Sermon #7 Genesis Sermons
Title: Adam and Christ - A Picture of Grace
Text: Genesis 3:17-24
Subject: A contrast of the first Adam and the Second Adam, Christ
Date: Tuesday Evening - June 18, 1991
Back during the days of the great depression there were soup lines in large cities all over this country. People were hungry, poor, jobless, and homeless. The only way they could eat was to be fed at one of those soup lines.
One day, as a man was working a soup line in Chicago, IL, he spotted a man in the line who stood out from the rest. At one time this man had obviously been quite wealthy. His suit was ragged and dirty, butit was a well made suit. It fit him so well that it had to have been taylor made. His hat was soiled. But it was a handsome, well-formed hat. Though they were ragged, the man wore a matching tie and hankerchief set. The man serving the soup could not help looking at the man questioningly, as if tosay, “I wonder who you were, and what your background is?” When this man held out his cup for soup, he said, “Sir, I’ve seen better days.”
That is a pretty good description of humanity. Like the poor beggar in that soup line, we have about us a stateliness, though now ragged and soiled by sin, that declares, “We have seen better days.” We are not now what obviously we once were (Eccles. 7:29). There is no way to explain the universal condition of the human race except by the account of the fall given in Genesis 3.
· Man is capable of doing noble, self-sacrificing things for his fellow man. And he is capable of beastliness and monstrous cruelty - One person!
· Man is capable of moral virtue. And he is capable of utter immorality - One person!
· Man is a dying creature. Yet, he alone, of all God’s creatures fears to die. Because man alone is an immortal soul! And in his inmost being, he knows that “the wages of sin is death.”
Why is it that the sons and daughters of princes, with the best of training and education, possess the same tendencies to evil as the children of paupers? Why do the sons and daughters of God’s saints, who have been raised in loving discipline, nurtured in godliness, surrounded by peace, and trained in the fear of God, experience, feel, and run after the same lusts as the children of pimps, pushers, and prostitutes? Why are all men and women everywhere sinful? Why is it that family, enviironment, education, and society are totally incapable of changing the nature of man? Why is it that no one is capable of changing the corruption of his own heart?
Only the Word of God can answer these questions. And the answer that God gives in his Word is this - “All have sinned!” We all have a common origin - Our father Adam. We all have a common heritage - The Fall. We all have received from our parents and given to our children a common legacy - Sin. And we are all possessed with a common nature - Depravity.
The fall of Adam is a historic fact. The fall of the human race in Adam is the only satisfactory explanation of human history. These are facts:
1. Man is a fallen creature.
2. All men since the fall of Adam are sinners - By origin - By birth - By nature - By practice.
3. Fallen man needs a Savior.
Man by nature is alienated from God, under the condemnation of God’s holy law, lost in darkness and sin. What is the remedy for man’s condition? The answer is a new creation. “If any many be in Christ he is a new creature” (1 Cor. 5:17). A. W. Pink wrote, “It is not the cultivation of the old nature that is needed, for that is ruined by the fall, but the reception of an entirely new nature which is begotten by the Holy Spirit. ‘Ye must be born again!’ Anything short of this is worthless and useless.”
But even in the fall there was a prophecy of a recovery. In Adam there was a type, picture, and prophecy of Christ our Redeemer.
In the Garden there was one commandment given by God to man - “Of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt noteat of it: for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Gen. 2:17). This one commandment was the only thing God almighty required of man. Had he obeyed that one commandment, he would have lived. Disobedience to it brought death. In the Gospel God has given one commandment to sinners - “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31). This is the one thing God requries of men. All who obey it live forever. All who refuse to obey it must forever die.
In the Garden there was one tree. The eating of the fruit of thyat one tree brought death upon men. In the Gospel there is one tree, the cross of Christ. All who eat of the fruit of that tree shall live forever.
In the Garden there was one man, Adam, who represented all the race before God, by whom and in whom we all died. In the Gospel there is one Man, Christ, the second Adam, the last Adam, who represents an elect race before God. By him and in him all God’s elect live forever.
Let me talk to you for a little while about Adam and Christ - A Picture of Grace. It is not possible to understand Genesis 3 unless you understand how it points to and relates to the Lord Jesus Christ.
As Adam brought destruction and death upon his race, so the Lord Jesus Christ has brought redemption and life to his race, God’s elect.
Let me show you four things...
1. Adam was a type of Christ.
2. Christ has endured the curse of the fall for his people.
3. Christ has reversed the effects of the fall.
4. Christ makes all things new.
I. First, I want to show you that ADAM WAS A TYPE OF CHRIST.
As you read through the Scriptures, you find that Adam and Christ are uniquely linked together. We would be wise to carefully and prayerfully study the comparisons and contrasts that are made of them.
· Romans 5:12, 18-21
· 1 Corinthians 15:21-22, 45-49
A. Adam was made in the image of Christ, who is “the image of the invisible God” (2 Cor. 4:4; Col. 1:15; Heb. 1:3).
B. Adam was a representative man, a covenant head, and so is Christ, the last Adam.
C. All that Adam did was imputed to all his seed, all that he became was imparted to all his seed, by natural generation - We are all the sons of Adam by nature! And all that Christ did has been imputed to all his seed in justification, allthat he is as a man is imparted to his seed by the Holy Spirit in regeneration - We are the sons of God by grace.
NOTE: The Bible speaks of three great acts of imputation.
1. Adam’s sin to all men and women.
2. The sins of God’s elect to Christ.
3. Christ’s righteousness to all God’s elect.
D. Look at what Adam did.
1. He repudiated the goodness and love of God (Gen. 3:5).
2. He questioned the truth and veracity of God (Gen. 3:4).
Adam knew nothing of death. He apparently, at least to some degree, agreed with satan and said, “We shall not surely die. That is contrary to reason and experience.”
3. Above all else, Adam rejected, denounced, and rebelled against the authority of God!
E. Christ, the last Adam, completely vindicated the love, truth, and majesty of God, which the first man Adam had so grievously and deliberately dishonored.
Christ honored God in thought, word, and deed, as a man, through all the days of his life on this earth.
1. How he vindicated the love of God! (Rom. 5:8;1 John 3:16; 4:9-10).
If ever y ou are tempted of the devil to question the goodness and love of God, if the events of providence appear to cast a cloud over God’s goodness and love, look to Calvary and know that “God is love!”
2. Christ Jesus vindicated the truth of God relentlessly.
a. When he was tempted by satan to doubt God’s goodness, truth, and supremacy, each time he answered, “It is written.”
b. Every sabbath day he went into the synagogue to read the Word of God.
c. As he chose his twelve apostles, he deliberately selected Judas, that the scriptures might be fulfilled.
d. In his last moments of agony, he cried, “I thirst,” that the scriptures might be fulfilled.
e. After he was risen from the dead, as he spoke to his disciples, he opened to them the scriptures (Lk. 24).
At every age, in every event, in all the details of his life, Christ believed, honored, and magnified God’s truth, even when it cost him dear!
3. And our Savior completely vindicated the majesty, supremacy, and sovereignty of God. He vindicated God’s right to be God by his willing, voluntary submission to him at all times and obedience to him even unto death (Phil. 2:5-11; Gal. 4:4-5).
a. He trusted God, as a man - Christ lived by faith.
b. He obeyed the will of God.
c. He fulfilled the law of God.
d. He subjected his will to the Father’s will.
e. He magnified the justice of God in his death.
f. In doing this - Christ fulfilled ll righteousness and brought in an everlasting righteousness for his people, to the praise, honor, and glory of God!
g. He was made like unto his brethren.
h. He now is not ashamed to call us his brethren.
That bring me to my second point...
II. CHRIST JESUS ENDURED ALL THE CURSE OF THE FALL FOR HIS PEOPLE
What was the punishment of Adam’s sin? I will confine my thoughts here to that which is revealed in Genesis 3:17-24. Here the Lord shows us seven things that were the consequences of Adam’s transgression.
1. The ground was cursed.
2. In sorrow man was to eat his bread all the days of his life.
3. The earth brought forth thorns and thistles for man.
4. Man must earn his bread by the sweat of his brow.
5. Man must return to the dust of the earth.
6. A flaming sword barred the way to the tree of life.
7. Adam was separated from God in death.
This was the curses that fell upon Adam and all the sons of Adam because of sin! But Christ, the last Adam, has endured all the consequences of Adam’s transgression.
A. Christ was made a curse for us (Gal. 3:13).
B. Christ was so acquainted with grief that he became the “man of sorrows” (Isa. 53:3).
C. Christ came forth from the judgment hall wearing “a crown of thorns” (John 19:5), thorns which grew from the cursed earth for the cursed man.
D. The first Adam got his bread by the sweat of his face; but Christ, the last Adam, got his bread, his soul’s satisfaction, by the sweat of his heart - He sweat as it were “great drops of bloos falling to the ground” (Lk. 22:44).
E. As Adam returned to the dust, so the dying Christ cried, “Thou hast brought me into the dust of death” (Psa. 22:15).
F. That sword of justice that barred the way to the tree of life, buried itself and was swallowed up in the Son of God, our Substitute, the last Adam (Zech. 13:7).
G. As Adam who sinned was driven from the presence of God in death, so Christ, the last Adam, who was made to be sin for us, was separated from God in death - “MY God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46).
Blessed, blessed, blessed Christ! Who can describe the agonies of thy holy soul for us? We bow to thee in wonder, love, praise, and thankful faith (1 Pet. 3:18; 2 Pet. 2:24).
· Christ was made to be sin for us!
· Christ was made to be a curse for us!
· Christ died for us!
· Christ redeemed us!
· All who believe have been made the righteousness of God in Christ!
III. BY HIS OBEDIENCE TO GOD AS OUR SUBSTITUTE, IN LIFE AND IN DEATH, CHRIST, OUR GREAT ADAM, HS COMPLETELY REVERSED ALL THE EFFECTS OF THE FALL.
He says, “I restored that which I took not away” (Psa. 69:4).
God alone is able to bring good out of evil and make even the wrath of man to praise him. And this is what Christ has done. The sin and fall of our father Adam gave God opportunity to exhibit his wisdom and display the exceeding riches of his grace in a way that could not have come to pass had sin never entered into the world. In redemption Christ not only reversed the effects of the fall, he brought in a better thing (Heb. 10:9 applies!)
Here is the the transcendent miracle of God’s wisdom and grace - In Christ, God’s elect have become gainers by the fall and God himself is glorified through Adam’s transgression!
A. Before the fall Adam lived in an earthly paradise - In Christ we shall enter into a heavenly paradise!
B. Before the fall Adam livesas the creature of God - In Christ we live as the sons of God, partakers not only of the divine breath, but of the divine nature!
C. Before the fall Adam was innocent - In Christ we are righteous!
D. Before the fall Adam was lord of God’s creation - In Christ we are heirs of a heavenly inheritance - “All things are yours.”
E. Before the fall Adam enjoyed the happiness of innocence - In Christ we have entered into the joy of pardon, grace, and redemption.
F. Before the fall Adam was a creature of God, in fellowship with his Master - In Christ we are one with God, inseparable from our Savior (Eph. 4:30).
· His obedience in our obedience!
· His death is our death!
· His life is our life!
· His glory is our glory!
“Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound!’ (Rom. 5:21).
IV. THE FIRST MAN ADAM MADE ALL THINGS MORTAL ANDEVIL - CHRIST, THE LAST ADAM, MAKES ALL THINGS HOLY, IMMORTAL, AND NEW (Rev. 21:5; 2 Cor. 5:17).
· A new nature!
· A new record!
· A new relationship!
· A new creation!
Application: Psalm 76:10 - Adore God’s wisdom and sovereignty!
Romans 8:28 - Adore God’s providence!
Ephesians 2:1-7 - Adore God’s grace!
Colossians 1:18 - Adore God’s Son!