Read - Genesis 3:1-15 and Luke 1:26-38
Message - Alan Burke
Today and the rest of this week we think upon the incarnation of the Son of God. But as we begin we are going to start at the beginning. As you read it can’t have escaped you that this life is far from how we would want it or desire it to be. It is the truth that none of us can avoid, we may try to explain it away or ignore it but we all know it to be true. The bible helps us to understand why, why this life is far from how we would want it or desire to be. In the account of what happened in the Garden of Eden, we read there how as soon as Adam and Eve ate of the fruit of the tree (7), the eyes of both of them were opened and they realise that they were naked, then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden (8).
Why is life far from how we would want it or desire it to be, well it is because we lost communion with God. We lost relationship with the creator. When God came seeking Adam, he and his wife hid from their Creator-Lord and all people ever since have sought to hide from our Creator and seek to avoid Him in our fallen condition, yet it is impossible to do so we still try. Now, we are miserable in that we have lost fellowship with our God, and thus have lost the communion with Him we were created to enjoy. We have lost His gracious presence and kind favour toward us by nature, we are now hopeless by nature, “without God in the world” (Eph. 2:12).
If God had left the human race to perish at that point in the beginning it would have been a glorious display of his perfect righteousness and justice, for we did not and do no deserve anything else. Yet God in his good pleasure and grace sought to bring his elect from that state of sin and misery and bring them into an estate of salvation by a redeemer. The bible tells of that story, for it is a covenantal story, that Paul describes as “the covenant of promise” (Eph 2:12). The covenant, the covenant of grace is first announced when God said to the serpent; “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)
This first announcement of the gospel was of one who would come to deal with the serpent, the promise of the incarnation, of how Satan would receive a fatal blow whereas the offspring of Eve or literally seed would only be struck on his heel. God figuratively was speaking of what would happen, how that one day Satan would finally be defeated, it is the promise of the incarnation, of someone who would come to deal with the consequences of the fall and the sin. The mighty work of God is a story of grace in how he brought the coming serpent crusher, his only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, the one who would bring about the reign of an everlasting kingdom. This is the hope that we will be thinking upon over the coming week, how God was sending the gift of salvation in his only begotten Son, all of it taking place according to the council of God’s will, whereby for his own glory, he hath foreordained whatsoever comes to pass (Eph 1:5.11, Rom 9:22-23).
This is the hope that we have, our only hope as this life is far from how we would want it or desire it to be, a hope in the promised Son of the Most High that was revealed to Mary that filled her with hope, a hope of sin defeated. This Jesus has the throne of his father David, reigning over all and his kingdom will never end (Lk 1:30-33). If you know him then know that hope this day of sins forgiven, of grace though Jesus Christ for all who confess with their mouths that Jesus is Lord and believe in their hearts that God raised him from the dead will be saved (Rom 10:9)
Q 39 What is the duty which God requireth of man?
The duty which God requireth of man, is obedience to his revealed will. (Mic. 6:8, 1 Sam. 15:22)