Sunday, December 6, 2015

The Seed of the Woman



SERMON               GMT15-038

SERIES:              Topical Messages:  Christmas

SETTING:          North Kelso Baptist Church

SERVICE:          Sunday AM (December 6th, 2015)

SUBTITLE:        Jesus before Bethlehem: Part 1 – The Seed of the Woman

SCRIPTURE:     Genesis 3:14-15

SUBJECT:          The promise of victory

SUMMARY:       Victory is promised over Satan who will be completely crushed beneath the feet of the woman’s triumphant seed

SCHEME:           To prove that Satan will be ultimately defeated

_____________________________________________________________

Our theme is:  The promise of victory

Proposition:  Victory is promised over Satan who will be completely crushed beneath
                        the feet of the woman’s triumphant seed

Interrogatory Sentence:  How will Satan be completely defeated?

Transitional Sentence:  The passage before provides (3) truths that demonstrates the victory that Satan will be completely crushed beneath the fee of the woman’s triumphant seed. 

[The Title of the Message]
Jesus Before Bethlehem: Part 1 – The Seed of the Woman

[Announce the Text]
Please open your Bibles to Genesis 3:14-15

[Scripture Introduction]
This historical narrative that we call Genesis was written by Moses. It is called the “great book of beginnings.” The book of Genesis lays the ground work for everything that we read in the rest of the Scriptures. It is through Genesis that we understand where we came from, how we arrived in our fallen state, the beginnings of God’s gracious work on our behalf for redemption, and the plans of the eternal God. Genesis reveals God’s original purpose for the human race.

Genesis provides the foundation from which we understand God’s covenant with Israel that was established with the giving of God’s law. Genesis is mostly a narrative. God is the hero of this narrative if you please and He is the first subject of a verb in this book and is mentioned more times than anyone else. Genesis gives us a well-balanced presentation of the origin of everything we know today.

Re-announce and read the text
Let’s now read Genesis 3:1-19 

Prayer for illumination & understanding
Heavenly and Gracious Father, we, your children know that in you are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Through your HS open our eyes that we may see the wonders of your Word; and give us grace that we may clearly understand and freely choose the way of your wisdom; through Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

[Sermon Introduction]
On July 31, 1838 on the Island of Jamaica, a man named William Knibbs, gathered 10,000 slaves for a great praise gathering. They were celebrating the New Emancipation Proclamation Act that would abolish slavery on the island. They had built an immense coffin and into it were placed whips, branding irons, chains, fetters of all kinds, slave garments and all the things that represented the terrible slavery system that was now coming to a welcome end.

At the first stroke of the midnight bell, Knibbs shouted out, "The monster is dying." At each stroke of the bell that followed this cry was repeated and the great crowd began to join in the cry. At the twelfth stroke 10,000 voices cried out, "The monster is dead, the monster is dead, let us bury him." They then screwed the coffin lid down and lowered it into a huge grave and covered it up. That night, every heart rejoiced and 10,000 voices grew hoarse, shouting and crying with joy. Once they were in bondage to slavery, but now they were free.


Having been promised in 1834, the death of slavery for Jamaicans had finally been realized. Slavery was defeated. Victory was finally realized. After years of oppression it had finally arrived.

I propose to you even after centuries of conflict that ultimate and complete victory 
is  promised over Satan who will be completely crushed beneath the feet of the 
woman’s triumphant seed.

Here in Genesis 3 is the first promise that God has given to anyone after Adam and Eve had eaten the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. It is also the first gospel sermon ever preached on the face of the earth. This promise is called the protoevangelium, which means “first good news.” These words spoken by God contain the first promise of redemption in the Bible. Everything else in the bible flows from this promise.

Just like the acorn contains a mighty oak, these words contain God’s plan of redemption. Charles Simeon, an English preacher, called this verse:

“The sum and summary of the whole Bible.”

This morning we are beginning our Christmas Series called “Jesus Before Bethlehem. The theme of this series is Jesus Christ in the OT. You should not be surprised that we discover Jesus Christ in the Old Testament. After all there were times that He appeared on earth as “the angel of the LORD.” But, the whole OT bears witness to him through many symbols and images and also through direct prophecy concerning his person, purpose, plans.

Over the next three (3) weeks [I had originally scheduled four messages] we will examine three (3) OT pictures and predictions of Jesus Before Bethlehem from the Old Testament.

We will examine:

·        The Seed of the Woman from Genesis 3:15
·        The Lamb of God from Exodus 12:3
·        The Prophecy of the Virgin Birth from Isaiah 7:14

I think you can see why these passages represent essential and central truths that helps you to understand who Jesus Christ is and why His coming was so essential. I also hope that these great truths and eternal principles will prepare your heart for Christmas and that they will increase you devotion to Jesus Christ, the promised Son of God.

 [Proposition]
And so, I intend to demonstrate that victory is promised over Satan who will be
completely crushed beneath the feet of the woman’s triumphant seed.

 [Analytical Question]
I ask you again, what promise do we have that Satan will be defeated.

This passage suggests three (3) phases of the promise that Satan will be defeated.

[The First phase of the promise that Satan will be defeated is seen in the…] 

1A     The Endless Conflict of the Seed

[Because it is so vital that we understand this endless conflict, let’s begin by examining…]
         
          1B     The Period when the conflict began

This conflict that will ultimately end in Satan’s complete defeat began near the very beginning of human history. Both Adam and Eve had just eaten the fruit from the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Sin had just entered into human history. Take a look at their very first impulses after eating the fruit:

·        To hide from God. It seems that God had a regular schedule of walking in the Garden of Eden. They knew he would be “in the area.” Even if they were only in the Garden for a short time, they still knew when they could find God and walk with Him. Now, as they hear him approaching they hid themselves.

·        They made excuses.

o   Adam blamed Eve
o   Eve blamed the Serpent

Neither one of them was willing to raise their hand nor say, did “I do it. It’s my fault. I am guilty and I will take responsibility.”

So, the period or the time of the beginning of this endless conflict was at the very beginning of the history and experiences of man.

[This leads us to…]

          2B     The Place where this conflict began
         
“The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed…then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden t tend and keep it.”

The Garden of Eden would have been a climatic paradise that apparently needed no rain because it was watered by a mist coming up from the ground (Genesis 2:6).  There would be no storms or harmful natural occurrences. 
 Everything about God’s creation would have been perfect; after all, He had pronounced it “very good” at the end of day six (Genesis 1:31).  What God says is ‘very good’ cannot have any flaws whatsoever. 

Therefore, the world in which Adam and Eve lived would have been the perfect temperature, the perfect humidity, without pests or diseases, and without anything that would detract from their enjoyment of knowing God in a perfect, undiluted way.  Surely, this is what is meant by the word ‘paradise’. 

There was no Shame or Guilt in the Pre-Fall world
Adam and Eve lived a life of blissful innocence.  They had never sinned; therefore, they had no guilt nor shame.  This was life as God intended it to be.  No mortal since has had such a clear heart and conscience.  This is a model to be emulated and a preview of what awaits the Christian in the future.  Of course, Jesus Christ is the only person who ever lived, after the Fall of Man, who was sinless.  Everyone else experiences the shame and guilt of being unclean before a holy God. 
 The only way this shame and guilt can be dealt with is by trusting in the good news that Jesus Christ paid the penalty for our sin.  He died on a cross so that we might be forgiven of the sin that separates us from God and results in this shame and guilt.

Perfect Relationships
Adam and Eve enjoyed a relationship with God, and with each other, that was unhindered by the disruptive power of sin.  The Bible even indicates that God may have taken on a physical form in order to walk with Adam and Eve in the garden (Genesis 3:8). 
 What an amazing thing to be able to do.  Adam and Eve were the only two people on earth…and they were privileged in a way that no one since has ever been privileged.  They met and communed regularly with the Creator of the universe. 

 This is not an impossibility when you remember that there was no sin present to prevent this kind of relationship.  The fellowship they enjoyed with God was unhindered by anything (Genesis 2:25).

But suddenly paradise is not so beautiful. Eden has now been ruined by the entrance of sin. Satan is probably static about now. He plotted their fall almost as soon as they had been created. He wanted to oppose God and ruin what God had created and called good from the very beginning!

[So now let’s look at…]

          3B     The Persons involved in the conflict

Well, as God looked on what I would call the train wreck of the fall of the human race, and God immediately pronounces curses or sentences.

·        First, God curses the snake or the serpent

When God ‘found out’ that the serpent had deceived Eve, He cursed him and commanded him to crawl on his belly from now on. Now, I take it that the ‘serpent’ was a snake. But Satan was only using the FORM of a snake for his purposes. Why curse an entire species of animal for something Satan did? And did this mean that snakes didn’t ‘crawl on their bellies’ before God cursed them?
In terms of why God would ‘curse’ the snake for what Satan did, let me offer the following suggestions: 

a.     The snake would be a forever symbolic reminder of the Fall.

Every time man would see a serpent he would be reminded that it was the instrument by which he fell into sin. Man was to have dominion and rule over the animal kingdom and yet it was through an animal that he was led astray! That tells man something about the seriousness of the original Fall and also about how culpable he really is.

b. The snake would be a symbolic reminder of Satan’s future destruction.

The snake imagery is picked up in Genesis 3:15 when the snake is told: ‘he [the woman’s seed] will crush your head and you will strike his heel.’ The snake was cursed to crawl on the ground and therefore susceptible to man’s heel crushing its head (this vulnerability is a direct result of Satan’s sin). This is a foreshadowing of what will really happen to Satan someday. The seed (Jesus Christ) of the woman will crush the head of Satan and His heel will be struck (the crucifixion) in the process.

In addition, the curse upon the physical snake was reflective of the actual curse upon Satan himself: crawling low on the belly was a mark of deep degradation (Lev 11:42) and eating dust was also a sign of despair (Micah 7:17). All these factors combine to form very vivid symbolism of what awaits Satan in the end. 

b.     Animals were culpable when used as instruments of sin.

Interestingly, elsewhere in the OT when an animal is an instrument in sins against nature he is to be slain along with the man (Lev 20:15, 16). Is that because there is real blame and guilt on the part of the animal? No, but because the instrument is often broken/punished along with the actual perpetrator.

Chrysostom summed this idea up well:

Just as a loving father when punishing the murderer of his son, might snap in two the sword or dagger with which the murder had been committed.’

d. God is the potter and can use some clay for common purposes and other clay for noble purposes (Romans 9).

God has the right to curse an animal in a specific way due to the sin of another; He did that very thing in regard to Adam’s sin. When Adam sinned and threw all of creation into chaos, God cursed the ground so that it produced thorns. Was the ground to blame? Was it actually guilty? No, but it was rightly punished due to the sin of another and is a symbolic reminder to us of that very sin. 

·        Second, God curses the woman

“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers.”

The key word in this curse is “enmity.” It means hostility or animosity. Notice some things with me:

o   First, Eve and the serpent (snake) will never get along

o   Second, her unborn descendants, generations, would trace their heritage back to Eve.  The word seed or offspring refers to the men and women of faith that is born in every generation who believe in God.

This is a reference to the godly line that leads to Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Joshua, Gideon, Ruth, David, Daniel, Esther, and eventually ends in the person of Jesus Christ.

Notice carefully, Satan has his seed or offspring also. In every generation, in every country, in every city, in every village, in every tribe and clan, and in every family Satan has his offspring.

Satan has his people. His line started with Cain and continued down through every generation of people that have lived on this earth.

·        Third, God curses the ground as a result of Adam’s sin

The point is that there has been an endless conflict between God’s line of believers and Satan’s line of unbelievers. This conflict was anticipated by God and it was permitted by God. As a matter of fact, in God’s sovereignty, God has used this endless conflict to prepare and produce victory that God had promised. This endless conflict that you see when you turn on the TV, step the door, interact with unbelievers, or feel the effects is planned, overseen, and consummated by the sovereign design of the living God.

APPLICATION:
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; 13but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.… You are part of this endless conflict that is leading to victory.


Don’t be overwhelmed by this endless conflict, don’t be distracted by it and don’t be afraid. Victory has been promised. But there can be no victory if there is no conflict. Watch and pray that you don’t grow weary and faint as a result of this endless conflict.

[Well, God reveals that there is going to be an endless conflict between his people and the people of Satan. God also reveals that the second phase of the promise that Satan will be defeated is seen in the…]
  
2A     The Expected Collapse of the Seed

“… and you shall bruise his heel.”

Until or unless you have had a heel spur, pulled, or torn your Achilles tendon you might not know just how painful this can be. Most of us never think about our heels until we have problems with them. What usually happens at that point?

Most of the time you end up on crutches, popping pain-pills, and having surgery. Heel trouble can painfully slow you down.

The good news about heel trouble, no matter how serious, no matter how painful, it does not kill you. You can live for a very long time with heel trouble. Even you are crippled or have to hobble around.

When you read, “You shall bruise his heel,” there are two principles to grasp.

[First of all…]

1B     Satan wins some battles

·        Satan is the ruler of the attitude, the mindset, or the driving force of this age. He does not rule God nor does he have absolute title control to this world. He can only operate under the direction of God.

·        Satan is resourceful. He is extremely talented. He is very intelligent. The classic example is he used a snake or serpent do carry out his dastardly plan of deceiving Eve into eating the forbidden fruit.

·        Satan is relentless. He is ruthless – he drives and drives until he has accomplished his goals, no matter what the expense.

o   He killed all the baby boys under two hoping to kill Jesus
o   He killed over 6 million Jews hoping to exterminate God’s people
o   He has engineered the death of over 56 million abortions

I could go on and on and so could you. Satan is absolutely relentless in the opposition, attacks and warfare against God’s people.

Satan attack you regularly through this fallen angels, or demons, through the vain and wicked philosophy of this world, by exploiting your own internal desires. Satan attacks through:

§  Discouragement
§  Criticism
§  Anger
§  Bitterness
§  Frustration

Satan relentlessly and ruthlessly attacks your plans, attempts to kill your dreams, and to frustrate your walk with God.
If you have any doubt that Satan is a temporary conqueror, just visit any cemetery. There you see the final effect of his temporary heyday, death.

·        Satan is robust

But, that is not the main idea in this verse or this expectant collapse that we need to dwell on.

[Secondly we see]

2B     Satan seems to win at the cross

When Jesus died on that old rugged cross, Satan struck the heel of Jesus. There on that cross the nails were pounded into his hands and his feet. Eventually after hanging on the cross Jesus died. His body was taken down and taken for burial. It looked like Satan had won.

Listen to Charles Spurgeon:

“Look at your Master and your King upon the cross, all distained with blood and dust! There was his heel most cruelly bruised. When they take down that precious body and wrap it in fair white linen and in spices, and lay it in Joseph’s tomb, they weep as they handle the casket in which the Deity had dwelt, for their again Satan had bruised his hell…the Devil had let loose Herod, and Pilate, and Caiaphas, and the Jews, and the Romans…That is all, however! It is only his heel, and not his head, that is bruised! For lo, the Champion rises again!”

Satan had delivered a terrible and frightful blow to Jesus Christ on the Black Friday. There is no doubt that Satan thought he had thrown a real knock-out punch. But h was wrong. All Satan did was strike Jesus on his heel – painful, horrendous, and all that it was – it was just an expected collapse. A momentary defeat that within three (3) days was a total victory!

Application:
When you look around this world, especially our country and even our city you might get the idea that Satan is winning. God has chosen to let Satan win some battles which God will use for both his purpose and his glory. The seemingly defeat of Christ and the victory of Satan the cross was short lived. It is only temporary! Trust God who is the victor in all things. Never give up or give in – God will prevail over any temporary losses or collapses.

[Well, God reveals that there is going to be an endless conflict between his people and the people of Satan. God also reveals that the third phase of the promise that Satan will be defeated is seen in the…]

3A     The Eventual Conquest by the Seed

          “He shall bruise your head…”

[Let’s look at…]

          1B     The Comparison

                   First – it is the heel vs. the head

                   Second – it is bruising/striking by Satan vs. bruising/striking by God

Satan thought he won at the cross. But God struck Satan a crushing, death blow at the cross.

Heel “wounds” or problems are very painful but do not kill you. They can be healed. No one survives a crushed head. The cross was god’s death blow against Satan. When Jesus died and then rose from the dead he utterly defeated Satan.

I like how Philip Brookes depicted this battle:

“He was wounded sorely; a life all torn and bleeding, He dragged out to the end; but when the end came it was victorious. Look at Him on the cross…Sin has taken the Savior and fastened him there. It has driven in the nails and crowded down the crown of thorns upon the forehead. It has seemed to have its own way with Him, and all the while, with those hands closing in agony over the nails, He is crushing its life out…Sin is tormenting Him, but He is vanquishing sin.”

[Secondly, we see…] 

          2B     The Conclusion

A normal thinking person just might ask a very important question at this point. “If Satan has been crushed, why does he still seem to be doing so well some 2,000 years later?”

There is no doubt that Satan is alive and well on planet earth. So if he was defeated and was crushed by Christ wreak so much havoc and have so much power?

The answer or the conclusion that is derived from this comparison, is simple; at the cross Satan was judged and his death sentence was pronounced. Right now he is allowed to remain free and to roam the earth wreaking havoc. But he is merely waiting out his final execution. He will be placed into the Lake of Fire for all of eternity. He has been conquered! One day, eventually we will see the sentence carried out.

Application:
This life that we are now living and what we call the Christian life will always be a struggle. During this life we will struggle, sweat, exert great effort and energy and we will experience many difficulties, trials, temptations, thorns, and trouble. This is why Paul used certain images such as runner, boxer, wrestler, farmer, and soldier. This life is not easy; it is hard work. This life demands your full commitment and the full engagement of soul.

Until the day you die you struggle. Sometimes you will win and sometimes you will lose. Don’t get discouraged. We are at war. The victory has been won. There is an eventual conquest!

[What do you say we wrap this up?]

[CONCLUSION]
Our theme has been the first promise of victory

Eventual and absolute victory is promised over Satan who will be completely crushed beneath the feet of the woman’s triumphant seed.

Genesis 3:15 is the very first mention of the gospel in the entire bible. You might have not seen this since the name of “Jesus” is mentioned in the text. Jesus is the seed of the woman who will one day put an end to this endless conflict and bring about the eventual conquest of Satan, even though at the cross Jesus experienced an expected collapse.

As time has rolled on, Satan seems to be winning. But continued to raise up in every generation a godly line. When this promise was given to Adam and Eve, no one knew that the “seed of the woman” was Jesus the Christ. But after the flood God zeroed in on the persons of his godly line until he demonstrated the seed through the virgin birth.

Most people don’t know that John Wesley’s Christmas Carol, “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” has a fifth verse. It goes like this: 

          Come, desire of nations, come fix in us thy humble home,
          Rise the woman’s conquering seed, bruise in us the serpents head.
          Adam’s likeness now efface, stamp thine image in its place
          Second Adam from above, reinstate us in thy love.
          Hark, the herald angels sing, glory to the newborn king!

This is the Christmas season. We know that “Jesus is the reason for the season.” As we look at our series this year called, Christ and Christmas 2015, we have been with the very first promise of the coming of the little baby that was born in Bethlehem, in a manager. This is Jesus Before Bethlehem – Part 1, The Seed of the Woman.


Let’s pray! J

2 comments:

nashvillecats2 said...

This was an excellent post Gregg, took time reading it and was most impressed. Well done.
Yvonne.

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