Summary: This sermon focuses on the doctrine of salvation as pictured by the events in Genesis 3:7 & 21
We’re in the middle of a series of messages on the early chapters of Genesis, which describe the first events in human history (the first week, the first people, the first home, the first lie, the first sin, the first promise, and the first sacrifice).
The First Sacrifice is recorded in Genesis 3:21.
Remember the setting? Adam and Eve sinned against God, their eyes were opened, they realized they were naked, and they were ashamed. So they tried to cover their nakedness with fig leaves. But fig leaves make lousy clothes. So God intervened, sacrificed an animal, and make garments of skin for them.
This is the first sacrifice mentioned in the Bible. An innocent animal, most likely lamb, lost it’s life so that Adam and Eve could be covered.
God didn’t record this just so we’d know where the first clothes came from. He recorded this because it provides a good picture of salvation.
They say, "A picture is worth a thousand words." The Bible is filled with pictures: that is, it is filled with stories and events which picture an important truth. Quite often, the New Testament states the truth, and the Old Testament paints a picture of it. That’s the case here. Let’s look at Genesis 3 and notice how it paints a picture of salvation.
I call your attention to three scenes in verses 7 and 21.
I. Adam and Eve Were Naked and Ashamed (v. 7).
This pictures A LOST PERSON as he stands before God. He is completely naked of any righteousness and that brings great shame.
Romans 3:10-18 describes humanity’s spiritual nakedness ....
Ezra 9:6 describes the shame sin brings ....
Have you ever wondered why are so many people are uncomfortable around God? Because deep down inside they know that God is infinitely holy, and they are sinful - and that causes great shame.
II. Adam and Eve Sewed Fig Leaves Together and Tried to Cover Their Nakedness (v. 7).
This pictures a salvation by GOOD WORKS - which is the Devil’s religion.
Don’t misunderstand me. Good works come after salvation, not before. Good works are the result of salvation, not the means to salvation (Eph. 2:8-10).
H.A. Ironside was fond of saying "There are only two religions in the world." And he’s right, when you think about it. All the religions of the world can be divided into two categories: God’s and Satan’s. God’s religion is true, Satan’s is false.
God says, "Salvation is based on grace." Satan says, "Salvation is based on works.
God says, "You can receive eternal life as a free gift!" Satan says, "You must work for it as a wage!"
God says, "Only the blood of Jesus can cover your sins!" Satan says, "Your good works are able to cover up your sins!"
The latter is pictured in this second scene. It pictures a lost person who is trying to cover his sins with good works. He says to himself, "If I live a good life, get baptized, and go to church, then I’ll make it to Heaven." But that isn’t true. Living a good life, getting baptized, and going to church are extremely important, but those good works (and any other good work) will not get a person to Heaven.
Somebody asks, "Rick, why won’t a person’s good works get them to Heaven?" Because good works aren’t an adequate covering. They’re like fig leaves. Fig leaves make lousy clothes. They don’t last. They aren’t comfortable. They don’t keep you warm. And they won’t keep you covered up for very long - or so I’m told.
Fig Leaves make lousy clothes. And that’s the way good works are. They can’t cover up your sins (Eph. 2:9, Isaiah 64:6, Rom. 3:23).
Simply put, our best isn’t good enough. Even on our best behavior, we still can’t measure up to God’s standard of perfect holiness. All it takes is one sin to mess things up - and we’ve already failed (ILL: James 2:10).
God doesn’t accept a good works salvation, because good works do a poor job of covering our sins.
Somebody asks, "Rick, how then can I be saved?" Remember, there are only 2 religions in the world. One religion says you’re saved by works, the other says you’re saved by grace. One religion says you must do something for God, while the other religion says God must do something for you. And He did!
As God the Son, He entered human history and gave His life as an atoning sacrifice for the sins of the world (I John 2:2).
This is the picture in the third scene.
III. God Slew an Innocent Lamb and Made an Appropriate Covering for Adam and Eve’s Nakedness (v. 21).
This is a tremendous picture of what happened AT THE CROSS when Jesus died as our substitute. In effect, God slew His son so that we could be covered in his righteousness.