When we think of the first man Adam, we remember that it was by him that sin entered into the world. However, immediately after that sin came a promise from God – He would send one to deliver mankind from that sin. “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15). From that point forward, mankind waited for God to send the Promised One; and from then on, mankind recognized the separation from God.
Just as sin entered into the world by one man, Adam, also because of that sin came death. “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12). We understand as we read the Bible that God revealed mankind’s sin to them through the centuries, by His Law. “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:20). In having this Law, people could understand just how sinful they were, and just how far from God they had become. Instead of living by faith – looking for the Promised One, the people tried to obey that Law – but failed. “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all” (James 2:10).
We also understand after reading Romans 3:20, that no man can be justified by that Law. However, this was not revealed without the assurance that God sent One who could deliver mankind from sin and death. (Death is a result of the initial disobedience of man.) “19. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. 20. Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: 21. That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 5:19-21). This helps us understand that the purpose of the Law given by Moses is to reveal mankind’s sin. We can then understand that God never intended for mankind to live perfectly under the Law, for it is impossible. However, the intent of that Law is to reveal to mankind their need for grace – only provided by the Savior, Jesus (that One promised from Genesis 3:15). “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” (John 1:17). It is then we can begin to understand the grace that Jesus offers. Grace is something offered that no one deserves.
To help one understand the fulfillment of Genesis 3:15 better, read the following: “14. Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15. And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. … 17. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people” (Hebrews 2:14-17). When Jesus came, lived a sinless human life, died upon the cross, and rose from the dead, he defeated the devil and death – allowing Him to be able to reconcile people to God once and for all.
When Jesus came, He fulfilled every letter of the Law. This is something that no man had ever done, or ever will do. In that fulfillment, he took upon himself the curse of the Law for us (because we are cursed for not fulfilling it). See what he accomplished by doing this. “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree” (Galatians 3:13). (Compare that with Deuteronomy 21:22-23.) All one has to do is believe, by faith, that Christ took that curse for us.
We must understand that the Law was only given to reveal mankind’s sin. The Law cannot save anyone. One must have faith in Jesus. Throughout the Old Testament, we can read of the failure of mankind because they were unable to fully obey the Law. In the New Testament, we see that through Jesus, He not only fulfilled that Law, but also died so that we could have eternal life. If only one would believe. Just as through Adam, all will die, through Jesus, all can live. “21. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive …” (1 Corinthians 15:21-22).
Have you come to the knowledge that you are a sinner, needing salvation that only comes by faith in Jesus?