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Garments of Skin

by Robert Garrett

“The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.” (Genesis 3:21)

The first two chapters of Genesis tell us the beautiful story of Creation, and how God created the first man and first woman.

And in the last verse of the first chapter we read “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning — the sixth day.”

It was a beautiful, wonderful creation.

The third chapter tells the terrible story of how sin entered the world, and shows the terrible consequences that followed. Sin is not a small thing, it is always destructive.

The New Testament tells us that  “the wages of sin is death”  and “sin entered the world through one man,  and death through sin , and  in this way death came to all men, because all sinned.”   (Rom 6:23 and 5:12)

The Book of Genesis—the Book of Beginnings—has been called the “seed bed of the Bible.”  These things are not allegories, not myths, not fairy stories for little children.  What is recorded here is true History, true historical events, faithfully and accurately recorded for our learning.

The story of the temptation and fall of man is more than the popular myth of just eating an apple. What is involved here is an actual rebellion against God. The desire to become self-sufficient, and totally independent of God. The tempter implied that God was not fair; that God was keeping something from her that she deserved. She was deceived and she ate and she gave to her husband, so together they rebelled against God.

How foolish of the creature to think that he could be independent of the Creator. For it is in Him that we live and move and have our being.   Life, and the very air we breathe, is a gift from Him.

Today, every person on the face of this earth, no matter his color, ethnic origin, tribe, nationality or language, is a descendent of the first man Adam and his wife Eve. The whole history of mankind from that time to this very day reveals the consequences of sin. Mankind is still trying to be independent of God, individually or collectively: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — (1John 2:16).

Man’s inhumanity to man, the murders, the sexual immorality, the lust for power, wars, slavery and the oppression of others — this is been the history of mankind from that time on. But God did not create it that way — Instead, as the Scripture declares, “sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin.” (Rom.5:12), and so the whole creation came under the bondage of corruption.

In this sad chapter there are two things to give hope.

First,   God’s words to Satan in the hearing of Adam and Eve, 

“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”—Gen 3:15

This is the prophecy of the coming of the Savior.  Being struck on the heel is not a death-blow.  Although Jesus died on the cross, death could not hold Him. He arose triumphant over death, and so He could say, I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.” (Rev 1:17-18)

Crushing the head of the serpent is indeed a death-blow.  Through His death and resurrection Christ has won the victory over Satan who is eventually to be thrown into the Lake of Fire for all eternity – Rev 20:10.

That was the first thing to give us hope, the prophecy of the Christ who would triumph over sin and death and destroy Satan.

The  Second  Thing  to  Give  Hope:

Our Text,  “The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.”

You remember? Adam and Eve, now overwhelmed with guilt, tried to cover their nakedness with fig leaves, and when they sensed that was not enough, they tried to hide themselves  from  God.

HOW did God make garments of skin?

Must kill the animals and cut the skin off, and then fashion the clothing.

Up to this time “Death” had only been a mental concept, they had never seen it.

Now, they watch, trembling in fear and horror, as God takes a knife and kills one or more of their favorite sheep. They see its blood poured out on the ground. They see the skin flayed from the carcass, they watch as God fashions the skin into clothing. Their fig leaves are stripped off and God Himself puts this new clothing onto them.

Here, in Chapter 3 of Genesis, God reveals the way of salvation. He must eject them from the Garden, but before He does that, He shows them, and us, the way back in.

Here, in this short sentence, “The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them,”   is  condensed the whole story of Salvation from Genesis to Revelation.

Here,  everything  the rest of the Bible reveals to us about God,

His absolute holiness,

His righteousness,

His absolute justice,

His infinite mercy and grace—.

Here,  everything the Bible reveals to us :

about the nature of man,

about  sin  and  its  terrible consequences,

the way back to God,

the remedy for sin,

God’s plan of salvation;

is all summed up in these few words,

The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.”

  1. Here God demonstrates that,

“…without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness”  (Heb 9:22).

It is as though God transferred their sin onto these sheep and then those sheep died, shed their blood in the place of Adam and Eve.

This pictures the transfer of our sins to Christ, that He might die in our place taking our punishment upon Himself.

This was later revealed in Isaiah 53:6   “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

John the Baptist could shout aloud and declare to the world that here is Jesus,

the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29).

And this wonderful truth is repeated many times in the New Testament.

Rom 3:25 “God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, . .”

Rom 5:9.Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!“

Eph 1:7 “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.”

Hebrews 9:12 “He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.”

1Peter 1:19 tells us that we were redeemed “with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.”

Matt 26:28  “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”

This is the Gospel of Salvation

“that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.”  1Cor 15:2-4).

By this Gospel we are saved,  because it, and it alone, is  “the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes” (Rom 1:16).

  1. 2. Secondly,
    • God demonstrates the transfer of righteousness to This is pictured by God clothing Adam and Eve with the sheep skins;  their sins were transferred to the sheep and the sheep’s innocence was transferred to them.   And so the Scripture says:

Gal 3:26,27  “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus,  for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.”Now, when God looks at Adam and Eve, he no longer sees those two miserable sinners,  He sees the sheep, the lamb, which had no sin.  They are clothed with the lamb.

When He looks at us he sees His beloved Son, Jesus, because we have been clothed with Him.

  1. Practical Aspects:  The necessary outworking of these great truths in the believer’s life.

How then shall we live? That is: because we have been crucified with Christ, because we have been clothed with Christ, we are now obligated to walk in this new life.

Eph 4:22-24You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;  23  to be made new in the attitude of your minds;  24  and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Col 3:5-10 “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6  Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.” 

7  “You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived.  8  But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.“

9  Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices  10  and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”

Rom 13:12-14 “The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.  13  Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy.

14  Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.”

  1. The Consummation: When Christ Returns:

1Cor 15:51-54. “Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—52 . . . For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.  53  For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54  When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

Phil 3:20-21 “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.”

This then is the Glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ.

This is God’s Plan of Salvation.

1Cor 15:1-4  “Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, . . . 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.”

This Gospel Jesus told us to preach to the ends of the earth,  to all nations.

All peoples are as Adam and Eve, walking around in their sin, trying to cover their spiritual nakedness with the fig leaves of man’s devising, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhism, Confucius, Shinto, New Age, Ancestor or Spirit worship.

 

There is no salvation outside of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes”—Rom 1:16.

“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit”— Acts 2:38.

“You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus,  for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.”

Gal 3:26,27.

 

Robert L. Garrett is the son of Missionaries to Southern Rhodesia and he has served his entire adult life as a Missionary in what is now Zimbabwe




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That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:10