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The Gospel According to Genesis

Tom Pennington Genesis 3:15


Well, we're certainly entering the season of the year that is characterized by a string of weddings. Your mailbox probably experiences the same thing mine does as we get near to that season for invitations for weddings. I was thinking about that – weddings are very busy times. It's easy in the midst of the busyness to forget details, even important details. But there are some things that are just too important to a wedding to forget. This happened when one of my nephews got married. On the day of his wedding, his future mother-in-law got so caught up in the details of preparing the reception for that afternoon that she simply forgot to pick up her daughter, the bride, and bring her to the church. It's a pretty important detail, wouldn't you think?

I've often thought that Christians do the same thing in a different context. I'm afraid that we often get so distracted by the details of particularly the Old Testament that we overlook its central character. If you took away the Old Testament from most Christians' Bibles, all they would really miss would be Psalms and Proverbs. When you ask the average Christian if Christ is found in the Old Testament; if they're honest about their answer, it would have to be something like, barely or only a little. The truth is, Christ, the second Person of the Trinity, whom we have come to know as Jesus Christ, fills the Old Testament. He is not only the primary focus of Old Testament prophecy, He is the primary character of Old Testament history. In fact, the eternal Son of God appears in the very first verse of the Old Testament. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

What does the New Testament tell us about that act? In John 1:3, we're reminded that, "all things came into being by the Word, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being". Colossians 1:16 says, "For by Jesus Christ all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth". Hebrews 1:2, speaking of the Son, says that, "through Him, God made the world". The earth and the universe as we know it was spoken into existence out of nothing by the eternal Son of God. The Old Testament and the world began through the sovereign creative act of Jesus Christ.

Throughout the rest of the Old Testament, throughout the rest of Old Testament history, the Son of God appears and interacts with the people of God. To understand just how often this really occurs, you have to remember what John the Apostle wrote in the first chapter of his gospel. You remember John 1:18? Listen to what John said. "No one has seen God", that is the Father, "at any time; the only begotten God", this is the Son, "who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained the Father". He has literally "exegeted" the Father. What does that mean? Well, the practical conclusion of that statement is that every visible manifestation of God in the Old Testament was in fact the second Person of the Trinity, the Eternal Son.

Now I know you might be a little skeptical because this is not often taught. This isn't something most Christians are even aware of. But lest you think I'm making this up, this has been the consensus of the church for 2,000 years. Let's rewind all the way back to the beginning, right after the apostles. Listen to the words of Justin Martyr, whose ministry was right on the heels of the apostles in the second century. He writes, speaking of Christ, "The same one who is both angel", that is the Angel of the Lord in the Old Testament – that unique mysterious person, "and God, and Lord, and man, and who had appeared in human form to Abraham and Isaac, appeared in a flame of fire from the bush and conversed with Moses." Justin Martyr says all of those were appearances of Jesus Christ of the Son of God.

Irenaeus, also writing in the early 2nd century about the writings of Moses – the first five books of the Old Testament – writes this, "the Son of God is implanted everywhere throughout His writings: at one time, indeed, speaking with Abraham, when about to eat with him; at another time with Noah, giving to him the dimensions [of the ark]; at another; inquiring after Adam; at another, bringing down judgment upon Sodom; and again, when He becomes visible, and directs Jacob on his journey, and speaks with Moses from the bush". All of those; Irenaeus says; were Christ.

Tertullian, writing at the end of the 2nd century, at the beginning of the 3rd century, writes, "It is the Son, who has been from the beginning administering judgment, throwing down the haughty tower," that is the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11), "and dividing the tongues, punishing the whole world by the violence of waters," the flood, "raining upon Sodom and Gomorrah fire and brimstone, as the Lord from the Lord. For He it was, who at all times came down to hold converse with men, from Adam on to the patriarchs and the prophets… Thus was He ever learning even as God to converse with men upon earth, being no other than the Word which was to be made flesh".

You hear then the testimony of the early church fathers saying exactly what I'm saying to you. And that is, when you read the Old Testament, it is not about someone other than Jesus Christ. He is the central character of the Old Testament. Understand, the Old Testament is filled with the Son of God.

But there's one such passage I want to meditate on this morning as we prepare for the Lord's Table. It is for me perhaps, the most moving and compelling example. It's in the Book of Genesis. I invite you to turn back with me to the early chapters of Genesis. Do you remember the sweep of the early chapters of Genesis history? You remember in chapter 1 you had the broad overview of creation, the six days in which God created everything – six literal days. It says in Genesis 1:31 that when God had finished, "God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day". It was very good. But it doesn't stay very good for long.

If you fast forward to Genesis 4:8, you have the first murder. In Genesis 4:19, the first recorded sexual sin – the sin of bigamy. In Genesis 4:23, you have another act of murder. And things just continually decline at breakneck speed. Look at Genesis 6:5.

Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. The Lord said, "I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land".

I'm going to destroy him with a worldwide flood. By the time you get to Genesis 6, we are only four full chapters away from Genesis 1:31 where everything was very good. But we are lightyears away from very good. What happened? Of course, Genesis 3 happened. And the most tragic event in human history – what theologians call "The Fall". If you had been there in Genesis 3; if you had been there at that scene in the Garden of Eden and you had seen it unfold, do you realize that it wouldn't have looked that bad? It really wouldn't have. In fact, it wouldn't have looked as bad as most of our own sins that we commit. Because on the surface, it didn't even look like sin. After all, they were just eating a piece of fruit. But it happened to be a piece of fruit that God had forbidden. It was the test of their obedience to God. One simple command was the test. As they lived in a perfect world, a perfect environment, fellowshipping with God, walking in the cool of the garden every day; just one test of their obedience - don't eat of that tree. The tree of knowledge of good and evil. And yet they choose to do it. That simple act of eating that fruit, which only took a few moments of time, produced a massive, incalculable result that echoes down through time and eternity.

I said to imagine if you were there. It's very important to understand when we talk about the fall, that as far as God is concerned, you were there. I was there. Because Adam and Eve, according to Romans 5, were acting as our representatives. They were there showing how we would have responded. And listen folks. If you had been there, if I had been there, we would have made exactly the same sinful choices. That's the point. That was, without question, mankind's darkest hour, because in Adam we all sinned. We rebelled against God our Creator. And of course, we have continued in our own lives to manifest that rebellion as we were able.

But in that darkest hour, the light of God's grace begins to shine. In the pitch blackness of Genesis 3, we see the grace of God dawn. As part of His eternal plan, God the Father had decided in eternity past to allow the fall, and out of the fall to redeem some of humanity as a love gift to give to His Son. And that plan begins to work itself out here in Genesis 3:15. Now notice in verse 14 you have God's curse on the serpent - that is on the animal itself. It's told that it's going to be cursed more than all the other animals and every beast of the field, and somehow, it's going to change. We don't know what it was like before this, but we're told in verse 14 "from that point on, on its belly it would go. And it would eat the dust all the days of its existence". In fact, fast forward to Isaiah. And when Isaiah describes the millennium, guess what? He says the snake will still be crawling on its belly in dust.

You say, well the snake was just an instrument. That's true. As John Chrysostom, the great expositor of more than 1,000 years ago said, "It's like a parent whose child has been murdered seizes the weapon by which he's been murdered and breaks it to pieces". That's what God is doing here with the serpent.

But in verse 15, God is not pronouncing a curse on the animal. He is pronouncing a curse on the supernatural being that had used the serpent as a vehicle for his temptation. And we know that's true by the way, because the New Testament tells us this was not merely the serpent, the animal that was doing the temptation. In 2 Corinthians 11, Paul talks about the serpent that deceived Eve, and later in that same chapter he identifies the serpent as Satan. In Revelation 12:9, we read, "the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world". That's who verse 15 is targeted at.

Let's look at it together. Genesis 3:15, "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel". This verse has been long referred to as the proto-evangelium – that is, the first gospel; the first mention of the gospel in the scripture and in all of human history.

Martin Luther said this text "embraces and comprehends within itself everything noble and glorious that is to be found anywhere in the scriptures". You see, this text is like an acorn. You cannot look at an acorn and see all that it will eventually become. But nevertheless, contained within that little acorn is all the information in condensed form necessary, ultimately, to produce a massive oak tree. In the same way, all the elements of the good news are here, condensed in this simple statement God made to Satan. It is in fact a prophesy. It's a prophecy made with two distinct parts.

Let's look at this prophecy. The first part of this remarkable prophecy is this: the promise of a perpetual war. Some commentators, just a few of them really, look at this text and see nothing but humanity's hatred of snakes. I'm not making that up. There are some who say this is just about women hating snakes. Is that all that this means? No. Verse 15 is about far more than that. How do we know that it's about more than that? Well, there are several reasons. First of all, for at least 250 years before Christ was born, Jewish scholars took this to be a reference to the conflict between Satan and the coming Messiah. We also know that this verse is about more because of the word "enmity". The Hebrew word for enmity here is never used of animals. He's not talking to the snake. It's always used of persons. Of morally responsible persons throughout the Old Testament. Moreover, the New Testament refers to this passage as speaking of Satan. In Romans 16:20 Paul writes, "The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet".

So, in verse 14, God is talking to the snake and cursing it. But in verse 15, God is no longer talking to the snake, but to Satan who animated and used the serpent simply as his instrument in the temptation of Adam and Eve. Now look again at verse 15, "I will put enmity between you (Satan) and the woman, and between your seed and her seed". That is a prophecy that there will be a perpetual war between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan. Really, it's more than a prophecy. It's a declaration that there will constant conflict between the wicked and the godly.

Notice what it says, "I", this is God speaking, specifically the Son of God, "will put"; this will be the direct result of the sovereign action of the Eternal Son. "I will put enmity." The Hebrew word for enmity means a state of mutual hostility. A state in which both parties are constantly aware they are enemies. Between whom will this hostility exist? "Between you and the woman". And then He defines what that means with the next phrase. "And between your seed", that is Satan's seed, "and her seed", that is the woman's descendants. Now obviously this is not a reference to some physical offspring of Satan. Satan is a spirit-being. He doesn't have physical offspring. Rather this is a reference to his spiritual offspring. Those human beings who continue to follow him in his rebellion against God. They are his offspring. They are, according to Scripture, his children. We are all born this way.

Turn to John 8. We find a definitive passage that we come to often here because our Lord speaks so definitively about this issue. John 8:42. Jesus is speaking to His enemies and He said, "If God were your Father, you would love Me". There are those who have God as their Father. And if they have God as their Father it's because they've loved Jesus Christ. They responded to Jesus Christ. But there are others, verse 44, who have a different father. "You are of your father the devil". You're the devil's children. You're the devil's seed. You're the devil's offspring. "And you want to do the desires of your father." The things he likes; that's what you want to do. "He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies." Jesus here, is contrasting two groups of descendants. There are Satan's seeds, Satan's children who refuse to believe in Jesus, who love sin and love what Satan loves doing, and then there are the children of God who love Jesus and who love their Father, God.

The same point is made over in 1 John. Look at 1 John 3:8, "The one who practices sin is of the devil". He originates with the devil. He's the devil's seed. He's the devil's offspring. Here he's not talking about committing sin at all. Back in chapter 1 remember, he said if anyone claims not to have sin, even those who are Christians, they're liars. There's no such thing as a person who doesn't sin. He's talking here about practicing sin as a pattern of life where there's no repentance. He's talking about an unrepentant pattern of sin in your life. He says the person who lives like that, "is out of the devil. "For the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. No one who is born of God", if you are now God's child, you don't practice sin. That is, it's not an unbroken pattern of unrepentant sin in your life. "Because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God". He can't sin like that. He can't continue in an unbroken pattern of unrepentant sin, because he's God's child now. He's not Satan's child anymore.

Now look at 1 John 3:10, "By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness". If your life is not known by a pattern of righteousness, you're not out of God. You're not God's child, "nor the one who does not love his brother". Very clear. There are these two antagonistic groups. They're at each other. So, Satan's seed then is his spiritual children.

According to John 8, as we saw, we're all born as Satan's children, but then those who by faith in Jesus Christ turn to God, return to the One who created them, they are adopted by God. They're reborn as God's children and now they're God's children.

Now, back in Genesis 3. Satan's seed then refers to those who follow him in his rebellion. And by the way, if I had time I'd take you to a number of texts that show that this takes a lot of different forms. You can be Satan's child and live a lot of different ways. You can be Satan's child and just be, generally, an unbeliever. You can also be an unbeliever engaged in false religion. Jesus often accused the Pharisees of being the children of the devil. You can also be a child of the devil and be a false professor of the true gospel. In Matthew 13, He speaks of the tares, that is those who claim Christ are sown among the church, look like the real deal; sometimes they know they're not the real deal, other times they've deceived themselves – they're living in a pattern of unrepentant sin and still saying, "I'm a Christian. I'm a Christian", but they're tares. And Jesus calls them, in Matthew 13, "children of the devil". So, it can take a lot of different forms. But to be an unbeliever is to be his seed.

Now look at her seed. Her seed here refers to Eve's greatest descendant, Jesus Christ, and those who are in Him. We'll see that in just a moment, that it refers to Him. For now, take my word for it. Eve's greatest descendant, Christ, and those who are in Him. In other words, here's what you've got in the first part of this verse. The hostility that God is promising here will be between the humanity that continues to follow Satan and the humanity that turns back to their Creator in faith and repentance through the work of the promised Redeemer. Now, this prophecy that there's going to be this conflict begins to show itself almost immediately.

Look at Genesis 4:8. You have Cain killing Abel. Why? Well listen to what John writes. Remember that passage we just looked at in 1 John 3? The next verse says this, "As Cain, who was of the evil one and slew his brother." And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother's were righteous". Right away, conflict between Satan's seed and those who have returned to their Creator and are God's seed. Conflict. Why? Because one is righteous and the other isn't. This hostility between those who are following Satan still and those who have repented of their rebellion and believed the gospel, that hostility continues even today. If you doubt that, again, if you were to turn to 1 John 3, the next verse speaking of Cain and his killing of Abel says don't be surprised if the world hates you. Just like Cain hated Abel because he was wicked and his brother was righteous, they will hate you. Why do people, when they find out about my faith, why do they not like me? For the same reason. You understand this? They'll say things like, "You just think you're so good or so righteous. Who do you think you are?" Those are simple ways to say the same thing that was in the heart of Cain. He was evil and did evil things. His brother was righteous and so he hated him, because it showed up his evil. It convicted his conscience. It made him look bad. And he hated him. That's why, John says in 1 John 3, don't be surprised when the world hates you in the same way. Genesis 3:15 says our Lord put this hostility in place in the garden of Eden right after the fall – I will put enmity between the seed of Satan and the seed of the woman that responds to me. Now, that's a promise of perpetual war.

Let's look though at the second part of this prophecy in Genesis 3:15. The second part of the prophecy is so encouraging. It is the promise of a future Redeemer. Look at verse 15. The second half says, "He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel". Now notice the change of pronoun right in the middle of verse 15. The woman's seed, plural; her offspring in a collective sense, we now learn, includes and really focuses on one of her offspring. A single individual. A human. Notice, "He". God's point is, one male human being will eventually come and will ultimately and finally deal with sin and its effects. What did Adam and Eve understand when they heard this? Remember now, God's not talking to them. God's talking to the serpent, but they're hearing this. What did they think when they heard these words? They thought simply this, God will someday send a person who will be a descendent of Eve who will fix the mess we've made. That's what they thought. God is going to send a person who will fix the mess that we have just made.

As Scripture would later reveal, this was really a promise that the eternal Son of God would become human in the incarnation. As Galatians 4:4 says, "He would be born of a woman". There's even a hint here of the virgin birth, although that's not the major point. But notice the conflict between this future person, this future Redeemer, and Satan. Look at verse 15, "He shall bruise you on the head". He, that is the Redeemer, will bruise you, Satan, on the head. Literally the Hebrew word is "crush". He will crush you on the head. He will deal you a debilitating death blow. He will destroy you and your works. One male human will deliver a crushing death blow to Satan. He will deal with the sin that Satan has just brought into the human race. And this is just what the New Testament said Christ did.

In 1 John 3:8, we read just a moment ago, it says, "The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil". When and how did He do that? Well it started immediately. It started in His temptation. Adam and Eve were in the perfect environment, walking with God with no sin. They had one temptation and they fell. Our Lord Jesus, after His baptism, was thrust by the Spirit into the wilderness and there he was tempted for 40 days. The three temptations that are recorded are merely examples of what He endured, and sort of the high point of what He endured. But 40 days He was tempted, in the worst of environments, without food, in the middle of a barren wilderness; and the second Adam withstood Satan's attacks and sent him packing. It began there. But it didn't stop there.

Throughout His ministry, Jesus described himself in Matthew 12 as being the One who went into the house of the strong man - that is Satan, bound him and then stole his property. You know what Jesus was describing? He was saying, I'm going into Satan's house, as it were, and stealing his seed, stealing his children and making them mine. But Jesus' ultimate defeat of Satan occurred at the cross.

That's what Paul says in Colossians 2, speaking about the cross he says, Jesus "disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them," talking about Satan and his followers, his angels and his demons, "having triumphed over them through Him". This, by way, is where the last line of Genesis 3:15 comes in. The Redeemer's crushing blow to the head of Satan would bring Him great pain and suffering. Look at the last line of Genesis 3:15, "And you", Satan, "shall bruise him", that is the Redeemer, "on the heel". The Hebrew word for bruise here is the same word – crush. You Satan will crush the heel of the Redeemer. In the very act of crushing the head of Satan, the Redeemer's heel would be crushed. That is, He would be made to suffer great pain. This was a prophecy. A prophecy that for the Redeemer to truly deal with sin would cost Him great personal suffering. Why He had to suffer isn't made clear here. But it is eventually. You come to Isaiah's prophecy and we're told why He had to suffer all that great suffering. It wasn't for Satan. It was for God. He was bearing the penalty, and the weight, and the judgment our sins deserved. For those six hours on the cross, God treated Jesus as if He had lived your sinful life. And He poured out on Him everything you and I deserve. He had to suffer. That happened at the cross. He defeated Satan at the cross. He delivered him what will ultimately be his death blow.

But of course, Satan didn't die after the cross. He continues to exercise power in the world. But someday, Jesus will finally carry out the defeat that He accomplished at the cross. But that is still in the future. Turn to Revelation 20. You see it at the end of the tribulation.

Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he threw him into the abyss, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were completed; after these things he must be released for a short time.

And what happens when he's released is described down in verse 7, "When the thousand years are completed", when the millennium is over, Christ's thousand-year reign on the earth, "Satan will be released from his prison, and will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore". Those who are unredeemed but living on the earth during that time will rebel against the rule of Jesus Christ. It says,

And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

There's the end. He delivered the death blow at the cross and in Revelation 20, the full impact of that death blow is felt, and he's cast forever into Hell. God told Adam and Eve in the garden that someday a man would come who would be a redeemer. You understand folks, that our hope of a redeemer started the very same day that Adam and Eve sinned? It came in a promise from God.

John Walvoord, writing in his excellent book on Christ called Jesus Christ Our Lord writes this, "To Adam it was made very plain that his hope lay in this future child of the woman, that through this child salvation would come from God". Do you understand that from the creation until Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible somewhere around 1400 BC; in other words, from creation until Moses wrote, at least 3500 years, depending on the genealogies of Genesis, it could be up to 10,000 years; for a very long time, this was the Gospel that men had. A Redeemer will come and He will completely and finally deal with sin. And in the midst of dealing with it, He Himself will endure great personal suffering.

I love what Martin Luther writes about this passage. He says, "Adam was a Christian long before Christ's birth. For he had the same faith in Christ that we have, the only difference is that then, redemption was to be accomplished, and now, it is accomplished". The faith is precisely the same. Luther writes, "Thus all the fathers", that is all the patriarchs of the Old Testament, "were justified precisely as we are through the word and faith in Jesus Christ".

Here's the remarkable thing. These words in Genesis 3:15 were spoken by our Lord Himself. Remember what we learned from John 1:18? This is the Son of God speaking to Adam and Eve. And after He spoke these words, the good news, Adam believed these words by faith. Look at Genesis 3:20. God had said in the day you eat, you will die. "Now the man called his wife's name Eve", that means living or life, "because she was the mother of all the living". He says we're going to live, and she's going to have descendants, and I believe what God's told me that out of her descendants will come the One who will deal with sin. He believed these words by faith. Adam and Eve responded in faith to this first presentation of the Gospel from Christ Himself.

Henry Morris writes, "When Adam and Eve heard this first proclamation of the Gospel promising salvation in spite of their sin and the resulting curse, this time they believed God's word. Adam called his wife's name Eve, meaning life, because she was the mother of all living. He thus indicated his faith in God's promises, not only that they would have children, but also that through this means, God would send the seed of the woman to bring salvation".

Clearly there's repentance because now they're believing God. There's a change in attitude toward Satan. There's a change in attitude toward God. They believed God. They believed the promise. They believed the Gospel according to Genesis and were saved.

Can I say this morning - in speaking to a group of people this size, I know there are people here who aren't in Christ. Maybe you know you're not in Christ. Maybe you're here because your spouse drug you along. Maybe you're here because your parents made you come. Or maybe you're here because you like the social interaction and you like whatever it is. There may be others here who aren't in Christ and don't know it. Maybe you're clinging to some childhood profession even though you've lived contrary to God's way and purpose. You have practiced sin as John said. Listen. The only way you can be made right is the same way Jesus Christ told Adam and Eve that they could be made right. And that is by acknowledging their sin and believing in the Redeemer who would come, and in our case, who already came. Your only hope is to turn from your sin, to see yourself as Satan's child in rebellion against God your Creator, and to cry out for God to forgive you and to change you, and to place yourself completely on the mercy of the Redeemer who has come and what He did on the cross. That's your only hope.

After Adam and Eve believed, our Lord does something remarkable. Look at Genesis 3:21, "The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them". Why was that remarkable? Who should have died as a result of their sin? Adam and Eve. Who died? An innocent animal. Here is the first death of an innocent animal to benefit sinful man. It is merely a shadow of the reality that the innocent could die in the place of the guilty. That of course is the principle behind all of the Old Testament sacrifices. And all of those Old Testament sacrifices of animals pointed back to the great promise of Genesis 3:15, that someday a human redeemer would come and deal with sin. And they pointed forward to the Lamb who was slain before the foundation of the world. Ironically, it was the second Person of the Trinity, the Eternal Son of God, who made this prophecy about Himself. But the greatest irony here is that Christ performed the first sacrifice- an animal. And He offered Himself as the last and perfect sacrifice. That's what Hebrews says. He made one sacrifice for sin forever – Himself, and then He sat down.

This is the beauty of what the Lord's Table pictures. It pictures Genesis 3:15. It pictures the promised Redeemer, the person who would come, become human and live among us and would crush Satan. He would deal finally and ultimately with sin, and He would do so through His own suffering. That's the Gospel according to Genesis. Let's pray together.

Our Father, we are stunned really by this passage. Stunned that on the very day Adam and Eve, your creation who enjoyed only goodness from You, rebelled against You. Did the one thing You commanded them not to do. We're stunned, Oh God, that in response to their sin, You would extend such grace. And yet Father, we thank You because we were there in Adam and Eve. They were our representatives, Oh God. We see that. We know that. We know that we would've made the same choice and that we stand equally condemned with them. And so, we thank You, Oh God, that even on that day, You showed such grace. You told them that You in your great plan would send a person, a Redeemer to deal with sin. And their faith was in your promise to send that person who would suffer in the process of dealing with sin. We thank You, Oh God, that as the rest of Scripture makes it clear, He suffered in our place as our substitute. Father, we thank You for your grace toward us in Christ. I pray for those here today who are in Christ, that You would cement this truth in our minds. Father, that You would drive us back to the other testament of our Lord Jesus Christ, the first testament, the Old Testament. Help us to see Him as its central character, to worship Him who was the coming Redeemer and scattered throughout its history. But Father, I pray as well for those here this morning who don't know You. Perhaps who think they do, but who live in an unrepentant pattern and practice of sin. Lord, help them to see that, by your estimation, they are of their father the devil. They are Satan's seed and need desperately, by the Redeemer You sent, to become your own. Lord may this be the day. We pray in Jesus' name. Amen.