The First Gospel Sermon
Who preached the first gospel message? And, who was the promise about? The first time we hear the gospel preached follows immediately after the first time we see sin enter the world. In the Garden of Eden, we have the very first sin by man against God take place (Genesis 3:1-7).
Sin enters the world in Adam. Good news enters the world by God. We wouldn’t expect the gospel to be preached to man after his sin against his Creator. But because the Lord is gracious and merciful, abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness (see Exodus 34:5-7) He instead proclaims the gospel to Adam.
In Genesis 3, God does deliver judgment upon the Serpent (3:14). And then the Lord proclaims the gospel in Genesis 3:15, ESV, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
One day, the Offspring of the woman will one day bruise and crush the head of the Serpent and in so doing, He will be bruised in a lesser (though painful) degree. This is the person and work of Jesus Christ, the Head-Crusher (John 12:31; 1 John 3:8).
The First Gospel Picture
Now, how does our Creator God demonstrate the good news that was preached? Who made the first offering as an atonement and a covering for sin? In the next scene following God’s proclamation of mercy and judgment (Genesis 3:14-19), the Lord then covers the shame and sheds blood for the first sin and sinners.
In Genesis 3:21, ESV, Moses writes this for us: “And the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.” The Lord Himself covers the guilt and shame that Adam and Eve incurred on themselves. God initiates and acts in love and provision for guilty sinners.
But where did these skins come from? There had to be a death for sins (see Romans 6:23). Blood was shed for the forgiveness of sins — and God Himself provided the substitute for Adam’s guilt. Don’t miss the gospel message: an innocent substitute for a guilty sinner. This is God’s pattern in Leviticus 1:3-4, and this is God’s plan for us in Christ in Romans 3:23-26.
The gospel is from God, about God’s Son, and for God’s glory. In the gospel God provides what He demands.
2 Corinthians 5:21, ESV, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
1 John 4:10, ESV, “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
And it is in this gospel that we place all of our hope and trust: Jesus Christ the Righteous slain for us to cover our sins and pay our ransom.