Lesson 6 - God's Way

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We need to understand that there are no unrelated thoughts in the Word of God, only in our own understanding of those thoughts. As we begin this study we are going to study verses that will show us God's way of salvation, or God's way of erasing the guilt of our sin!

Need for Clothing - Coats or Fig leaves

(Genesis 3:21 )

There are four truths to be learned about God's clothing of Adam and Eve in coats of animal skins.

A. A Covering of Some Sort Was Needed

According to Genesis 3:7 , what was the first effect of sin?
"And the eyes of them both were , and they that they were ; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons."

Again, according to verse 7, what did Adam and Eve do in response to their nakedness?
" fig leaves and made themselves ."

Did God agree that Adam and Eve needed to hide their nakedness? Genesis 3:21
YesNo

It must be understood that the nakedness of Adam and Eve, which required clothing, was psychological as well as physical. That is, it was related to their sin. Adam and Eve knew they had sinned, and as a result of that sin, the man and woman now stood in a wrong relationship to God, to one another, and to themselves.

B. Our Coverings Won't Work

The next lesson to be learned about this verse is that any covering we are capable of making for ourselves is inadequate. This is seen in the case of Adam and Eve. We note that God did not accept the covering of fig leaves which they made. Nor will He accept the coverings which we try to make, as we saw in our last lesson!

C. God Must Provide the Covering

The third and main lesson is that God must provide the covering for our sin, for only God is adequate to deal with the sin problem.

According to Genesis 3:21 , who provided the proper covering for Adam and Eve?
"Unto Adam also and to his wife did the God make coats of skins, and clothed them."

It does not say here what kind of animals God killed to get the skins which He used to clothe Adam and Eve with, although some believe that the animals were probably lambs. The type of animal God used is not important. The important thing is that God was the one who killed the animal and provided a covering for Adam and Eve. When Adam and Eve left the Garden of Eden, they looked back upon a bloody sacrifice - One that was the result of their sin. We are going to learn that this incident and others were meant to point to Jesus Christ as our only sufficient Saviour and to His righteousness as our covering.

One of these pictures are in John 1:29 . Jesus is pictured as
"The of God, which taketh away the of the world."

D. The Animal Had to Die

This brings us to the fourth lesson: in order for Adam and Eve to be clothed in skins of animals, the animals had to die.

In a similar way, in order for us to be clothed with the righteousness of Jesus Christ, which is what the skins symbolized, Jesus had to die.
According to Hebrews 9:22 , what is required for forgiveness of sin?
"And almost all things are by the law purged with ; and without shedding of blood is remission."

It was necessary for the innocent or just One to die in order that the guilty might live. I Peter 3:18 ,
"For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the for the , that he might us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:"

Up to this point, there had been no death at all. Two thoughts must have gone through Adam and Eve's minds.
An instinctive horror of death. At that instant they must have realized that if death is the result of sin, then sin is far worse than they could possibly have imagined it to be.
The second thought must have been a growing wonder at the mercy of God. God had every right to take their lives for their breaking of His commandment. He had told them that death must follow sin. Instead, He showed His mercy by showing that it was possible for an innocent victim to die in their place.
On this occasion, God was showing that it was possible for one animal - an innocent substitute - to die for the sinning individuals -- Adam and Eve.

This brings us to the discussion of God's way of salvation -- the picture of the sacrifice.

The Sacrificial System

A. The Beginning of Sacrifice

The sacrificial system developed as a result of the fall of man. It provided a means of approach to God. The actions of God in not accepting the fig leaves of Adam and Eve (Gen. 3:7,21 ) provide the example that the guilt of sin could be covered only by the shedding of blood.

Early accounts of sacrifices being practiced are seen in the lives of these persons:
- Genesis 4:1-7
- Genesis 8:20
- Genesis 31:54
- Job 1:5; 42:8
God's people from Eden to the Exodus knew and practiced a sacrificial offering for access to God. Read Exodus 10:25 .
To whom were these sacrifices made?

B. The Story Of Two Brothers

(Genesis 4:1-16 )

In Genesis 3, we have the beginning of sin for mankind. In Genesis 4, we see the fruit of their sin. Chapter 4 reveals how terribly affected man had been by sin. By Adam's disbelief and his disobedience, he had turned away from God and had sinned in such a way that he brought upon himself and all mankind God's judgment. You and I today still have this same sin nature by virtue of our human birth.

God is the Giver of Life.
Both Cain and Abel came to offer sacrifices to God.
Both were engaged in necessary and honorable occupations. Read Genesis 4:2 .
What was Abel's occupation?
What was Cain's occupation?
The difference between the two was in their relationship to God. Abel, because of his faith, submitted to God's authority, while Cain, in unbelief, rebelled against God's instructions.

Genesis 4:3 reads,
"And in process of time it came to pass, that brought of the fruit of the an unto the LORD."

Both Cain and Abel were bringing an offering to God to an appointed place of worship. They were doing sacrifices by revelation - God revealed to them that they were to offer sacrifices to Him. Hebrews 11:4 reveals that Abel offered a sacrifice "By ."

God did not accept Cain's offering. What was wrong with Cain's offering that made God not accept it? (Genesis 4:3 ) Someone may say, "I don't see anything wrong in the offering of Cain." That may be your view! But God does not agree! It is God's view that matters.

According to Genesis 4:5 , what did God think of Cain's offering?
"He had not ."
The offering that Cain brought denied that human nature is evil. God wanted a blood sacrifice which pointed to the Redeemer who was coming into the world. God wanted Cain to come on that basis, not bringing the works of his own hands. The offering that Cain brought also denied that man cannot offer works to God.

Titus 3:5 informs us that it is "Not by of righteousness which we have , but according to his mercy he us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost." The difference between Cain and Abel was not a character difference at all, but the difference was in the offering that they brought.

God Accepted Abel's Offering (Genesis 4:4)
What did Abel bring to God as an offering?
"brought of the firstlings of his ."

What did God think of Abel's offering?
"And the LORD had unto Abel and to his offering."

By doing this, Abel showed that he agreed with God that he was a sinner and that only God could save him from going into everlasting punishment. Therefore, he followed God's commands. He did it God's way.

C. The Passover

In the book of Exodus we have the account of the nation of Israel and how God delivered them from slavery in Egypt. The people had been in bondage for many years and God had sent Moses to Pharoah (king of Egypt) to demand the release of the people of God. Pharaoh had refused, fearing the loss of the working people. In response, God sent several plagues on the Egyptians to show them that this was not just a rebellion of the people, but rather the orders of Almighty God. Pharaoh still refused to listen to God! So in Exodus 12, God gave orders to the children of Israel that each family was to kill a lamb and to place the blood on the doorposts (sidebeams) and the lintel (top of the door). Very specific orders were given.

Exodus 12:3-7
"Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a , according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house: And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it according to the number of the souls; every man according to his eating shall make your count for the lamb. Your lamb shall be without , a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats: And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. And they shall take of the , and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses, wherein they shall eat it."

The lamb they chose was to be tested for 14 days to be sure that it was without blemish or disease. Then it was to be killed, and the blood of the lamb was to be caught in a basin and then applied to the doorposts and lintel.

Exodus 12:12-13
For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. And the shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I the blood, I will over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to you, when I smite the land of Egypt.

God then tells them that He will kill the firstborn of all the Egyptians for their refusal to listen. The only way to escape is to follow God's method of deliverance. Those that killed a lamb and applied the blood found protection. Those that ignored God's orders were faced with the death of the first born the next morning.

D. The Purpose of Sacrifice

The sacrifices of the Old Testament were the prescribed means whereby sinful man could draw near to the infinitely holy God. No other means was acceptable.

E. The Meaning of the Sacrifice

For the Old Testament Believers, the observance of sacrifices were essential to maintain fellowship with God.
Sacrifices were entered into by faith.
They were not for salvation.
They were not to maintain salvation.
These sacrifices were a picture of the One who would be the Perfect Sacrifice.
The New Testament looks back at these sacrifices as pointing to the ministry and work of Christ on the behalf of men.

Read Ephesians 5:2,
"And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an and a to God for a sweetsmelling savour. "

Read Hebrews 9:14 , What will purge your conscience from dead (worthless) works to serve the living God?

"How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?"

Read Hebrews 9:15-28
"So Christ was once to bear the sins of ."

F. The Levitical Sacrificial System

It is difficult for us to conceive of the importance of the Levitical system of worship to the OLD Testament Believers. God chose the nation of Israel as His special people, and He established for them a central place of worship, the Tabernacle. If the believer of that day was going to express his devotion to his Lord, it had to be at the Tabernacle. The basic means of expressing their devotion to God was the various types of offerings which are described in the first seven chapters of the book of Leviticus. These are the various types of offerings which were to be brought by Israel to the central altar.
The Levitical offerings get their names from the tribe of the Levites. It was from this tribe that God took the priests that were to offer the sacrifices to God for the rest of the people of Israel. These sacrifices were started by God when the people of Israel had been freed from Egypt and were preparing to enter the Promised Land. God wanted them to have a way to express their devotion and to have a graphic illustration of the seriousness of sin. Later, we also learn that these sacrifices were to picture the great sacrifice of Christ for our sins!

G. Bloody Sacrifices Explained

All blood sacrifices were for the purpose of Atonement. This at-one-ment was accomplished by the substitution of the innocent for the guilty. Atonement was God's way of making the giver of the sacrifice at-one, reconciled, by the death of the substitute. There were special requirements for the animals that were to be offered. The following are basic general qualifications:

Must be a clean animal, according to God's definition of clean (Leviticus 27:9-11 ). Of the larger animals, only those who chewed the cud and had cloven hooves could be used.
Any animal offered must be domesticated (not wild, but raised by the offerer). It would be no real sacrifice if the animal was hunted as wild game.
All animals must be at least 8 days old. Otherwise, it might have died of natural causes.
It must not be past its prime of life, thus still of value (Leviticus 9:3, 12:6 ).

According to Hebrews 10:4 , was it possible that the blood of animals could pay for sins?
YesNo

We see in Hebrews 9:11-14 , that only the blood of Christ can take away sins!
"But being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of and , but by his blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the : How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your from dead to serve the living God?"

Sin must be paid for by a sinless human life being given as a sacrifice. Animal's blood is not equal to human life. All the animal sacrifices were only to point to what would take place in the future when Christ would come to earth and give His life as a sacrifice to pay for sin.

In our next study, we will show you what Jesus Christ has done to erase your sins! We will also see how He has fulfilled numerous prophecies, thereby proving that He is the only Saviour of the world.

What have you learned in these past lessons that has stood out most to you?

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Here are the past lessons for your review:
Lesson 1 - Where Do We Find Truth?
Lesson 2 - Is The Bible the Word of God?
Lesson 3 - Creation and Fall of Man
Lesson 4 - Man's Problems
Lesson 5 - Man's Way


Instructions

Welcome to the sixth lesson in this Series of eight Bible Studies! Remember, throughout each lesson there will be an opportunity for you to answer a question or fill in the blank. We encourage you to look up each verse in your own personal Bible so you can see that we are not taking the verses out of context or misquoting them, however, we have also included those verses in this lesson for your convenience. When Bible verses are referenced you may click on the reference to read that verse. Each verse is quoted from the King James Version of the Bible.

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Feel free to ask questions at the end of this study. Our prayer is that God will use this series of study to help you understand the Bible better as well as to establish a relationship with the God that made you.

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