Sermon delivered March 20, 1999

by Pastor Donald J Gettys

McDonald Road Seventh-day Adventist Church

McDonald, Tennessee

Adam's Blessed Conversion

Notice that there are several translations of the Bible quoted in this sermon. However, almost any translation would suffice, except where a special point is brought out.

KJV - King James Version  (Archaic English)
NIV - New International Version
NKJV - New King James Version  (KJV in modern speech)
NLT - New Living Translation  (Not the former paraphrase)

This morning is the fourth of a series of sermons on Adam and Eve. This one is called, "Adam's Blessed Conversion." Did you know that Adam was converted?

Do you know what one of the first things that Adam and Eve did after God expelled them from the Garden of Eden? They raised Cain! It must be dreadful to be kicked out of your home. They had lost almost everything - just over the eating of the prohibited produce.

Come over to Genesis the second chapter. As soon as they ate the forbidden fruit, they started dying. Notice here in the King James Version, Genesis 2:16 and 17. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the DAY that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." When would they die? In the very day that they ate of it.

Did Adam and Eve die THAT day? Yes, they did! They absolutely died that day. Whatever your definition of death is they did die that day. They died spiritually. They died physically that very day. If you can't quite accept that fact that they died that very day, some of you may be thinking, "Well, Adam lived to be a nine hundred and thirty years old. He didn't die that day." Yes he did! If you can't accept that, you may be forgetting something. Let me read it to you. II Peter 3:8- NLT But you must not forget, dear friends, that a day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day.

So, a day is like a thousand years. How long did Adam live? 930 years. He lived almost the full extent of what god would have considered that first day. In God's sight, Adam lived almost all of the first day. It is interesting that no human being as far as we know, ever lived longer than 1000 years. There must be a reason for that. All still die within that first day, in God's timing, of life. I'm thankful God did not let man live forever in sin. That is such a blessing.

An individual E-mailed me and asked how long Adam lived before he sinned. Well, I really don't know. The Bible is silent on that, isn't it. We don't know how long Adam lived. I would guess at least a year. One of our church members that I asked, said, "Well, it would be about a hundred years." Well, I don't know about that. Probably at least a year. The reason for that is found in Genesis 2:19,20- NLT So the LORD God formed from the soil every kind of animal and bird. He brought them to Adam to see what he would call them, and Adam chose a name for each one. He gave names to all the livestock, birds, and wild animals. He named everything that moved. That took a long time. Because, how many species of creatures are there? It would have to take long time to name all of those.

An elephant walked by and Adam probably said: I think that looks like an elephant and named it so. I don't know how he name them, but he surely had a creative mind. This process must have taken months. Then Eve was taken from Adam's rib after Adam named the animals. Then sin came and they were evicted from their happy home.

How did Adam and Eve feel when expelled? They were really put out! What excuse did Adam give to his children as to why he no longer lived in Eden? "Your mother ate us out of house and home." Uncontrolled appetite is dangerous. Uncontrolled appetite leads you where you don't want to go. If you can't control appetite, and appetite is something good, if you can't control sex, it's leading you in the wrong direction.

That first night outside paradise must have been sleepless. Such tears had never been shed. They were reaping what they had sown. All this lost because of sin. Shame on them! Don't you think? They didn't do right. Eve did not do right.

Listen to this quotation. It come to us from the director of ministerial studies at Harvard Divinity School. He said, "Eve's eating of the apple in the Garden of Eden was the first free act of the human race. We ought to celebrate Eve. She began the process of freedom." -reverend Patricia Budd Kepler

That's tough, isn't it. Actually what Eve began was the process of loss and death. That's what she started. She didn't begin freedom. She began servitude and slavery. Adam and Eve were punished for sin. Today we are punished less for sinning it seems than by the sin in general and its toll.

There are so many lessons in Adam's story. The first Adam came to the fig tree looking for leaves. That variety of fig tree had huge leaves and they sewed them together somehow. But Jesus, the second Adam came to the fig tree looking for figs. Matthew 21:19. Jesus looks for fruit. What does god look for? Fruit. What does man look for? Something to cover his sins. It is not enough just to cover up our sins. God would have us produce fruit. He wants fruitful people. God wants you to develop the fruit of love and joy and patience and faith and hope.

Well, Adam and Eve needed clothes. If Adam had been a senior textile expert, a clothing designer, he could not have designed finer clothes than God gave him. Those first garment that Adam and Eve first sewed out of fig leaves represents man's attempt to merit salvation through human effort. Can you do that? No, you can not. That is equated with the robe of self-righteousness. Is it possible for us to have enough righteousness generated by our own steam to save ourselves? It is not!

It was possible before Adam fell. He could earn some degree of righteous character by obedience to God's law. Because he sinned our natures today are fallen and we cannot make ourselves righteous. We cannot perfectly obey the holy law. Nobody here has perfect patience.

"But Christ has made a way of escape for us. He offers to take our sins and give us His perfect righteousness. If you accept Him as your Savior, then sinful as your life may have been, for His sake you are accounted righteous. Christ's character stands in place of your character, and you are accepted before God just as if you had not sinned." - Steps to Christ p. 62 - EG White

So you see why Christians today stand more righteous than Adam before he even fell. Adam had but temporal creature merit whereas we stand Clothed in the Creator's eternal righteousness. This shifts the basis of life from Adam to Christ.

Let's focus on Adam's conversion. If anybody is going to be converted there are several steps to conversion.

#1- You have to feel a NEED. The people that were on the Titanic did not feel much of a need and so they kept heading toward the iceberg. You have to NEED salvation. Did Adam and Eve feel a need to be saved? Oh yes, they did. They were cast out. They were in the outer realms outside of the Garden of Eden. They had a deep need to be restored to a relationship with God as they hid there behind the bushes.

QUESTION: What physical object when it is broken, can never be mended? Well, you could probably think of several. I would think of an egg. A chicken egg. Remember the story of Humpty Dumpty? He fell off the wall. All the king's horses and all the kings men could not put him back together again. Regardless of how hard we try as human beings, no human can put an egg back together again. We simply have to learn to live with the mess.

The story Adam and Eve is like Humpty Dumpty. They fell hard. Nobody except God could put their lives back together again. And there may be people here today, you have sinned, you have gone out, you've gone on a life of joy-riding through the world to see its attractions and sample every possible sin that the world has to offer. Maybe you're spiritually bankrupt, or even financially bankrupt. You have blown your life. Your life may be out of control. Wherever you turn you may hear the crunch of fragile shells beneath your feet. Everything is bad. You feel a great need of something greater. That's the first step of salvation. If you can sense that need, until you come to the bottom of the barrel, you can't be saved. Adam and Eve were at the bottom of the barrel. If you feel a deep NEED of God there is hope.

#2- Anyone who is to be saved must hear the GOSPEL. God came, searching for Adam and Eve. He came to give them hope. I've seen books written about Man's Search for God. Those books are... we shouldn't use the word crazy in the pulpit, but they're very similar to that. No man searches for God. That's not Biblical. The truth is that Salvation is God's search for man! Adam and Eve ran away from God. They were hiding from God. It says in Romans 3:11 KJV There is none that seeketh God. It's not man's search for God. It's God's search for man. I John 4:19 KJV We love him because he first loved us. God is indeed the hound of heaven. He come searching for us.

Adam and Eve must hear the Gospel. Did they hear the gospel? Where does it say they heard the gospel? I'd like you to come to Genesis 3:15 NLT. The good news that forgiveness is possible and freely available. Did Adam hear the gospel before his rebirth? Yes! When? Let us reread Genesis 3:15 NLT From now on, you and the woman will be enemies, and your offspring and her offspring will be enemies. He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.

Now, here in this verse, right after Adam and Eve's spiritual Pearl Harbor, God declares all-out war on the Devil. In this declaration statement Adam heard the gospel for the first time. It's right here. You can see it. Fresh hope came as they listened to the very first promise in the Bible which is in the first prophecy of the Bible right here in verse 15.

Satan had been too smart for his own britches. He had fallen into an ambush. He had aspired to take over the world and now, unbeknown to him, he had initiated the mechanism whereby God could reclaim the world for Himself. It was the supreme fumble. The ball was now in God's possession. This earth would be the battlefield. Good and evil in a six thousand year war called the Great Controversy between Christ and Satan. But here in this verse the outcome is clearly stated. We know Who is going to be the winner. God will win. Jesus would be wounded badly but He would recover. However Satan would be struck in the head and would eventually die.

I Corinthians 15:25- NIV For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. Jesus reigns until he puts all his enemies under his feet.

One of our church members this past week went out fishing over here on Wolftever Creek. He stepped down to get near the water and stepped on a snake that he was not expecting. A big snake. (His initials are Dan Benoit, in case you want to know who was out fishing.) And Dan did a little dance there for a while. And Jesus crushes the snake under his feet. The devil will have an end and God will triumph. You've heard of the triumph of God's love. It is going to happen. Praise God for that.

#3- The third step in Adam's conversion to salvation is ADAM'S FAITH. Now where do we see Adam's faith? Well, come back here to Genesis 3:20- KJV. No one is saved unless they believe in God. Where do we see Adams profession of Faith? Look at this: Then Adam named his wife Eve, because she would be the mother of all people everywhere. What does the word "Eve" mean? It means "life." The King James Version says that she would be the mother of all living. Of all living, not the mother of all dead. But Eve has yet to give birth to a second generation. The word Eve means life.

Adam had faith, didn't he. While under the curse of death Adam does not think that he and Eve are the first and last homo sapiens that would ever exist. He believed that there would be more. There would be others. Adam named Eve the mother of all living, not the mother of all dying. He had faith, tremendous faith.

#4 To be saved we must each experience GODS GRACE. Did Adam experience God's grace? Yes, he did. Notice Genesis 3:21- NLT And the LORD God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife. Now keep in mind here. Where did the clothing come from? From animal skins. Were there dead animals lying around? No. That animal had to be killed. You can't have salvation without the shedding of blood. And right here you see the very first act of the shedding of blood as a type, as a symbol of the sacrificial system, as a symbol of the blood of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. Blood was shed for the very first time there in the Garden of Eden. And who killed that animal? Well, the text says that the Lord God made clothing from the animal skins for Adam and his wife. I believe that God had Adam kill that animal personally. I would guess that it would be a lamb. We're not told what it was. The datum that God said. "You take a lamb, you slit that lamb's throat, you kill that lamb as a covering over your life. And that's what happened. Adam slit it's throat. Adam and Eve, I am sure, were crying. There were a lot of tears. They began to realize the high cost of their sin. When Jesus died on the cross, who killed Him? I did. My sin. Who killed that lamb there in the Garden of Eden? Adam did. He began to realize the high cost of sin. That act was an example of the price that Jesus paid on the cross. Nobody can be saved without the shedding of blood.

Also, grace was shown in the clothes that were provided for Adam and Eve. They were standing there, naked. God made clothes for the naked pair. Have you ever thought about this? We as human beings are the only animals that God made that have to provide their own clothing. Every other animal out there grows its clothes. We have to provide our own. Now, we had a covering, we had clothing at the beginning didn't we. Adam and Eve were covered with a garment of light. They lost that because of sin and so today we still don't grow our own clothes. We have to go get our own clothes. Somebody else has to provide our own clothes. They have to be made by us or someone else. Almost every stitch of covering we wear comes from an animal or a plant. A creature had to die so that we could be provided with leather shoes. The living wool had to be severed from the sheep's back to make our garments. Even the cotton had to be pulled from its place of life to be our vestment.

All animal clothing grows from within, but ours must come from without. The truth here is that sin left man naked. We must be clothed by someone else. God had to come and provide the covering for Adam and Eve who stood naked and shivering under the withering fig leaves.

God's creative power tanned that hide, God's skill made it soft and pliable. God's own hands fashioned the finest clothing ever made for the guilty couple. The label on the back of the collar probably said: Handmade by God. - Made in Eden.

Grace precedes judgment. They were clothes before they were judged. They are not expelled nude into the harsh elements.

#5- The fifth element of salvation is that nobody can be saved unless they ACCEPT salvation. Adam and Eve gladly accepted the newly made suits of clothing. They wore those clothes. They were now covered by the robe of God's own making.

Their clothes were a symbol of the covering righteousness of God. Unless you are covered by the righteousnes of God you are naked. You are unacceptable in His sight. The fig leaves of our own attempt at human works do not cover us. No amount of works will save us. Only the robe of righteousness will be acceptable.

How much did Adam and Eve pay for those robes? Was there any money? There was no money in the Garden of Eden. They didn't have any money. How many assets did Adam and Eve have? They had nothing. God owned everything. They could not pay for that clothing. How much can you pay for the righteousness of Jesus Christ? Absolutely zero. Nothing at all. We don't have any spiritual assets to compensate Jesus for saving us. Even now, salvation is still a free gift.

Come over to Romans 5:12- NIV. This describes the two Adams: the first Adam which was in the Garden of Eden, and the second "Adam" which would be Jesus Christ. Okay? Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man (Adam), and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned..., everyone of us are sinners. We have all sinned and come short of the glory of God. Now look at verse 15: But the GIFT is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! Because of the second Adam we will be saved. Praise God that He sent Jesus Christ.

I long to meet Adam and Eve in Heaven. We're going to meet them. I sincerely believe that they were saved. They're going to be in heaven. You're going to see that first couple. And you might say, "Why did you eat that fruit? We could have been born in Eden. And here we had to be born in Tennessee." Now we'll just be glad they're there, won't we. We'll be glad we are there. And, friends, if God can save Adam and Eve, God can save you. If He can save them with the gravity of the sin that they brought into this world, there is no person here that can't be forgiven. You can be saved. You can be in heaven. But only if you will be converted, if you will accept the covering robe with the free righteousness of Jesus Christ as your covering and accept Him as your Savior. Feel the need, accept the gospel, believe the gospel, accept God's grace, and be forevermore grateful and you will be in His kingdom. We're saved by grace through Jesus Christ and God will give you the strength to live the Christian life.

I don't think Adam and Eve went out anymore and did bad things. I think from then on they lived a pretty good life. They made a mistake, they learned from their lesson. And if you've made a mistake, learn from that. Don't repeat those mistakes, and God will bless you. He will save you if you will come to Him and accept Him as your God and your Savior.

Opening Hymn: #88  I Sing the Mighty Power of God
Scripture: Genesis 3:20,21 
Closing Hymn: #334  Come, Tho Fount of Every Blessing 


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