God’s Covenant with Adam

Peter Barnes: God’s Covenant with Adam, Genesis 2:1-17, Genesis 3:1-21 (1 March 2020)

‘Covenant’ is used some 287 times in the Old Testament e.g. with
Noah (Gen.6:18), Abraham (Gen.15:18), Israel through Moses (Ex.24:8),
and David (Ps.89:3), and the new covenant through the Messiah
(Jer.31:31; Luke 22:20). Each successive covenant builds on the
previous relationship; there is a progressive enrichment and unfolding
of God’s purposes.
Being in the covenant does not of itself save anyone – read Rom.2:25-
29; Amos 3:2; but there are many spiritual advantages, short of
salvation, associated with being in the covenant – Rom.3:1-2; 9:4-5.
Charles Spurgeon: ‘I love men who love the covenant of grace, and
base their divinity upon it; the doctrine of the covenants is the key of

1. God put Adam on probation.
– Gen.’The first covenant made with man was a covenant of
works, wherein life was promised to Adam; and in him to his
posterity, upon condition of perfect and personal obedience’
(Westminster Confession VII, ii). Note Gen.5:5.

2. Adam failed.
– Gen.3:6. Heinrich Bullinger refers to Adam as ‘silly wretch’. Adam
is alienated from God, from Eve, from himself, and from the creation.
– Hosea 6:7. This explains why we need a Saviour – 1 Cor.15:22.

3. God promises victory through a son of the woman.
– Genesis 3:14-15. Christ, born of a woman, achieves the victory.
– Gen.3:21. Heb.4:13; Gal. 3:10, 12.
– Salvation comes in the second Adam, Jesus Christ – Rom.5:18-19.