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Christmas Sermon from Genesis (preached on First Advent 2008) November 30, 2008

Posted by roberttalley in Christmas, Genesis, Religion, Satan, Sermons.
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THE FIRST MENTION OF CHRISTMAS

(Genesis 3:14-15)

When we think of the promise of Christmas, we normally think of peace on earth, good will toward men. That is a wonderful promise but it is not the first promise. That is to be found here in the very first book of the Bible in the garden of Eden.

The first promise of Christmas was made to the serpent (verse 14a).

The reason for the promise, “Because you have done this…” (verse 14a). We are all familiar with the story of how that the serpent tempted Eve but we need to remind ourselves of who he is and what exactly it is that he has done.

Who is the serpent (compare verse 14 with Revelation 12:9)? If you turn from the first book in the Bible to the last book, you find it clearly stated who this serpent is. He is the Devil, Satan, the great dragon. The first promise of Christmas was made to Satan.

What is it that he has done (and continues to do and will continue to do as long as God allows) that results in God making this promise to him? He deceived Eve. Paul tells us in 1 Timothy 2 that Adam was not deceived, he was not tricked, he knew exactly what he was doing but that Eve listened to the serpent and was deceived. The passage we have just looked at in Revelation tells us that he is the deceiver of the whole inhabited world. The main work of the devil as described by the Bible is not bringing trouble into my life. The work of the devil or even of his demons is not causing flat tires so that I can lose my temper and be in a bad mood. The main work of the devil is deception. That is how he begins his career and that will be his main work in the end.

Satan’s deception has two parts. Genesis 3:4 is part one, “You will not surely die.” “If you are convinced that you can get away with sin, sooner or later you’re going to do it” (Ray Pritchard).

Genesis 3:5 is part two. God is denying you what you really want. He knows that if you eat of the tree, you will be like Him. Then you will be truly great and truly happy. If you can be convinced that God is withholding something good from you, then you are ripe for deception. The minute you think that you can grab that forbidden happiness without being caught, you will grab at it.

The symbol of the promise (verse 14b). Just as God gave the rainbow to remind us of the power of His judgment, God caused the snake to have to crawl on its belly to remind us of the deception of sin. We have an indication of the importance of this symbol in Isaiah 65:25. This chapter describes for us the earthly kingdom that Christ will set up when He comes for the final time. This kingdom is described as a place where the wolf and the lamb, the lion and the ox will live in peace with one another. That same verse points out that the snake will still be crawling on its belly. Even in the kingdom of righteousness with Jesus Christ Himself on the throne ruling this earth, there will still be a reminder of the deception of Satan and of sin. Perhaps you have never thought of the snake as a symbol for Christmas but it is that very deception that made and makes Christmas both necessary and joyful.

The reality of the promise – (verse 15). The symbol is important because it helps us to focus on the reality of the promise of Christmas.

The first promise of Christmas was not made to a snake. The snake was a tool of Satan’s deception and is now a symbol of that deception. The first promise of Christmas was made to Satan and to his seed. Now God is not talking here about the physical seed of Satan. There is no reason to think that Satan has ever fathered children. On the other hand, it is also obvious that this promise goes beyond the hatred and fear of snakes by humankind. For one thing, not all snakes are poisonous, in fact, most are not and not everyone hates snakes. So this promise goes beyond the physical seed of the snake but extends to all those who follow Satan and his ways.

Jesus refers to this in John 8:44. Jesus according to verse 31 is speaking to a group of Jews who profess to believe in Him. As He reveals to them their self-righteousness and that their belief is actually in their ethnic and religious heritage, Jesus makes this statement, “You are of your father, the devil…” What proof does Jesus offer? They believe the lies of the devil. So those who believe Satan are his spiritual children.

What then is this Christmas promise that God makes to Satan and to those who believe his lies. The first promise of Christmas is a promise of defeat (Compare with Revelation 20:1-3, 7-10, 11-15). “Their head will be bruised.” John the Revelator emphasizes this when he describes the end times. That old serpent (verse 2) and all those who follow him (verses 8-9) will be destroyed and will be in the lake of fire forever (verses 10 and 12-15).

The fulfiller of the promise can be none other than Jesus Christ (Compare Genesis 3:15 with 4:1, 25). Think about Eve as she is listening to this. She realizes that through her seed this deception will be corrected. The deceiver will be destroyed. It is no wonder that she was thrilled when Cain was born. She has a man from the LORD. Perhaps he is the one who will destroy the serpent. But she sees Cain is not right before God. Perhaps then she puts her hopes in Abel. Perhaps he is the one who will destroy the serpent. But Cain murders Abel. Then God gives her another son, Seth. She still has hope that through her seed Satan will be destroyed. Eve passes away. Seth passes away. Thousands of years later a man is sitting, wondering what he is going to do. The woman to whom he is engaged is pregnant. He intends to privately divorce her but then an angel appears to him and says, “Do not be afraid to marry this woman. This baby is conceived through the Holy Spirit. Call Him Jesus for He will save His people from their sin.”

You see, Jesus is the Seed of the woman! (Compare verse 15 with Matthew 1:23-25). That same angel told Joseph that this baby is the promised seed of the virgin as told in Isaiah 7:14, “Behold, a virgin shall…bear a son and his name will be called Immanuel, that is, God with us.” God Himself is the seed of the woman. God Himself is the one who will defeat the deceiver and correct the deception. God Himself is the fulfiller of the promise of Christmas. Galatians 4:4-5 tells us that when the time was perfect, God sent His Son to be born of a woman, subject to the law of Moses, and this Son would redeem those under the law, those who could not keep the law but were subject to its punishment. He is the Seed of the woman.

He is the victor over Satan (verse 20). Now we have seen that Jesus is victorious over Satan in the day of judgment but the Bible tells us that Jesus is already victorious over Satan.

This means that sin is vanquished (1 John 3:8). The works of Satan, the deception that he propagates, and the sin that results from that deception will be destroyed. That is why Jesus came, for that very purpose, to fulfill the promise that God made to Satan. Your works will be destroyed, sin will be defeated, you and your seed will be crushed.

This also means that death is vanquished (Hebrews 2:14-15). How? Through death. Through Jesus’ death on the cross He destroyed the one who has the power of death. When Jesus died on the cross, He conquered Satan and removed the one, who through his deception, brought death into the human race. I know that Adam and Eve share responsibility but the writer of Hebrews is reminding us that it is Satan’s deception that brought death into play. I was born condemned to die but through the death of Christ and my faith in Him, I have been released from that sentence, from the power of death, and have been given eternal life.

When John Wesley wrote “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing,” he included a verse based on Genesis 3:15 that beautifully describes Jesus as the Victor. Our hymnal like many others omits this verse but I want to read it for you this morning.

“Come, Desire of Nations, come, Fix in us Thy humble home.

Rise the woman’s conquering Seed, Bruise in us the serpent’s 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.”

He paid a price for this victory (Compare verse 15b with 1 Peter 2:21-25). Yes, Jesus fulfilled the promise of victory over Satan, this first promise of Christmas but it cost Him. His heel was bruised. There are a number of passages which we could look at but I want to focus on just one. Jesus suffered, he was reviled, mocked. Verse 24 tells us that it was by His stripes that we are healed. His pain was real, His death was real. It was the price that He paid for us so that He and us with Him could be victorious over Satan, sin, and death. Verse 25 tells us what we must do. Return to Jesus. Return to the one who created us. Return to the one who bought us, redeemed us. Return to the one who bruised Satan’s head, while His heal was being bruised. Return to Him. Turn away from the deception of sin. Your sin will one day be revealed and their will be consequences unless you turn to Jesus and allow Him to take the consequences for your sin. Do not believe the lie that God is withholding something good from you. All that is truly good in this life is to be found only in Jesus Christ. Turn to Him in faith for salvation and victory. The promise of Christmas to Satan is not a pleasant promise for Him but it can be for you, if you switch sides and trust Christ.

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Comments»

1. Kelly - November 30, 2008

Nice….I wrote about Genesis adn the fall today too…..

http://kellychronicles.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!A0D71E1614E8DBF8!743.entry


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