[Lesson 8: What Adam's Sin Produced] [Table of Contents] [Lesson 10: Cain & Abel: the Way of Sacrifice]

Lesson 9

The Wonderful Promise

Genesis 3

Peace be with you, listening friends. We greet you in the name of God, the Lord of peace, who wants everyone to understand and submit to the way of righteousness that He has established, and have true peace with Him forever. We are happy to be able to return today to present your program The Way of Righteousness.

In our last program, we saw how Adam and Eve strayed from the way of God by eating fruit from the tree that God had forbidden. Thus, man, whom God created in His own image, chose to follow Satan, the enemy of God. Before Adam and Eve sinned, they rejoiced whenever God came to the garden to talk with them, but now, when they heard the voice of God, they were afraid and ashamed and tried to hide from God among the trees of the garden! However, God pursued Adam and Eve, spoke with them, and declared to them what their sin would bring into the world: trouble and suffering, thorns and thistles, sickness and death.

Consequently, from that day until today, the shadow of death hangs over Adam's descendants. All of Adam's children are conceived in sin and born with an evil nature. Whether we like it or not, we all share the character of our forefather, Adam. "A rat only begets that which digs." It is because of Adam's sin that we are all born sinners. Truly, "an epidemic is not confined to the one from whom it originates!" {Wolof proverbs} And just as Adam's sin separated him from God, so has our sin separated us from God. That is what the Scriptures say,

"Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned. (Rom. 5:12) "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Rom. 3:23) "Your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you." (Isa. 59:2)

This message is not pleasant to hear, but that is the way it is. "Truth is a hot pepper." {Wolof proverb}

Thus, we see how Adam's one sin separated the whole human race from God. On the day that Adam disobeyed God, Adam (and the whole human race yet to be born) left the kingdom of light and entered the kingdom of darkness. They no longer had any share in the Kingdom of God. Because of their sin, their portion was with Satan, who had taken them as his captives and slaves. Now, they couldn't hope for anything in this life, except slavery to sin and fear of death-and in the hereafter, endless punishment in the eternal fire!

If the Scriptures ended here, we could only close the book and weep bitterly like someone lost at sea, with no hope of rescue. If God had not opened a way of salvation to save the children of Adam, we would be doomed forever! But blessed be the Lord our God, the Scriptures of the Prophets do not end with the story of Adam's sin. God, who is great in mercy, has opened for the children of Adam a door of salvation! Thus, the Word of God says,

"Where sin increased, [God's] grace increased all the more." (Rom. 5:20) "Do not be afraid, because I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people!" (Luke 2:10) "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men!" (Tit. 2:11)

As we have already learned, God is holy and, therefore must judge sinners. God is righteous and cannot merely "forget" sin. He must punish every sin. The penalty for sin is death and eternal separation from God. God never changes and the penalty of sin never changes. However, today, we will begin to read in the Scriptures how God, the Holy One, designed {Lit. wove} a plan to deliver sinners from the penalty of sin. Thus, we will learn that God is not only the Holy One, but He is also the Merciful One! God, our Judge, wants to become our Savior!

Today we will see how, on the day that Adam and Eve sinned, God began to make known His wonderful plan to save sinners. Let us continue now in the Torah, in the book of Genesis, so that we might learn about this Good News. We are reading in chapter 3, verse 15: God said to Satan who was in the serpent, "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel."

This difficult verse contains many profound and important truths which God's prophets would later explain in detail. The contents of this verse, can be summarized like this: God was beginning to make known His plan to bring into the world a Savior {or Deliverer} who would redeem the children of Adam from the dominion of Satan. This is the first verse that mentions the coming of the holy Redeemer {or Mediator}. In this verse, let us consider four truths concerning the Redeemer whom God promised to send.

1.) The first truth is this: God was announcing how this Redeemer would be born of a woman only, that is, a virgin. All of us have a male and a female parent. However, the Redeemer who was to come, would be born only of a woman, by the power of God. He would not have an earthly father. The Savior of the world could not come from Adam, because all of Adam's descendants are stained by sin. The Savior of sinners had to be without sin. He had to come forth from God, from heaven. Thus, the first thing we may learn from this verse is this: God promised a holy Redeemer who would be the offspring of a woman, but not the offspring of a man.

2.) There is something else that God announced on the day that Adam and Eve sinned. Concerning the promised Redeemer, God said to Satan: "You will strike his heel." Thus, God began to announce how Satan would torment the Savior that God would send from heaven. In coming lessons, we will see that the prophets foretold how Satan would incite men to persecute, torture and kill the Redeemer. A stricken Redeemer would be part of God's plan. In order to bring us back to God, the Savior of the world would have to die as a sacrifice for sin; the Righteous One dying for us, the unrighteous. He would willingly lay down His life to pay sin's penalty: death.

3.) The third truth concerning the Redeemer was that God told Satan, who was in the serpent, that "he (the Redeemer) would crush his (Satan's) head." That was bad news for Satan, but good news for whoever wants to be delivered from the power of Satan, sin and hell! Thus, God began to announce that the Redeemer would, in the end, defeat the devil and set free the children of Adam who had become slaves of sin.

4.) Finally, God began to announce that there would be two lines (groups) of people in the world: The people of Satan and the people of God. The people of Satan are those who refuse to believe the Word of God. The people of God are those who believe God's Word and put their trust in the promised Redeemer. (John 1:9-13)

Thus, on the day that Adam and Eve sinned, God began to announce His wondrous plan to redeem sinners. In coming programs, little by little, we will see how all of God's prophets announced the coming of a holy Savior who would free sinners from the hand of the devil. If what we have just taught is not yet clear in your mind, do not worry, because as we progress in our chronological study, things will become clearer. Remember the (Wolof) proverb which says: "A water pail will find the person who waits diligently at the well." Are you waiting at the "well" of the Word of God? Good! God says: "If you look for [the truth] as for silver, and search for it as for hidden treasure…then you will…find the knowledge of God!" (Prov. 2:4,5)

Now then, let us finish reading the third chapter of the first book of the Torah. The Scriptures say:

"The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. And the Lord God said, 'The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.' So the Lord God banished [Adam] from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life." (Gen. 3:21-24)

That is where the third chapter ends. Before we conclude today, let us consider some important truths contained in these verses.

The Scriptures say: "The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them." Do you remember what Adam and Eve did after they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? They wove together fig leaves and wrapped them around their waists in an attempt to hide their shame before God. Did God accept the clothes they had made for themselves, the clothes they made with leaves? No, He did not! Why did God not accept the clothes they made for themselves? Because God wanted to teach Adam and Eve that He is perfect and cannot accept the imperfect works of man. Concerning this, the Scriptures say: "All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags." (Isa. 64:6) There is nothing man can do to cover his sins before God.

However, God did something for man. God killed some animals, skinned them, and made clothes of skin for Adam and Eve. Yes, God made the first animal sacrifice. What a shocking sight for Adam and Eve as they watched the blood flow out of the animals that God had killed! Through the shed blood of animals, God wanted to teach Adam and Eve that "the wages of sin is death," (Rom. 6:23) and that "without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin." (Heb. 9:22) We cannot explain this in detail today, except to say that God's basic law of forgiveness states: "Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin." The penalty of sin must be paid. The penalty of sin is death. God can only forgive sins that have been paid for. A pure and innocent victim must die in the place of the guilty sinner. This is the only way that God can forgive people of their sins without compromising His righteousness {Lit. in Wolof: and still dwell in His righteousness}.

Thus God established animal sacrifices to remind sinners that the penalty of sin is death. The animal sacrifice symbolized the holy Redeemer who would come into the world to shed His blood as a payment for sin. We will learn more about this later. Today, however, let us remember that God shed the blood of animals to cover the shame of Adam and Eve.

After this, God expelled Adam and Eve from the Garden of Paradise in Eden. He placed an angel holding a flaming, flashing sword to guard the way to the tree of life. Adam and Eve had chosen the way of death when they ate the fruit that God had forbidden. Consequently, they could no longer enjoy the blessings of the wonderful Garden of Paradise. We have already seen how God expelled Lucifer, that is, Satan, from His presence because of his sin. And now we see that God expelled Adam and Eve because of their sin. God is the Holy One, and He must punish all that is unholy.

And so dear friends, let us keep two thoughts in mind: First, God is the Righteous One. God cannot tolerate sin. That is why He judged Adam and Eve and expelled them from the garden Second, God is the Merciful One. Adam and Eve did not deserve God's mercy. They only deserved God's judgment. However, God does not want people to perish. That is why He promised a Savior who could save sinners from the darkness of the kingdom of Satan, and transfer them into the light and glory of the Kingdom of God.

Do not be deceived: God's mercy can never contradict God's righteousness. These two characteristics of God must operate together. In future lessons, we will see more clearly how God can show mercy to sinners, without contradicting His righteousness.

Listening friends, this has been your program The Way of Righteousness. We have been talking with you about the wonderful promise God made on the day that Adam and Eve strayed from God's way. We hope that you will keep listening to these programs until you have come to understand fully God's wonderful promise about the Redeemer He has sent to save you from your sins.

Thank you for listening. We invite you to join us for the next program to learn some important lessons from Adam and Eve's first two sons: Cain and Abel....

God bless you as you carefully consider what the Scripture declares, saying:

"Where sin increased, [God's] grace increased all the more." (Rom. 5:20)