Saturday, August 24, 2013
Triplets of Faith: Were Adam and Eve Saved?
As we have seen, God made different covenants with mankind throughout Biblical history. The common element is our faith in Him, as reflected in three true Gospels. Faith is our belief in God Whom we cannot see directly (Hebrews 11:1-3), although His creation reflects His excellence (Psalm 19:1). Without this faith it is impossible to please Him (Hebrews 11:6).
How do we demonstrate our faith in God? Faith is manifest in our obedience to Him (1 Samuel 15:22; James 2), yet each of us has disobeyed God (Psalm 14:1-3; 53:1-3). Sin, or disobedience, is always the result of pride and/or unbelief.
Thankfully, God can take the smallest seed of faith we can muster and grow it into faith that could move mountains (Matthew 17:20; Luke 17:5-6). Paradoxically, He shows His love for us by punishing us when we disobey, just as a loving Father does His children (Hebrews 12:5-11).
The specific requirements of what He asked the faithful to believe and to do differed with each covenant, or promise that God made to His chosen people (Hebrews 11). God did not reveal His entire plan of salvation or Who He is all at once (Isaiah 55:9), nor will we able to understand Him in His infinite glory until we see Him face to face (1 Corinthians 13:12).
Despite their disobedience that ultimately led to every person being born with a sin nature (Psalm 51:5; Romans 5:18), I believe that Adam and Eve were saved because they knew Who God was, and they obeyed Him before the Fall. They recognized that He created them (Genesis 1:26-28; 2:7) and everything else, and that He provided for them (Genesis 1:29; 2:9).
Before Adam and Eve disobeyed God, it appears that they enjoyed daily fellowship with Him, speaking with Him as He walked in the garden in the cool of the day (Genesis 3:8). They obeyed God in that Adam named all the animals as God requested, and they both kept and dressed the garden (Genesis 2:15,19-20).
Adam believed what God had done in creating a wife for Him (Genesis 2:21-22), and he recognized the significance of that creation and of their union (Genesis 2:23-24) as one flesh – a forerunner or type of the union between Christ and His Bride the Church (Matthew 19:4-6; Ephesians 5:22-32)
Despite this blissful existence with God in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve fell prey to Satan’s deception when the serpent convinced Eve to disobey God by eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 3:1-6). God, being holy and just, had to punish their sin (Genesis 3:16-19) and banished them from the Garden of Eden.
Yet their banishment from the garden was for their own salvation, for had they stayed there and eaten of the Tree of Life, they would have lived forever in their sinful, corrupted state, in their aging bodies subject to sickness and pain (Genesis 3:2-24).
In a futile attempt to cover their own sin, symbolized by their nakedness, with their own works, Adam and Eve sewed fig leaves together (Genesis 3:7). But God covered their nakedness with animal skins (Genesis 3: 21), representing the blood atonement (Leviticus 17:11), or “scarlet thread,” that would culminate in the shed blood of His Son (Matthew 26:28; Hebrews 9:22).
The perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ, Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29), not only covered sin but removed it as far as the East is from the West (Psalm 103:12). When God looks at all those who place their faith in Christ, He no longer sees their sin, but only the perfect righteousness of His Son (1 Corinthians 1:30; Hebrews 1:8; Philippians 1:11; 3:9).
Although the first couple was cast out of the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:22-23), Eve continued to show her faith in God’s promise that her seed would destroy the serpent’s seed (Genesis 3:15; 4:1, 25). Adam’s faith is not spelled out, but he is mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus (Luke 3:38), suggesting that he was also saved by faith.
The disobedience of Adam and Eve resulted in all their descendants being born with a sin nature (Romans 5:12-14). Except for Jesus Himself, all thereafter sinned and came short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), and none has perfectly kept His commandments. So salvation cannot be based on self-righteousness or works, or none would be saved (Isaiah 64:6; Ephesians 2:8-9). Rather, it is based on believing what God has revealed about Himself at that point in history, as we shall see next week!
© 2013 Laurie Collett