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#21 The First Adam

September 28, 2008

This morning we are going begin looking at a side by side comparison between the first Adam and the Last Adam; a comparison that will reveal to us the sinful actions of Adam and Eve and their results, as well as the actions of Jesus and the ramifications of His sacrifice on Golgotha. Our subject this morning is the first Adam. Now as I have said on numerous occasions, when a person is born again, they are new creatures. They have been transformed from sinner to saint, from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God’s dear Son. And though we have not been freed from the presence of sin, we have been set free from the power, that is, the authority, the jurisdiction of the devil. But how did we get to the place we find ourselves today? How did we get to the place where we needed a Savior anyway? Our lesson is going to cover this as we listen to our Lord speak to us from His Holy Word. Let’s get right into it.

 

Our text is found in Rom 5:12-21 where we read thus: “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned— 13 for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. 15 But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. 16 The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification. 17 For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. 18 So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. 19 For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. 20 The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

 

We’re going to take verse 12 and we’re going to dig a around to see what jewels God will reveal to us. Verse 12 says “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned… Here we are told by God Himself that sin entered the world through one man. So we must go now to the book of Genesis and we’re going to begin in chapter 2 and verses 16 and 17 where we will watch this wretched event unfold. I know that you have read it many times before but it is for our edification that we take the time to read and re-read passages to see how we reached the state we are in today. So in verses 16-17 we read that “The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17  but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”

 

Would you agree with me that the command is clear enough? Was God vague in His declaration? No He was not! He specifically told Adam that he could eat from any tree in the Garden except from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The warning was “If you eat that fruit you will die” and the implication is that Adam would die that very day! God has spoken! Now although we can’t understand this, we must remember that there was no sin in the world. We can’t identify with this at all for we have never known what it is like to be sinless. But the fact of the matter is that Adam was sinless! He was created in the image of God and there was no blemish in him whatsoever. And in Adam there was something else that we can’t identify with for we have never experienced this: Adam had the absolute freedom and the ability to choose good or evil. He was free to choose God or the devil. Adam was the only man ever created with this type of free will. We have free will in the respect that we can choose within the realm we find ourselves but we as fallen human beings can only choose within our sphere of existence and that sphere is the sphere of fallen, sinful humanity whose thoughts and intents are only evil continually.

 

But this was not the case for Adam. He was actually able to live with God in unbroken fellowship: there were no barriers to their relationship. What a blessing! But isn’t it interesting how we cannot see the blessings we have until they have been taken away. We don’t know what we have until we have lost it. We take things for granted thinking “Oh they will always be there” or “I will always have that ability.” The members of the church of Laodicea declared that they were rich and in need of nothing. The scriptures warn us that “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before stumbling.” Pr 16:18 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall. 1Co 10:12 

 

In Genesis 3:1-19 of that awful day when Adam and Eve took their eyes off of God and plugged their ears to His truth and traded the gracious gift of unbroken fellowship with God for a piece of fruit, an empty promise, and  a life of misery. We read “Now the serpent: (this refers to Satan who took the form of a serpent. Note Re 12:9 “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” John Gill says that this passage could easily be rendered “That serpent” meaning that particular serpent which was indwelt by the devil “That old serpent” which is why it) was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made.

 

Let’s follow the line of temptation here… And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?” This should have been a non-question for the woman already knew what God had said. Either God spoke the same words to Eve as He had to Adam in chapter 2 since when He gave the command to Adam, Eve was not yet created, or Adam declared to Eve the command of God. Either way, she knew the truth! Listen to her answer. 2 The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; 3 but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” Now in God’s original command He said nothing about not touching this particular tree. But you could say that it was implied; STAY AWAY FROM THIS TREE! God said NO!

 

So far so good! Eve has spoken the truth. But the devil was not finished and as he was dealing with finite creatures rather than the Son of God in the wilderness who could not be tempted, well, we know what’s going to happen don’t we! We know that once we take our eyes off of Jesus and look at that which will cause us to fall, we are going to fall. Indeed, once we begin to entertain any sinful thought rather than taking every thought captive to the word of God, we are already on our way.

 

Listen in now as Satan, like a prosecuting attorney, presses home his case; 4 “The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! Notice how he puts a question into Eve’s mind: a question as to whether God really meant what He said. The idea behind his statement is that God may have issued a command and a warning but He really doesn’t mean it. Here is what we see most parents involved in today. They issue false warnings and the kids know that nothing is going to happen to them: they’ve heard it all before.  Next he uses the lure of a treat. This always seems to work. He first says that God wont do anything and then he implies that God would want her to have it…5 “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” OOOOHHHH! The devil says that Eve is going to get something that she doesn’t have, something wonderful. She’s going to get special knowledge, special abilities…she’s going to become like God? Now, and this is purely speculation, do you think that possibly the thought crossed her mind; “God is so good and so wise. Surely He’d want me to be good and wise like Him. I know He loves me so surely He wouldn’t be holding anything back from me!

And then she takes a good look at the tree. James tells us “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Jas 1:14 And we see that Eve was indeed drawn away and enticed. She was caught, hook, line, and sinker for we read in verse 6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. Again from James we learn…15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.

 

Notice the very next verse; 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and instead of jumping for joy at their new found knowledge, instead of shouting, O boy, O boy, looky what we done got…instead of rejoicing, they became ashamed. Ps 106:15 speaks of the complaining Israelites in the desert. They complained and whine about the manna and wished for the fleshpots of Egypt. Well God sent quail to satisfy their lust for meat but killed many of them while the meat was still in their teeth, before it had even been chewed. The Psalmist says, “And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.” Suddenly they saw that this wisdom and godhood stuff wasn’t all that the devil had made it out to be. Indeed they learned that the devil’s promises are very, very empty. They didn’t feel too much like rejoicing. Rather, they became ashamed and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings. Suddenly they felt dirty and nasty. But the worst was yet to come.

 

8 They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and instead of running out to meet Him as they had all the other times, the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Uh Oh! Dad’s here. We’re in trouble now. Let’s hide. He’ll never find us in the shrubbery. What do you see by the actions of Adam and Eve? You see that immediately they forgot who God is. Their minds are now fallen. They have forgotten that He is omniscient and omnipresent. They thought that what they had done was secret, that nobody has seen what they did. Isa 47:10 “You felt secure in your wickedness and said, ‘No one sees me,’ your wisdom and your knowledge, they have deluded you; for you have said in your heart, ‘I am, and there is no one besides me.’ They were as secure as Achan who was singled out of the whole nation of Israel and judged for his sin.

 

Picking up at verse 9 Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” Do you believe for a moment that God didn’t know exactly where Adam and Eve were? Pr 15:3 tells us that “The eyes of the LORD are in every place, watching the evil and the good.” Is there any place that we can go where God cannot see? The Psalmist asked that question for us and answered it as well in Ps 139:7-12 when he says; “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? 8 If I ascend to heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. 9 If I take the wings of the dawn, if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, 10 even there Your hand will lead me, and Your right hand will lay hold of me. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, and the light around me will be night,” 12 even the darkness is not dark to You, and the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You.”

 

Consider these verses as well.

Mt 10:26 “Therefore do not fear them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.

Lu 8:17 “For nothing is hidden that will not become evident, nor anything secret that will not be known and come to light.

Lu 12:2 “But there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.

 

Adam and Eve had been seen: caught in the act. But even more than that, God had already known that they would fall. But even more than that, God had decreed that they would fall, that they would disobey, that they would sin. Why, because He had also decreed before all eternity that there would be a planet called earth, and that He would create men and women to populate it, that they would be sinners in need of a Savior.

And from eternity past God had decreed that His only begotten Son would die for the sins of all who would call upon His name, whose names had been written in the Lambs book of life from the foundation of the world!

 

The devil possibly thought that he was putting a cog in the wheels of God’s predetermined plan but in reality, the devil is merely a pawn in God’s grand scheme of things. He was used by God as the tool in which to cause the man and woman to fall. God was not caught off guard like so many preachers would have you to believe. God’s eternal plan and purpose will come off exactly on schedule for He is the One; “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, saying, ‘My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure.’” Isa 46:10 You’ve heard pastors and others say “God’s in control!” We’ll I’m here to tell you how much in control He is! From eternity past to eternity future, God overrules all of His creation. “All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, but He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; and no one can ward off His hand or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’ Da 4:35 

 

So when God asks Adam ‘where are you’ it is not because God can’t find him but rather he is calling Adam to stand forth and give an account of himself to his Father. So Adam comes out of his hiding place and 10 He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” Notice the effects of sin. Sin makes us afraid to be with God. Sin indeed makes us run away from God. Adam and Eve had been created naked and had never worn clothing until the moment they made aprons for themselves. There was shame which had never occurred before. So much for the benefits of the forbidden fruit! Adam and Eve were experiencing misery and guilt and shame and fear. What a tradeoff! Where once they rejoiced to walk with God and enjoyed His presence without shame, where once they fellowshipped with God in all of His glorious fullness: now they ran and hid. Now they were ashamed and miserable. Now they would rather not!

 

God presses them, 11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” Notice that God is just asking a simple answer. Did you eat the forbidden fruit? Again He already knows what they have done. He just wants them to own up to their sin; to confess. We learn from Pr 28:13 “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. Again from David we have these words; “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.” Ps 51:17   These people need to repent. Indeed, this is the desperate need of every man, woman and child on the face of the earth. And the promise of the word of God is that whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

 

So lets see if Adam falls upon God’s mercy and begs forgiveness. 12 “The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.” The first buck-pass has just occurred. This is the first recorded excuse in history and we have been making excuses ever since. We can’t just own up to our sins. We can’t admit that we are wrong. Why that would make us look bad in the eyes of others and we just can’t have that! We have to make excuses why we do the things we do. We have to put some of the blame on someone else so that we don’t look so bad. This is exactly what has just happened. Adam has blamed the woman for his trouble. And worse still he has blamed God: tried to put some of the guilt and blame on Him…“The woman whom You gave to be with me…”

 

But notice again from Jas 1:13 “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.” If you’re trying to put the blame on God, you’re blaming the wrong person. It is interesting to me that thre are groups of sinners who seem to believe themselves to be the worst of all. And they do two things, first they say that they arent sinners and then they say “God made me this way.” For instance, Homosexuals whine when Christians proclaim the truth of the gospel and seek to show them the hope that is to be found in Jesus…and then in almost the same breath, they blame God for their lifestyle: “But God made me this way!” It’s like a story related to me by my good friend Jerry Paize when we were in college together. He told of his younger brother who used to pick his nose and…well you know the rest. When they got older and Jerry sought to remind his brother in a not so subtle fashion, this was his response: “Shut up man, I never did that!” (Denial, followed by) “I was just a kid man!” (Admission with an excuse.)  Now we can try to make our excuses for our particular sins. We may try to cover them over with whitewash. We may even try to put the blame for our sin on others. “But the truth is that every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Jas 1:14  That includes all of us from little white lies to murder! And notice one more thing…we’ve got no one to blame but ourselves. We are the guilty ones! We did it! We were drawn away, we were enticed and we willingly submitted ourselves to do what we really wanted to do!

 

 

Eve was tempted by the devil with power and wisdom and Adam was tempted by the woman. 1Ti 2:14 tells us; “And Adam was not deceived, (by the serpent) but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” And then she gave the fruit to him. And they are both guilty before God. So 13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” Do you see the same theme here? It’s not my fault. I didn’t do anything wrong. It’s the woman! No it’s the man! No it’s the serpent! No its you God! There is no acknowledgment of sin on their behalf. Nobody is about to own up to their wrongdoing. So God deals with the tempter first. Remember that the devil had tried to take over heaven and had failed.  He wanted to be ‘as God” but was thwarted in his attempt. Then he decided to try and destroy God’s creation. And he offered to Adam and Eve the same thing he tried to get for himself…Godhood.  But as I said, he was merely a tool in God’s hands to accomplish the divine directives of God. For his trouble in bringing about the fall of man he will be judged and we’re not talking about just any judgment. We read in verse 14 The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, Cursed are you more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you will go, and dust you will eat all the days of your life;

 

Now we consider the snake. It crawls on its belly and is a loathsome creature. But there is more here, I believe, than just telling a snake that it will crawl in the dust. Consider this passage; Eze 28:14-19 “You were the anointed cherub who covers, and I placed you there. Note that it was God who created the devil and placed him into his position. You were on the holy mountain of God; you walked in the midst of the stones of fire. “You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created until unrighteousness was found in you. (This speaks of the rebellion in heaven) 16 “By the abundance of your trade you were internally filled with violence, and you sinned; therefore I have cast you as profane from the mountain of God. And I have destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. 17 “Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom by reason of your splendor. I cast you to the ground; I put you before kings, that they may see you. 18 “By the multitude of your iniquities, in the unrighteousness of your trade you profaned your sanctuaries. Therefore I have brought fire from the midst of you; it has consumed you, and I have turned you to ashes on the earth in the eyes of all who see you. 19 “All who know you among the peoples are appalled at you; you have become terrified and you will cease to be forever.”’” Do you see the terrifying picture of judgment upon the devil? And understand that every man, woman and child who dies in their sins, who dies in the rebellion of their heart, will suffer with him in the fires of hell! There can be no greater horror than this. It is no wonder that Jesus warned us in Mt 10:28 saying; “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

 

God continues in verse 15 saying; “and I will put enmity (hatred or hostility) between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; this is more than just a fear or hatred of snakes. There had been a familiarity of some kind here. I want to share with you a comment by John Gill concerning this verse as I thought it quite interesting. Understand that this is speculation but it is quite telling. “There will now be enmity between those whom there had formerly been so much familiarity, a familiarity not only while they had had the preceding conversation together, but before; for it is conjectured by some {y}, that she took a particular liking to the serpent, and was delighted with it, and laid it perhaps in her bosom, adorned her neck with its windings, or made it a bracelet for her arms; in other words it had been her favorite. And so the devil had chosen the serpent to be his instrument to deceive her. Now having been beguiled, charmed and deceived by the serpent she now had an hatred of it. This has become the natural response between the serpent and man; man detests the sight of a serpent, and the serpent the sight of man. The spittle of a man and the gall of a serpent are poison to each other; and this hostility is observed to be stronger in the female sex: and this was not only true of the particular serpent that deceived Eve, and of the particular woman, Eve, deceived by him, but of every serpent and of every woman in successive age. And this is also true of Satan and the church of God in all ages, between whom there is an implacable and an irreconcilable hatred, and a perpetual war.” And the judgment upon the serpent is a final judgment.

 

Satan has been condemned to eternal flame, to everlasting torment as He Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, shall bruise (break, crush) you on the head, (which is a fatal blow.) and you shall bruise Him on the heel.” The devil struck a blow to Christ on the cross but it was not fatal for three days later he rose from the dead, never to die again for as He himself said; Re 1:8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” And in Re 1:18 “I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” God has been the Victor since before anything existed. He is the Judge of all the earth, of the entire universe. Ps 90:2  Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. And when the Judge of all the earth convenes His heavenly court, then the final sentence will be carried out. Even now the devil and his angels are under the sentence of death. They believe in God and tremble because they know they re condemned already. But unlike sinful man, there is no possibility of a reprieve or redemption. The devil was created specifically for this purpose by the Divine Potter who has the right over the clay to make from the same lump vessels for honorable use and others for common use.

 

The devil has been judged. Now to the woman whom Adam blamed for his sin…16 “To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth, in pain you will bring forth children; yet despite the pain your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” Here is plain truth that is swept under the rug and openly despised today. In our day of upside-down nonsensical gibberish, God’s ordained plan for men and women is almost unheard of. I have heard many explanations of this verse but I think we aught to go with the plain text. This is Gods divine order of things. The woman will have pain in childbirth because of her sin but she will still desire her husband and will still desire to give him children. And the husband is to be the head of the house, the leader. And as such he is to love his wife as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for her. And the woman is to submit to her husband.

 

Notice how God lays out the divine order in Ephesians 5:21-33 when He says, that we are first to be “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. 22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

 

And finally we come to the man, to Adam; the one who blamed Eve and God for his sin. 17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, (rather than hiding My command in your heart) and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’; Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it All the days of your life. 18 “Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; And you will eat the plants of the field; 19 By the sweat of your face You will eat bread, Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return.” The implications here are clear. They had been living in a garden that needed either very little or no tending whatsoever. God had provided for Adam and Eve out of the infinite riches of His divine storehouse. Now the man would have to work for his food and clothing and shelter.

Part of the judgment that we experience every day is that we have to wake up and go to work in order to have food the other necessities of life. Way to go Adam!

 

And finally we come to the point that God stated in chapter 2 and verse 17 where He had said; “but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” We must ask the question; did they die? Did they drop dead on the spot like Nadab and Abihu or like Ananias and Sapphira? The obvious answer is no. No they did not drop dead on the spot. But death entered into the world where there had been no death before. Adam and Eve indeed died the moment they ate of the forbidden fruit. They had been alive, more alive than any other man or woman since. They had been alive spiritually in a manner that no Christian has ever experienced. But that spiritual life had been cut off the instant they sinned and what’s more, our wonderful first parents passed along that gift of eternal death to all mankind for as Paul tells us in 1Co 15:22 “For as in Adam all die… The wages of sin is death and all men are born dead in trespasses and sins. All men are born without hope, being without God in this fallen world. This is how we arrived at the place we find ourselves today. This is why the world is the way it is for: “through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned…”

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