December 2nd, 2018
The great majority of people will go on observing forms that cannot be explained; they will keep Christmas Day with Christmas gifts and Christmas benedictions; they will continue to do it; and some day suddenly wake up and discover why - G.K Chesterton
Advent (from the Latin adventus) means “coming” or “arrival,” and is the season leading up to Christmas, where we celebrate the arrival of Jesus Christ. It is designed to be a season of waiting and anticipation.
This season allows us to embrace the fact that we live between two advents. This season ought to deepen our appreciation for the first advent of Christ while increasing our anticipation for his promised return.
Main Idea: Though we have rebelled and are in bondage, God has promised to defeat evil through a serpent-crushing offspring
I. THE PROBLEM OF CHRISTMAS (3:1-13)
The serpent is connected explicitly with the Devil and Satan elsewhere in Scripture; “The great dragon, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world.” ~ Revelation 12:9
Satan leads Eve to question God’s goodness, to doubt His word, and to believe in a half-truth. This same progression of sin happens in our lives continually.
Sin immediately brings three things into the world:
1. Shame (3:7)
2. Fear (3:8-10)
3. Separation (3:11-13)
Christmas confronts us with a problem: things are not the way they are supposed to be! This season forces us to take stock of how we have participated in this breakdown, and to lament to brokenness experienced in all of creation.
Christmas tells us loud and clear that we can’t get out of this mess ourselves. We need a rescuer. We need someone to make this right and to save us from ourselves.
II. THE PROMISE OF CHRISTMAS (3:14-15)
The story of the whole Bible is contained in these two verses. In the midst of the tragedy of Genesis 3, God makes a series of promises that provide hope:
1. God curses evil (3:14)
God deals immediately and swiftly with the source and head of evil. He curses the Serpent to a life of humiliation on his belly and eating dust all of his life.
2. God will stir up enmity (3:15a)
Enmity is the idea of “hostility” in warfare. This is actually a grace to us because it means that God will not leave us alone. He won’t let evil go unchecked. He will stir up discontentment within us for evil and sin.
Until sin be bitter, Christ will not be sweet - Thomas Watson
3. God promises to send a serpent-crusher (3:15b)
This is often called the “proto-gospel,” the first telling of the good news about Jesus in all of the Scriptures.
There is a “mutual affliction” that takes place here: the serpent will bruise the heel of the offspring (singular) of the woman, but he will crush his head.
Jesus comes as the long-expected fulfillment of this prophecy: at his crucifixion, his “heel is bruised.” But in his death and resurrection, the serpent’s head is actually crushed.
Hebrews 2:14-15: “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he (Jesus) himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,cand deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.”
The church today participates in the destroying of the devil by placing their faith in the gospel of peace: Romans 16: “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.”
“Joy to the World” captures the beauty of the Christmas for us:
No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make his blessing flow
Far as the curse is found
Though the curse is found everywhere we look right now- our long-expected King has come and is coming to make his blessings flow “far as the curse is found.”