Links Daily Devotional

Messiness (and Grace) in the Garden

And the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skin and clothed them. (Genesis 3:21, ESV)

On the golf course, sometimes a big putt allows us to escape the consequences of an ugly effort. In life, it takes much more than that.

In the garden, God allowed Adam and Eve to eat of any tree except for one. And you know that all of these trees were good and sufficient for them, not only to survive, but also to enjoy. God told Adam this, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:16-17).

You’re probably familiar with the story. Satan came along (in the form of a serpent), tempted the couple into eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and they partook in the first sin of this world by disobeying what their Creator had told them not to do.

The big question is this: Did Adam and Eve die when they committed this sin? They died spiritually, yes, but not physically. Physical death is ultimately going to happen for them (and all of us), which is a result and consequence of our sin.

Look at what R.C. Sproul writes in his book, Grace Unknown, “In Eden the penalty for violating the covenant’s terms was death. This penalty was not limited to spiritual death, nor would the penalty’s execution be delayed. Death is imposed on the very day the transgression occurred. That Adam and Eve did not die physically on the day of their first sin already displays God’s grace and mercy.”

From the very beginning of sin, our Creator, God, has shown mercy (Adam and Eve deserved physical death—it didn’t happen) and grace (they received life they did not deserve). Likewise, we deserve the full penalty of our sin, which is more than just spiritual death; we deserve the full payment of physical death immediately.

Brothers and sisters, we serve a good God. He is so good. He chose to show grace and mercy to us as sinners. Just as he clothed Adam and Eve with animal skins (an animal had to be sacrificed in order for them to be covered), he clothes us as believers with the robe of Jesus, who sacrificed all that we might live.

You see, Christ’s perfect life, death, and resurrection are enough for God. We don’t have to bring anything to the table. In fact, what we do bring is the stink and filth of our sin and failures. Yet, because of his great love, God decided to save us, in spite of who we are and what we have done.

Believers, this is the hope we share in Christ Jesus. When you’re struggling or in a hard place or time, this is the good news we can always look to. If you’re in Christ, you are forgiven and made new. On your best of days or worst, God’s grace, love, and mercy never changes. It is enough to cover all of you, including your filthy and gross sin. Rejoice in this today!

Rosson Anderson
July 29, 2015
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