Gen 2:21-24 Adam's Rib 7/05/2015

 

 

 

 

#1. They Pierced His Side (John 19:31-35, Deut 21:23, Gen 2:21)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#2. The Body of Christ (Eph 5:22-33)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#3. The Last Adam (I Cor 15:45, Gen 2:7, Acts 2:23, Rom 5:14)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please open the outline in your Bulletin. You can see that I plan to take you through four passages in the NT, which are John chapter 19, I John chapter 5, Eph chapter 5 and I Cor chapter 15. You may already put stickers there in your Bibles. But first we are going to the OT. Please open your Bibles to Genesis chapter 2:18 (2X). Last week we already looked at the first half of this chapter. Today's sermon is titled: "Adam's Rib" (2X). And is this not a strange way to create a bride for Adam? It may seem strange, but God has a purpose for everything He does. So let us consider:

Let us read Gen 2:18-20, and let us first ask if these three verses make sense historically.

Genesis 2:18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

What "help meet" was God referring to? Right here we know that God refers to a mate for Adam. Just like animals are created males and females, so God was going to make a female for Adam.

Genesis 2:19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.

Genesis 2:20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.

We can meditate about how smart Adam was that he could give names to every animal, but actually, this is a very strange story. In verse 18, the Almighty all knowing and all wise God went to work to find a "help meet" for Adam out of the animal world. And what was the end result? God was unsuccessful to find a "help meet" for Adam. Verse 20 is very clear that God and Adam did not find a suitable "help meet" for him. This cannot be the right interpretation, because God can never be unsuccessful. God's will cannot be frustrated. Why would God, who knows the beginning and the end, go through all this work of creating animals from out of the ground, knowing that they would not be suitable for this purpose? First of all, our God is not like a man, who learns by experimentation. Secondly, God knows that we should not be looking for a mate among the animals.

The true reason for all this must be found in the spiritual meaning of this historical event. We have already seen last week that God, in this scenario here in Gen 2, painted a picture of the future Kingdom of God on this earth. When God was speaking about Adam in Rom 5:14, God said, "who is the figure of him that was to come". Adam was a figure of Christ who was to come, and in the NT Christ is called "the last Adam". In this story in Gen 2 Adam is representing Christ who is giving names to all these animals. Who do these animals represent? From Acts chapter 10 we understand that animals are sometimes representing people. In Acts 10:12, before Peter is sent to bring the Gospel to Cornelius and his family, God tells Peter to eat animals that God has made clean, Later in verse 28 Peter explains, "God hath showed me that I should not call any man common or unclean".

Therefore, the spiritual picture of Gen 18-20 is that the Lord Jesus Christ is giving names to all those whom He had elected from before the foundation of the world. They were destined to become the Bride of Christ. What kind of "help meet" was Christ looking for? He was disappointed that His disciples could not stay awake even for one hour with Him in the Garden of Gethsemane. Let me read to you what the Lord Jesus Christ said in Isa 63:5,

Isaiah 63:5 And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me.

In other words, from all the Elect whom God chose from before the foundation of the world, there was not one who was good enough to be of any assistance to the Lord Jesus in His Atonement. Even though they were ^^^ His Bride, in this they could not assist Him. He had to go to the cross alone.

Therefore God now created the second scenario to make a "help meet" for Adam. We read in:

Genesis 2:21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;

Genesis 2:22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

Genesis 2:23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

Genesis 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

What a strange way to create the bride for Adam! Why out of Adam's Rib? Historically this truly was the way the bride for Adam was made. But God does not do anything without a reason. Let us now look at this spiritually. When Christ was hanging on the cross, His side was also pierced.

Please turn in your Bibles to the Gospel according to John, chapter 19, and verse 31 (2X).

#1. They Pierced His Side (John 19:31-35, Deut 21:23, Gen 2:21)

In John chapter 19 the Lord Jesus Christ was crucified on the same day that the Passover lambs of the Jews were killed in the temple. This was Friday afternoon, April 3, in the year AD 33. The Jews had delivered Christ to Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor, and Pontius Pilate ordered Jesus to be crucified according to the request of the leaders of the Jews. Then Jesus died. We read in John 19:31

John 19:31 The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation (for the Passover), that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the Sabbath day, for that Sabbath day was an high day, besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

Now think about that. Did the leaders of the Jews know beforehand that they would ask Pilate to break their legs? Absolutely yes! They knew that. They decided to have Jesus crucified on the same day that they could lay their hands on Him. They also knew that the Law of Moses commanded in Deut 21:23 that those who were hanged must be taken down at sundown, and therefore they were going to ask Pilate to break their legs. Can you imagine the pain when someone comes to you with a baseball bat and smashes your legs? They hated Jesus that much. And all that out of envy! They envied Jesus because of the large following that He had. Now continue with John 19:32,

John 19:32 Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him.

John 19:33 But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs:

John 19:34-35 But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.

They pierced His side with a spear, and out came blood and water. This was a miracle, of course, like everything else Jesus did was miraculous. But why does God make it a big deal that Jesus' side was pierced? Why was it so important that blood and water came out? Why was this an integral part of the Atonement? Spiritually, for the Last Adam to have an eternal Bride, He had to die. Just like Eve came out of Adam when he slept, a figure of death, so the Bride of Christ, the Body of believers, came out of Christ when He had died. After Christ had completed to atone for all the sins of His Elect, His Spirit went into heaven, but His dead body was still on the cross. His people, body and soul, were represented by His dead body, because the Bible says that we were buried with Christ. At that time Christ demonstrated that He shed His blood for us. He also demonstrated that this Gospel, of the shedding of His blood for the remission of the sins of His people, must be proclaimed by the water of the Gospel, which flows from the lips of those who belong to the body of Christ. Therefore, it was at this time, when Christ had died, that the eternal church was formed from that which came out of the side of Christ. It was at this time that the bloody sacrifice for the remission of our sins was completed and the guilt of our sins was washed away with pure water, which came out of Christ. The Gospel, which flows like water, proves to us that this is really so. At this time, when Christ's dead body was still on the cross, we had not yet been made alive, because Christ had not yet risen from the grave, but our destiny was already made secure by the shedding of blood and water from the side of Christ. The meaning of the water and the blood is made clearer in a few minutes, in the next section.

Do you remember that in Gen 2:21, after God took out a rib from Adam, "God closed up the flesh instead thereof"? Just like the taking of Eve out of Adam was of an irreversible nature, so the birth of the eternal church out of the Lord Jesus Christ is of an irreversible nature. The work that God has done cannot be reversed, because God's work cannot be frustrated. No one can separate us from the love of Christ. When we became saved, we have not received the tentative righteousness that Adam possessed in the Garden of Eden, but we have received the righteousness of Christ, which cannot be taken away, because God purposed to give it to us from before the foundation of the world.

Please turn in your Bibles to the First Epistle of John 5:6 (2X). You find I John, II John and III John near the end of your Bibles, just before Revelation. In 1st John God speaks a great deal about love: the love of God, and our love for Him, and how our love for Him is outwardly displayed, by our obedience to His commandments. Here in 1st John we also read about the witnesses who testify of the love of God. Let us read here in I John 5:6 about the blood, the water and the Spirit,

1 John 5:6 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.

1 John 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

1 John 5:8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.

1 John 5:9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.

This passage speaks of the Atonement of Christ and of the witnesses in heaven and on earth who testify of the love of God in the Atonement. Verse 7 speaks of the nature of God. God exists as three separate persons: God the Father, God the Son who is also called the Word, and God the Holy Spirit. These three persons bear witness in heaven of the stupendous love of God for His Elect. These three persons are one and the same God. The Bible teaches that God the Father is not God the Son, and is not God the Holy Spirit. God the Son is not God the Father, and is not God the Holy Spirit. But each one of the three persons is fully God Himself. The Father sent the Son into the world to bear witness of the Father. The Son sent the Holy Spirit into the world to bear witness of the Father and the Son. These words testifying of the witnesses in heaven, the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit, have been shamelessly left out of the NIV. This beautiful summary of the Trinity they have cast in the trash.

Verses 6 and 8 speak about the witnesses on earth who testify of the love of God in the cross of Christ. Who are those witnesses? First off all the Lord Jesus Christ witnessed of His own suffering by showing His blood flowing, after He was pierced in His side. Since Lev 17:11 states that the life is in the blood, it proves that Christ gave His life. Not only did He give the life of His body like the sacrificial animals did, but He also gave the life of His Soul, or Spirit, by enduring the 2nd death for our sins in His Soul. Secondly, all the saints witnessed of the Atonement of Christ by proclaiming the Gospel to a world that is in the clutches of Satan, "the prince of the power of the air". Their witness is symbolized by the water that flowed out of Christ, after He was pierced in His side. The water symbolized the Gospel proclaimed by the saints. But all their witnessing would not bear any fruit without the presence of God the Holy Spirit, who will apply that Gospel to the hearts, or souls, of those whom God will draw to Jesus. Therefore, the third witness on earth is "the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth". That is why the Apostle John wrote: "And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe". John indicated that his witness was given by the inspiration of God the Holy Spirit, in order "that ye might believe". The Bible says that "Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost". The Apostle John was one of those holy men of God. We can be certain of his witness. This is how the church was born. The church is also called:

#2. The Body of Christ (Eph 5:22-33)

Please turn about 80 pages to your left () to Ephesians, chapter 5, and verse 22 (2X). We have here a passage that seems to talk about how husbands and wives should get along with each other? But is that really so? Does God have a higher goal in mind? Why does God say in verse 32, "This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church"? It means that God was talking about Christ and the church from the beginning of this passage. Let us keep this in mind when we read:

Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

Ephesians 5:23-24 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the Saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.

Now, there is some very practical advice here. God says that wives must submit to their husbands as the church must submit to Christ. Many marriages would be in great harmony if the wives would do that. But in this day and age many wives have decided to be in rebellion against their husbands, no matter what the Bible says. I know that I am stepping on many toes, but this is what God says. God says, "It is rebellion", and wives who take this rebellious stand must answer to God for this. God says here plain and simply that the husband is the head of the household. There are not two heads, but 1.

Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

Ephesians 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,

Ephesians 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Eph 5:28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.

Here is practical advice to the husbands. We husbands are commanded by God to love our wife like Christ loved the church, and He gave Himself for the church. I know this is a high and lofty goal, which no one of us husbands is ever able to achieve. But does it not indicate that we are commanded to love our wife more than we presently do? And is it not true that our marriages would be in much better shape if we would obey what God says, even if our wife is in rebellion? Let us continue in:

Ephesians 5:29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

Ephesians 5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

Ephesians 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

Ephesians 5:32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Ephesians 5:33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

"We are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones", that is how intimately we are united with Christ. This also reflects that husband and wife are one flesh, like Adam said, "This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh".

This is the great mystery of Christ and His church. We stand amazed that Almighty God would stoop so low that He would come in our midst, and bear our sins to the extent that He came under the curse of God, and He had to suffer the equivalent of an eternity in Hell in our place. I will never have this kind of love for my wife. I would never want to suffer the equivalent of Hell in her place. I do not love my wife that much, because I know how terrible it is to be under the wrath of God, and I know how terrible Hell is. But Christ did love us that much that He was willing to suffer for us to this degree of suffering. And He did that for us, unworthy sinners. We were totally unworthy of such great compassion by the Savior. We cannot imagine that Almighty God would stoop so low that He would take on a human body. And to top it off, He identifies His body with the group of believers He has come to save, to such an extent that He says: "We are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones". And He does that within the context of "The two shall be one flesh", speaking of Christ and His Bride, the group of believers whom He has chosen. Remember, God has taken the initiative. Christ has demonstrated the love of God to us. Will we follow suit? Will we love Him in return so that we are willing to obey His commandments? If God would have waited till someone would turn to Him with a repentant heart, God would be waiting forever. No! God does not work that way at all. Our God does not wait and see what happens. The Bible says that God causes things to occur as He pleases. Before God created the first molecules of this universe, God already knew what He was going to write in John 19, and in I John 5, and in Eph 5. God knew that He would have to work with human beings that are filthier than pigs. And God knew that the only way that we would be willing to love Him and to serve Him would be if God makes us willing. That is exactly how God made Eve. She did not ask to become the Bride of Adam. God made her and brought her to Adam. And Adam said in Gen 2:23-24,

Genesis 2:23-24 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

Did you notice how the words of Gen 2:24 match the words in Eph 5:31?

Ephesians 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

Ephesians 5:32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

When God created the people whom He chose to become saved, He did not ask us if we would like to become the Bride of Christ. He sent His Holy Spirit and He changed our heart and made us willing. Christ has sealed our marriage contract in blood. This is a union that cannot be broken. Our eternal life is guaranteed. But before we float away in the comfort of heavenly doctrine, God reminds us, who are on this earth, with a very practical commandment, in verse 33,

Ephesians 5:33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

This command is as plain as day. Are we willing to obey it? There are no conditions attached to this command. God did not say: "If your wife is not a rebellious woman", or God did not say: "If your husband is also a child of God", and so on. Are we willing to obey this plain command of Eph 5:33? Left on our own we are not willing. But if God has changed our heart, then we are made willing. Let us be honest with ourselves, and let us examine if we are obedient servants of Christ.

Please turn about 30 pages to your left () to the First Epistle to the Corinthians 15:45 (2X). This chapter deals entirely with the resurrection of the body of Christ and the resurrection of our bodies. The resurrection of our souls is not spoken of in this chapter, because the resurrection of our souls was dealt with in all the previous chapters. Here in I Cor 15:45 we read about:

#3. The Last Adam (I Cor 15:45, Gen 2:7, Acts 2:23, Rom 5:14)

1 Corinthians 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.

Where was this written? It was written that "Adam was made a living soul" in Gen 2:7. Obviously, the words that "the Last Adam was made a quickening Spirit" are not found in the OT. The First Epistle to the Corinthians along with Matthew and Mark were the first documents of the NT. The first Adam ate the fruit from the "Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil", and deliberately he violated God's command. Only one sin will make you a slave of sin. Therefore Adam squandered the gift from God to be ruler over this earth, and this earth came under the rule of Satan. That is why Satan is called "the prince of the power of the air". God could have stepped in at that time, but God did not do that, because it all fit within God's plan for this creation. Adam's sin, and the subsequent sins of all his descendants, made it necessary for Christ to come and to die on a cross for all His chosen people. This was God's plan, because God says in Acts 2:23 that Christ had been "delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God". God chose this plan because this is the best plan, and this is the plan that brings most glory to God. Nevertheless, the first Adam caused death to reign in all his descendants. That is why we read in Rom 5:14,

Romans 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.

The first Adam was a figure of the Last Adam. The first Adam was not the example in the sin that

he committed, but in the way he was made the keeper of the Garden of Eden, and in the way he acquired a wife was the first Adam portraying the Last Adam. The Last Adam, the Lord Jesus Christ, was a life giving Spirit. Through His suffering, and death, and subsequent resurrection, Christ assured spiritual life for the many for whom He had come, and He will give them a new glorified body at the end of time. These are the blessed ones "which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb". Their eternal life is guaranteed. Why is it guaranteed? It is because they have already gone through Hell in Christ when He suffered the equivalent of an eternity in Hell on the cross. It was in this way that the Last Adam purchased Himself a Bride out of those who would have become food for Hell, and have come under the tyranny of Satan. Let us look now at "the Bride of the Last Adam". Please turn in your Bibles about 40 pages to your right () to the Epistle to the Philippians 3:20 (2X).

This letter from the Apostle Paul to the Philippian church is a lovely letter, written as from a loving father to his spiritual children. What a contrast with the way Paul was first received in Philippi. We can read about Paul's reception in Philippi in Acts, chapter 16. Perhaps you remember this chapter as the one where the Philippian Jailor asked how he could become saved. In the second half of Phil chapter 3 God commands us to look towards the future. Then we read in the last two verses of this chapter,

Philippians 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:

Philippians 3:21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

Actually, the Greek word that has been translated "conversation" should have been translated "citizenship". And the word that has been translated "look" could be better translated as "wait". Therefore verse 20 should be read as: "For our citizenship is in heaven; from where also we wait for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ". Is that not glorious, that our citizenship is in heaven? And it is true. The Bible teaches that we were buried with Christ. His dead body represented us, body and soul, because in our low estate before our salvation we were "spiritually dead" both in body and soul. To be "spiritually dead" means to be unable to do anything good in God's sight. Before we became saved, God says, we were in the flesh, and God says, "They that are in the flesh cannot please God". But the Bible also teaches that we were raised with Christ, and when Christ ascended into heaven we ascended with Him into heaven, and we are seated with Him in the heavenlies. How can this be? We cannot understand this right now, but it is a result of the representative principle, since Christ is our representative. "Our citizenship is in heaven, from where we wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ". How can this be? Don't we have already fellowship with the Lord Jesus right now? That is true, but we wait for that blessed day, the Last Day, that Christ will come out of heaven with the souls of all His saints, and then we will receive our glorified bodies. That is why we read in the next verse:

"Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body". Only then will our salvation be complete. Let us confirm that. If you turn 5 pages to your right () to Col 3:4 (2X)

Colossians 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

This speaks about the second coming of Christ, and it is definitely the Last Day. This is the day that we will be in glory. What a glorious day that will be.

Let me try to summarize this sermon. #1. For Adam in the Garden of Eden there was no helpmeet found among the animal world; therefore God made him a helpmeet from Adam's rib. And looking at the Last Adam, we have seen that no helper could be found for Christ when He was going to the cross; He had to go to the cross alone. #2. When Christ died on the cross, the eternal church was born, symbolized by blood and water that flowed from the dead body of the Lord Jesus. God the Holy Spirit inspired John to bear witness of this. #3. Thus, there are three witnesses of this event of the birth of the church. Blood symbolized the finished Atonement of the Lord Jesus, the water symbolized the Word that we bring, and the Holy Spirit applies it to the souls of those whom God planned to save. #4. The eternal church is intimately connected to Christ as a wife is to her husband; we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. #5. This is a union that cannot be broken; therefore there cannot be divorce between a husband and a wife, just as there cannot be divorce between Christ and His Bride. #6. The first Adam caused death to reign in all his descendants; the Last Adam caused many to become spiritually alive, and He will give them a new body at the end of time. #7. Then we will forever be with Christ, in soul and body, and the marriage feast between Christ and His Bride will be consummated for an eternity.

When we can believe this, we can say and sing with the saints of the past 70 years these words:

Robed in white apparel, washed in Jesus' blood, they now reign in heaven with the Lamb of God.

In their hands they're holding palms of victory; hark, the jubilant chorus shouts triumphantly:

God has wrought salvation, He did wondrous things; who shall not extol Thee, holy King of kings?"

These are the words of Hymn # 469, which we are going to sing in a few minutes. Praise God for all the wondrous things He has done to us and for all the wondrous things He is going to do for us.

Amen. Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.