Advent: Promises in the Beginning (Genesis 3:8-15)

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Last Sunday was the first of our Advent sermons. Advent is the season before Christmas, it is the season of Christ. We prepare ourselves for this season by knowing that it is a time for celebration, salvation and reconciliation. We also learn of the promises given to us in the Old Testament beginning with the first promise.

The season of Advent is a time for celebration, salvation and reconciliation. Celebration because God loved us so much that he gave his one and only Son for us (John 3:16). His Son is with us always to the very end of the age (Matthew 28:20) and God is for us (Romans 8:31). It is also a time for salvation because the very birth of Jesus was to save his people from their sins (Matthew 1:21) for God’s purpose (2 Timothy 1:9) by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8). For those who are seeking it is time for reconciliation with God: through Christ (Romans 5:1), within ourselves because of the peace that Jesus gives (John 14:27), and reconciliation with others just as God reconciled us to himself through Christ (2 Corinthians 5:18-19).

The season of Advent for salvation and reconciliation can be seen in the first promise given to us recorded in Genesis 3:8-15. God put Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden to work and take care of the garden. God allowed them to eat from any tree in the garden but not from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the middle of the garden. For when they eat of it, they will surely die (departed or separated from God). They ate of the forbidden fruit, lost their innocence and realised that they were naked. In sin, they did not want to face God but ran away and hid from him. Nevertheless God still sought them out and spoke into their lives showing them their errors, causing them to contemplate and take responsibility. The cost was very high for all parties. The serpent was reduced to crawling on its belly, Eve will have greatly increased pain in childbearing, and Adam will have to work by the sweat of his brow to put food on the table. The cost for God was also very high. To redeem us, God had to send his one and only Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins.

Yet, in the midst of this pain, toil and suffering, God gave hope in the first gospel in Genesis 3:15. The offspring of the serpent will strike the heel of the offspring of the woman. The offspring of the woman will crush the head of the offspring of the serpent. At the cross the serpent struck the heel of the offspring of the woman. But it was also at the cross that the head of the offspring of the serpent was crushed. At the cross Satan is vanquished, death is defeated and the Son of God at his resurrection has given us victory over death and Satan. Indeed, the season of Advent is also a time of celebration. Hallelujah and God bless as we usher in Christmas.

Pastor Boo Teong Khoo