of Christ Crucified and Resurrected is introduced here. The Gospel means Good News from heaven! God the Father sent His only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to take man’s sin and die on behalf of man! This is the word of pure Grace! The Gospel tells us what God what has done, not what we have done to save ourselves! As Adam and Eve could not cover themselves with leaves, so man cannot cover his sin. The only way to save man is thru faith in Christ Crucified! We are saved by Faith alone, by Grace alone, by the Word of God alone, thru Christ alone, and to the glory of God alone! That is why no man can boast of his salvation! Glory to God!
The chapter starts with sorrow and ends with hope and joy! This is the power of the Gospel! Many people, even some Christians, reject the story in Genesis 1-3. They say that Adam was not a real man but a symbol. The word ‘Adam’ means ‘man’. It appears 27 times in the Bible. The truth is that Adam and Eve were real people! This is their story! They lived about six thousand years ago. The Word of God says that our Lord Jesus is the direct descendant of Adam, called the son of God! “Now Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph … the son of Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God” (Lk 3:23, 38). Job confirms the curse upon Adam! He assumes that Adam sinned in his heart because he wanted to please Eve and was afraid to displease her. “If I have covered my transgressions as Adam, By hiding my iniquity in my bosom, Because I feared the great multitude, And dreaded the contempt of families, So that I kept silence… Then let thistles grow instead of wheat, And weeds instead of barley.” The words of Job are ended” (Job 31:33, 34, 40).
What do we see in Genesis 3? God displays His Love and Grace! He makes a way for man to be saved! God acts and man reacts!!!
*GOD ACTS IMMEDIATELY/ GOD’S LOVE IN ACTION! SALVATION WAS PLANNED AND PREORDAINED!
Immediately the fall happens, God displays His plan of salvation prepared before the foundation of the world. “Known to God from eternity are all His works” (Acts 15:18). This is because God is God of salvation! God is a Redeemer! This is His character! This is the Gospel! This is the proof that salvation was planned by God the Father before the foundation of the world. God knew that satan will temp man and he will fall. Even before the foundation of the world, God the Son has agreed to die for the fallen man. “All who dwell on the earth will worship him (the Dragon and the Beast), whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev 13:8). Here you see God’s Love in action! “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8). God reveals His hatred against sin and love towards sinners. God demonstrates (proves, manifests, exhibits in public) HIS OWN LOVE towards men. This sacrificial love in Christ conquers death and all curses! “Put me like a seal on your heart, Like a seal on your arm; For love is as strong as death, Jealousy is as severe and cruel as Sheol (the place of the dead). Its flashes are flashes of fire, [A most vehement flame] the very flame of the LORD!” (SS 8:6; AMP)
*GOD PROVIDES ATONMENT FOR THE SALVATION OF SINFUL MAN
Salvation requires atonement. This is a basic doctrine in the Christian faith. In Hebrew, the word ‘atonement’ means ‘co cover’. Atonement refers to the needed reconciliation between sinful mankind and the holy God. Sin is separation between an offended God and religious man. This reconciliation is possible only through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Man sinned! Jesus, the innocent Holy Lamb of God dies as a substitution for man’s sin. Justification by faith is possible only because of this atonement provided by the Holy God. Jesus Christ on the cross absorbs the wrath of God. Salvation is a transaction between the Father and the Son. The father pours out his anger towards sin on Christ, and his wrath is satisfied. This is how Christ is our ‘propitiation’. “But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness” (Rom 3:21-25). There is need for sacrifice! Blood must be shed! God’s law says: “Without shedding of blood there is no remission” (Heb 9:22).
In the Garden, God manifests His Grace by killing the lamb and covers the guilty pair with bloody skins. The same God who was offended is the One who provides the sacrifice! Initially they were naked but knew no shame. Now they were ashamed. They feel sexual lust and shame now. God covers their guilt and shame of sin with the bloody skins of the sacrificial lamb. God covers them physically and spiritually with the Blood of His Son. God did not use the wool of the Lamb but its skin. It means that the Lamb died. The Lamb is the innocent substitute! God choose the animal, and God killed the animal. God is the Priest and the Sacrifice! God is the first Killer and the First Savior! This is a wonderful picture of our Lord! This is the first death in the world! Abel had faith and did the same. Cain despised this act of God! Noah, Job, Moses etc all offered animals to God! All the sacrifices in the Old Testament start from here. God is angry when His people did not offer Him bloody sacrifice, or they are offered them to idols. God provides the sacrifice to replace Isaac (Gen 22)! Oh, the power of the Gospel!
*GOD PREVENTS MAN TO GO TO HELL! SALVATION IS SURE AND ETERNAL!
Even after the fall, for some time, Adam and Eve lived in the Garden. God restrains them so that they should not be tempted the second time by the devil and eat from the fruit of the Tree of life! God does not want them to eat from the tree of life. Because they will be eternally evil. They will be in hell forever! This is because now they know the reality of death. The carcass of the lamb is there before their eyes. God provides atonement and God protects them from further falling! Cherubim, guards the gate to the Garden. This is the first time we see angels! The driving out of Adam and Eve from the Garden is for their protection and hope. Rejection from the paradise is another manifestation of Grace! The gate is covered by the cherubim with the flaming sword. It was on the East of the Garden. Cherubim guard the throne and the holiness of God! It means that Paradise was to the West. Every sunset was a reminder of a gate shut! They cannot go back to the Garden. Adam and Eve are naked. This nakedness is corrupted. They experience fear, shame, and sexual lust (impurity). This is the price for ‘being like God’. Nobody else saw them. They were embarrassed in front of God. God covered them with the skin. This is an act of mercy! The doctrine of atonement! “We are clothed with Christ!” (Gal 3:27). God expelled them. To protect them from hell. Adam lost peace to find the Prince of Peace! Adam lost joy to find true Joy! They have hope for heaven!!!! Hope is the anchor for the soul. They are anchored in heaven (Heb 6:19). There is hope for Adam’s descendants! About our Lord it is said: “You are the most handsome of Adam’s descendants; grace has anointed your lips; therefore, God has blessed you forever” (Ps 45:2; ISV). “Your mercy is so precious, O God, that Adam’s descendants take refuge in the shadow of your wings” (Ps 36:7, God’s Word Translation). “Let them give thanks to the LORD because of his mercy. He performed his miracles for Adam’s descendants” (Ps 107:8; GWT)
*ADAM AND EVE REPENT OF THEIR SIN AND NOW HAVE FAITH IN GOD
Faith is believing the truth, the Word of God! When they were created, Adam and Eve believed what God said to them. Later, Satan came with lies; he said that God is a liar! Eve was deceived and believed the lie. Adam rebelled and believed the lie too. Their faith in God was destroyed.
But now, something happens! After they were sent away from the Garden, their attitude towards God and satan dramatically changed! They now know that satan lied; that he deceived them. Their sufferings forced them to run back to God! They now believe God’s Word. There is pain for the woman, in her relationships with her husband and children. The man has pain in the work of his hands. But God’s Grace is working! Faith comes into their hearts thru the pain of the curse!!!! Adam repents of his rebellion and now he sees that Eve will be the mother of all living! Eve means LIFE! Her seed will one day crush the head of the devil who decided them! This is his faith now! This is his hope! Even Eve now believes! She too has a new living hope! They were looking forward towards the Cross where Christ will die for their sins! This is amazing! All unbelievers are born to believe Satan’s lies. After God send them out from the Garden, they started feeling sick and weak. Immediately they repented. They now trusted God. Adam named her Eve (Life). She accepts her name from her husband. From now on she will be the Mother of all Living! By this act, Adam, now takes back his position of leadership, as her husband and pastor! Adam believes that the promise of fruitfulness and dominion was not destroyed by the fall. Adam knew that Eve will be a mother. They also knew now that her seed will destroy satan! By calling his wife ‘mother of living’ Adam confirmed God’s curse upon satan. He has hope that one day, the paradise lost will be restored. Eve means life! Adam has faith that his wife will be a mother. This is a prophetic statement. At that time Eve had no child. This is a proof that Adam has repented and goes to God’s side! Adam believed the salvation God has promised! I am paraphrasing Adam: “I believe You God! You always speak the truth! I believe that my wife’s son will destroy the devil who has led us into sin! I believe that God always wins!” Adam’s faith becomes his testimony that he is now saved! “Now faith is the substance (assurance) of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible” (Heb 11:1-3). God is pleased with and always approved the men who trusted in Him! Adam is the first man of faith, the first man of God! Adam and Eve now hate satan! Their eyes are open to see the height from which they have fallen! As Eve will experience pain in labor, so also Faith is born thru pain! There is fear, sadness, regret, and shame. But against all odds, Faith is born in this sinner’s heart! This is the work of Grace! Adam and Eve choose to believe God now! By faith, they rebel against their new master, satan!
*ADAM HAS HOPE OF SALVATION
God told Adam that if he disobeys, he will die ‘that same day’ (Gen 2:17). You may say that Adam did not die that day! But according to God’s ‘eternal calendar’, “with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Pet 3:8). Adam lived 93o years. That means he died ‘that came day’. Never try to understand God using your human mind. God is always right! Adam lived a long and hard life of toil. Eve became a mother of many. For her too, it was hard. She saw her first son killing his brother. Later, their descendants will be killed by the flood. Only 8 were saved. Even so, Adam and Eve lived in hope! Why did God wanted Adam to live in hope? Because Hope is the best detergent to wash away the stain of sin! “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 Jn 3:2, 3). Hope purifies the heart! As you believe in the second coming of Christ, because of hope, you will repent of all sin, to become like Jesus who you will meet one day! Hope changes us and our character. It surely changed Adam and Eve! Their shame was washed away by the ‘soap’ of hope of glory! “We glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Rom 5:3-5). The chapter that started with the greatest tragedy in the world, ends with the greatest Grace and Hope! God loves to save sinners! May we never lose our wonder!!!
Come to Jesus! If God saved Adam and Eve, He will save you too!!
*GOD IS OUR ONLY SAVIOR
God, by nature is a Savior. He saves people from sin and from the consequences of sin. There is no other ‘god’ or religion that claims to save sinners by Grace. In Genesis 3 God reveals Himself as God the Savior. He also reveals Himself as a God of mercy and grace!
God the Father announces that He will save the scattered sheep of His Flock! “For thus says the Lord God: “Indeed I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock on the day he is among his scattered sheep, so will I seek out My sheep and deliver them from all the places where they were scattered on a cloudy and dark day” (Ez 34:11,12)!!!!! Apostle Paul says: “when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Tit3:4-7). God the Father planed salvation. God the Son executed the plan! “The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Lk 19:10)
*GOD SAVES US FOREVER! GOD IS OUR SAVIOR AND OUR KEEPER!
We are sealed for heaven! The doctrine of the eternal security of the believer! Grace saves you and Grace keeps you! This is the Gospel we believe and preach! God is able to save you and to keep you till you arrive in heaven! “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling (falling), And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen” (Jude 1:24, 25). “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:38, 39). To God be all the glory! Worship the Lord!