Eternal Covenant Chapter 3

Preaching the Word of God

God’s Promise … Chapter 3…..God’s Covenant

It (Seed of Eve) shall bruise thy (Satan’s) head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

We saw earlier that God told Adam, that if he ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil he would die. In the sequence of events that followed that statement, Satan deceived Eve into disobeying God. Then Eve led Adam to disobey. This disobedience caused Adam and Eve to be separated from God’s close fellowship and this event initiated physical and spiritual death as punishment for sin.

Before they disobeyed God, they were in perfect fellowship with God, they were naked and we were not ashamed. They walked and talked with God in the cool of the day. After their disobedience their fellowship was broken, they realized their nakedness and tried to cover it up, and were afraid of God. They even hid when God came. When questioned by God, Adam said he knew he was naked (sin exposed) before God and was afraid.

The account of Adam and Eve’s “Fall” is brief, however, the remainder of the Bible discusses its consequences. They fell into sin by choice. Disobeying God’s command is sin!

1Jo 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

They fell from God’s protection and provision. Their sin led to separation from God. This event is called the “Fall” because the relationship with God was broken. While Eve ate first, Adam is declared the original sinner. Through Adam’s disobedience, sin entered the entire human race. All since Adam have sinned and are considered (depraved). Adam’s sin and God’s punishment have spread to everyone, for everyone has sinned by choice, all are deprived (all of mankind, total depravity of the human race).

Satan subjected Eve to the desire of the flesh, the eyes, and the pride of life. Eve was convinced of Satan’s lies. The fruit looked delicious and would make her wise. She ate the fruit and gave some to Adam, who was with her. He ate it also. Notice what Eve did: She looked, she took, she ate, and she gave. The battle is often lost at first look.

Temptation often begins by simply seeing something you want. Are we struggling with temptation because we have not learned that looking is the first step toward sin? We need to learn from the life of Joseph and flee temptation.

By deception, Satan created doubt and desire, Eve disobeyed, and death came! In Hosea, we find God referring to this event (the Fall) as Adam breaking a covenant (relationship) when He said Israel like Adam, has broken the covenant because they were unfaithful to me.

God is faithful to His word. He said eating of the tree of knowledge would bring death, the Bible says that death entered the world through Adam and that death has reigned from the time of Adam even without the written law. Man was still accountable for his sin because God had left a testimony in creation as well as in every human’s conscience.

Adam and Eve’s sin brought judgment upon them, just as our sin brings judgment upon us.  But, Christ’s act of righteousness can make all people right in God’s sight and can give them eternal life. Just as  Adam disobeyed God, so has everyone since Adam.

Isa 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way, and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

But because Christ obeyed God and went to the cross, many people will be made right by faith in Christ. God’s law was given so that all people could see their sins. Just as sin rules over all people and brings them death, God’s wonderful kindness can rule instead, and give us right standing with God and results in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. It is by grace through faith that we are saved unto good works that God has for us.

We have seen that the covenant revelation initiated through Adam is completed in the final revelation through Christ. That is Christ paid the sin debt of death. Also, we see that the Covenant revelation (death) to Adam and Eve continued unto Moses even though the law had not been written, only spoken. This revelation (penalty) of death for sin is still in effect and will continue until Christ’s Second Coming.

Through Adam’s death came “to all”, through Christ life is made available “to all” by His resurrection. Adam and Christ are revealed as the two bookends to God’s Everlasting Covenant. God’s Everlasting Covenant revelation started with Adam and includes Noah, Abraham, Moses, Israel, and David, and ends with Christ and the Church.

A Promise of Life and Death

The Lord gave Adam a warning that he was not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Eve had seen the fruit of the tree and that it looked good to the eye and believed that it would make her wise. She took the fruit and ate and then gave some to Adam, which he ate.

Adam’s sin was willful disobedience to God’s covenant. He disobeyed a plain command. This willful disobedience action by Adam displays God’s delegated freedom to man. God had granted dominion to Adam, which implies that God granted Adam the ability to reason and make choices. Adam was both a rational (ability to think) and volitional (ability to choose) being. Adam had been created without sin, had not yet been marred by sin, but chose to sin by a purposeful act of his God-given freedom.

God was not surprised! We know from scripture that God knew in advance that this was going to happen, yet God did not force or coerce Adam to take that action. God does not tempt us to sin. Adam decided by his own free will (own volition) to disobey. Not only is man a rational and volitional being, but he is also an emotional being. This disobedient act led to an emotional response from Adam of fear and guilt. The Bible says, that they covered themselves with fig leaves and hid from God. When called them out of hiding Adam said that he was hiding because he was afraid.

This simple story of Adam and Eve’s sin shows us that sin has a consequence of a broken relationship with God and others. We find that Adam and Eve covered up and hid because they were afraid. They blamed each other when God called them out. In this story, we find both the process of sin (deceit, doubt, desire, disobedience, and death) and the consequences (guilt, fear, hiding, blaming, and cover-up).

The Promise

We have seen the sin of Adam. The Bible teaches that all have sinned, this leads to a doctrine that says all men are sinners. All are depraved. One way of looking at depravity is that all have sinned. Another place Scripture states man is like sheep and all have gone astray. One understanding of total depravity is that all people are sinners (everyone depraved), but each is not total depraved (no knowledge of God) since God has left a testimony in every person’s conscience that there is a God. Plus, God says man has no excuse because of what we see around us (creation), which speaks of God. 

Sin makes us sinners and cuts us off from a holy God. All sin, therefore sin leads to death (because it disqualifies us from living with God), regardless of how great or small. We should not minimize sin, since it separates us from God with the eternal results of being cast into hell fire.

With faith in Christ, the sins can be forgiven and we can be reconciled. The coat of skin given to Adam and Eve was a shadow of the cross (Christ’s righteousness) which is the major focus of God’s covenant. Who can climb God’s holy hill? One who has been cleansed by the blood of the Lamb.

Given man’s sin, God has stepped in with His provided righteousness. All who believe in Jesus Christ are justified and made righteousness. The Bible says the payment for sin is death. Yet, the gift of God through Jesus is eternal life.

The Bible says that Adam’s children were created in his image. Under God’s covenant, we have been given the same privileges as Adam. We are free to choose between two masters, but just like Adam, we are not free to manipulate the consequences of our choice. God’s covenant revelation of life and death; eat and die define these consequences. The penalty for sin is death. That is all you can expect or hope for in life without God. Christ’s blessing is eternal life. This new life with God in Christ begins on earth and continues forever with God. What choice have you made?

Eternal life is a gift from God. As a gift, it is not something that we earn, nor something that we must payback. The recipient cannot purchase this gift, yet it cost everything. Our salvation is a gift of God, not something of our own doing. He saved us because of His mercy, not because of any righteous things that we have done. We are saved by grace through faith and unto the good works God has established for us.

Eph 2:8-10 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: [9] Not of works, lest any man should boast. [10] For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

God’s forgiveness is foreshadowed by His gift of the coat of skins to cover their sins (nakedness). As we read the account in Genesis three we will see the redemptive process for sinners. God calls, Adam responds with conviction, confession, and repentance (they come to God) and are forgiven. Adam acknowledges their restoration by naming his mate Eve, which means the mother of the living.

God is still calling today. All hear His call and either come to Him or reject His call. In Isaiah God tells Israel that they did not answer when He called and He holds them accountable.

A Promise of Salvation and Blessing

The Lord God said to the serpent that he would be punished because he had tempted Adam and Eve to sin and that his and the woman’s offspring will be enemies. Eve’s SEED will crush Satan’s head, and Satan would strike his heel. This SEED was the first prophecy of Christ.

Condemnation and death had come because of Adam’s disobedience, but now righteousness and eternal life would come through Christ. From this statement and God’s Biblical “Everlasting Covenant” revelations that follow, theologians have developed three theological covenants of works, grace, and redemption (Appendix C). In Adam, all die but in Christ, all are made alive. John tells us that those who believe in Jesus are not condemned, but those who believe not are condemned already.

Punishment

God is faithful to His word. He has laid before us a blessing or curse. He has made a promise and it would stand. Eat and die contained both a promise of a blessing (implied for obedience) and a stated promise of a curse for disobedience (death). There were other consequences to Adam’s disobedience. God said to Eve that all women would have pain in bearing children, that women would have the desire to rule over their husbands, but be ruled by them.

God told Adam that he would experience great toil in earning a living. God would require that it would require sweat to produce food. This is because the ground was cursed to produce thorns and thistles. They suffered the consequences of their disobedience. These consequences are still in effect today and will only be lifted upon Christ’s return.

Yet those who have faith in Jesus can experience abundant life on earth!

John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly.

After God told them of these consequences, He banished Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. Then we get a glimpse of God’s grace when He spoke of the SEED of Eve. Another glimpse of His mercy was when He provided the coat of skins that He gave Adam and Eve. This is the first time the Bible indicates the death of an animal. It appears to have been a substitution for the death penalty for sin, a foreshadowing of the cross. An animal was sacrificed to cover the nakedness (sin) of Adam and Eve.

With this “coat of skins” example of the sacrifice for Adam and Eve, God starts a progressive revelation of the substitutionary death allowed for sin. All of this is pointing out that the law is a schoolmaster to Christ. Because of this example, Cain and Abel knew God required a blood sacrifice, yet Cain elected to bring items from the field instead of an animal. God tells Cain that he knew what God expected and if he would do accordingly his offering would be accepted. However, if not sin (Satan) was lying at his door and would devour him.

Conversation with Cain

The conversation between God and Cain indicates that God had left a testimony in man.

Gen 4:7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

Cain and Abel knew that God existed and that He rewarded those who came to Him. He allowed them access to Himself through the blood sacrifices to cover their sins. This episode with Cain and Abel is after the fall and after man has been put out of the Garden of Eden.

The Bible says that they (all since Adam) have sinned and are under the penalty of death. But God had provided a way of restoration through substitution, the death of another. This was pointing to the coming Christ. The testimony of God and His requirements for righteousness and worship was left in man’s conscience. Cain refused to come to God under the terms of the eternal covenant.

Rom 2:15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)

Although all have sinned (total depravity) they all still have the testimony of God in their conscience (they are not totally depraved). God’s testimony in man had taught Cain and Abel what was acceptable. Hebrews states that Abel through faith had offered a better sacrifice than Cain and by this sacrifice, he was made righteous. Even after God counsels him, Cain refuses God’s offer of grace and his rebellion leads to the murder of Abel.

Rebellious people still reject God’s offer of grace. God is all-powerful, all-knowing, all-present, and unchanging. Yet, in His sovereignty, He allows man the freedom to reject Him. Just as God allowed Adam and Eve to choose, He also allowed Cain to choose. Both suffered the consequences of their choices. God is unchanging and we are granted the same privilege of choice today that Cain and Abel had. Through our God-given freedom, we can accept or reject Jesus’ sacrifice.

Essentially God has told Cain the same thing that Paul states in Romans when he says that God’s existence is plain. Since creation, His power and divine nature are visible in what He created. There is no excuse for man. Just like Cain, man today is without excuse! Sin lies at our door, but we can overcome both its penalty and power through accepting the grace of the proper sacrifice, which is Jesus.

Picture of Victory

This promised Seed (descendent) of Eve is progressively revealed as we march through the Old Testament and is fulfilled in Christ. God summarizes the progression of this promise when He states that long ago He had spoken through the prophets. But now He has spoken through his Son.

God has promised everything to the Son, Jesus as an inheritance. The Son of God had made the universe and everything in it. Christ (the Son) reflects God’s glory, and everything about Christ represents God exactly. Christ sustains the universe by the mighty power of his command.

After Christ died to cleanse us from the stain of sin, He sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God of heaven.

Where are you?

God came seeking Adam asking the question, Adam where are you? He knew where Adam was but He wanted Adam to be convicted, confess, repent of his disobedience and accept God’s offer of restoration. Jesus is asking the same question today? Charlie, where are you?

Have we sinned against God by disobeying His Word? Are we hiding because of guilt, shame, and fear? If so, let us step out from behind our bush and accept the coat of skins (Jesus’ robe of righteousness). At the end of God’s progressive revelation, we find that Jesus is both the coat of skins and the SEED! He is the “Lamb of God”. Through Him and Him only is there fellowship with God.

In His sovereignty, God allows man freedom. Just as God allowed Adam and Eve to chose, He also allowed Cain to choose. He allows us to choose. All suffer the consequences of their choices.

In Isaiah, we get a glimpse of how this process of man’s freedom and God’s sovereignty work. God said to them I called to you and you would not answer, I spoke to you and you did not listen. Instead, you did evil before my eyes and you chose to do things that I told you not to do. For this disobedience, I will judge and punish you.

God gives us a glimpse of the correct behavior of our freedom operating correctly within God’s plan. He says, “I will look with favor on all those who have a humble and contrite heart and fear God and His Word”.

God desires a relationship spelled out by His desire which states, “I will be your God, you will be my people and I will dwell with you”. This type of relationship is only available to those who like Abel have a humble and contrite heart and who fear God. We must come to Him under His terms as defined by His Everlasting Covenant. We must come by grace through faith unto good works.

God is still calling today. Come. Let anyone thirsty for God come. Whosoever wants to can take of the water of life freely. Have you taken of the “water of life”?

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