Where in Scripture is the first picture of salvation mentioned?
In brief, the first picture of salvation in Scripture, which God established before time (2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 1:2) would be based upon the payment for man’s disobedience (sin) by a divine Substitute and which payment would of necessity be a divine death, is seen in Genesis chapter three. As the result of man’s fall in Eden, resulting in the termination of the light-covering of man established at his creation (i.e., part of the image of God [Genesis 1:26; Psalm 104:1, 2]) and the exposure of his nakedness, man attempted to cover his shame in “his own way” with coverings of plants (Genesis 3:7), a means totally unacceptable to God. Through divine intervention God established that only through vicarious death and shed blood (i.e., the death of Christ on the cross on Calvary) could man’s sin and shame be totally and permanently covered. But until that death was to take place in time, man’s sin would be covered through faithful obedience to God’s provision of animal sacrifice, the first being when God covered Adam and Eve with “tunics of skin” in Eden (Genesis 3:21), and which means of “covering” (forgiveness) was established by animal sacrifices for sin offerings for the children of Israel (Leviticus) that looked forward to the ultimate Sacrifice on Calvary.
The following commentary on this matter by Chitwood is revealing:
Man, in the garden in Eden, following his eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, found himself in a ruined state. And man’s fall not only brought about his own ruin but that of the entire restored creation as well (Genesis 3:6-19).
As the federal head, the one created to hold the scepter that Satan held (Genesis 1:26-28), Adam’s fall “subjected” the whole of the restored creation to “the bondage of corruption” — the same thing that had resulted from Satan’s previous fall, following creation (Genesis 1:2a; Romans 8:20-22; cf. Isaiah 14:12-17; Jeremiah 4:23-28; Ezekiel 28:14-16).
Following Satan’s fall, there had been no redemption, leaving the material creation in a ruined state, with restoration ultimately occurring only because of and for man. But things were different following man’s fall, which, of necessity, also resulted in things being different for the material creation as well.
Following man’s fall, God provided a means for his redemption, which, correspondingly, necessitated that the material creation would ultimately be removed from “the bondage of corruption.” The material creation had previously been restored for man, not Satan. It had been restored with a view to man rather than Satan holding the scepter and was, from that point forward, connected with man’s destiny. And as the ruin of the material creation at this time was inseparably linked to man’s fall, so is the future restoration of the material creation inseparably linked to man’s redemption.
Satan brought about man’s fall through a means very similar to that which had resulted in his own fall. Satan had sought to be “like the most High,” and he deceived Eve into believing that she could be “as God” (literal translation) through partaking of the forbidden fruit on the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (cf. Genesis 3:5; Isaiah 14:14). However, in each instance, rather than individuals becoming “like the most High,” “as God,” a ruined creation resulted.
Eve’s act of partaking of the fruit of the tree was not really climaxed until Adam had partaken also. Satan had to bring about Adam’s fall (as the federal head), not simply Eve’s fall alone. But, once Eve had partaken of the fruit of the tree, Adam had no choice but to also partake as well.
A part of his very being was in a fallen state (Eve, formed from a rib removed from his side, was bone of his bones, and flesh of his flesh [Genesis 2:21-23]). Thus, Adam, as an incomplete being, was no longer in a position to eat of the tree of life (the tree that would have provided [for man, past] and will yet provide [for man, future] the necessary wisdom and knowledge to rule the earth).
(For information concerning the tree of life in the preceding respect, refer to the author’s book, Judgment Seat of Christ, Chapter 5.)
Adam, apart from Eve, could no longer realize the purpose for his existence, something that Satan apparently knew. Thus, Adam followed what was really the only course of action available — cleaving unto his wife (Genesis 2:24) — knowing that this was the only way he could bring about Eve’s redemption and ultimately find himself in the position of being able to partake of the tree of life as a complete being.
Adam was not deceived. And it is evident from the statement to this effect in 1 Timothy 2:14, along with comparing the type with the antitype, that Adam sinned with a full knowledge of that which he was doing.
Adam was a type of Christ (Romans 5:14; cf. Luke 24:27, 44); and, as a type of Christ, that which Adam did in Eden foreshadowed that which Christ did at Calvary.
There is no other way to understand man’s fall, with Adam’s actions at the time typifying Christ’s actions in this same realm 4,000 years later.
Adam found his bride (a part of his very being, removed from his body) in a fallen state; and he then partook of that associated with sin and death. Christ, in like manner, found His bride (a part of His very being, to be removed from His body) in a fallen state; and allowed Himself to be made sin, which was followed by death (1 Corinthians 12:12-27; 2 Corinthians 5:21). And the purpose behind the actions of both individuals centered around three things:
b) Ultimately being able to partake of the tree of life as complete beings.
c) Ultimately bringing to pass the reason for man’s creation in the beginning.
Following Adam’s sin, divine intervention in man’s salvation is further seen through God slaying innocent animals to clothe Adam’s and Eve’s naked bodies (Genesis 3:21). Death occurred, blood was shed, and a covering was provided, pointing ahead 4,000 years to Calvary where death would again occur, blood would again be shed, and a covering would again be provided.
(Actually, the blood of Christ does more than cover sin. The blood of Christ does away with sin, which is the thought behind “reconciliation” in 2 Corinthians 5:18-21.)
Man has been redeemed through Christ’s shed blood at Calvary (1 Peter 1:18, 19); and, in the light of the type, Christ’s finished work at Calvary allows God to clothe His creation, not with animal skins as in Eden, but with the very righteousness of Christ (cf. Zechariah 3:3-5).
God has imputed this righteousness to every believer (Romans 4:24, 25; 5:12-18), and within the scope of justification, God views redeemed man, positionally, as being just as righteous as His Son. That would be to say, God views every believer, positionally, as being just as righteous as He Himself is righteous, for the Son is God manifested in the flesh.
Thus, redemption, as seen in Eden, is accomplished entirely through divine intervention. The Son’s finished work at Calvary is foreshadowed by Adam partaking of the forbidden fruit; and the Son’s finished work allows God to clothe His creation in righteousness, as foreshadowed by Adam and Eve being clothed in animal skins.
The following commentary by Chitwood sheds additional light on this:
When man sinned in the garden in Eden, the complete being of man — spirit, soul, and body — became in a fallen state. God had commanded Adam concerning the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, “you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:17). After Satan had deceived Eve into eating of the fruit of this tree, she then “gave to her husband with her; and he ate.” Immediately following this, “the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings” (Genesis 3:1-7).
At the time of the fall, Adam and Eve lost something; and it is clearly stated in Scripture that both immediately recognized this fact. That which they lost could only have been a covering of pristine glory that had previously clothed their bodies; for they, following the fall, found that they were in a twofold condition: (1) naked and (2) separated from God.
God is arrayed in a covering of “light,” connected with “honor and majesty.” And man, created in the “image” and “likeness” of God, could only have been arrayed in a similar manner prior to the fall.
Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, You are very great: You are clothed with [You have put on] honor and majesty,
who cover Yourself with light as with a garment, who stretch out the heavens like a curtain.” (Psalm 104:1, 2)
Recognizing the loss of this covering, realizing that they were naked, explains why Adam and Eve immediately sought to clothe themselves following the fall. They tried to replace the covering that had been lost with a work of their own hands, with fig leaf aprons. And then, apparently realizing the utter inadequacy of this covering, they, in their fallen state, sought to hide from God.
God, finding Adam and Eve in this condition, completely rejected the works of their hands. God completely rejected their feeble efforts to atone for their own sin by seeking to replace the covering of pristine glory with fig leaves. Then, to bring His fallen creature back into a right relationship (although not in complete keeping with their previously unfallen state — something still future even today), God provided a covering consisting of animal skins (Genesis 3:21). This necessitated death and the shedding of blood; and herein lays basic, unchangeable truths concerning the state of fallen man and the means that are necessary to effect his redemption.
Unredeemed man is a fallen creature, alienated from God; and two things are necessary to effect his redemption: (1) divine intervention, and (2) death and shed blood. These truths have forever been set forth in the opening chapters of Genesis and can never change.
(Two different words are used for “naked” in the Hebrew text of Genesis 2:25 [before the fall] and Genesis 3:7 [after the fall]. In the latter [3:7], the word has to do with absolute nakedness, but not so in the former [2:25].
Remaining within the way a person dressed in the East at the time Moses wrote Genesis, and at later times as well, the word used relative to nakedness pertaining to Adam and Eve preceding the fall [2:25] could be used to describe a person clothed in a tunic [inner garment] but lacking the mantle or cloak [outer garment]. In the preceding respect, prior to the fall, Adam and Eve were clothed in the Glory of God but had yet to possess the regal outer garments worn by kings [fulfilling the reason for man’s creation — to rule the earth (Genesis 1:26-28)].
Then, following the fall, no longer clothed in the Glory of God, Adam and Eve were no longer in a position to be further clothed in regal garments, realizing the purpose for their creation. They, apart from the inner garment [the Glory] could not wear the outer garments [royal apparel]. Adam, prior to the fall, never wore regal garments or held the scepter. In this respect, he never moved beyond the description given in Genesis 2:25 — a “naked” condition, “naked” in relation to the reason for his creation [lacking the outer regal garments].
Thus, if man, now separated from the Glory, is to ever fulfill the purpose for his creation, God must act. Redemption has to occur; and this, of necessity, has to include the complete man — spirit, soul, and body — with a view to not only a restoration of the Glory but to regality beyond this restoration.)