Let’s start this study with this verse:
FOR THE WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH; BUT THE GIFT OF GOD IS ETERNAL LIFE THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD.
As we see in this verse there are (wages) and a (gift). Because of the fact that Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden every person born of Adam are seen as sinners. The Bible says here that the wages of sin, the fact that each of us are sinners means that we must die. Now, what does it mean to die? If you will notice in Genesis, the Bible says this:
BUT OF THE TREE OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL, THOU SHAL NOT EAT OF IT: FOR IN THE DAY THAT THOU EATEST THEREOF THOU SHALT SURELY DIE.
We see if we keep reading that Adam did indeed eat of that fruit. However, the day that he ate thereof he didn’t die, not as we see death did, he? He lived to be a very old man and also had many children before he physically died. The point we often miss is that it’s not the way we see death that matters, it’s how God sees death. God defines death as separation from him and sin causes that separation. The very instant Adam bit the fruit, in God’s mind, he died. He was separated from the living God.
It is a fact that because of Adam’s disobedience we all have to face physical death, but physical death is not separation from God that is, unless we refuse to acknowledge our need for him while we are alive. If we fail to acknowledge our need for him in our lives, then spiritual death has already occurred within us just as it did Adam the day, he bit the fruit.
If we take the time to study this out, we will see that Adam knew the minute he bit the fruit that something had changed in his life.
AND THE EYES OF THEM BOTH WERE OPENED, AND THEY KNEW THAT THEY WERE NAKED; AND THEY SEWED FIG LEAVES TOGETHER, AND MADE THEMSELVES APRONS.
Can I ask a question here? At what age in your life did you begin to fear death? Do you remember? I would like for you to consider something. On the day that you began to fear death, who was it that told you to start fearing death? Was it your mom, dad, sister, brother, pastor, who? The truth is that you found out on your own to fear death, no one had to teach you that fact! In:
AND HE SAID, I HEARD THY VOICE IN THE GARDEN, AND I WAS AFRAID, BECAUSE I WAS NAKED, AND I HID MYSELF. (11) AND HE SAID, WHO TOLD THEE THAT THOU WAST NAKED? HAST THOU EATEN OF THE TREE, WHEREOF I COMMANDED THEE THAT THOU SHOULDEST NOT EAT?
Let’s take this slowly. First of all, Adam wasn’t naked, was he? They had made fig leaves and clothed themselves. Secondly, the very fact that they had broken God’s law caused fear to come upon them. It comes a point in every life when we realize we are sinners, we realize we are going to die.
We draw back from the penalty of death because we are unprepared to face God! At the same time, every person tries to find a way to cover themselves from the sin they know they are guilty of. At some point we gain the knowledge that (the wages of sin is death). In more cases than not , people try to cover themselves in some form. It might be religion, Church membership, we often even deny our sin, using that as a covering for what and who we know we are. People can say what they please but in reality every person that tries to cover themselves with something other than God’s grace still has an empty feeling inside that is not satisfied.
Now, still considering Adam. Adam and Eve, both covered themselves with leaves. They did that because they realized that they were naked. Well, it was no one there but Adam and Eve. They have seen themselves all this time and thought nothing of it, why now? Can we again, take this back to you as a baby or child? When did you, as a child realize you were naked? At what point in your life did you start putting clothes on, not because your mom told you to but simply because you did not want other to see your nakedness?
You see folks, it’s within us! It’s a God consciousness that causes us to be aware of truth and where we stand with God. Let me ask you something. Let’s say that a law was passed that you never had to wear clothes again, what would you do? Let’s say one Atheist marries another Atheist. They both say they have no respect for any part of God; therefore, can they simply commit adultery at will, living like dogs? Can a group of Atheist steal one from another and not think anything about it? If this world completely done away with all law concerning anything, how would Atheist live? how would you live?
We can say and deny anything we choose to, even become reprobate in our lives but the fact is that at one point in your life, you knew and that’s what governs your movement even if you choose to deny that fact!
Another thing about Adam can be related to the life we live. Although Adam covered himself with leaves, seeking to hide himself, he still had to stand before God a fallen being. Here, is where we might say we begin our look at salvation.
After Adam and Eve had covered themselves with leaves, they still had to face God. We can look at the fact that God came down with them and made them coats of skin in two different ways however, the point still remains that they had to at some point stand before God. Look at verse:
UNTO ADAM ALSO AND HIS WIFE DID THE LORD GOD MAKE COATS OF SKIN, AND COVERED THEM.
In order for God to make coats of skin, blood had to be shed, an animal had to die. It also says that God covered them. Consider this: if the Lord God was willing to make a covering to his satisfaction, killing an animal, shedding blood to do so then that act was already in the mind of God whether Adam and Eve accepted that sacrifice or not. There’s a point here that has to be considered. God was willing to make a way out for Adam and Eve. Once he did his part it, it was still a choice for Adam and Eve to accept the free gift.
Another way to say it is this. God didn’t ask Adam and Eve about it did he? God didn’t ask. Adam, if I kill an animal will you except my sacrifice as a covering for your sin? God did what he did out of love willingly whether Adam and Eve excepted it or not! The fact that both, Adam and Eve covered themselves with the coats of skin didn’t in any way change the fact that they were sinners. However, now God is not looking at them but rather the coats of shin that he, himself had made.
There we see the (free gift) of salvation that is offered by Jesus Christ our Lord. There’s a lot to teach here. However, the fact that Adam and Eve accepted God’s sacrifice is (shall we say) a turning point that needs to be recognized. Actually, it wasn’t the coats of skin that covered Adam and Eve from their nakedness. It was the (shedding of blood).
AND ALMOST ALL THINGS ARE BY THE LAW PURGED WITH BLOOD, AND WITHOUT THE SHEEDING OF BLOOD IS NO REMISSION.
So, as we move forward from Adam and Eve, what did they teach their children about the (sin sacrifice)? Let’s just assume that after Adam and Eve, every person from that point on, beginning with their children killed animals to make clothes for a covering for themselves. Did that fact cover their sins? Not in any way. So, look at this verse, a statement made by Abraham.
AND ABRAHAM SAID, MY SON, GOD WILL PROVIDE HIMSELF A LAMB FOR THE BURNT OFFERING: SO THEY WENT BOTH OF THEM TOGETHER.
Can I show you one other verse?
AND ALL THAT DWELL UPON THE EARTH SHALL WORSHIP HIM, WHOSE NAMES ARE NOT WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF LIFE OF THE LAMB SLAIN FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD.
Although in this verse he is speaking of people that never believed in Jesus Christ, he also makes the point that (the Lamb) was slain from the foundation of the world. From the time Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden until the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary, every person that believed, believed that (God would offer himself a sacrifice) at some point. The only difference in the people in the Old Testament and the believer in the New Testament is that while we look back to the Cross by faith, they looked forward to the day that Jesus Christ would become that perfect Lamb of God.
In the Old Testament when the priest would offer a lamb for a sacrifice, the skin of that lamb didn’t become a coat for the man that offered it did it? No, because it was the blood sacrifice that is or was the picture. We see Jesus Christ and his shed blood as our (sin covering).
This is what a lot of people misunderstand about the salvation they have. Let’s start this with some verses:
WHOM GOD HATH SET FORTH TO BE A PROPITIATION THROUGH FAITH IN HIS BLOOD, TO DECLARE HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS THAT ARE PAST, THROUGH THE FORBEARENCE OF GOD; (26) TO DECLARE, I SAY, AT THIS TIME HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS; THAT HE MIGHT BE JUST, AND THE JUSTIFIER OF HIM WHICH BELIEVETH IN JESUS.
In the whole picture of salvation, from the coats of skin for Adam and Eve, the lambs and other animals that were offered all through our study of the Old Testament, even the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. All of these things will never change the fact we are sinners in need of a savior. I often say, I might have already mentioned this, but the priest didn’t look at the man that offered the lamb to see what he looked like, he already knew he was very sinful. That’s why he brought the lamb. The priest made sure the lamb met the qualifications to be offered.
God’s not looking at our righteousness to see if we are good enough, he already knows the answer to that question, no we’re not. He looks at the perfection he sees in his Son, Jesus Christ. We are not depending on our own righteousness but rather the righteousness of Jesus Christ for our salvation.
I AM CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST: NEVERTHELESS I LIVE, YET NOT I, BUT CHRIST LIVETH IN ME: AND THE LIFE WHICH I NOW LIVE IN THE FLESH I LIVE BY THE FAITH OF THE SON OF GOD, WHO LOVED ME, AND GAVE HIMSELF FOR ME.
If you will notice in that verse he says: (I LIVE BY THE FAITH OF THE SON OF GOD). My complete trust is all Jesus Christ! I live and trust (his faith) and not my own! We, as sinners are all weak through the flesh but, you can trust everything about Jesus Christ! I totally realize I’m not perfect, no matter how hard I try, I’m still a sinner. I do however seek to live a good clean life but, I don’t do that seeking to please Jesus Christ for my salvation, I do it because of my love for him. My sin debt has been paid!
Let’s look at a perfect picture of salvation in the gospel of Luke. We’ll look at two verses and explain it. You can read the rest and allow God’s Spirit to speak to you.
AND I AM NO MORE WORTHY TO BE CALLED THY SON: MAKE ME AS ONE OF THY HIRED SERVANTS,
AND THE SON SAID UNTO HIM, FATHER, I HAVE SINNED AGAINST HEAVEN, AND IN THY SIGHT, AND AM NO MORE WORTHY TO BE CALLED THY SON. (22) BUT THE FATHER SAID TO HIS SERVANTS, BRING FORTH THE BEST ROBE, AND PUT IT ON HIM; AND PUT A RING ON HIS HAND, AND SHOES ON HIS FEET: (23) AND BRING HITHER THE FATTED CALF, AND KILL IT; AND LET US EAT, AND BE MERRY.
If you will notice here the change that has happened in the heart of the younger son. He said, I am no more worthy to be thy son, make me as one of thy hired servants. However, what did the father do? He excepted him back as his son. I like to point out here that the father said to (bring forth the best robe and put it on him). If you will notice, he said nothing about taking a bath first, getting to stink off of you but simply to but on the best robe.
All that was still there, it was covered by the best robe! All of our ungodliness is still within us when we are covered by the blood of Jesus Christ, It just can’t be seen by God the Father! The real difference was made within the heart of the son in all that he recognized. What he did from that day forward was the true test of whether he meant what he said, not his father and what he did.
For instance: it’s now the responsibility of the son to clean himself up, to get the filth and stink out of his life, to act like a servant just like he said to his father instead of a son. The Father excepted him back (JUST AS HE WAS)! Weather the son meant what he said was now to be seen by the change in his life!
Do you remember when Moses said this: (I choose to suffer the afflictions of my people than to live in sin for a season)? (Hebrews 11:25) It’s a separation from the world. Moses could have been seen as the king if he made a choice to but, he chooses to suffer with his people. We see by his actions from that time on, he meant what he said.
Salvation is a transformation of one’s heart. We make a choice to walk away from the things of this world and from that point to become a willing servant of Jesus Christ seeking his will and not the things of this world. We are (by nature) of this world. The way we think, the things we do, the words we use, the lifestyles we have. The spirit of this world that leads us when we are (of this world) is replaced by (God’s Holy Spirit) as our guide once we are born again.
The son we are speaking of acted like all his father had, was his, at least part of it. I want what’s mine he said. Now since he returned, he sees who he is, not worthy of anything but now, he’s will to listen to his father and do his complete will.
Salvation takes a change of heart, no matter who you are. If you will continue to read, you will see that the elder brother became jealous of the younger. He even said to his father:
AND HE ANSWERING SAID TO HIS FATHER, LO, THESE MANY YEARS DO I SERVE THEE, NEITHER TRANSGRESSED I AT ANY TIME THY COMMANDMENT; AND YET THOU NEVER GAVEST ME A KID, THAT I MIGHT MAKE MERRY WITH MY FRIENDS:
There are many people that assume they are right with God just because they think they live right. However, can we see a rebellious spirit within the heart of this older brother? Does he not think he deserves something just because he thinks he’s done well?
I’ll show you something just by way of spiritual teaching. If we go back to Adam and Eve and their two sons, we see that the oldest (Cain) was not pleasing to God but, (Abel), being the younger was. We see the same picture here. Although the youngest so left, he returned a different man. He oldest stayed but remained the same.
The spiritual point to be made in both situations is this. Both the oldest and youngest sons become a picture of you as one person. Although you have been born-again, you still live within the same sinful body you always have. You can count on this fact. You, as becoming a spiritual man within will always have to fight to overcome the (older man) that you once were.
Salvation is just this simple. As an individual you allow God’s Spirit to come in and live within your heart, the center of your being. When that transformation happens, we daily learn to yield our members to his will. Often it takes a lifetime to see yourself sold out to him, beating the battle we face with our flesh. One of the best pictures of this I know of in scripture is found in Genesis. I’ll simple show you a verse that refers to this and share a little about it.
AS IT IS WRITTEN, JACOB HAVE I LOVED, BUT ESAU HAVE I HATED.
The scripture that is referring to begins in (Genesis 25:24). Isaac was married to Rebekah; she has just given birth to twin boys. We see that Esau was first born, then Jacob. As we continue to read, we see where Rebeka helps Jacob, her younger son, steal her older son’s birthright. Here, Rebeka is a type of the Church. The responsibility of every Church is to a newborn believer, being the second born to steal the birthright from the older you. Jacob actually steals Esau’s birthright. From that moment on those two brothers are at complete odds with on another.
If you will continue to study, you will see that years later they come back together. This is a picture of every born-again believer finally winning their battle over the flesh. Most believers understand that the battle is never completely won. We will never be just like Jesus Christ until we are in his presence.
I often say it this way. Our salvation is in all three tenses. Past, present and future. The moment you yield yourself to God’s Spirit, asking him to come into your heart (salvation is accomplished) That is past tense. Each day we live we are continually dying to ourselves and becoming more of what God desires for us to be. (Present tense salvation) last from the moment we are saved until the day we die in our flesh. As we spiritually learn God’s will and fight the battle with our flesh, we become more and more like Christ. Future tense salvation will be when we actually complete our spiritual journey, standing in the presence of Jesus Christ. We see here where I mention (dying in our flesh). In the spiritual sense, the way God sees death, we died the very moment we became born again!
This is something that ever person must consider. Only you can know for certainty that you are born-again. No other person can say for sure, no pastor, no preacher, not your mother or dad, no one! Only can know for sure that God’s Spirit lives within you. The Bible tells us this, speaking of God the Father:
LET THIS CONVERSTION BE WITHOUT COVETOUSNESS; AND BE CONTENT WITH SUCH THINGS AS YE HAVE: FOR HE HATH SAID, I WILL NEVER LEAVE THEE, NOR FORSAKE THEE.
You can read the rest of that but, that’s a promise to those that are of the family of God (born-again). The verse just before this: (verse 4) says this:
MARRIAGE IS HONOURABLE IN ALL, AND THE BEDROOM UNDEFILED: BUT WHOREMONGERS AND ADULTERERS GOD WILL JUDGE.
Although we can see this verse in a physical light as well as spiritual, the Holy Spirit is showing us how God sees us as members of his family, if we continue to walk in the things and ways of this world. If we are Born-again, he’s not going to forsake us but, you can expect to be judged as one of his children. You can also read (Hebrews 12:1-15) to see what I’m speaking of.
In closing, have you come to the end of yourself realizing you are a hopeless sinner in this sin-cured world? Have you humbly bowed before God, asking him to be your personal Savior? Forget what any denomination might teach, whether you are a member of a Church or, if you’ve been baptized, while each of these things are a part of salvation, none of them will ever be salvation. One last scripture and we’ll close.
2 Peter 1:10
WHEREFORE, THE RATHER, BRETHREN, GIVE DILIGENCE TO MAKE YOUR CALLING AND ELECTION SURE: FOR IF YOU DO THESE THINGS, YE SHALL NEVER FALL; (11) FOR SO AN ENTRANCE SHALL BE MINISTERED UNTO YOU ABUNDANTLY INTO THE EVERLASTING KINGDOM OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST.
If you’ll read the first nine verses here, you will notice it begins with faith, it ends with charity., He mentions faith, virtue, knowledge, Temperence, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and charity,
Beginning with faith, that is salvation. It’s placing your faith in what Jesus Christ has already done for you. In the end, we see Charity. What you are willing to give to him by showing his love through brotherly kindness, It’s a growing process. It enables each believer to gain a (know so) salvation. We can’t gain that with any other person’s knowledge, it has to be (what we know)!
If we consider our physical life, isn’t it filled with up’s and down’s. We have many failures, often few victories but we grow to maturity because of what we learn in all that happens to us, good and bad. Your spiritual life is the same way, I remember when I was first saved, we started a visitation program in our Church. I remember the very first person we went to see, I even remember his name, As I witnessed to him, he looked at me and smiled, He asked, who did Cain marry? He was speaking of Adam’s first son. I didn’t have the answer. Therefore, he laughed at me. However, I didn’t allow that to stop me from going on visitation, As I continued to study, one day I thought; now I can answer that question. You can read it as well! Read (Genesis 5:1-5). You’ll see where Adam has both (sons and daughter), So, he could either pick a daughter or a niece. I actually don’t care who he married; the point is he had someone to marry.
If you are born-again, allow that salvation to grow within you. I once heard a man give testimony. He said this: I’m addicted to the love of Jesus Christ and a desire to know truth. I work forty hours a week to support that addiction! I feel the same way. If you can use something I teach to help you spiritually, then praise God, If not then don’t give up the search for your security in Christ. Study until you (know him) and the power of his resurrection. (Philippians 3:10)
Lord, I pray for every person that might read this. I pray that each person knows your saving grace and, I pray for their spiritual education as they are drawn closer into a walk with you by your spirit. Open the eyes of the blind, fill each of them until their cup runs over with your amazing grace. I pray in Jesus Christ name and, all for his glory! Amen.
2 Timothy 1:7