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by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Saturday Evening, November 24, 2007

“And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living” (Genesis 3:20).

A few years ago Time magazine featured the face of a young woman on its cover. The caption at the bottom of that girl’s picture said something like this: “Is this the first woman, from whom the human race came?” The article was based on recent scientific discoveries regarding human genetics. As those scientists peered through high powered microscopes at human genes, they discovered that there was a pattern, and that all human genes seem to come from a single woman who lived long ago, in antiquity, near that part of the world where theologians say the Garden of Eden was located.

But I do not base my beliefs on the guesswork of these scientists, however closely they may seem to confirm what is written in the Bible. My belief is centered in the written Word of God, which plainly says,

“Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living” (Genesis 3:20).

That statement is given by direct revelation from God. It needs no scientific speculation to bolster its validity. God said it on the pages of the Holy Scriptures, and that settles the matter for me.

“Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living” (Genesis 3:20).

Whether your ancestors go back to China, or to Africa, or to Europe, or to any other part of the human family, genetic scientists are now saying mankind sprang from one woman. But isn’t that exactly what the Bible said all along? Of course it did! In his great sermon on Mars Hill, in Athens, Greece, the Apostle Paul said that God,

“Hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth” (Acts 17:26).

And that one blood, of whom all the races and tribes were “made,” was the blood of Eve, the wife of Adam, the first physical “mother” of every man, woman and child on this earth! That is what theologians call the “unity of the race,” that all of our bloods can be mingled through modern transfusions. The blood of a pygmy in Africa can be given to a blond Norwegian girl, and if it is of her particular type, that pygmy blood will be accepted by the body of the little girl from far off Norway. The unity of the human race is also shown by the fact that a man from any nation can produce children from a woman of any other tribe or nation. Why? Because God

“Hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth” (Acts 17:26).

If it is of the same type, I could give my blood to Dr. Kreighton Chan, and his Chinese body would accept my English blood. That is because we have a common ancestor. Back in far off antiquity, Dr. Chan and I have a common ancestor, our first mother, Eve the wife of Adam. This shows the validity and accuracy of our text,

“Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living” (Genesis 3:20).

The name “Eve” means “life-giver,” and indeed all human life comes from her.

Yet we should note that it was Adam who named her. “And Adam called his wife’s name Eve…” As the head of the human race it was Adam’s duty to name her, as God told him to name the animals and birds (Genesis 2:18-20). This bespeaks Adam’s headship. And it was because of his transgression not hers, that the curse came upon creation. The Bible teaches that Adam, not Eve, was responsible for the Fall of man. It was to Adam that God said, “Cursed is the ground for thy sake” (Genesis 3:17).

As the head of the human race, Adam is blamed for the Fall of man. The Apostle Paul wrote,

“In Adam all die” (I Corinthians 15:22).

Again the Apostle said,

“By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin” (Romans 5:12).

Thus, the blame for the Fall fell on Adam, and all his posterity. Since all mankind descended from him, and sinned in him, the curse fell on all mankind when Adam sinned. The Fall of mankind in Adam consists in the ruined nature and guilt of sin that passes down to every human being from Adam.

“By one man sin entered into the world” (Romans 5:12).

Thus, every human being is born in sin. David said,

“Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Psalm 51:5).

Thus, every child is born a sinner by the nature he or she received from Adam, including the guilt that they inherit from him. Children are not born innocent. They are born as little sinners. Every parent knows something about that. Even as a baby, the child rebels and kicks and screams against parental authority, which reflects its inbred rebellion against God, inherited from its ancestor Adam.

Also, all children inherit the corruption of Adam’s nature by the Fall. Thus, they are all utterly indisposed, disabled, and in opposition to all that is spiritually good, and are inclined toward evil continually. That evaluation, paraphrased from the Westminster Larger Catechism, is the exact picture of mankind presented in Romans 3:9-20.

“What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes. Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 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 3:9-20).

Verse nine tells us that the entire human race, both Jews and Gentiles, “are all under sin” (Romans 3:9); that means the whole human race is under the dominion of sin. And mankind came under sin, and became slaves of sin, because of Adam’s sin, at the Fall, which all human beings inherit in Adam, in their very natures.

Thus, while Eve is the physical mother of all mankind, Adam is the physical father of the human race, and it is from him, in union with her, that everyone inherits a totally depraved nature. The Westminster Larger Catechism says,

Original sin is conveyed from our first parents unto their posterity by natural generation, so that all that proceed from them in that way [by natural generation] are conceived and born in sin (Westminster Larger Catechism #26).

Then the Westminster Larger Catechism says,

What misery did the fall bring upon mankind? The fall brought upon mankind the loss of communion with God [Genesis 3:8, 10-12], His displeasure and curse; so [that] we are by nature children of wrath [Ephesians 2:2-3], bond slaves to Satan [II Timothy 2:26], and justly liable to all punishments in this world and that which is to come (Westminster Larger Catechism #27).

That is exactly what the Bible teaches about the human race. And it is not a pretty picture. From the Fall of man in the Garden of Eden springs the evil, good-rejecting nature of every unconverted man and woman on earth. This gloomy picture of humanity is bolstered by newspaper reports every day, which day after day report that men and women are sinners by nature, living under the curse pronounced on the human race in Genesis chapter three. As Dr. Watts put it in one of his hymns,

Lord, I am vile, conceived in sin

And born unholy and unclean;

Sprung from the man whose guilty fall

Corrupts the race, and taints us all.

Soon as we draw our infant breath,

The seeds of sin grow up for death;

Thy law demands a perfect heart,

But we’re defiled in every part.

Behold, I fall before Thy face,

My only refuge is Thy grace;

No outward forms can make me clean;

The leprosy lies deep within.

   (“Lord, I Am Vile, Conceived in Sin,” from Psalm 51,

      by Dr. Isaac Watts, 1674-1748).

This point is exactly where modern “decisionism” goes wrong. “Decisionists” do not take seriously enough the Fall of man, and the curse of total depravity that the Fall brought to all humanity. Because they think too lightly of the effects of Adam’s original sin, they think that a mere “decision for Christ” will save them. They think that a mere mental agreement with the facts of the Gospel will change their status from lost to saved. But the “decisionists” do not understand the radical nature of sin – passed down on all men from Adam. Their light view of sin takes them back to the medieval Catholic view, which did not emphasize the gravity of original sin and total depravity. Thus, when they preach they do not realize that they are speaking to people who are rebels against God in their very nature.

I agree with the great evangelist George Whitefield, that unless a man is convinced of his total depravity, he has no hope of ever escaping from it. He must feel that he is a ruined and condemned sinner, or he will never truly see his need for redemption by Christ Jesus.

You can shuffle in and out of the church services without the sermon ever touching your heart, simply because you have not been inwardly convinced that your very nature is rebellious toward God. But Jesus said, of God’s Spirit,

“When he is come, he will reprove [he will convince] the world of sin” (John 16:8).

When a person is under conviction by the Spirit of God, he will begin to say to himself, “It’s all true. By my very nature, I am sinful and rebellious against the God that made me.” When that thought comes to your heart, it will make you desperate, knowing you cannot do, or say, anything to change your ruined heart. Before that time, you are spiritually asleep, thinking little or nothing about your unholy depraved heart. But when God begins to enlighten you to your truly horrible inner condition, you will cry out, perhaps silently, perhaps out loud, perhaps you will even scream (as happened in historical times of true revival),

“O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:24).

Then you will fear that God may pass you by and leave you with a depraved heart. Then the fear of God and His wrath and judgment may drive you outside of yourself, to Christ for,

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7).

May a spark of fear begin to burn in your soul. May the fear of your own ruined condition drive you to Jesus, who came “to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). Then you may experience a real conversion! May God grant you the grace to be truly converted through the redemptive work of Christ. Amen.

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Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Genesis 3:16-20.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
   “Lord, I Am Vile, Conceived in Sin,” from Psalm 51 (by Dr. Isaac Watts, 1674-1748).