One of our readers asks, "Were Adam and Eve saved by the grace of God?" This question has two parts. First, were Adam and Eve saved? Second, how were they saved?
First, we can say that Eve was saved. God said to the serpent, who is Satan (Rev. 1 2:9), "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel" (Gen. 3:15). The “woman" is Eve (cf. 3:1-2, 4, 6, 12-13, 16). Through the Fall, Adam and Eve allied themselves with Satan and joined him in his hatred against God. When God put enmity between Satan and the "woman," Eve, He was restoring the covenant friendship that He had with her before the Fall. Viewed in this light, the "coats of skins" (3:21), which the Lord made and with which He clothed her, speak of the garments of salvation, as the church has traditionally taught. It comes as no surprise that Eve confesses that the sons she later bares came to her from the hand of the Almighty (4:1, 25). Thus God's coming to find Eve (3:8ff.) speaks of His graciously coming to seek and to save that which was lost (cf. Luke 19:10). Clearly, Eve was saved.
Second, nor only Eve but also Adam was saved. Eve is prominent in acknowledging that God gave her the birth of Cain and Seth (Gen. 4:1, 25), but are we to think that Adam played no role in naming his sons and thus in confessing Jehovah as the God who gives life? Similarly, God clothed not only Eve but also Adam in those "coats of skins" (3:21) that betoken salvation. Furthermore, God came not only to Eve but also to Adam to show them their sin and misery that He might deliver them (3:8ff.).
But if Adam and Eve were saved, we must next ask how they were saved. They certainly were not saved by their own "free will" or their own efforts. When God came to save them, they hid from God (3:8) and made excuses for their sins (3:12-13). It was God, and not themselves, who saved them. God said, "I will put enmity between thee and the woman" (3:15). Adam and Eve had no power or will to break free from Satan's dominion. Only God could and only God did deliver them. But not only was their salvation wholly of God; it was also wholly of grace. Our first parents had disobeyed God's command and had eaten of the forbidden fruit. They believed the devil and disbelieved the true and living God Who had made them and who had entered into fellowship with them. Thus their salvation could only be by the sovereign mercy and gift of God. And since their salvation was wholly of grace, then it must also be of faith (Eph. 2:8). Adam and Eve were given faith by God to believe in the coming seed of the woman, Christ, who would bruise Satan's head on the cross. And we, and all of God's people in all ages, are saved in the same way as our first parents.
- Volume: 8
- Issue: 18
Rev. Angust Stewart (Wife: Mary)
Ordained - 2001
Pastorates: Covenant Protestant Reformed Church of Ballymena, Northern Ireland - 2001Website: www.cprf.co.uk/
Address7 Lislunnan Road
State or ProvinceCo.Antrim
Zip CodeBT42 3NR
Telephone(01144) 28 25 891851