The Beginning of the Gospel
And the LORD God called unto Adam and said unto him, Where art thou?
Read Genesis 3:9-11
The darkest and saddest page in all of Scripture is found in Genesis 3. Before
our very eyes we see man (including ourselves) topple from his position of
highest honour into a deep abyss. In a single moment Adam, a child of God,
becomes a child of wrath and a slave of sin.
But this dark page in God’s Word is not without a flicker of light. This light
is not in any way because man’s doing; it is only due to the pity and incomprehensible
love of the Lord Who seeks lost sinners. Sometimes we speak of
God’s love so thoughtlessly, but God’s love is precisely what we see happening
before us: God seeks out fallen, trembling creatures who have hidden
themselves among the trees of Paradise. He calls out, “Where art thou?”
This marks the beginning of the gospel call, and it is also how it happens today.
God and man do not meet each other half way because they both begin
to look for each other. Rather, God seeks man. And when He looks for us, He
always sees the same scenario: guilty sinners trying to hide, using many different
ways to cover themselves up.
God’s dealing with man is not a question of working together; it is a one-sided
action from the Lord. Already in eternity it was free grace alone which
moved the Lord to seek sinners. Whoever experiences his guilt, his resistance,
his powerlessness and despair may still expect deliverance. Thank
God that salvation is not dependent on you and me. But it is just as the Lord
Jesus would say during His ministry, that the good Shepherd seeks and finds
His wandering sheep, then personally brings them home (Luke 15:5).
Thought: In Catechism class you are taught that remonstrance, or Arminian
thinking is not an option, for then salvation is dependent on man. The Holy Spirit
teaches us that Arminian thinking is not necessary, for the Lord does everything!
Psalter 446:2, 3 (based on Psalm 130)
If Thou should’st mark transgression, O Lord who then could stand?
For evil and oppression Are found on every hand.
But Thou dost pardon fully All our iniquity,
That we may serve thee truly And fear Thy majesty.
I wait for God to hide me; My soul with longing stirred,
Shall hope what e’er betides me, In His unfailing Word.
My soul waits for Jehovah, With more intense desire,
Than watchers for the morning, To dawn of day aspire.