12th December 2022
Read - Genesis 3
Message - Alan Burke
This week we are going to do something a little different, maybe its not for everyone but I know for most people it will be. For what normally happens in the next couple of weeks is that ministers will be in their studies trying to figure out how they can preach one of the usual ‘Christmas’ passages in a way that hasn’t been heard before. I’ve just shelved that attempt and instead I want to this week take you to Three Gardens. Hopefully you will understand the why in all of it by the weeks out for what we celebrate isn’t an isolated message of a coming of baby in a manager it is something far greater In salvation history. So today we go to the ‘Garden of Eden'.
Not the most typical Christmas message I know, but Christmas was announced in the Garden with the first announcement of the gospel in the book of Genesis. For a manger isn’t where the hope begins, the hope begins in the midst of the fall, where God preached the gospel to the Satan, the gospel was proclaimed and announced in the Garden of Eden.
I’m going to be selective in what we focus on from this passage, we haven’t got time to work through it in its fullness. But bear in mind the context, how in the beginning God made all that is and it was good, God looked when he had finished his word of creation and said it was very good (1:31). God’s creation was very good. God’s people lived in God’s place under his rule and blessing. There was no death or mourning or crying or pain, these were not in the created order.
Fast forwards to v6 we are told after the interaction between Satan and Eve, she saw took, ate, and then gave some to Adam. It wasn’t that Adam was off somewhere herding up the animals, trying to put a roof up for over their heads, he wasn’t working the ground, he wasn’t being the custodian that he was tasked with by God. No, Adam he was there, v6 and Eve also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Eve ate because she was tempted to do so, Adam just choose to disobey God’s clear command. There sin entered the world, God’s very good world, sin entered and death followed. The relationship between God and man was left in tatters.
Tragic, sin changed everything, shame filled their minds as they looked upon the nakedness of each other, they are filled with shame for they know what they have done. And they hide from the presence of God, they had from Him who had shown them such goodness, they rejected the word of God and in an effort to cover their shame they sow fig leaves together to hide from their sin and from their God. While the man and women are engulfed with sin and shame, God does not abandon His creation or His creatures, nor does He simply bring the judgment that they deserve for rejecting His word. Instead, and this is wonderful, don’t miss it, the Lord, well, He comes, He seeks those out who had rejected His word. In they midst of their sin and shame the Lord God looks for them as they try to hide from His presence because they herd Him coming.
Verse 15, for God promises a day of reckoning, a day when what has happened would be dealt with. God in His mercy does what only a good and gracious God, who is merciful and kind would do. For God announces the gospel, preaches it to Satan, the deceiver, He judges the serpent, it is a curse that is given, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Gen 3:15)”
Also notice in this verse, that speaks of a day or reckoning of how “He will crush your head, and you will bruise his heel”. The question then to be asked is who, who is he, for it is not they, it is not the children of Eve it is a child, a seed, a descendant, one that God has promised that would deal with the serpent, that would deal with Satan, who?
From then on in Scripture the question is who? Of course we know it is Jesus, He is the one who came to deal with sin for God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. (John 1:29, 2 Co 5:21).
Q21 Who is the Redeemer of God’ s elect?
The only Redeemer of God’ s elect is the Lord Jesus Christ, (1 Tim. 2:5–6) who, being the eternal Son of God, became man, (John 1:14, Gal. 4:4) and so was, and continueth to be, God and man in two distinct natures, and one person, for ever. (Rom. 9:5, Luke 1:35, Col. 2:9, Heb. 7:24–25)