Summary: When mankind was at its lowest point, God followed the curse with a gracious act of atonement and a gracious act of protection.
1. The first lesson learned from the fall is the inherited necessity of the Gospel. (3:20)
2. The second lesson learned from the fall is the saving substitution of the Gospel (3:21)
3. The third lesson learned from the fall is the present protection of the Gospel (3:22-24)
What a journey! Three months ago, we started this study in Genesis. We started with only God. Preexistent—before anything—in the beginning. We’ve looked at the 7 days of creation. God resting on the seventh day. God’s crowning creation of man and His wonderful provision for man. And then we looked at temptation and sin and the fall. Tonight we’re going to wrap up our study in the first three chapters of Genesis by seeing how God’s grace shined through the horrible darkness of the Fall.
All around us, God has given us pictures of good and beauty coming out of tragedy. When my Mother-in-law was still living, she lived in Pensacola, Florida. There were a few years in a row that Florida had some very dry summers. They were way behind on their rain and everything was brown and dry. Well, you know what happens when pine forests get really dry. Just about anything will start forest fires. And that’s what happened. There were huge fires all over that state. It got to the point where they would even have smoke advisories on the highways like you would normally see fog advisories. They even had to shut down one of the main roads because of bad visibility. When we visited down there right after the fires, I remember how awful the devastation looked. If you’ve ever seen the results of a forest fire, you know what I’m talking about. It was absolutely desolate. There was not a sign of life anywhere. But what was amazing was how it looked the next time we drove through there. There were now signs of life. The old burned out trees had green branches on them. Wildflowers and grass were coming up in the ashes. Birds and other animals had begun to come back. Goodness and beauty had sprung out of tragedy. That is God’s design. He brings goodness and beauty out of the awful tragedy of sin. Tonight’s passage is the first example of that. When mankind was at its lowest point, God followed the curse with grace. As we look at this text tonight, we will see a pattern that will show us the Gospel. As we see that pattern, I want each of us to begin to grasp the full extent of the Gospel and what it means. And when we do, I want that understanding to drive us to want to appreciate it more and share it better. In order to do that, we’re going to look at three lessons learned from the fall about the Gospel. The first lesson learned from the fall is the inherited necessity of the Gospel.
The inherited necessity of the Gospel. What’s in a name? In most ages and most cultures, a lot. We have a hard time understanding that in our culture. When we name our kids, we might get deep enough to pick a family name. Most of the time we just pick a name because we like it or it sounds good. Of course, a lot of times we pick names because of who is popular at the time. A few years ago, there were a lot of Britney’s born. I remember back in the ‘80s it seemed like every other baby girl was named Alexis. That’s one more reason to be thankful Dynasty isn’t on the air any more. But historically, names have been given because of what they mean. God gave Adam his name because he was taken from the ground. Adam is nearly identical to the Hebrew word for ground. Then when it was time for Adam to name his wife, he called her Eve. I think the timing of this is interesting. He didn’t name her when she was first created. But now, after this terrible ordeal—now he was going to name her. What name would you have picked? What’s the Hebrew word for “tempter?” Or how about, “sinner,” or, “look at the mess you got us into?” I’d have probably picked a name like that. Of course I’d have heard about it forever. Then I would have had to pick out a middle name—like “nag.” But Adam didn’t do that. To me, that indicates recognition of his sinfulness. I might be reading into it, but when he named his wife Eve, he acknowledged THEIR sin. He quit blaming her and acknowledged their combined guilt. He called her Eve because she was the mother of all living. By calling her the mother of all living, Adam recognized two things. First, he recognized that she would be the mother of the saving seed God promised back in verse 15. He didn’t know when it would happen, but he did know it would happen through her. Second, he recognized the necessity of that promised seed because he understood that their sin would impact all that she was the mother of. Eve literally means life—as in the beginning of life. As the beginning of life he realized that their sin would be passed down to all their offspring. Giving her the name Eve showed her as the mother of not only all humanity, but of all fallen humanity. The Bible says that in Adam all have sinned. In other words, we are sinners by birth and not just by practice. Adam and