Son of Adam: Hope that Good Overcomes Evil - Genesis 3:15

On Sunday, Pastor Stacey preached from Genesis 3:15 as Good Shepherd began their new series studying the Old Testament prophecies of the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ. From Genesis 3:15 we learned three things.

I. Recognize the source of the hostility.

II. Rest in the destruction of the enemy.

III. Rejoice in the triumph of the Savior.

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You can either listen to the sermon or read the notes below.

There’s a little joke about two explorers on a jungle expedition. As they made their way through the thick trees, they came to a clearing and were suddenly confronted by a massive lion. Both explorers were terrified. They froze as they looked at the lion. Then one explorer said to the other, “Keep calm. Remember what we read in that book on wild animals? If you stand perfectly still and look the lion in the eye, he will turn and run.” The other explorer looked down, and then back at the lion, and then he said to his partner, “You read that book, and I read the book. But I don’t think this lion read it.” Whenever we face a seemingly hopeless situation, whatever we thought we knew or were confident in can quickly go out the window. For instance, we might say we believe that good will conquer evil in the end, that God will finally defeat Satan, and yet we lack a sense of hope. The world today can feel very hopeless. We hear daily about the threat of terrorism, of nuclear war, and we see all kinds of evil on display.

And so even if we never admit it to anyone else, we begin to fear that evil might overcome good.  Fear begins to rule over us. But God determined from the beginning that good would overcome evil once and for all. Evil would be stamped out forever.

We naturally think it will happen by passing new government policies and beginning new programs, by fighting wars or staging protests, by establishing humanitarian initiatives, or evil can be avoided by separating ourselves from society and sheltering our children. To some extent, there is merit to doing all of those things. But to ultimately solve the problem of evil, it will take more than that.

That’s because, as the Scriptures explain, there is this ongoing hostility between two opposing sides. It’s bigger than conservative or liberal, Democrat or Republican. It’s bigger than any nation or ideology. As Genesis 3 states, the conflict is between the offspring of the serpent and the offspring of the woman. Genesis 3:15 is the first promise that good overcomes evil once and for all through a son of Adam who would be the Savior.

And because God determined from the beginning that this will happen, we should adjust our view of human history and let hope flood our hearts. But how do we do this? As always, there’s an outline on page 6 of your worship guide. To adjust our view of human history, past, present and future, and to regain our sense of hope, we need to do three things: Recognize, rest, and rejoice.

Recognize the source of the hostility.
Rest in the destruction of the enemy.
Rejoice in the triumph of the Savior.
First, Recognize the source of the hostility.

I need to back up a minute and tell you what has taken place in Genesis 3. It is the scandalous fall of man. We understand Adam and Eve to be real people, historical figures. Without a historical Adam, Romans 5, which we read together earlier, makes no sense. Jesus is the second Adam, so there had to be a first Adam. Eve and then Adam ate of the forbidden tree in the Garden. They were tempted and deceived by Satan, who took the form of a serpent. And the sin of Adam plunged all future generations of people into sin. When Adam fell, everyone after him fell. We read that earlier.

Obviously there were some supernatural elements in play here. You and I have never witnessed anything like this interaction between Satan and a human. And for that reason, this is often read as a myth or a fable.But the account is believable, and you don’t have to suspend logic or reason to believe it. Think about the supernatural works of Jesus during his time on earth: his miracles his resurrection from the dead and his ascension to heaven. Consider how the Scriptures present God and an entirely separate spiritual realm which is very different from our physical reality. In light of those things, the account is believable. And the ancient Hebrew manuscripts present it in that way. Hebrew writers used a special mark to indicate that they were recording historical narrative, an actual event as opposed to poetry that would contain figurative language. The mark is called the vav consecutive. Vav consecutives are used throughout Genesis. Also Jesus acknowledged the truth of this account. So for those reasons, we see this as a historical event.

Now notice the first part of verse 15, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring;” God issues judgment for what Satan, Adam, and Eve have done. God puts enmity between Satan and the woman. Enmity is hostility, hatred. Satan and the humans did this together. They seem like allies. But God divides them, not just individually but also in their lineage or descendants, their “offspring” – literally their “seed.” These two parties are not friends; they are enemies. “Enmity” means more than just not liking each other; it’s murderous animosity. The hatred takes affect in the next chapter of Genesis between two brothers, Cain and Abel,

both sons of Adam and Eve. Abel honors God in worship, Cain does not. Cain grows jealous of Abel and he murders his own brother. We might pause here, thinking this is strange, because Cain and Able are both the offspring or seed of Eve. Where is the offspring of Satan? Well, the lineage that God refers to in Genesis 3 is a spiritual lineage, not physical. Satan is a fallen angel; Jesus says in Mark 12 that angels don’t marry, therefore they don’t reproduce. Satan has no biological children,

yet Jesus still refers to Satan as a father. In John 8, Jesus tells the hard-hearted Jewish religious leaders, “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires.

He was a murderer from the beginning.” Cain is responsible for Abel’s death, but Satan’s guilt is implicit.  It’s understood that he’s involved. This is why when God warns Cain before he kills his brother, God says, “sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for to you.” Satan’s desire is to drag Cain down. This hostile, murderous opposition is then repeated throughout the story of redemption.

I’ll note just a few major ones in Biblical history:

The attempt of the Egyptian pharaoh to murder all the baby boys of the Israelites.  What’s really going on there?  The seed of the serpent is trying to stamp out the seed of the woman.  Satan is trying to murder the Savior.
Or the attempts by King Saul to murder David. It’s clear from 1 Samuel 31 that Saul was the seed of the serpent.  David, obviously from the covenant God made with him in 2 Samuel 7, was the seed of the woman.  Again, Satan is trying to murder the Savior.
And the attempt of Satan to murder Jesus.  In Luke 3, Luke traces the lineage of Jesus all the way back to Adam.  Luke is showing us that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Genesis 3 prophecy.  He is the seed of the woman.  No doubt Satan thought he had won.
These are just a few examples of what is sometimes called “seed theology.” I’m sure you can find more as you look throughout the Bible.

At the end of the Bible, we learn more about of the history of the conflict. Revelation 12 illustrates it for us.  John describes a vision in which he sees the woman and the great red dragon, which is Satan. Revelation 12:4, “the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it.” He wanted to destroy the Savior. The chapter describes a war between God’s angels and Satan and his angels. It says, “that ancient serpent, who is called Satan and the devil, the deceiver of the whole world.” God gives John this vision with symbolic images describing reality. Listen to what John sees the serpent do: “He pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. [14] But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness…Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.” This is the source of the hostility we see in the world.

It’s been said in joking that hell might be a fun place.  Sin is fun and there’s plenty of sin in hell. Of course, this is normally said by people who don’t actually believe in Satan or hell. But that perspective is addressed in the Bible, because it acknowledges that sin feels natural to us. It feels right. There is a general sense of comfort and familiarity with sin. But it’s deadly. Someone won’t knowingly take a big swig of poison unless they mean to harm themselves. People recognized the danger of the poison. But sin is often approached like it’s not dangerous, like Satan isn’t out to get you. Like he’s for you, not against you; he wants you to be happy and enjoy the pleasures of life. But that’s not true. Satan wants to destroy you. Of course he would try to endear you to himself. Of course he would want you to be comfortable with sin. But there is enmity between God and Satan. There is no a neutral third side, no Switzerland.

Do you recognize that sin and Satan brought this hostility into the world? That Satan is the one who lures you into sin? That sin crouches at your door; Satan crouches at your door. Where is Satan currently trying to work his way in, to manipulate you and take advantage of your weakness. Don’t be naïve? Sin is not your friend. People say, “Don’t play with fire; you might get burned.” That analogy doesn’t quite work with sin. You can play with fire and might get burned. Play with sin and you always get burned. There is no “might.” To be hopeful in these difficult times, we need to recognize the source of the hostility in the world and distance ourselves from the enemy. We have to deal head-on with our own bitterness, pride, unforgiveness, lust, anger, self-pity, self-righteousness, apathy, and doubt.

Next, we need to Rest in the destruction of the enemy.

The next part of verse 15 says, “he shall bruise your head” The promise that the head of the serpent will be bruised. A head wound is a mortal wound.  Satan will receive a fatal wound. Jesus defeated Satan at the cross. He bound him like someone who enters the house of a strong man and binds him, which he describes in Mark 3. Satan’s binding is described in the first part of Revelation 20.

Satan still has power, but he’s not all-powerful. Then later in the book of Revelation 20 we see Satan’s final destiny. John again describes “the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan.” He writes: “the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.” This is the final defeat of Satan. The apostle Paul obviously had this same future for Satan

in mind when he wrote in Romans 16 “I want you to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil. [20] The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.”

This is how we should think of Satan: still possessing a measure of power, yet bound by Jesus with a fate that has been sealed.  Douglas Kelly writes, “Although the evil one still has limited power in a fallen world, it is far less than what he had when he was able to bind and blind all nations outside Israel. And believers can still overcome even Satan’s limited power, for James 4:7 commands us, “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

Are you able to rest in the knowledge that Satan’s fate is sealed? The challenge here is to rest in this while we wait for the return of Jesus. For reasons that only he knows, God has determined not to end history yet. We don’t know God’s timeline. But how would our perspective change if we could see from God’s point of view? The apostle Peter gives us an idea in 2 Peter 3.  He writes, But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. How long has it been since Jesus defeated Satan at the cross and returned to heaven? A couple days.

And finally, we can Rejoice in the triumph of the Savior.

See the last part of verse 15: “you shall bruise his heel.” Even though Satan gets the mortal wound, he does strike at the seed of the woman. God planned the death of Jesus on the cross long before it took place in the first century. Isaiah 53 describes what happened to Jesus at the cross: “It was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring” Jesus is associated here with the seed of the woman. Jesus had no biological children, but in a spiritual sense, those who trust in him are his descendants or offspring.

But the heel had to be bruised. Jesus had to go through the pain of death. In Luke 24, he says, “Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” and later Jesus says, “everything written about me in the Law of Moses (which includes Genesis) and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled…Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations.” Jesus is the hope of nations. Turn from your sins and put your trust in him.

John describes the final triumph of Jesus in the last chapter of Revelation. He writes, “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb [2] through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month.”

The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. So the tree of life, which was in the Garden of Eden, is present here and there are many, enough for everyone – they are on either side of the river of life.  John goes on: “[3] No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. [4] They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. [5] And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.”

Jesus triumphed initially at his cross and resurrection, and will finally, at the end of time.

As we enter the Christmas season, we hear debates about how the church should respond. Some argue that because the celebration of Christmas is not mandated in the New Testament, and because the holiday has been infused with many secular aspects like the tree, the presents, and the lights, Christians shouldn’t celebrate it. However, missions professor Elias Dos Santos Medeiros points out why Christians should celebrate it. He writes, “If by ‘Christmas’ we mean the celebration of the incarnate birth of Christ, then absolutely… This is the first and foremost emphasis we ought to consider: we are celebrating the incarnation of the Son of God. Such celebration is explicitly and implicitly found throughout Scripture.”

We should rejoice that the seed of the woman has fatally bruised the seed of the serpent. The hope of salvation held by Adam and Eve after their fall came to earth in the birth of Jesus. Those first two people even saw the first blood sacrifice for their sins. Genesis 3:21, “And the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.” God slaughtered the first animal to cover Adam and Eve, pouring out blood that spoke of a greater sacrifice to come. Hebrews 10 says, “But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. (see the Genesis 3 reference there) For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.”

Do you know Jesus in this way? Have you trusted in his righteous life and his sacrifice alone to make you clean before God? And if so, are you ready to cast your fear aside and refresh your hope as we celebrate the Savior foretold of so long ago? He understands our fears, our worries and anxieties about the world around us. He died the death of a fearful sinner, so we can live as bold believers.

Let’s pray together.

SermonLauren HookerComment