Dispensationalism is a theological framework. It divides history into seven different periods, or dispensations, and describes how God interacts with humanity in each period. The dispensation of innocence is the first and shortest.
Each dispensation is said to follow a six-part pattern. For the dispensation of innocence the pattern is:
Managers: Adam and Eve Time Period: Creation of man to man's temptation and fall Responsibility: Obey God (Genesis 1:26–28; 2:15–17) Failure: Disobedience (Genesis 3:1–6) Judgment: Curse and death (Genesis 3:7–19) Grace: Another chance and the promise of a Redeemer (Genesis 3:15)
In Genesis 1:27—3:19 we read of God creating the first people, Adam and Eve, to live in league, or harmony, with Him in the garden of Eden. Though having no sin (Genesis 1:27), Adam and Eve did possess free will, the ability to procreate, and an eternal soul. They were tasked with working the garden (Genesis 2:15) and also had a face-to-face relationship with God, who walked in the garden (Genesis 3:8).
When Adam and Even chose to disobey God, they introduced sin and death into the world (Romans 5:12), which has since been inherited by all people. Their innocence was lost (Genesis 3:7–8). God announced the consequences to their choice (Genesis 3:14–19), then set a pattern of extending mercy by sacrificing an innocent animal. This time, the blood was shed to provide cloths for Adam and Eve, which God tailored for them Himself! (Genesis 3:21). We see this requirement of a blood sacrifice for atonement throughout the Bible. Hebrews 9:22(b) says, "and without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins."
In the dispensation of innocence, God gave people responsibility, they failed to meet His requirements, they suffered judgement, then God provided grace and hope for the future. Genesis 3:15 prophecies Jesus coming as the ultimate Redeemer. Jesus, completely innocent, would die to redeem mankind for those who believed in Him (1 Peter 3:18). Jesus is described as the last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45) as no further atonement is necessary.
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