Understanding The Bible
STUDY REFERENCE
Clarence E. Mason's "ESCHATOLOGY 1"
SECTION 2A - Genesis 1:28-3:6
THE EDENIC AGE and
THE DISPENSATION OF INNOCENCY

 

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BY THE AUTHOR
Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.
Philadelphia College of Bible
1970

Edited by Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.


  1. Genesis 1:28-3:6
    THE EDENIC AGE and THE DISPENSATION OF INNOCENCE

    (This age and dispensation are ushered in by the Edenic Covenant. The unfolding of the drama of redemption does not begin until after the fall of man (cp. 2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 1:2), Hence, it is held by many that the ages and dispensations do not properly begin until that event has occurred, and so the Edenic Age (Dispensation of Innocency) need not be included in the unfolding of the ages. Yet, since it usually has been customary to include it as an age dispensation, rather than as the prelude to the ages, we include it here.)

    The question, as to whether innocence was sufficient to make man righteous, was to be determined by man's obedience or disobedience to the prohibition to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (Thiessen)
     
    1. The key personage was that of Adam.
    2. The extent of the period was from the creation of man to his temptation and fall.
    3. The general Scripture portion is Gen. 1:28-3:6. (35 verses)
    4. The characteristic or state of man during its course: Gen. 1:26-31; 2:7-15,18-20. It was ideal, (after Thiessen)
      1. He had an innocent nature.
        Gen. 2:17, 25; 3:5
      2. He was in a beautiful garden.
        Gen. 2:8
      3. His temporal needs were freely supplied.
        Gen. 1:29; 2:9,16
      4. He had mighty mental faculties.
        Gen. 2:19-20, 23-24
      5. He had God-given work to employ his time.
        Gen. 1:28; 2:15
      6. He had a God-given companion suitable to him.
        Gen. 2:18
      7. He was forewarned of the consequences of disobedience.
        Gen. 2:17
      8. He enjoyed the personal fellowship of God. Gen.
        3:8
    5. His special responsibility instituted by God was simple and definite: He was "not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" and so recognize God's headship and governmental authority in the earth. Gen. 2:16-17
      "Would man abide by, and rest in what God had said, or lean to his own understanding?" "Would God's Word or man's reason under Satan's deception gain the decision?" See New Scofield note at Gen. 1:28.
    6. The failure of man under the test: Innocence in the environment above was not enough to keep man from disobeying God. Gen. 3:1-6
      1. Satan tempted man in the following way:
        (1) To question whether God had spoken-at all Gen. 3:1
        (2) To question God's goodness Gen. 3:1
        (3) To question the truthfulness of God's Word Gen. 3:4
        (4) To question God's motive - id the reasonableness of the requirement Gen 3:5
        (5) To possess what God forbade. Gen 3:6
        (6) To know what God had not revealed. Gen 3:6
        (7) To be what God had not purposed for him to be, -- to act independently. Gen 3:6
      2. The temptation was an appeal to:
         
        1 John 2:16 Mt. 6:1-11 Gen. 3:6
        (1) "Lust of the flesh" (body) "Good for food"
        (2) "Lust of the eyes" (soul) "Pleasant to the eyes"
        (3) "Pride of life" (spirit) "To be desired to make one wise"
      3.  

      4. And so man failed - Gen. 3:6-7
        Eve listened to the Serpent, being thoroughly deceived, but Adam was not deceived, yet also ate (1 Tim. 2:14). Adam's deliberate choice is evidently the basis of the solemn warning in Mt. 10:37; Lk. 14:26.
    7. The resultant judgment: Gen. 3:7, 16-17, 22-24
      1. The implication is that IF (the "if" of God's sovereignty and man's free will) man had not sinned, he and his posterity would have grown in knowledge and life before God; he would have been ever in joy and blessing. Gen. 2:17
      2. By his failure, death and sin came into the world, upon him and all his posterity. Gen. 3:7; Rom. 5:12; 6:23. This was the most far-reaching punishment of all the judgments of God.
      3. Both a carnal or sinful nature and sin as seen in sinful acts appeared in man. Rom. 7:15-25
      4. The Curse: Gen. 3:14-19 shows that the curse resulted in the following:

        Serpent: Gen. 3:14-15
        (1) "Thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field;"
        (2) "Upon thy belly shalt thou go,"
        (3) "Dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:"
        (4) "I will put enmity between thee and the woman," Rev. 12:4, 9,13,15-17
        (5) "And between thy seed and her seed;" John 8:44; Rev. 12:4-5,17
        (6) "He shall bruise thy head," Heb. 2:14; Col. 2:15
        (7) "Thou shalt bruise his heel." Luke 22:53; 24:39; Acts 2:31

        Woman: Gen. 3:15-16
        (1) "I will put enmity between thee and the woman,"
        (2) "And between thy seed and her seed;"
        (3) "I will greatly multiply thy sorrow"
        (4) "I will greatly multiply thy conception;"
        (5) "In sorrow thou shalt bring forth children;"
        (6) "Thy desire shall be to thy husband,"
        (7) "He shall rule over thee."

        Adam: Gen. 3:17-19
        (1) "Cursed is the ground for thy sake;"
        (2) "m sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;"
        (3) "Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee;"
        (4) "Thou shalt eat the herb of the field:"
        (5) "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread,"
        (6) "Dust thou art,"
        (7) "Unto dust shalt thou return."
         
    8. The gracious intervention of God
      1. In judgment or "wrath, God remembered mercy" (Hab. 3:2); otherwise, in Adam the race would have been wiped out, but God "had foreseen and made provision against the rebellion of His creature."
      2. He gave man a chance to perform righteousness under other conditions if, indeed, such were possible.
      3. This is seen in that
        (1) He promised man a Redeemer. Gen. 3:15
        (2) He replaced the "fig leaves" by a "coat of skin." Gen. 3:7, 21
        (3) He graciously expelled the pair from the garden so that man might not in his sinful state "take of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever." Gen. 3:22-24

 

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