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Phone: (888) 602-3456
Genesis chapter three is not only the account of Adam’s original sin and the fall of the human race, but it is the first recorded account of God’s saving operations of grace toward chosen sinner’s in Christ. After that terrible fall and spiritual death of our first parents in the garden, God Himself came seeking the lost sinner to save. Here the Spirit of God teaches us several things about salvation. Here are six things that God must and shall do in the salvation of His elect.
GOD MUST COME TO THE SINNER
“And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day” (v 8). First, notice the one-sided nature of grace. God acted first and came to them. Salvation is of the LORD, from start to finish. If God had waited for Adam and Eve to make the first move, they would have remained lost. There is none that seeks after God by nature (Rom 3:11). The fall made our entire race helplessly lost and totally depraved. Unless God intervenes in sovereign mercy, stooping down to where the sinner is in his lost condition, there is no hope for any sinner to be saved.
How then did God come to them? It says, “They heard the voice of the LORD God walking.” This was none other but the blessed Son of God, the eternal Word, appearing in human form. God deals with sinners in mercy only by His Word, through the one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus. “The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). Christ came on purpose, walking “in the garden in the cool of the day,” and they heard the Voice of God. This is a picture of how God opens the ears of dead sinners to hear His voice in the gospel. Eden is clearly a picture of the gospel and of God’s covenant of grace in Christ. Adam was created in the image of Christ as “the figure of Him that was to come,” the surety of the garden (Gen 1:26; Rom 5:14). He was commanded “to dress it and to keep it” by his obedience to God (Gen 2:15-16). Adam fell into sin and was cast out, but the garden was unaffected (Gen 3:24). How come? God first trusted in Christ to preserve paradise as our Divine Surety, and to restore what Adam lost (Eph 1:12). Therefore, God placed a flaming sword at the east of the garden to preserve the way of the tree of life. Our dear Savior opened the way by His precious blood, quenching the flaming sword of God’s justice (Heb 10:19-20). He entered into the holiest by a new and living way, promising us, “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God” (Rev 2:7). Who is he that overcomes, “but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 Jn 5:5). So Christ comes to chosen sinners in the gospel garden of God’s grace. And also He comes “in the cool of the day,” or “in the wind of the day.” The Spirit of God is the Divine Wind of God’s omnipotent grace. He regenerates dead sinners, causing us to hear the Voice of God in the gospel of Christ (Jn 3:7-8). This is the very first work of grace that God must perform. Christ must command the hearing ear, saying, “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear” (Matt 11:15).
THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD
When Adam and Eve heard the Voice of the LORD God, they “hid themselves from the presence of the LORD” (v 8). When God spoke in power, they immediately realized that fig leaf aprons were insufficient coverings for the all-seeing presence of the LORD. God exposed their guilt and the vanity of their self-righteous works. So they hid themselves in fear. They trembled at the presence of the LORD. Although it’s clear that the LORD came in gentle mercy to reconcile them, the effect of God’s saving presence was godly fear. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom (Prov 9:10).
How does this reverential fear manifest itself? It says that Adam and Eve “hid themselves among the trees of the garden” (v 8). God’s saints are called “trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD” (Isa 61:3). They are planted in Christ by faith. And God’s saving presence is among the assembly of the saints (Matt 18:20). God always brings the objects of mercy into the place where Salvation resides (Isa 46:13). Fear drove them into the trees, and it is godly fear that causes the sinner to seek mercy where mercy is found. That exclusive place is where the gospel is preached, where God’s saints meet together to worship the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor 1:21).
A DIVINE, EFFECTUAL, PERSONAL CALL
The LORD God did not allow the guilty pair to remain in hiding among the trees. The LORD brings His own into the Church assembly, but He will not let them find false comfort in empty religion, while hiding from His presence. Religion without the presence of Christ is vain and only adds to condemnation. God must issue a divine, personal call. “And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?” (Gen 3:9). The LORD knew well of Adam’s condition, and where he was hiding, but He must cause Adam to realize the truth by a powerful call (Ps 29:4-9). God always gets a sinner lost before He saves him. Christ is the Good Shepherd. He calls His own sheep by name, and leads them out (Jn 10:2-5); out of fear and hiding, out of sin’s bondage and curse.
CONFESSION OF SIN, SWEETLY FORCED
Then the LORD God gently forced Adam to confess his sin. How do we know that this was a gentle conviction? It’s clear in the way God spoke to him with such condescending mercy. “And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?” (v 11). Clearly the LORD knew that Adam maliciously disobeyed, but instead of coming in fury to execute judgment, He gently laid this question on Adam’s heart. The LORD tenderly caused a confession of sin, because the God of all grace was ready to forgive his sin for Christ’s sake. Christ is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Ps 86:5).
Adam confessed, “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat” (v 12). Adam’s confession was so sinful and inadequate, filled with hypocrisy. So it is with God’s people. Even of our repentance, we need to repent. But it’s the grace of Christ that brings us to repentance. Repentance is not our salvation. Christ is all our Salvation. God freely gives repentance and remission of sins for His Name’s sake alone, not because we ever for a second merit it or deserve it (Tit 3:5-6).
THE GOSPEL RECEIVED BY FAITH
They received the promise of the gospel (v 15). God promised to send the Seed of woman to crush the serpent’s head. Christ is the Seed of woman, the virgin-born Son of God. He crushed Satan’s power through His death on the cross as our divine Substitute (Heb 2:14). Adam and Eve heard the gospel of Christ crucified and received Him by faith. How do we know this? What was the result of the gospel believed?
GOD CLOTHED THEM WITH CHRIST
“Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them” (v 21). They received the righteousness of God by faith. They were justified freely by grace, having received the Spirit of adoption (Rom 8:15; Gal 4:4-6).
God alone made the clothing. He sacrificed the innocent victim and took its skin. He alone put the coats on them and did clothe them in tender mercy. The guilty sinners simply received the free gift of Christ’s righteousness, because of the mighty, effectual, irresistible operations of God’s sovereign grace (Eph 2:8-9). By grace are you saved!