Monday, April 23, 2012

The Gospel(s) Adam Believed

Gen 2:15-17
15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. 16 And theLord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
It was bad news. In that day you shall surely die. It is also significant that this command was given prior to the creation of Eve. It was given to Adam, it was Adam's responsibility. I've previously linked to to an article at Answers in Genesis explaining the death in this passage is starting on the day you disobey in dying you will die. This was the first Adam had ever heard of death and separation from God. We're not told how Adam reacted to this news, but we find in the very next passage that the Lord God said "It is not good for man to be alone, I will make him a helper comparable to him." Gen 2:18

God makes woman and Adam says that she will be called "woman" because she was taken out of man. Gen 2:23 Then we are given a short picture of the man and woman together, and before God.

Gen 2:25
And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
They were innocent before God, they felt no need to cover anything up from His sight.

In Gen 3:1-5 we see the Serpent tempting the woman (the name Adam had give her) with becoming like God through eating the fruit and becoming aware of Good and Evil.  In Gen 3:6 her desire overtakes her, she succumbs and tempts Adam as well.

Gen 3:7
Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.
Now they saw their unrighteousness, and the very first religion was born. They sought to cover their own nakedness & guilt with leaves of plants. We read of the first lie, the first temptation, the first lust, the first murder, and the first religion ever in History happen in just 7 verses. Sin took opportunity with the first commandment and sprung forth in full bloom.

In Gen 3:8-12 we read of God pursuing Adam, giving Adam the opportunity to confess. Yet Adam takes on the character of the Serpent whom he had surrendered his rightful dominion of the Earth to. He  twists the truth, accuses Eve, and even implicates God Himself in his sin. “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” 

On a bit of a side note; I find Gen 3:13 fascinating. While Adam lied and made excuses the woman simply confesses.
And the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
The Lord God curses the Serpent immediately as we read in Gen 3:14-15
14 So the Lord God said to the serpent:“Because you have done this,You are cursed more than all cattle,And more than every beast of the field;On your belly you shall go,And you shall eat dustAll the days of your life.
15 And I will put enmityBetween you and the woman,And between your seed and her Seed;He shall bruise your head,And you shall bruise His heel.”
Gen 3:15 is often referred to as the Protoevangel or the prototype of the Gospel. Yet another fascinating thing to me is the first time the Gospel of the Christ is ever mentioned in History it is mentioned as a CURSE of Satan.

In Gen 3:16-19 the Lord God curses the woman, and Adam. Look carefully, the woman is cursed personally. The woman and women after her are included. Adam however is personally cursed, and all that was to have been under his dominion is also cursed. Creation that was to be a blessing to him was cursed to cause him suffering.
16 To the woman He said:
“I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception;
In pain you shall bring forth children;
Your desire shall be for your husband,
And he shall rule over you.”
17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’:
“Cursed is the ground for your sake;
In toil you shall eat of it
All the days of your life.
18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you,
And you shall eat the herb of the field.
19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread
Till you return to the ground,
For out of it you were taken;
For dust you are,
And to dust you shall return.”

In Gen 3:20 we find the first act of faith in God in History.
And Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.
Adam knew that he would die physically Gen 3:19 and knew that he had already died spiritually Gen 2:17 ; Gen 3:7, and he knew that God had cursed Satan with the knowledge that He would make things right, and destroy Satan through a non permanent injury to the Seed of the woman whereby though Satan had tempted the woman, God would separate that from her. Gen 3:15 

Adam believed God, that God would make it right. Adam had the knowledge of good and evil. He knew what he had done was evil. He knew that his new nature, what we would call our "old" nature today or the Adamic nature, is evil. Adam called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. In so doing he demonstrated that he knew God would be faithful to his promise to make it right. That God would not destroy man.

Adam knew that God would restore the relationship of man to Him, that Satan's new dominion (not sovereign rule like God has, but restricted dominion like God had given Adam Gen 2:15) would be crushed.

It is interesting to me that God did not promise Adam or the woman (who now has the name Eve) Eternal Life. He had promised them death, both physical and spiritual, for disobedience but not once did He promise them restoration to Eternal Life.

Yet Adam believed what God had told them, and was assured of God's faithfulness to do exactly what He said He would do.

How does God respond to this faith in Adam? 

God kills an animal to make a covering for them. It is not explicitly stated here that this was for sin. However, it solves the problem that Adam and Eve had identified when they realized their nakedness. Gen 3:7 It also matches the patterns observed through out the Old Testament. It is also done in the context of the broken commandment of Gen 2:15-17, and the curse of Gen 3:14-19. We see God's response to Adam's faith in Gen 3:20 in His actions of Gen 3:21
Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.
They were no longer naked before the Lord, He had covered them. They became witness to a graphic picture of what the cost was going to be to restore their relationship. Gen 3:15.

With Adam reconciled to God, the God-Head (Trinity, Elohim) discussed what to do with man kind now that we were aware of Good and Evil, and could reach out to eat of the fruit of the Tree of Life and live forever in our fallen current state. God decides to put us out of the garden of Eden and ensure we cannot enter.

What was the Gospel, or good news, that Adam believed? 

Adam first believed a prototype of the Gospel of the Kingdom, that God would crush Satan's kingdom and restore rightful dominion on the Earth through the Seed of the woman. Adam then was shown the price this Seed of the woman would pay, graphically, and that this would be a covering for man so that man need not be afraid of God any more.  Adam, apparently, also believed a prototype of the Gospel of the Christ.

Adam never promised God anything, nor Believed God "for" anything. Adam believed God in one thing, and God then shared with Adam the most important thing: Christ Himself as revealed through the Gospel of the Christ.

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