Study 1 THE FIRST PROMISE OF A REDEEMER
GREAT STATEMENTS OF THE GOSPEL
by Francis Dixon
(Key verse: Genesis 3:15)
The first great statement of the Gospel that we are to consider is contained in Genesis 3:15. Here is God’s first promise of a redeemer. Many people today discredit the Book of Genesis, but we must always remember that Genesis, as well as the four books that follow, was written by Moses under the direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit – look up 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21. We must also be very careful to remember the words of our Lord Jesus Christ in John 5:47. The words contained in Genesis 3:15 (and also in the previous verse) constitute the first gospel sermon ever preached. The preacher was the Lord God Almighty, and the audience was the Devil, Adam and Eve, and the whole human race. We shall notice that this verse declares seven great fundamental truths that are amplified throughout the Bible, though they are denied by many people today. What are these seven truths?
1. Genesis 3:15 declares God’s sovereign love for all mankind.
In Genesis 3 we have the record of the Devil tempting Eve (and Adam), of the entrance of sin into the world and of the consequent fall of man. What happened immediately sin came into the world? At once God intervened – read Genesis 3:8-9. God immediately sought out His disobedient children – to kill them? No – to declare His love for them, and in Genesis 3:15 we read that at once God said, ‘I will do something…I will send a Redeemer who will be “her seed” (KJV) – the seed of the woman.’ The reference, of course, was to God’s Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who would come in the fullness of time to live, die and rise again so that He might be the Saviour of man (Galatians 4:4-5). How wonderful it is that back in the Garden of Eden God should express His love by promising to send the Saviour!
2. Genesis 3:15 declares the existence of a personal Devil.
To whom was God speaking in Genesis 3:14? It was to the serpent. But who was the serpent? He was the agent or the tool of Satan. The serpent was Satan incarnate, and we must remember that at this time and prior to the Fall the serpent was not a loathsome, crawling reptile but a beautiful, attractive, upright creature, with graceful movements (verse 14). It was only after sin had entered in and God had pronounced judgment upon the serpent that it became a loathsome creature. Few people today believe in a personal Devil, but the Bible emphatically declares his existence. He is a real personality (Matthew 4:1-11); he was in fact the first sinner (1 John 3:8); he is “the god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4); he is “the ruler of the kingdom of the air” (Ephesians 2:2); he is “the accuser of our brothers” (Revelation 12:10). Thank God his doom is sealed! It was sealed when God first said – Genesis 3:14-15.
3. Genesis 3:15 declares Eve was the first woman.
These words refer to Eve, but where did Eve come from? (Genesis 2:18; 21-22). Why do many find this record difficult to believe? If Genesis 1:26 is true, why not 2:18 and 21-22? So Adam and Eve were our first parents (Genesis 3:20). This is very satisfying, yet the alternative is too terrifying (2 Corinthians 11:3; 1 Timothy 2:13; 1 Corinthians 15:45). Always remember that the theory of evolution in relation to the existence of man is still an unproved theory.
4. Genesis 3:15 declares the supernatural Virgin Birth of our Lord.
At least 4,000 years before His incarnation God declared that when Jesus came He would be born of a virgin. But where do we read of this in Genesis 3:15? “Her seed” (KJV) is an unusual expression, but the word ‘seed’ is used over a hundred times in the Bible, always in connection with the male and never with the female. The seed for procreation is always resident in the male, so how do we explain “the seed of the woman”? The explanation is that Jesus would not be born as the result of the union of a man and a woman, but His was to be a virgin birth, conceived of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:18; Luke 1:35).
5. Genesis 3:15 declares the essential purpose of the Incarnation.
Why did Jesus come into this world? Yes, He was our teacher, our example, a great reformer, but this verse tells us that He came to die. This refers to the first coming of Christ and to His suffering on the Cross (John 1:29). Compare Isaiah 53:5; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:24. How we thank God that our Lord Jesus was born to die (Revelation 13:8) otherwise there would be no redemption.
6. Genesis 3:15 declares the second coming of Jesus and His final triumph over Satan.
This verse speaks of His first coming (Hebrews 9:26), also of His second coming (Hebrews 9:28) – it predicts Romans 16:20; Revelation 20:10! On the Cross Jesus vanquished Satan, and on His return Satan will be overthrown and cast out for ever. Isaiah 11:9 and Revelation 21:1-4 will be fulfilled! – Hallelujah!
7. Genesis 3:15 declares the truth of Romans 10:17.
This is illustrated so well in this chapter. When Adam and Eve heard the Lord’s pronouncement and promise of a redeemer, faith was implanted in their hearts; they believed God (verse 20). Eve was not then a mother, but Adam had faith to believe she would become a mother and through her the Redeemer would ultimately come into this world.