Listen to sermons at FreeGraceRadio.com
That which is free is uncaused, unconditional, unqualified, unconstrained, uncoerced. In the beginning, before sin entered into the world, everything was free. Everything God did for and with Adam was free. Every gift, every blessing, every privilege was free. And everything Adam did for and with God was free. He feared no punishment. He sought no reward. He walked with God freely, naturally, spontaneously.
Then sin entered into the world and everything changed. Sin brought with it bondage, and fear, and death. There were only two ways to control sin: death and law. If God did not kill the sinner, he would control his sin by law, by threatening him with punishment. There is no deterrent to sin, in a natural sense, but law. — But law could not change the sinner or show forth the glory of God.
The entrance of sin also made a way for grace to be revealed. “The tree of life” portrays our blessed Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ (Proverbs 3:18; Revelation 22:2) full of life, and grace, and truth. “The tree of the knowledge of good and evil” appears to be representative of the law, by which comes both the knowledge of sin and the death sin brings. “The law entered, that the offence might abound,” that sin might be seen for what it is, a horrible affront to God. — “But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 5:20-21).
The grace of our God, the superabounding grace of God in Christ, is magnificently set before us in Genesis 3. The Lord God called the fallen man. Once the Lord God had called the fallen pair to himself, he made a sacrifice for Adam and Eve and took the skins of the slain, innocent victim and made garments for the fallen pair, covering their shame (their nakedness), and promised a Redeemer.
Then the Lord God drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden in great grace, “to keep the way of the tree of life” (Genesis 3:24). The Lord God drove Adam and Eve from the garden “to keep the way of the tree of life,” that is, to preserve and protect “the way of the tree of life.”
God’s grace, not his wrath, is revealed in driving Adam and Eve from the Garden “to keep the way of the tree of life.” He drove them out of the Garden and “placed Cherubims and a flaming sword” east of Eden, which turned every way to keep, guard, preserve, and protect “the way of the tree of life.” That flaming sword by which the Triune God has protected the way of life for his elect ever since the Fall is his own holy justice, the sword which he buried in his darling Son at Calvary (Zechariah 13:7) when he was made sin for us! — All this was done “freely!”