December 25, 2016

When Christ’s Birth was First Promised

Written by:
Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy

Genesis 3:15

When God first revealed to our first parents His plan to send Christ into this world, it was a most momentous time. When the first Gospel announcement was made, our first parents had been found guilty of rebellion and were responsible for the fall of God’s creation, particularly Adam. By eating the forbidden fruit, they had forged an unholy alliance with Satan and transgressed God’s commandment in Genesis 2:16-17 – “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

Imagine the commotion, fear and guilt troubling their hearts and minds as they found themselves dead in trespasses and sins. They were still alive, yet spiritually dead, being alienated from God. This consequence, God had emphatically warned Adam earlier. Everything changed in a twinkling of an eye as their spiritual death cut them off from God’s presence. Their hearts were corrupted and their souls perverted. For the first time, they experienced falling into the abyss of sin and being locked up in spiritual darkness. Having no power to reverse God’s judgment, they also realised that the world around them had been corrupted and become a hostile environment. In sorrow and fear, they realised firsthand the sad reality of sinning against God; but it was too late, and there was nothing that they could do!

{Dear friends, as matter of application of the above historical truth in our life, may it remind you that disobedience to God would end up in tragedy and misery. If we do not learn our lessons early in life, we are going to waste many of our opportunities in the Lord and reap His displeasure. The only way to live a blessed life is to follow the principle which King David adopted in his life: “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalm 119:11). By avoiding sin, we receive His blessings. “The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage” (Psalm 16:5-6).}

Oh, how relieved our first parents must have been when they first heard directly from God His plan to redeem them from their sins. They must have been overwhelmed to hear what God said in Genesis 3:15 – “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” What a wonderful blessing to hear God’s commitment to save them. After they had rebelled against God, He visited them not just to pronounce them guilty, but also (above all) to proclaim that God will give His Son Jesus Christ to be their Saviour! In that first proclamation of the Gospel, God did not reveal a lot of details about Christ being born as man’s Saviour. Nonetheless, Christ, the Son of God, was introduced as “her seed”. (Surely, the Holy Spirit would have given our first parents the understanding of the Gospel, as it was announced to them). As such, we have every reason to believe that they were saved that day as they looked to Christ as their Saviour and Lord by faith!

Since we are privileged today to have the whole counsel of God in our hands, let us consider why God introduced Christ as “her seed”.

Firstly, it was to impart the knowledge that the Messiah would come as one of us. This understanding is certainly supported by the later revelations in the Scriptures. The apostle John says, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). Hebrews 2:14-18 also declares the same truth: “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.”

Secondly, it was to impart the idea that Christ’s coming would be by means of a virgin conception and birth. We know this from the angel’s word to Joseph in Matthew 1:20-21 – “Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” Thus, He will be born as an unblemished, perfect God-Man to offer a perfect sacrifice for our redemption.

What a grand plan which God’s wisdom has devised to work out our salvation. Christ came as “her seed” to present Himself as our representative, undefiled by Adam’s sin. Since Christ was perfectly holy, He was able to offer Himself as the Lamb of God, the perfect sacrifice to appease God’s wrath. On the cross, the old serpent’s seed (the ungodly children of Satan) may have bruised His heel (wounded and killed Christ). Nonetheless, what appeared to be His defeat actually turned out to be a fatal blow on Satan’s head when Jesus resurrected, destroying the power of sin, death and Satan over us. Just as God has proclaimed in Genesis 3:15, Christ’s coming accomplished the defeat of Satan and our salvation. Now that we are no more dead in trespasses and sins, and thus no more locked up in spiritual darkness and sins, let us “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (Galatians 5:1).

Gethsemane Bible-Presbyterian Church adheres to the system of faith commonly known as the “Reformed Faith” as expressed in the Westminster Confession of Faith together with the Larger and Shorter Catechisms.
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